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The Basic Notions of Ethics


Despite happiness cannot be called a clear subject of research, it has always interested scientists who would like to understand its nature and the factors that can make people happier. Thus, a lot of work has been performed to achieve this goal. Sometimes, the results are unexpected. In her article, Netburn (2016) tells about the recent study conducted in San Diego. Within the frame of the research that the author discusses, more than one thousand people were to answer a series of questions concerning their mood, values, and perception of the environment. The results were surprising because the researchers have found out that there was a positive correlation between age and level of happiness. The author of the article calls this situation a paradox.

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Nevertheless, according to other works mentioned in the article, there is nothing strange or illogical because attitudes to life and key values are not the same during different periods of life. Discussing the reasons for this situation, the researchers say that younger people just seem to think less about the end of life. To put it in other words, they feel that their bodies are active and healthy, their mental abilities allow them to process a lot of information, and they do not realize that there will be a moment when their health will be constantly deteriorating. Therefore, they cannot compare their present condition to something else, and this is why they just do not appreciate their lives. At the same time, elderly people realize that life is not going to last forever, and these difficult thoughts make them appreciate every single moment of their lives and other people.

I believe that this article helps to raise an extremely important topic connected to ethics. It helps to understand the course material better because it is also devoted to the meaning of happiness. The latter can be called one of the most important notions in Nicomachean ethics that is supposed to be the primary aim of every human being. It also touches upon the notion of wisdom, connecting it to happiness. As for wisdom, I believe that its importance is illustrated by the author of the discussed article. She shows that many factors influence elderly people and make them more conscious about the meaning of life, and one of these factors is their previous experience.

The consciousness of death makes people remember all the important moments of their lives and analyze them again and again. In such a way, they become able to sum it up and come to a right conclusion. In other words, at the end of life, people seem to understand that there are a lot of false values that distract us from the things that are important such as relationships, friendship, education, and time spent with near and dear ones. To continue, the information presented in the article is also connected to global ethics that touches upon cross-cultural differences and ethical values. Although the article tells about the research conducted in one particular city, the results seem to be credible for the entire community. Thus, the propensity for reconsidering the primary values and realizing the senselessness of many things attracting younger people is likely to be a common feature of elderly people of all nationalities.

In the end, the article presents very interesting information on age-specific changes and attitudes to life, and it helps to deeper understand the basic notions of ethics.


Netburn, D. (2016). The aging paradox: The older we get, the happier we are. LA Times. Web.

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