The Declaration of Independence presents the idea of the “pursuit of
happiness.” Life and liberty are to be protected, so that we may pursue our happiness. Happiness is a subjective matter, seen in the eyes of the beholder – whereas protection of life and liberty are relatively straightforward. Our work is intended to protect life and liberty, so that we may all pursue our individual happiness.
There are significant elements of our society, however, where we create social systems to protect happiness. The homeowners’ association is one; perhaps tax credits for mortgage deductions is another. We can indeed design social systems to promote collective happiness, thereby increasing our odds at the more subjective, individual happiness. When it is all boiled down, happiness is ultimately the mission: for that reason alone, it is wise to deliberately design for happiness.