So far, I have begun to explain the nature of happiness by noting that it is connected to what it ultimately good. In order to better understand what happiness is, we need to understand what desire is. Desire is X.
Desire is always ultimately aimed at something understood as good. We always want what we believe to be good. We may be mistaken and want we want is not actually good. It is also possible that we might knowingly choose evil in pursuit of some higher good. This is only the claim that what we ultimately desire is good. To determine what we ultimately desire, consider any action. If that action is rational, then there is a reason why the person did it. Consider that reason. Either that reason was done for a further reason or not. If it was done for a further reason, then ask what that reason was. Continue to ask until arriving at a reason that was not done for a further reason. This is the ultimate reason.
An example might make this clearer. Suppose that someone threw eggs at his professor’s house. He threw them at the professor because he was angry at what mark he received on a recent test. His action was an expression of that anger. But it is reasonable to ask why he was angry. He was angry because he thought that his mark was lower than it should have been. He had been slighted by the professor. So he threw eggs at the professor because he was slighted by the professor and he was righting the wrong that the professor did. In other words, he was motivated by justice. He may not have thought about this in any detail, but this sort of reasoning is what lies behind his action. Since justice is always good, we see that his ultimate desire for justice needs no further defense. The only problem is that egging a professor’s house is not really the right way to pursue justice.
We can only desire what we believe is possible for us to have. Just consider any case of something that you desire. It is really something that you believe that you can have. Also, if you truly believe that something is it not possible for you to have, it is not possible for us to desire it.
Finally, it is not possible for us to desire what we have and do not believe we can lose. Again, this can only proven by considering various examples. Consider your life. The only time that people actually desire to continue living is when they doubt that they will continue living. Either you are contemplating ending your life and realize you don’t want to or you are in danger and want to survive. Even having a disease counts.
In summary, desire is an attitude aimed at something believed to be good that we believe we can have but also are not certain that we will have or will continue to have. The next question is whether desire is something a person who is perfectly happy has.