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Virtue and the Pursuit of Happiness

We're being led away from the fundamental principles upon which “happiness” is built – God and virtue.

by
Janine Turner

Bio

January 16, 2014 - 3:38 pm

As the midterm elections heat up, candidates from the Democratic Party will beat the “economic unfairness” drum. They will declare that their constituents’ “pursuit of happiness” is being thwarted by corporate evil, an evil championed by Republicans. Once again the airwaves will echo that the 1%, even though it is fluid and open to all Americans, is closed to the rest of the 99% of “hard-working, unfairly treated” Americans.

Obama’s 1% campaign was a phenomenal success that helped him win a second term in office. However, the 1% campaign is a balloon of hot air, and the only instrument that will burst it is an educated populace who truly understands what “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” really means.

Aristotle examines happiness in his Nicomachean Ethics. He states that “the human good comes to be disclosed as a being-at-work of the soul in accordance with virtue.” Washington stated, “There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.”

Democrats and progressives want to redefine the “pursuit of happiness” as the “pursuit of money,” coupled with the institutionalization of the belief that Americans are automatically guaranteed this “happiness.” The Democrats’ efforts are like The Wizard of Oz. This great orchestration, the illusion behind the curtain, is really a manipulation. They do not want Americans to rediscover that virtue and the pursuit of happiness are intertwined because if Americans revive their virtue, then all hope is lost for the Democrats, whose principles are both self-serving and false.

As a culture, Americans have been steered down a progressive path by a constant barrage of “if only” and “keeping up with the Joneses.” These new “government is the answer” and “I am owed happiness” mentalities are like quicksand sucking up the only viable path for both personal and republican freedom.

How far Americans have strayed from the true intent and knowledge of what “happiness,” really is. Is this any surprise? Recent generations have been educated in public schools and colleges that deny students knowledge of the fundamental principles upon which “happiness” is built – God and virtue. God is obsolete from the schools, as is the focus that virtue leads to a purposeful, productive life both as a person and as citizen. Our republic, a country that embodies and operates upon the principles of inherent rights, cannot survive without educating the nation’s children about “Nature’s God” and the fact that happiness begins within one’s own character.

Our culture and our schools have incubated and birthed the “new principle” that we are “owed” happiness, that society “owes” happiness to others. This fallacy has been promulgated by a progressive movement – a movement that has been unchecked by a lazy citizenry.

If we are to survive as a truly charitable people and a free, good society independent from government, then we have to honor and understand why principles matter. We have to immerse the culture, in a non-judgmental way, with a message that virtue is the compass for happiness and that it is not simply an old, prudish characteristic pushed by conservatives. The correlation between virtue and the pursuit of happiness is non-partisan.

Without a doubt, there must be checks and balances in all regards, yet, as a nation, we need to quit pointing the finger at others, blaming and judging, and instead point the finger at ourselves. The answer is not “out there” — owed to us. It is “in here” — inside our own souls and dependent upon our own virtue.

As we start the new year, it is a perfect time to discuss virtue at the dinner table with our kids, for as Ronald Reagan said, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Our nation’s kids no longer learn about Providence or Nature’s God — God has been deemed offensive in schools. There is not enough time in the curriculum for virtue, and Constitutional values are not endorsed, as progressives subscribe to the belief that it is an outdated document. Thus, it all the more vital that those of us who understand these necessities discuss them at the dinner table — that God and virtue are crucial to the personal responsibility of pursuing happiness.

Janine Turner is a longtime actress and a talk radio show host. She appears regularly on Friday editions of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.

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Top Rated Comments   
"If we are to survive as a truly charitable people and a free, good society independent from government, then we have to honor and understand why principles matter. We have to immerse the culture, in a non-judgmental way.."

Why?

Your column judges. And ..so what? All thinking, rational people judge. The idea that to judge is a social failing is a socialist/Marxist/"progressive" mendacity. The fact that we have been told this over and over again while the left continues to judge and CONDEMN is another left wing treachery. If you want to make an argument for your side, stop using the tactics of the left. Start with the fact that the left has judged, condemned, and replaced everything this society once strove to become: orderly, mannerly, polite, to emulate the beautiful and virtuous etc. The left has flipped those virtues and we are now wallowing in the ugly and the insane. To criticize is to judge. Your column judges. And once again..bravo! and SO WHAT?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
The really sick thing is that it is the "1 percenters" who supported Obama and the myth that Americans are forever trapped in the class to which they were born. Wonder why they did that.

