Happiness

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RWStanding
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Happiness

Post by RWStanding » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:02 am

Happiness
We may all walk about the world with silly grins on our faces while the earth collapses in ruin.
Happiness is an emotional state and it is not an ethical value.
It would be excellent if all people were justifiably happy, but that would require a world managed in a way beyond imagination.
A degree of universal happiness is necessary for human survival, but that will inevitably be with regards to our individual condition at a particular period in time.
A person may only be entirely happy, if he has no concern for others, either by treating them like slaves, or providing them with amoral equality.

Walker
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Re: Happiness

Post by Walker » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:05 pm

"If I get too mellow I ripen and then rot."
- Woody Allen

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A_Seagull
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Re: Happiness

Post by A_Seagull » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:25 pm

RWStanding wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:02 am
Happiness
We may all walk about the world with silly grins on our faces while the earth collapses in ruin.
Happiness is an emotional state and it is not an ethical value.
It would be excellent if all people were justifiably happy, but that would require a world managed in a way beyond imagination.
A degree of universal happiness is necessary for human survival, but that will inevitably be with regards to our individual condition at a particular period in time.
A person may only be entirely happy, if he has no concern for others, either by treating them like slaves, or providing them with amoral equality.
That is presumably your personal opinion, and you are, so far as I am concerned, entirely welcome to it.

However to infer, as you seem to do, that it is somehow universal is ridiculous.

Frank N Stein
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Re: Happiness

Post by Frank N Stein » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:45 pm

I think we can only be 'happy' in short bursts. Most of the time we are either neutral or miserable. Neutral is what some people call 'happiness', while others expect to be 'high' all the time and think they are depressed just because they aren't deliriously joyful at all times. There is nothing wrong with neutral--it leaves you open to the bursts of pleasure that come along occasionally.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:44 pm

Perpetual or sustained 'happy' isn't natural or normal. For most of human existance life has been short, rock-scrabble, and violent. 'Happy' was an infrequent waystation with long stretches of 'fear', 'anger', hate', 'lust', etc. between stops, and 'happy' was generally linked to sumthin' tangible (a defeated enemy, a successful hunt, a full belly, etc.).

Today, according to convention, if a body doesn't have a foot in Nirvana all the damn time then sumthin' must be wrong, when the opposite is true.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Happiness

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:03 am

Note Aristotle's on Anger which is an emotion, thus should be applicable to 'happiness' as well,
  • Anybody can become angry - that is easy,
    but to be angry
    • with the right person and
      to the right degree and
      at the right time and
      for the right purpose, and
      in the right way,
    - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy

    -Aristotle
Happiness is represented by a neural module and beyond its normal function it can be triggered by any stimuli.
Example a serial killer can feel happy in killing as many people as possible. One can feel extremely happy and blissful via taking various drugs and hallucinogens which will eventually destroy the physical body and brain, eventually the person.

Thus to have the power and ability to modulate happiness, it is critical we understand the purposes, the principles, the mechanics, processes and philosophy of the joy [happiness] emotion. This power and ability to module happiness will facilitate one to avoid being a slave to one's emotions.

Mortalsfool
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Re: Happiness

Post by Mortalsfool » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:00 pm

I'm posting this article again because it covers 'happiness' as it applies to philosophical achievement.

A STATE OF SELFISH CONTENTMENT

Somewhere during my pursuit of happiness, I was freed from many things, and many people, about which, there could possibly be made strong argument against my ‘giving them up’. I don’t say that the arguments are wrong because others don’t choose to do the same, but they are wrong for me, because mine is a personal choice based solely on the individual right to the pursuit of happiness.

I found that in order to ‘feel’ happiness, you don’t have to be doing any particular thing with any particular persons. Happiness isn't dependent on any standard of living, nor is it dependent on activities that could be called ‘normal’. Happiness and contentment are however, highly dependent on how many distasteful people you carry with you. Now this may sound like a purely selfish view, and indeed perhaps is, this being because it pertains only to the person seeking to fulfill ‘happiness’ for himself. While being fully justified in seeking that which is available to all of us, it is hard, because of the number of people that do not so wisely chose their own paths, and for which cause they suffer karma in their lives fitting the category of things from which I’ve chosen to dissociate myself.

