The Pursuit of Happiness is the "anti viral" that we need to cure the Religious/Quasi Religious thought constructs that have "infected" our collective belief system.
Happiness/pleasure/relief from discomfort is a basic biological tool of life to train/evolve the organism to it's environment. Pleasure good. Pain bad. This effect works through the whole of our being. Not just the physical aspect, but also the emotional and mental, etc.
If one is hungry, food will make one happier
If one is cold, warmth will make one happier.
If one is poor, money will make one happier.
If one is powerless, influence will make one happier.
What happens when one is well fed,clothed and sheltered, has sufficient or even excess funds, and one has influence, and is still not happy? Will more of what one already has make one happy? It will not!! Running faster in the wrong direction will not get one to ones desired goal. It is counter productive.
So what else is there in this diseased belief system. There is still Love. I'm not just talking about the love of/for another person, wonderful as it is, I'm talking about the Love that opens our eyes to the wonders of all of life. The Love that gives appreciation of that which we already have, the astounding gift of consciousness in an infinite Universe. The Love that shows that both Giving and Receiving, the out breath and the in breath, are needed for Life.Without this Love, we suffer.
Now I'm not suggesting this from some gushy fuzzy headed concept. This is an aspect of our reality as real as gravity. If one keeps ones attention on the unhappiness from what one is lacking then one enters a negative feedback loop that inevitably leads to destruction. If one keeps ones attention on the happiness that comes from what one already has, then we enter a positive feedback loop that leads to Continuous Happiness.
The reality for most of us is somewhere between the two extremes of the distribution, but the principal remains. To focus on the good will inevitably lead to greater Happiness and understanding. The focus on the bad, fear etc, will inevitably lead to greater suffering and delusion.
With the Knowledge and Understanding gained through the effort to keep ones attention focused on the good, we "inoculate " ourselves against the infective thought constructs. We start to see the individual strands of thought that have been combined to create the construct. We start to understand how these thoughts influence us in our daily lives. We start to see that there are other combinations and intentions that are possible. We start to find the light. We start to cure ourselves of the delusion and discover the freedom that has always been there waiting for us.