The first is in response to a number of comments to the effect of, Hey Jules what exactly is your point here?
Well, my initial point was actually about happiness. The observation had been made the happiness and feeling good about yourself were vague notions that could, given a little creativity, be made to mean whatever we want.
Let me expand on that a bit before going on. Here are two very different examples of ways that one might interpret being happy and feeling good about oneself:
- James is happy because he has decided that he is fundamentally good and that he no longer has to feel guilty about not following any moral rules he doesn't like.
- Catherine is happy because she has realized that, even though she is a sinner and that she will remain a sinner despite her best efforts otherwise, God supports her in her efforts and that he wants her in his kingdom.
My point about it was that this absolutely true but not fatal because no simple general rule is enough to generate the exact content of the rules we should follow and the virtues we should try to attain in life.
And, as an example, I gave the Golden Rule. I don't think there is anything wrong with the Golden Rule but it simply isn't enough by itself. (I do think happiness has one huge advantage over the Golden Rule and maybe I'll get to that sometime in the future.)
One more post later this AM.