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In “Faring Well and Getting What You Want,” Chris Heathwood supports subjectivism about welfare saying that “Subjectives maintain that being well off has to do with the attitudes we have towards what we get in life rather than the nature of the things themselves.” Heathwood’s arguments are: Something In life benefits us if we desire it
Chris Heathwood thinks something that makes our life “good” is something in life that benefits us when we have interest in it.
“Desire may even be an element in all positive attitudes, attitudes such as liking, preferring, caring about something, or having something as a goal.” My objection to this claim is that just because you do not have interest in something does not mean it could benefit you life. Heathwood claims that you have to “prefer” or “like” something for it to benefit your life. To reply to my objection could be what Heathwood brings up the example of making money.
Most people have interest or prefer more money so he has a point to argue my objection. I think this is all hinged on what a certain individual has interest in because not everyone is going to have the same interest or value the same things.
An objectivist view to a “good life” is completely opposite of Heathwood’s subjective view of a “good life.” An objectivist views things “Are good for us whether we like them or not.” An objectivist thinks something is good even if we are not looking for something good to come from something.
Heathwood disagrees with this claim as stated in the previous two paragraphs. I am more on the objectivist side of the argument. Just because something you do not desire comes into your life does not mean that it can not benefit you. An argument the book talks about is “freedom.” The book uses an example of a guy named Charlie (p.29) who moved states to have more freedom. He wants to go somewhere where he can have more freedom. Turns out, the speed limits are higher in this state. So, driving faster did not benefit him at all. So this example supports the subjective point of view. The higher speed limits did not benefit him because he didn’t care about it. An objectivist view is the complete opposite in this situation. A reply to the subjectivist point of view would be that just because he had no desire to drive faster didn’t mean it did not benefit him. He may have gotten to places he needed to be a lot faster due to this. A reply to that statement would be that just because he got places faster doesn’t mean it benefitted his life.
The original argument that the “good things in life” only benefit us if we desire or like that of which happened to us survived the objections. I think you could argue this subject all day long and I also think that everyone will not see eye to eye on this subject. Some people will be on the objectivist side and some people will be on the subjectivist side. Some people will think that things in life benefit us only if we desire it etc. or things in life benefit us whether we like it or not. Objectivist also think that it benefits us even we don’t get anything we want. Whether you are on the subjectivist side or the objectivist side, it just depends on the individual.
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