Is Morality a Prerequisite for Happiness?
Some people tend to say that morality isn’t necessary to achieve anything in life, because every day we see people who are immoral and yet seem to be quite happy with their lives. But the one important thing that is overseen in this viewpoint is that they are immoral from the point of view of the speaker and not their own. With the exception of some fundamentals, the image of morality for one person may considerably differ from what this image is for someone else.
And, after all, how can one judge the degree of someone else’s happiness if it is hardly possible for a human being to understand whether he is happy or unhappy himself? How can outward appearance and behavior of a person serve as indicators of his internal condition? Some people, of course, tend to share their feelings, but for some others it is completely impossible to understand what their real attitude towards life is.
Morality is a necessary part of a happy life; the definition of morality is another question. Most people tend to stretch their moral circumstances so that they correspond with the way of life they actually have. Other people, usually a minority of them, try to alter themselves in order to correspond with the moral norms they believe in. But unless a person believes in his moral impeccability, be it achieved by altering morality itself or personality, this person cannot be happy in true sense of this word. After all, the coincidence with the moral obligations is the degree of correspondence to the image of an ideal man, and who can live peacefully, knowing that he is unimaginably far away from this image?