Can happiness exist without morality?

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP

I believe firmly with you in the connection between virtue & happiness: that the latter can never exist [without the former] …: and that virtuous habits are produced by exercising the mind in and contemplating good moral writings. the publication of these [Blair’s writings] cannot therefore but be publicly useful …

Source: To Mason Locke Weems, June 12, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Moral leaders know virtue must precede happiness.
Weems (1759-18250), a Maryland Episcopal priest, wrote to Jefferson about publishing the sermons of a deceased Scottish theologian named Blair. Perhaps Weems, whose letter has not been found, asked Jefferson to endorse his work.

Jefferson agreed with Weems, that virtue and happiness were closely related: There can be no true happiness without virtue. A virtuous life. resulting in a happy one, was built by absorbing “good moral writings.” Blair’s sermons were that kind of writing

Thus, Jefferson commended Weem’s effort. In keeping with his neutral policy, however, Jefferson said the only support he could give would be to buy a copy of the finished work.

”By all accounts, your appearance as Thomas Jefferson was a bit hit.”
President, Missouri Council on New and Expanding Business
Mr. Jefferson’s comments will be a hit with your audience, too.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

 

Originally posted at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com

The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.