How is virtue (in contrast to egoistic hedonism) a path to happiness as exemplified in the movie Groundhog Day, and how does this relate to conceptions of the self and the religious and spiritual perspectives? What relevance does this have for environmental values, if any, and for questions of “how we should live”?

In Groundhog Day, virtue, versus egoistic hedonism, is the path to happiness that enables Phil to exit the Groundhog Day loop. Initially, he selfishly tries to use the loop to seduce women. When he finally realizes that brings him no joy and begins to care about other people, he finally breaks out of the nightmarish cycle. Rita's reaction to Phil mirrors his transition from selfish egotist to a spiritual human being.

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In the movie Groundhog Day, virtue, in contrast to egoistic hedonism, is the path to happiness that ultimately enables Bill Murray’s character to exit the loop he has been living when he awakes and discovers that each day is Groundhog Day. In the beginning, he tries to use this loop to his own advantage by learning things about the various women he meets in order to get close to them. It is clear to the audience that these endeavors are superficial and his only goal is brief physical pleasure with no regard for them or for any of the people around him. It is not until he realizes that this life brings him no joy and begins to look at others with humanity and to care about other people that he is finally able to break out of his nightmarish cycle.

This relates to religious and spiritual perspectives because Phil (Bill Murray) ultimately connects with his spiritual side. The film never focuses on religion, but by his attempts to save the old man who is doomed to die each day or to save the little boy who falls out of the tree, as well as to brighten the lives of many of the local townspeople he grows to know, he is exhibiting his spiritual side over the hedonistic physical side that governs his actions at the beginning.

It is clear from the beginning that the Andie MacDowell character, Rita, holds strong views and environmental values and has disdain for Phil initially. Her evolving reaction to Phil and ultimate love for him mirrors his transition from selfish egotist to a spiritual caring human being with concern for his environment and those in it. When Phil asks Rita to describe her "perfect man," her response that he is too humble to think he is perfect encapsulates the problem with Phil at the beginning, which he overcomes by the movie's end.

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