Anyway, ask yourself why greedy/one-percenter/Democrat Jon Corzine is not a headline/punchline/rotting in jail.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Constitutional values and Godly virtues are often antipodal to one another. I say this because there is hardly an article or amendment that, in some fashion, is not antithetical, if not seditious, to Yahweh's sovereignty and morality.

Find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our Constitution Survey at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ConstitutionSurvey.html and receive a complimentary copy of an 85-page book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
!Brava!

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
pur·sue verb \pər-ˈsü, -ˈsyü\

: to follow and try to catch or capture (someone or something) for usually a long distance or time

: to try to get or do (something) over a period of time

: to be involved in (an activity)

"Pursuit" of happiness does not promise that you will achieve it, only that you have the OPPORTUNITY to make the attempt. What you make of that opportunity should be no business of the government.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Virtue is willingness to do His will.
You call for Americans to be virtuous.
Have you considered the price paid by Americans who ask Him to tell them what He wants them to do?
I wish you would put someone on your staff, even a volunteer, who was open to what He wanted to do in this nation. He would send people to that person. Then you would be a door to restoring virtue in America.
Seriously, where in America can He send someone who serves Him? There is no place that will receive such a person. Wish you would.
If prayer says post this, I will.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If we are to survive as a truly charitable people and a free, good society independent from government, then we have to honor and understand why principles matter. We have to immerse the culture, in a non-judgmental way.."

Why?

Your column judges. And ..so what? All thinking, rational people judge. The idea that to judge is a social failing is a socialist/Marxist/"progressive" mendacity. The fact that we have been told this over and over again while the left continues to judge and CONDEMN is another left wing treachery. If you want to make an argument for your side, stop using the tactics of the left. Start with the fact that the left has judged, condemned, and replaced everything this society once strove to become: orderly, mannerly, polite, to emulate the beautiful and virtuous etc. The left has flipped those virtues and we are now wallowing in the ugly and the insane. To criticize is to judge. Your column judges. And once again..bravo! and SO WHAT?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
THANK YOU! Ms. Turner seems to be a good Christian woman, but she does tend to be a little too tolerant in my opinion. I've had it up HERE (hand above my head) with the coarseness of our culture. I'm tired of rude, crude and socially crippled people and quite frankly, I believe that anybody who keeps their children in these marxist indoctrination camps (public school) is insane and guilty of child abuse.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mrs. Turner:

You hit the nail on the head with the requirement for humans to attain their values through virtue. But what does God have to do with it?

There is something that must be understood about the nature of those who champion communism, socialism or any collectivist doctrine.

Have you given any thought to why they are so smugly self-righteous? Why they believe Capitalists are evil? Why they look down on Christians? Because until you understand them, you will never be effective at fighting them. Their philosophy tells the story. And part of their philosophy is very similar to yours, even though their end beliefs are different, their political beliefs.

Until your ideas are consistent from beginning to end, you will never effectively fight them. Until you reject their moral code, the same moral code that you believe in, you will lose every convert to them. I am speaking of Altruism.

They believe that you must sacrifice yourself for your fellow man. The philosopher who postulated that extreme position, invented his philosophy with the stated goal of bringing science and Christianity together again. His moral code stated: "an action is not moral unless you derive no benefit from it whatsoever" That is the definition of Altruism. Notice that there is no other stated belief, that as long as you are sacrificing yourself, you may do anything else to further that goal, even lie, cheat, steal and kill. And they do. The collectivists have a philosophy which is consistent from beginning to end, that is why they are so smug! But there is not enough room to get into all aspects of their philosophy here. They believe that they are morally superior to you because they are consistent. And I have the greatest respect for them because of that consistency. Barack H. Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, all are wrong, but they stick to their beliefs and act to evangelize all, never wavering, never stopping. All the evil things laid at their doorstep concerns them not a whit, as their moral code says nothing except accomplishing the sacrifice of all to all!

They believe, since man is too selfish to sacrifice themselves to their fellow man, then we should be forced into the sacrificial furnaces at the point of a gun. And since this philosophy has taken hold, they have done just that; hundreds of millions have died as human sacrifices to the god of society.

