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Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness Essay


The truth can simply be described as a statement of fact. The quest for knowledge and the need to satisfy curiosity makes people crave for the truth. However, the truth is sometimes ugly or bitter and may be dissatisfying rather than satisfying. This paper presents a philosophical position that postulates that the truth is greater than happiness. The truth is sometimes ugly and may cause a person to become unhappy. However it is always better to find out the truth even if knowing the truth about something will cause someone unhappiness.

People seek the truth to gain knowledge and it is possible that their happiness will depend on their access to this knowledge. The truth presents knowledge to a person through a statement of fact. While the truth may make someone unhappy, the inherent satisfaction of gaining knowledge and becoming aware of the actual facts about a phenomenon, entity, person, or self, is achieved and any possible unhappiness will likely fade after sometime. However knowledge is not gained when the truth is withheld, and unhappiness becomes evident. Individuals are usually eager to satisfy their curiosity, and embrace the option of knowing the truth over the option of being apparently happy without the truth. The absence of truth brings only apparent happiness because people will continue to seek the truth no matter how content they appear.

People generally believe that all problems may be resolved. Therefore, people will rather be exposed to the truth and live with the perceptual ‘unhappiness’ than live in apparent ‘happiness’ without knowledge of the truth. In a nutshell, once people’s curiosities are not satisfied, they will be unhappy. Concealing the truth from them, no matter how ugly it is, will certainly lead to unhappiness since their curiosity will not be satisfied. The only way the truth will be concealed and still lead to happiness is when the truth is substituted with a lie (or a ‘fake truth’).

No matter how bitter or sweet the truth is, it is much healthier than happiness. Anybody may be happy, if they become aware that happiness is not precisely dependent on their external environment, their strength, their ability, their style, their beauty, etc. When the truth is hurting, it is possible for a person to identify what is wrong, and make possible efforts to improve the situation, character, behavior, company, or whatever the subject is. What is more important is not how one feels but how one becomes. If an ugly truth is substituted for a lie, then a person may only achieve an escape route, instead of true happiness. The reality remains before the person and it will eventually emerge and overcome the person except they face it.

It is obvious that people value happiness over the truth. The truth may contain much sadness or happiness. When the truth is concealed, the potential happiness that is concealed remains an illusion. However, false happiness supersedes no happiness, particularly when the false happiness does not contain positive hope. If a person takes the bitter truth seriously, then the person does not experience any form of happiness. A lie may console a person if the lie is about something positive. Nevertheless people eventually lose their joy when they discover that they believed in a lie.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 14). Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issue-truth-vs-happiness/

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"Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness." IvyPanda, 14 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issue-truth-vs-happiness/.

1. IvyPanda. "Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness." May 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issue-truth-vs-happiness/.


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IvyPanda. "Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness." May 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issue-truth-vs-happiness/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness." May 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issue-truth-vs-happiness/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Philosophy Issue: Truth vs. Happiness'. 14 May.

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