Saturday, January 10, 2009

Have No 'Right To Happiness'

C.S. Lewis begins this essay with a story about two people who had gotten divorced and remarried.  The tragic part about it is that the previous wife of the man had committed suicide because of it.  The man responded by saying, “ But what could I do?  A man has a right to happiness.  I had to take my one chance when it came.” 

 Lewis then goes on to talk about the right of happiness within natural laws and the laws of the state.  With the laws of the state, we may do whatever we want as long as we don’t break the laws that our forefathers have set down for us.  With natural law, we have to make the distinction between what is morally right or morally wrong.  For instance, the man who divorced his wife to marry another was happy himself, but by doing that, he broke his holy vows of marriage which is morally wrong. 

 I think that Lewis emphasizes  natural law more than moral law, but he could’ve better written this essay in the light of God’s word.  There are so many verses in the Bible that point to this answer.  Do we have a right to happiness?  No, we do not.  We are all sinful creatures that deserve nothing other than hell.  However, it is by the grace of God who sent His only begotten son to wash our sins away that we may experience His gift of happiness.


  1. Dear Brittany,

    Could I affirm that Lewis diplomatically engages God’s Word in his statements? I always have fun trying to address the issue of ‘could have better written this essay in the light of God’s word’ by just finding for each of his sentences the underlying Bible verse that points to the answer!
    As for your statement ‘Do we have a right to happiness? No, we do not’ I totally agree... At least not deservingly!
    However, is that not the enemy’s idea to convince us that we have ALL the right in the world to be; and this simply for the reason of being alive?

    A & P

  2. I agree that we do not have a right to happiness but on the other hand I do not believe God denies us the right to pursue what makes us happy so long as it is within His laws. In other words, so long as what will bring us happiness will does not involve disobedience to God.