A proper moral code should not be handed down from on high, or dictated by "society" or even using some "formula" for the "the greatest good for the greatest number". A proper moral code should be based on man's nature and the nature of existence and anchored to reality. It should be rational. For reality is the final arbiter of whether you have made proper moral choices or not.

In order to define a rational moral code, you have to answer two questions:

1) What are values?
2) Who should be the beneficiary of a person's values?

The collectivists ignore the first question, and in answer to the second they say: "anybody but yourself"! They ignore the role of values to human beings, which is why we have all the evils of the present day. And they demand that you must be a sacrificial animal to everyone else! Me, I don't believe in human sacrifices.

A person on this planet needs certain things to stay alive and to live life as a human being should. He must act properly or his life is "nasty, brutish and short". VALUES are that which every life form must act to gain or keep.

VIRTUE is the action of attaining your VALUES! Without virtue, you cannot live life as a human being. The primary goal of each human should be joy, or happiness. For themselves, each one of us.

There are three primary VALUES required to live a proper life: REASON, PRODUCTION AND SELF-ESTEEM.

The VIRTUES required to attain your VALUES are: INDEPENDANCE, RATIONALITY, INTEGRITY, HONESTY, JUSTICE, PRODUCTIVENESS AND PRIDE.
These values and virtues are necessitated by the nature of existence and the nature of man. A short explanation:
Reason is our means of survival. Rationality is the acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge and guide to action. Rationality requires a person to do his own thinking (Independence) and stay true to it in action (Integrity). It requires Honesty – the refusal to fake reality – because the unreal does not exist and can be of no value. It requires Justice – the moral evaluation of others – because rational, productive people are good for us, while irrational parasites are worthless or dangerous.

Survival requires an all-encompassing purposefulness, with all of one’s other purposes integrated to a central productive purpose. Productiveness is the application of reason to the creation of the products and services necessary for survival (and for enjoying life as a human being). To define and achieve rational purposes, a person must be certain of his competence and worth – he must achieve self-esteem. This requires the virtue of Pride – a com
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Y'know...Ayn Rand was right about more than she was wrong about, but I think she got the Wolf/Sheep,ratio wrong, and I think she missed one group in her Looter/Moocher definition. It's in Rand's nature to group people into wolves and sheep. Wolves (not necessarily a pejorative) form packs of the like minded (the Strikers, the status quo collectivist leaders) and mostly the sheep get ignored and pushed around.

The thing is, Rand didn't like or understand kids. They don't fit neatly into her philosophy. She is okay with bright teenagers, she understands the importance of education and its perversion, but she didn't have or want kids. Rand considered everyone to be self motivated and to have either decided to do evil or to be lazy. She didn't do fear as a CAUSE only as an EFFECT. When you see people afraid, it is always as punishment for some evil they have done or because they are intellectually lazy and now they are getting what's coming to them.

Children are afraid because they don't know better. Mom and Dad take care of the scary stuff. You may be poor, but your parents keep it from you. You eat first.

We have a VERY successful society. It is SO successful we have this weird perverse consequence. It is actually possible for someone to grow up and need to be TAUGHT that risk is part of life. People like thus have an inherent fear of risk. It is unknown. When they are exposed to it, and overcome it, they start to lose that fear. This is why military veterans are often better at being people. It's why traditional men (brought up in team sports and dangerous mate attracting acts of daring) are often mor liberty oriented than traditional women (who also have the responsibility to physically protect children). There is another thing that Rand didn't deal with (I didn't say miss, she had a set of points to get across and she stuck to them). A woman with a child to protect isn't concerned about whether or not they will get to become a fully evolved person until she is first satisfied that they will actually grow up. Parents in general, and women in particular have no tolerance whatsoever where they perceive a physical risk to their children (starvation, death, kidnapping, etc.) they will sell out any long term goal to get over a perceived physical threat, and will brook no risk.

This isn't an evil act. It's not stupid. Our children are us. They are our biological and philosophical means of immortality. Protecting their kids for most people is a profoundly selfish act. My kid is half my actual flesh. Rand was like this about her ideas. Roark was like this about his architecture, but most people are not Rand or Roark, or Galt, most people don't have great works, most people have kids.

