Happiness or Freedom Debate. Essay Example

Published: 2023-03-17
Happiness or Freedom Debate. Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Gender Happiness Philosophers
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1466 words
13 min read

The conflict between happiness and freedom, judging the most essential value, has been on for centuries now. According to different political and moral philosophical literature, the question of happiness has been answered under two definitions. For instance, happiness could be used as a value term, whereby it is used synonymously with flourishing or well-being. On the other hand, philosophers could use the word as a morally descriptive psychological word, comparable to tranquility. As moral philosophers ask the question of happiness, John Stuart Mill delivers the proposal on the concept of lower and higher pleasures. John Stuart Mill, a 19th-century philosopher, argues that different types of pleasures, such as pleasure derived from reading creative literature, are more desirable than other kinds of pleasure found in activities such as drinking. According to John Stuart Mill, happiness could be defined as a quantification of desires, with primary preference mounted to higher or better pleasures (Hoag 188-199).

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As people consider the philosophy of happiness, life satisfaction theory and hedonism have been commonly distinguished to account for happiness. In hedonism, happiness is identified with the balance of a person's pleasant over unpleasant experience. The different arguments associated with hedonism to account for happiness try to give the identify happiness with pleasure, as in the case of John Stuart Mill; however, the hedonists challenge the ideology that this should be the sole concern (Hoag 188-199). Under the life satisfaction theories, happiness is identified with having a particular attitude towards an individual's life. In involves a different kind of good judgment that could be explicit. However, the questions concerning the relationship between the science and philosophy of happiness could be attributed to the various roles of happiness in moral and political decision making.

Comparatively, freedom is viewed as the ability of an individual to define their actions and practices. In different political and moral philosophical considerations, both freedom and happiness are essential values. However, the question arises on which is more important between freedom and happiness. The description of freedom as autonomy, holding the liberty of an individual to have the agency in their lives differ from the utilitarian, considering it as an ethical approach to society. Benjamin Franklin, one of the American founding fathers and a political philosopher, is a great proponent for freedom. On freedom, Benjamin franklin gave that, "They who can give up essential liberty to acquire a little temporary safety, deserve neither safety nor liberty." Through such definitions, Benjamin Franklin tends to offer the need for the pursuit of happiness, tying it to freedom, trying to imply that lack of freedom would mean no happiness. In Benjamin Franklin's argument, it would mean that higher pleasures are impossible without an absolute involvement of liberty, which pushes individuals to strive for freedom. However, in as much as having would not mean total happiness, the decision lies in choosing the most important value.

Arguably, most individuals imply that freedom would seem more meaningful but only as a means to happiness. in most of cases; freedom maintains long-term satisfaction compared to short-term comforts such as reading or safety. If an individual is autonomous, it means that they are free to choose ideas and knowledge to deliver insights and discuss them in any way they want. Individual autonomy could be used as an illustration of how it is likely to foster happiness since the individual is free. The clear connection between freedom and happiness identifies that joy is always the ultimate objective. Despite being integral in determining that freedom is a social and moral good, happiness attributed to an individual is dependent on the situational experience. It is multilayered since autonomy cannot warrant satisfaction. With the involvement of the two sides arguing between freedom and happiness, the two sides would likely debate on the immigration public policy. In the issue of immigration, it involves both freedom and happiness. In the decision or public administration on immigration, the two sides would disagree with one side inclined towards liberty while the other argues for happiness. in a general view, both joy and freedom are vital in understanding and making decisions on immigration public policy. In the debates concerning the issue, it does not mean choosing either side, but the decision on which one is the more critical value between freedom and happiness on immigration policy or decision.

Sexism as a Structural Problem

With the recent reclassification of negative social actions is structural issues or problems rather than as undesirable individual characters, it is critical to understand the theory of structural realism. The idea of structuralism holds that every human action and activity, along with its products, both thoughts and perception, are not naturally acquired but constructed. Notably, the structuralism idea draws the indication that things have meanings as a result of the language systems they operate (Warner 2).

When talking about sexism, it is critical to note that it could be associated with other factors such as stereotyping and gender roles. In society, sexism is often applied against girls and women. It plays a significant function to ensure male domination or patriarch through ideological practices of people, institutions, and other collectives that could oppress women based on gender or sex. In most cases, such actions of sexism take the form of social domination and political and economic exploitation. When sexism is defined as a structural problem, it means that the act of oppression goes beyond sexist mistreatment into the involved structures and how they operate, which could result in the behavior of abuse against women. Moreover, to say that sexism is a structural problem is to mean that women or girls are not only discriminated against based on their sex or gender but there are other surrounding factors associated with the person undertaking the activity (Warner 1-6). In other cases, perceiving sexism as structural would that, for sexism to occur, there is a need for the availability of structures or an environment. For instance, structural sexism would be evident in social institutions such as the economy, governments, individual identities and beliefs, and interpersonal relationships and interactions.

Often, Frye's theory of sexism has been mentioned in connection to structuralism. Marilyn Frye, as a radical feminist and American philosopher, discusses different feminist issues engaging in the moral psychology of social. In as much as Frye's theories are from the justice perspective, it talks explicitly about the politics of reality, turning the issue of feminism into a "classic." In different ways, Frye's theory of sexism counts as a structural problem based on how she presents her arguments and ideologies about feminism. For example, in her writing, Feminist Frontiers, Marilyn Frye, talks of oppression based on gender and sex (Frye 17-40). Frye argues of the concept of double bind in sex and gender, which adds to the description of the theory as a structural problem. By double bind in sex and gender, Frye's theory of sexism describes occurrences through which options are reduced to minimal and are exposed to deprivation.

Based on how the oppression is expressed through the theory as based on situations and not acquired, the approach could count as a structural problem. For example, it is neither socially acceptable for a woman to involve in sexual activities nor for the woman to be sexually inactive. With such occurrences they signify on the lack of choice that permits thoroughly in how the women are affected by mere ideologies, thoughts, and perceptions are things as small as how they talk or dress. In the theory of Frye, it offers the acknowledgment that the male gender could face issues; however, this is differentiating as they can quickly solve the problem, they encounter due to the availability of choices (Frye 17-40). Such perceptions offered by the theory explain the reason as to why Frye's theory of sexism counts as a structural problem. Furthermore, in as much as sexism is described as discrimination based on sex or gender, Frye's theory adds that this involves the absence and lack of choices for women in most of the issues different from men considering this as oppression and elaborating on the struggle of the women (Frye 30). With such a description, it explains the reason why Frye's sexism theory counts as a structural problem.

Similarly, there are social issues that could be considered structural problems in a parallel way as sexism. For instance, matters to do with ethnicity and race, crime, stratification, and social class can be considered as structural problems. The social issues are not naturally acquired but constructed.

Works Cited

Frye, Marilyn. "Sexism." The politics of reality: Essays in feminist theory. Crossing Press, 1983, 17-40.

Hoag, Robert W. "Happiness and Freedom: recent work on John Stuart Mill." Philosophy & public affairs. 1986, 188-199.

Warner, Sam. "Structuralism, Feminist Approaches to." The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. 2016, 1-6.

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