Contending with Socrates’ conundrum
Ok, here's where I start to have questions.
1.) Does "happiness" here mean, y'know, literal happiness? Feeling good? The usual meaning of the word that everyone uses? Or is it some technical other definition?
2.) I buy that literal positive emotion, literal physical survival, and generally "being a good and competent person" correlate positively on average, but I don't buy that they're identical in absolutely every case. When Objectivists talk about "the good" or "life" it often seems like they're switching between "what literally physically keeps you alive", "what literally makes you more emotionally happy in the long term", and "what's "obviously" nobler and more virtuous and what a good person would want." These are all supposed to be exactly the same, for everyone, in every case? No exceptions? I can't say "oh, I know this is supposed to be virtuous but it wouldn't make me happy and it isn't useful to survival, so nah"?
3.) Thinking of things in terms of "virtue" seems like the hardest and most distasteful part of the whole business.
"Drop the obligation to be a noble Nietzschean hero, just do useful and/or fun stuff" is an attitude I've found very helpful. Scowling haughtily and trying to "be" "good" is miserable and doesn't get anything done. If I have to do an unpleasant chore, thinking about how "virtuous" it is makes it harder, not easier. "Don't worry about how impressive you are, just do lots of stuff that seems helpful/useful/cool/interesting" is standard career advice for a reason.
Is there any practical advantage to *thinking* about the right thing to do in terms of virtue? If you'd rather just....not, what's bad about that?