Fear is both necessary and the greatest weapon of the enemy. Collectivist keep worthy people in a state of artificial fear by controlling their access to information, and manipulating evolved responses that make ant threat we see each day seem like an existential threat.

During the Stranger Danger hysteria of my youth, there were no more than 100 stranger abductions in the entire United States each year. When I was a child, I left the house in the morning and came home at dinner and my parents never batted an eye. A couple months ago a woman was arrested for leaving her kids to okay alone ON HER OWN LAWN IN A SUBURB, and although most people thought this was an overreaction, almost no one thought it was okay she did it.

The difference between America now be in 1980? The crime rate is lower. It is SAFER.

We do not suffer from a lack of morality, we suffer from an excess of fear.

Evil cannot triumph when the good are not afraid.


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36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Obama’s 1% campaign was a phenomenal success that helped him win a second term in office. However, the 1% campaign is a balloon of hot air, and the only instrument that will burst it is an educated populace who truly understands what “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” really means."
==============================

If this is the case I can report that the balloon - complete with hot air - shall live a long and happy life. The average LIV has no desire to self-educate - they are too busy with reading and sending low information messages to each other. Happily thumbing away the next text message to their BFF or posting on facebook inane thoughts about their inane little lives - and reading inane little messages from their equally inane little BFF's.

How are you going to educate the inane? Like stupid people the inane don't know they are inane.

Obama 2 - RINO's 0. He knew - RINO's didn't.


36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd like to replace the term low-information-voter with the term MISinformed-voter. Most of these people watch the news and read the newspaper and feel they are completely well informed people. The crime here is that the media itself is feeding these people a line of BS. They are being LIED to.

I would truly like to see either a conservative billionaire or a conservative consortium buy up one of the big 3 news stations (ABC, NBC, CBS) and staff it with people who report the news - PERIOD! No slant, no opinion (well, maybe a pro-con segment regarding issues) just the facts.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
The really sick thing is that it is the "1 percenters" who supported Obama and the myth that Americans are forever trapped in the class to which they were born. Wonder why they did that.

Anyway, ask yourself why greedy/one-percenter/Democrat Jon Corzine is not a headline/punchline/rotting in jail.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Attitude and perspective counts for much........

When you are born in hell, live in damnation and die in unholy desperation..... rights?..... freedoms?...... responsibilities??...... what are you even talking about??..........
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
The difference between radical leftists and salt of the earth types is in this very phrase.

Salt of the earth types understand that happiness lies in the pursuit. The beauty of the quest. The overcoming of obstacles. "Of course, it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great."

Radical leftists want to sit around and navel gaze. They want happiness to pursue them.

The virtue is in the willingness to sacrifice to achieve. To strive. To stretch. To do more in order to be more.

Radical leftists want to skip to the part where the outcome is preordained. To strip the pride of achievement and "gift" tinsel trophies to participants for breathing the same air as achievers.

It cheapens the process and renders meaningless the reward. There is no virtue in taking an unearned share of someone else's efforts. If you are a charity case, then charity has its virtue. If you pretend to need charity, you steal from the charitable...and the truly needy.

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leftists are children stuck in Kindergarten, who all believe THEY should be teacher. They have been told they are special little snowflakes who are to be catered to risk free. They are professional whiners.

You really touched something here, just do a thought experiment...assume the automobile had never been introduced but by some weird magic, we otherwise had more or less the same history and economy with trains and trolleys doing the transportation job (requires a suspension of disbelief and logic, I know).

Now...try to introduce the automobile, as a brand new concept TODAY.

Leftist: "seriously, you want to let just anyone drive? No way, we need education, at least four years of supervised experience, a 25 mile an hor speed limit, special roads with gates...blah blah blah...

No physical advancement of any kind, comparable to the automobile could be introduced today. People ask why we don't have flying cars? Sure the tech isn't there yet, but when it is we STILL won't have them.

How many life saving drugs are sitting on shelves in labs because more than three people in 1,000,000 experienced a side effect that might make a bureaucrat look bad to the professional whiners?

The war on masculinity, the need to ignore all threats that require risk to defeat (if we stick our fingers in our ears and hum real loud the Islamists will go away just like the monsters daddy told me were not under my bed), the hatred of capitalism, the hatred of disagreement and debate, it's all part of the same mentality.

Arrested development...in Kindergarten.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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