Happy People Happy Communities philosophy homework help

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Happy People, Happy Communities

Communitarianism is the belief that the community as a whole is more important than any individual and that a person has a duty to make sure that everyone in the community is as happy as possible. In other words, no citizen would be outstandingly happy at the expense of the others who might suffer inordinately. We actually see this idea in Article 29(1) of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.”

  • Do you think that it is possible in a society as racially, religiously, and ethnically diverse as the United States to rationally strive for a social ideal of the common good to which we are all committed in this very large American “community”? Explain your position.
  • If we have a duty to the community to promote the general good, does this negate an individual from choosing destructive behavior (such as getting lung disease from smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, using illegal drugs, and so forth)? In other words, do you think that are we required to sacrifice our individual selfishness (i.e., individual desires/choices) and, perhaps, happiness, for the good of the whole? Why or why not?
  • Look at the previous question, and remember that we are also citizens of the global community, which means that your community includes all people in every nation on the planet. Do you believe that you have a duty to give up some of your happiness in order to make sure that others around the world are not suffering? Why or why not?
  • Note: this is for a discussion form. 75-150 words are required.


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