What differences in understanding happiness exist among religions?

Ronald Siegel
Virtually all of the world's religions offer paths to inner peace, meaning, and fulfillment. Buddhism, one of the world's ancient religions, teaches that a person can find psychological freedom and inner peace through recognizing the interconnectedness of all things, transcending the illusion of a separate self, and coming to accept the inevitability of change. Other major religious traditions, including those of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, have for many centuries embraced the concept that happiness and rewards result from following God's will as revealed in scripture. The utilitarian philosophers of the 18th and 19th centuries, including John Stuart Mill, believed that moral actions are those which maximize happiness—not for the individual, but for the greatest number of people. At the same time, other schools of thought have been more individualistic. The Romantics, for example, valued individual emotional expression and passion.

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