Its only good for the person experimenting and often comes at the cost of animals who are enslaved and imprisoned when they are innocent and deserve happiness just as much as we do or more if we have free will as we arent innocent. Its wrong to hurt humans because it they feel and it hurts and you wouldnt want it done to you so it would be unfair to do it to others. Well the same goes for animals. Nothing is different that would make owning animals different than owning humans morally. But this kind of irrationality is expected when they all once thought that people who were colored differently than them were less than human. They also thought that this justified torturing them raping them killing them and enslaving them while they couldnt even explain why their race made them deserve differently than you deserve. Its clear that they were using emotions and desire to come up with their moralities. People stand for thousands or millions of things that all opposed each other. How many of you can be serving your purpose? Less than one percent by far. How can you serve your purpose if you dont know what your purpose is? We dont know our purpose though we claim there is one which is pretty irrational. And by we i mean most of us and not me if that doesnt seem as obvious as it is. If objective morality existed and everybody knew it there wouldnt be controversy on every single topic which proves that most peoples moralities are subjective. So no they are not standing for something objectively right for the most part. They cant be because we are all against each other and our moralities are contradictory. You may know that different people have different moralities but you dont know that they cant all be right. And if they are then i could choose my morality by what is convenient for me. Most people actually do this and use their likes, dislikes, and emotions to determine what is right and wrong. Their feelings have adapted to their environment which has religion in it so they are molded emotional and therefore morally as well by what they have been subjected to and not what they choose. I know this because 90 percent of arabs are muslims and 90 percent of americans are christian. Statistics prove that we dont choose our beliefs. They also have completely different wills that clearly CAUSED by physical things like emotions stimula, knowledge, and intelligence. If we know differently we do differently. If we have different intelligence levels we choose differently, if we have different emotions we want and choose differently. I have no reason to suppose that we have free will which means everyone suffering is an innocent victim including everybody in prison by me. I wouldnt cause someone pain for their evils unless it would do some good and prevent them from hurting others.
Happines actually has health benefits for one things.
Another is that in standing for something righteous (I don't know what would be objectively righteous, some things maybe are but the world isn't black and white) the ultimate goal is usually to bring happiness to others. Ending world hunger, ending a war, giving the opportunity for an education to people who are denyed it, etc.
Also, many people stand for something righteous in their lives in part because it makes them happy to help others because they care about other human lives. I actually think most people do stand for something, even if they don't walk around bragging about it to everyone or talking about how objectively morally righteous and amazing they are.
If most of us "live for pleasure" then how can one say that "happiness serves no purpose"?
I don't think that one can rationally say, "I don't want to be happy." To generalize, happiness is getting what you want. If things don't turn out the way you want, then you are less happy or sad.
We do not have objective or external morality. There is no such thing. There has to be a sentient mind making valuations and having desires, before there could be any notions of morality, in the first place.
What we do have is valuation, and among people on earth, varying degrees of agreement. On some issues, there is hardly any disagreement at all. On others, there is no clear consensus at all, and great disagreement.
Steffon is correct that for many people, their birthplace, family and culture is responsible for many of their beliefs. That had their situation been different, their beliefs would be different. Here too, I don't think that really matters - it's just an incidental fact. We all end having our desires and beliefs, regardless of what we would ascribe them to. That some of us have an emotional need for organized religion doesn't change anything.
Happiness and pleasure are the same thing, here. I would assert that our human motivation comes from the fact that we choose, from among our available options, that which we desire the most, or that for which we have the least distaste. We are trying to get the most pleasure, the most happiness.
If we have to look for "purpose," then happiness/pleasure is our purpose. A lot of people will object to that, but again - I think it's all the same thing here. If one wants to live an ascetic life, and devote oneself to caring for the poor, fine - it's still that individual's desire.
Somebody might say, "Well, it doesn't really make me happy to clean toilets," but the bottom line is that they still want to clean it, versus not having it cleaned. They more want the clean toilet than they want to avoid doing it. If that was not true, then they would not do it.
Very often, we are happy from transient things- clothing, food, even relationships. But most of that happiness evaporates overtime. I don't think that living for happiness is our goal- but when we live according to objectively righteous standards, we will be truly happy, and that happiness will serve to further our pursuit of righteousness. Happiness that comes at the expense of others is a transient happiness- and that happiness has no purpose. But true happiness by all means is valuable.
Happiness is actually a way that allows you to live a longer life. Your emotions are able to affect not only your mood, but your health as well. Your immune system suffers and you can easily get sick if you are depressed.
If you don't believe me, check these links out and prove me wrong:
Also being righteous brings people happiness, so what is wrong with it? You may benefit from it, but there is no way to change that. Good people will be willing to do many things to help others and it brings them great joy. That allows both parties to benefit and encourages good behavior.
So, here's my 3 responses:
Happiness not only has a purpose, it is a virtue. Plato, or maybe it was Socrates, gives a really fun and insightful argument.
"...Most of us live for pleasure instead of standing for something..." - maybe, but we should be so lucky to choose how we want to spend/waste the life we get.
Righteousness is not objective. Just sayin'.