Are ethical people happier?
“The just man is happy, and the unjust man is miserable,” Plato declares in The Republic. A noble thought, to be sure, but Socrates’ most famous student didn’t have data to back up his belief. Harvey James, on the other hand, does. The University of Missouri economist finds a relationship between life satisfaction and low tolerance for unethical conduct.
“What I found is, generally, people who believe that these particular ethical scenarios are not acceptable also tend to indicate they are more satisfied with life. That’s with controlling for other factors that scholars have shown are also correlated with happiness, including relative wealth.”
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