Monday, September 28, 2015

We have No "Right To Happiness."

Christopher B's apposite comment under my post about evangelical shift on gay marriage put me in mind of a C.S. Lewis Essay We Have No "Right To Happiness" This is hardly surprising as many things remind me of a Lewis essay.  Sample
The real situation is skillfully concealed by saying that the question of Mr. A.’s “right” to desert his wife is one of “sexual morality.” Robbing an orchard is not an offense against some special morality called “fruit morality.” It is an offense against honesty. Mr. A.’s action is an offense against good faith (to solemn promises), against gratitude (toward one to whom he was deeply indebted) and against common humanity.

5 comments:

Texan99 said...

I suppose people have always felt an urge to redefine their duties to exclude anything that would cause significant present unhappiness, but the urge has received a lot of reinforcement in recent decades.

ymarsakar said...

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/250972/one-million-child-victims-muslim-rape-gangs-uk-arnold-ahlert

This is what they are dragging the West towards.

Retriever said...

That was why I felt like throwing things at the screen during Brokeback Mountain: the sappy mush about two men betraying their wives and the complete lack of sympathy for these women the men were breaking covenant with...I personally have the attitude that anything two consenting adults wish to do, fine, just don't do it in public, don't give me blow by blow details, don't scare the horses. I am revolted by exhibitionism (am a squeamish WASP who isn't big on PDA), but am also serious about fidelity. Joke to my kids about 'Divorce Never, Murder Maybe" On a more serious note, I have told them since they were 21 (not earlier, would not have been appropriate) about assorted black sheep members of the family who DID put their own happiness ahead of marital vows or their duties to their kids, and the HAVOC this wrought in the lives of their spouses and children. I am a total boring fuddy duddy, but my attitude is that once you're married you belong to that person forever (barring emergency exits allowable in case of abuse, criminal behaviour by spouse, persistent infidelity, or addiction). I've had romantic young uns say 'But what if you meet the love of your life?" To which I say, "Sucks to be you, then you sigh and crash the dishes in the sink, and grumble to the dog, and forget about it. " I don't understand our culture's valuation of sex as superseding ALL else: loyalty, a promise, duty, devoted companionship, lifelong commitment, shared parenthood, responsibilities, etc. Of course all of us have had the experience at some time or other of feeling temporarily overwhelmed by love/lust for someone (to quote Monty Python "I know I have"), but one doesn't have to act on the feelings. We aren't dumb beasts.

Texan99 said...

Besides which, you don't just "meet" the "love of your life." You gradually develop romantic ties to someone if you encourage opportunities for this to happen and encourage the thoughts and behavior that allow an overwhelming feeling to grow. If you understand anything about yourself and your duties to other people, you get a grip on yourself before the feeling becomes greater than whatever self-control you possess. After a time, the infatuation subsides; if you never acted on it or encouraged it, it passes without leaving wreckage in your life and the lives of people who depend on you to behave yourself.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well put, both of you tonight - and I loved Retriever's summary quote to her children. When my mother divorced my father she did the right thing, but she underestimated the cost to the two boys.

Ah well, my mother had poor taste in men, and that had consequences.