Everyone Seeks Happiness

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”

Blaise Pascal

This quote changed my perspective on life.

No one ever does anything because they want to hurt more or feel sadder. Even the masochist or sadist, those who enjoy receiving or inflicting pain, are motivated by their enjoyment of it. There’s a pleasure underneath the displeasure.

I can’t help but wonder why this is. Can you imagine a world where this isn’t the case? What does this mean? Does it point to the inherent goodness of life? Why should we desire to feel good rather than bad, especially if the universe is empty, with no Creator, with no one good behind it?

Christians have said for centuries that this is a desire to know God, and I’m not sure I can argue against that.