“The happiness of the integral human being as the ultimate goal of the State Policy” - Dr. Gerardo Amarilla
Thank you very much. The truth is that whenever they say “to Uruguay and Paraguay”, it’s said that there was some confusion, I say a happy confusion, because we really feel very united; a Senate official recently told me: “If we had been neighboring borders, we would have surely been one country; we would surely have been united.” So for us it is a pleasure to be in Paraguay.
For those who do not know Uruguay, we are very similar to the Paraguayans, only a little sadder; I always say that the Paraguayan is a very happy person, very happy, that really coming to Asunción fills one with happiness and joy.
And to thank Dr. Soto first of all, to thank not only for the organization of this summit and for what has been of the Embassy of Volunteers for Peace in their tasks, and I speak of this because it is his example of life, his example as a human being and the commitment he has to these causes; for us it is an honor. I'm going to ask for a round of applause for Dr. Soto.
Thank you to William Paras, who is a great supporter here of CUMIPAZ and has been a strong and insistent contender for this to be realized, and I believe that the success of this summit owes much to him and the whole team of collaborators, to the whole team of volunteers, and above all the people here also from Paraguay who have worked, the people of Congress, both the Chamber of Deputies and the House of Senators, who I know have supported and worked to make this really a success as it certainly is.
I also have to thank Machado, especially, on this occasion, for the title of today's conference put me in a demand in a few hours, to prepare a topic so deep, so broad and so difficult to encompass in a few minutes and in a few hours of preparation, such as: "The happiness of the integral human being as the ultimate goal of State Policy". Really a title that whoever reads it thinks that it is a lecture, and it really was a title that was imposed and I had to prepare from that challenge. But, it's a pleasure for me to share from what the subject has to do, with a theme that also has something to do with the conference, and that is the transformative power of education, and I think it's very closely linked.
To begin with, the concept of happiness. When we face the concept of happiness, the definition of the Royal Spanish Academy says that it is the state of mind - it is the state of grateful spiritual and physical satisfaction. There is another definition a little wider, which says that it is "the mood of the person who is fully satisfied to have what they want or enjoy a good thing" [http://es.thefreedictionary.com/felicidad] .
I was analyzing some of these texts and there are some authors who especially talk about the subject deeply, and we accidentally derive in Aristotle and in the famous moral work "A Nicómaco", when he speaks about happiness, he devotes several chapters to happiness .
Aristotle says that "this supreme good: happiness - and according to common opinion - is to live well, to work well, is synonymous with being happy. But in what divides the opinions is on the nature and the essence of the happiness ".
And this is what this thinker says: "Some put them in the visible things and that stand out in the eyes (like pleasure, wealth, honors), while others put it elsewhere. Added to this, that the opinion of the same individual varies many times on this point: the patient believes that happiness is health, the poor believe that happiness is wealth. Or, when one is aware of his ignorance he really only admires those who speak of happiness in pompous terms and draws from it an image superior to that which he himself had formed.
And so the vulgar natures (says Aristotle) and coarse, believe that happiness is pleasure, and here, because they only love the life of material enjoyments.
In fact, there are only three genera of life that can be particularly distinguished: Life ... (of what we have just spoken); after political or public life; and finally, the contemplative and intellectual life.
Most of the men, if we are to judge them as they are, are true slaves, who choose for pleasure a life of brutes; and what gives them some reason, seems to justify them, is that most of those who are in power, only take advantage of this to indulge in excesses worthy of a Sardanápalo.
Indeed, Aristotle here shows us that happiness is a very subjective concept, and has to do simply with the person who feels it, how he perceives it ... He also says that "there are then distinguished and truly active spirits who put happiness in glory, because it is the most habitual end of political life; but happiness understood in this way is a more superficial and less solid thing than we seek here. "
And here Aristotle continues, and is quite extensive in his analysis of really what should be, or what should be understood as happiness for every human being.
There is a subject that also speaks in another work, in "Politics", when it speaks of the happiness of a State; and refers there, speaking of what would be a perfect state, "is, of course, the one in which every citizen - whatever he may be - can, by virtue of his laws, practice virtue as best as possible and better ensure his happiness"; and there Aristotle speaks of the different situations in Greece, of the State of Sparta, for example, that happiness in Sparta was precisely to have fought in many battles, to have won many wars, to have had many deaths of adversaries, for example; in Athens it was another concept; and so according to the subjectivity of each place.
There are other authors who talk about happiness. There is a Spanish author, Valiente Fandiño, who is from the Philosophical Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas, who says: "It is acceptable to think that one of the most worthy aspirations of every human being is to live in happiness, that is, in fullness. But problems arise when you begin to determine what that fullness consists of and how to live in this state; not in terms of mere satisfaction, but in being about to overflow the limits of one's own existence. "
Boethius says that "happiness is meaningless without the goods that make you happy." From this author he has already tended to distinguish between various kinds of happiness "; and speaks justly of bestial happiness, apparent happiness, eternal happiness, ultimate or ultimate happiness or perfect; speaks of beatitude, which is a very Spanish term very Spanish, which was just when a person could somehow overcome the material things and think a little further, then speaks of happiness as a subject really linked to perfection.
St. Augustine spoke of happiness as "an end of wisdom, happiness is the possession of the absolute truth, in this term is the possession of God. All other happiness is subordinated to it. "
Buenaventura says that "happiness is the end point in the consummation of the journey that leads the soul to God."
Saint Thomas Aquinas also speaks of the fact that man ... "is not found in external goods and wealth, nor is it found (says) even in the goods of the soul". Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks of the happiness that is found when one attains the contemplation of the truth.