Now when I say, ‘I dissociated myself from them’, it doesn't state clearly what I consider as the plus of the matter. The plus is, by being so completely free of all mental encumbrances and existing in ‘the desired state of happiness’ makes me free enough to help those that need it. ‘Need’, being the key word! Since it's readily apparent to all, how advise is rarely taken when given, makes it necessary to filter and recognize those whom ‘need’ has prepared for helps acceptance. In doing this time and effort isn't wasted on issues of those who choose not to consider an avoidance of their own stumbling by walking upright and facing the truth of matters.

Contentment is directly related to how you use your time. It's only by a selfish decision to be happy, that you can separate your efforts from those that choose a lesser degree of happiness for themselves. Since the personal application of a philosophy serves only one persons fulfillment ‘selfishness’ is justified; indeed, without this depersonalizing selfishness there can be no contentedness.

When such a state of happiness is reached, it being purely mental, a larger philosophical question arises, ‘How much of my personal contentment should I give, or as I see it, sacrifice for others?’ and again I am back to a dilemma. How much of myself do I owe to others? So far I have only been able to answer ‘Not as much as they think!’

I found that if I eliminate, by order, what I call intrusions into my contentment, I remain in a perpetual state of happiness. To accomplish this, it was necessary to disassociate myself from takers, then ingrates, then users, then the arrogant, then the pompous, then the dullards, then those with bad habits, and finally whenever mercy allows, even able to escape the stupid's. Only after removing these detrimental types of people from my life, did I find that I could help those in real need. Helping those that are left, meaning those I care about, presents no negative effect on my personal state of happiness, in fact it enhances the feelings of having good judgment, self-worth, and accomplishment.

I ask, have you ever considered how much of your life is wasted on dullards, and users, and those unfortunate ‘others’ that refuse to help themselves? I have!

Judaka
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Re: Happiness

Post by Judaka » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:39 am

Happiness seems often oversimplified for the purpose of creating an overarching argument about it for the purpose of controlling people or offering absolutes or false wisdom. Happiness is actually a very interesting, multi-faceted and complicated thing - OP and others make it seem like happiness has certain and rather strict pre-requisites but is that really the case?

Isn't it truer that what makes me happy, isn't guaranteed to make you happy and vice versa? To the point that things you'd never think to watch or listen to or do, things you'd hate to watch or listen to or do, thoughts that are alien to you or may horrify you - could just as likely cause me happiness?

The list of things for which this does not apply is short.

All I can say about happiness is that you know what makes you happy but what makes you happy today may bring you misery in the future and what you find dull today may bring you happiness in the future. You must find a balance between the two if you are to maintain your happiness.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Happiness

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:28 am

When one seek and experiences whatever happiness, then there is bound to be sadness that follows if no mindfulness is exercised. When one is not able to modulate one's happiness re Aristotle above, then there will be a downhill trend of psychological misery.

It is a natural instinct of humans to seek the repeat of any positive experience and re Maslow's the next experience need to 1-up on the previous. Unfortunately human life is never on the up trend all the time. When one experience a series of inevtiable lower than expected happiness one will feel down [sadness] and the more one try the worst it gets and thus the downhill trend.

The obvious example is via the highs [happiness, joy] of drug, where one need a bigger fix to get more higher or even maintain the same high. This will set up a circle to desire till the body give way to the physical effects of the drugs.

Note the Gita's
  • "Do not be attached to the fruits of actions" Gita 2:47
This include the manifestation of 'happiness' from whatever action.
Note it doesn't mean one should not seek happiness, it only meant one should not be attached to happiness, thus set up the cycle of never-ending desire for happiness.

commonsense
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Re: Happiness

Post by commonsense » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:31 pm

As has been pointed out, happiness is relative.

Not only varying from person to person, happiness is also relative to sadness. That is to say that without something for comparison, happiness would simply be neutral.

It is also the case, as alluded in other posts, that ignorance is bliss—ignorance of others, ignorance of dangers, even ignorance of one’ own shortcomings.

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