Saturday, January 10, 2009

Have No 'Right to Happiness'

In C.S. Lewis' essay, "Have No 'Right to Happiness' ", he gives his view on the concept of man's right to happiness. He starts the essay by talking about Clare's thoughts on a couple and their divorce so that they may marry each other. She says that it is their right to be happy, so their actions were justified. However, C.S. Lewis examines this concept further.

He begins by looking at a person's pursuit of happiness. He stresses the point that man is not entitled to pursue happiness by means that go against the beliefs of society, but rather pursue them by lawful means. Lewis then leads into happiness as often centered upon sexual happiness. He strongly disagrees with people who wish to treat sex as every other impulse that man is exposed to, but rather exclaims that sex should be treated like no other impulse we have in our nature. This is a great statement because God wants sex to be a sacred moment for marriage and if we treat it as something casual, we will not be pleasing God.

I believe that Lewis is explaining to us that we must be wise in what we pursue as our source of happiness and that we must pursue our happiness in a lawful manner. He also hints at the idea that there is a great difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is selfish and self-centered, where joy is experienced by the grace of Jesus and we are encouraged to live joyful lives in Christ.

Humans do not deserve happiness due to our sins but God's unchanging love brings joy and stirs happiness into our lives.

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