Well, and there are other authors (I do not want to be very extensive with this topic); but evidently that with all these variants of philosophical or theological thought we can conclude that happiness is more than material goods, pleasures and even recognition. This is true…
Now, it is also true, and in our Latin America (and I think most of us here are from this continent), we can not speak of full happiness, of complete, complete happiness, if certain satisfaction of basic needs is not achieved.
I do not say that they are impediments, I do not say that there are people perhaps with very difficult circumstances, very complicated in this planet, and that really they are happy; but, let us be aware that they are obstacles to achieving happiness.
And there in some way we have a responsibility of the States. In what way the State plays a fundamental role for the human being ... It can not guarantee, the State, happiness to the human being; which can somehow guarantee, that those obstacles that prevent you from reaching or dreaming of happiness, are not in your way.
In order to speak of a development in the broadest sense of the term, we must speak then that human beings can also feel free, with freedom. It is a very important and very present concept in our society. Apparently very trite and apparently very well resolved, but sometimes - thankfully ... and we have examples in our Latin America, where after having a freedom and enjoying it and enjoying it, again we begin to lose; sometimes we begin to lose it by the pressure of the State and sometimes we begin to lose by the pressure of the market.
I believe that freedom is fundamental, it is a fundamental element to achieve full happiness, as Jesus of Nazareth says in the Gospel: "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"; that is, that there we have another very important concept, is the knowledge of the truth. And to know the truth we come to an issue that is vital in this conference, which is education. To know the truth is the education and education of our peoples.
There is a theme, a concept that seems to me very interesting, and is in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America. It is a concept that I think is very important and has a lot to do with it. The Declaration or Preamble states:
"We hold as self-evident these truths: that all men are created equal; who are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these rights is life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness; that to guarantee these rights governments are instituted among men, who derive their legitimate powers from the consent of the governed. "
So, somehow, here we begin to see that somehow to find full happiness, I think education is important; and for there to be education and for us to know the truth, governments have a fundamental role to play.
When the title spoke of "Happiness as an ultimate goal in State Policy", I would say that it is more: it is one of the fundamental roles and fundamental roles of the State. Capable that the reason of being of a State or of a government is to seek the happiness of its inhabitants or of its town.
Uruguay is a small country, there cornered between Argentina and Brazil, at the 33rd parallel, we are at the mouth of the La Plata River, at the head of the Atlantic Ocean, a small country of three million inhabitants; which really had several revolutions, the most important was the educational revolution; the educational revolution, which suffered at the end of the nineteenth century, early twentieth century. The foundations of this revolution were seated, without a doubt, like many things of our country, in the figure of Jose Artigas, who was the figure ..., he was not our liberator, although it made us independent of Spain, he was the figure which laid the foundations of Orientality, of the national being, of Uruguay; and within those foundations Artigas established an idea of an educational model that had influence of the Catholic priests of the time and also had influence of the lancasteriana education through a missionary Thompson that arrived at our coasts at the beginning of century XIX .
These foundations laid the foundation for an educational reform of 1870, where a secular education was established, free and compulsory, universal for the whole population, which allowed the new generations of Uruguay to be promptly educated and educated. the beginning of the 20th century, almost eliminating illiteracy in the country.
This allowed for a very strong, very solid educational system which, unfortunately, later in the 20th century also had its decline; and I think we are in a kind of crisis today, because we have not been able to adapt to the globalized world. But education is undoubtedly a fundamental tool, and Uruguay had very important achievements at the time, with a very solid and very firm democracy, based on a very solid and very firm educational system.
Today we are in a crisis, today we need to reinvent ourselves because the world has changed a lot and we have remained anchored in the past - we recognize that - and we are in a process of transformation. In fact, there have been some important developments: we have achieved the "computer to a child" program several years ago in the country; a State Policy that was carried out by a government of a party, but that we have succeeded - as in some other things - as a country, to agree policies that cross the whole political system and that also crossed or went beyond the periods of government.
Education as a State Policy to contribute to happiness is fundamental. I do not say that it is the only one, I do not say it is exclusive, but it is fundamental. It should reflect broad consensus, be respectful of differences and freedom of thought. It can not be overwhelming, nor unifying, nor overcoming of different identities, but must be inclusive and inclusive.
State policies that are not reduced to the State as an organization, as a structure; policies that are, rather, of national court; policies that include the whole of society as a whole; that can be remembered not thinking about the electoral periods, but in the generational periods.
We understand that education is transforming the individual and, therefore, transforming society.
As objective: To provide tools for development, knowledge to access truths.
Education as a transformation of values or as a transmission of values, where the family, the basic unit of society, plays a fundamental role, which we often forget about it and that political actors do not design State Policies thinking about family, which is independent, and which the State can not override, but also has to leave within it the historical role it has had since the beginning of humanity, since before a State existed, that the family was just the great scope of transmitter of values.
Teaching as a tool for the transmission of knowledge, where the State plays a fundamental role; the State and civil society through different organizations.
State policies, then, for education, for education, through educational policies, policies to strengthen the family as an institution and basic unit.
The integral happiness of the human being, then, rather than as a final aim of the State Policy, we could say then, that it is part of the very reason of being of that State.
As the Declaration of Independence says: Human beings create states and institute governments to guarantee inalienable human rights; among which are life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. To ensure full exercise of these rights, it is necessary to generate public policies, national policies that start from the State, but that clearly include and understand the whole society.
Thank you very much.