The Happy State
Philosophy Now|December 2021 / January 2022
Dan Corjescu says soma could be coming.
Dan Corjescu

Imagine if you will a government which provides its citizens with comfortable housing, and two special daily pills, free of charge. The first pill contains all our daily nutritional requirements, while the second pill guarantees a sense of happiness and contentment throughout the day and night. My question is: would such a state of affairs be both good and desirable?

Many would argue that the universal provision of housing and food would be a general good. Housing and food are required for the furtherance of human thriving, and so for longterm happiness. Without them we would be significantly restrained in pursuing our future projects of self-realization or fulfilling our potential. They’re things we necessarily need to become who we most fully can be. However, our last theoretical provision, the happiness pill, is more controversial.

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