There is no charge to attend the Talks, please select a ticket so we can accommodate everyone. You have the option to purchase a Specialty Sandwich Dinner, and or drinks. (We are licensed, no outside alcoholic beverages are allowed on premises)
The Pursuit of Happiness: How a republic makes us happy
Someone is said to have asked Benjamin Franklin whether he thought the Constitution was setting up a monarchy or a republic. He answered:
“…a republic, if you can keep it…”
His response captures the spirit of apprehension that the Founders held their experiment in democracy. Historically, republics do not last, and they are not easy to keep, especially when charged with guaranteeing our “life liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Events in our nation in the last few years has shown just how true this is.
Our Constitution created a republic meant to give all Americans the tools to be “happy,” as the Declaration stated. This is a tall order, and one that makes us ask how it is even possible for a government to make people happy? How did the Founders think our republic would lead to our happiness? What happiness? For who? What did they wish to protect us from? What is a republic anyway? These are timely questions with historic answers!
This discussion will re-examine the American republic and its idea of happiness from the political philosophy of the Founders, Greek philosophy, and some contemporary writers. It is not meant to support a 21st century “Republican” or “Democrat” point of view – as both of these are themselves factions of a larger reality. We will focus on fundamental issues of human nature, happiness and how we can keep our republic on track.
Hope to see you on the 28th, to discuss some more.
Dr. Jack O'Connor - PhD.