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The Humanist aim is ‘the happy life’. What makes ‘the happy life’ is not a matter for discussion of different opinions.

The Humanist concept of ‘the happy life’ is derived ultimately from the sensations we each feel of physical pleasure and physical pain. The only information we have comes through our senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Through these we experience pleasure and pain.

But, as
Epicurus taught, we need to be prudent too. The three ‘ps’, pleasure, pain and, in particular, prudence are the foundations of our personal moral judgements. And, as Epicurus also taught, human happiness is enhanced by friendship, which is the result of reciprocal goodwill.

As he said in his Letter to Menoeceus “Prudence teaches us how impossible it is to live pleasantly without living wisely, virtuously, and justly, just as we cannot live wisely, virtuously, and justly without living pleasantly”, and as he also said, “That is why prudence is more valuable even than philosophy itself: it is the source of all the other virtues”.

As
Robert G. Ingersoll put it:
“The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to make others happy.”
happiness