Happiness is a real, objective phenomenon, scientifically verifiable. That means people and whole societies can now be measured over time and compared accurately with one another. Causes and cures for unhappiness can be quantified.
It is now possible to quantify people's levels of happiness pretty accurately by asking them, by observation, and by measuring electrical activity in the brain, in degrees from terrible pain to sublime joy.
Most people come to fear not death itself, but the many terrible ways of dying.
One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives.
People want the right to die at a time of their own choosing. Too many families have watched helplessly as a relative dies slowly, longing for death.
Working lives are for the state to influence. Unemployment makes people unhappy. So does instability.
My mother begged doctors to end her life. She was beyond the physical ability to swallow enough of the weak morphine pills she had around her. When she knew she was dying I promised to make sure she could go at a time of her choosing, but it was impossible. I couldn't help.
Could a government dare to set out with happiness as its goal? Now that there are accepted scientific proofs, it would be easy to audit the progress of national happiness annually, just as we monitor money and GDP.
Inequality makes everyone unhappy, the poor most of all, and that is well within the remit of the state. More money gives less extra happiness the richer we get, yet we are addicted to earning and spending more every year.
How do you make any sense of history, art or literature without knowing the stories and iconography of your own culture and all the world's main religions?
But how odd that in this heathen nation of empty pews, where churches' bare, ruined choirs are converted into luxury loft living, a Labour government - yes, a Labour government - is deliberately creating a huge expansion of faith schools.
But instead of standing up for reason, our government is handing education over to the world of faith.
The best care on earth cannot prevent us all dying in the end.
In the polls, over 80% support the right to die and have done for the last 25 years. Even 80% of practising Catholics and Protestants support it, plus 76% of Church Times readers.
Openness about death has led to greater care about all aspects of dying.