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The Pursuit of Happiness

mark.marrocco
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7/19/2012 9:26:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
My question to you is "The Pursuit of Happiness: Worth It or Worthless?"

http://bigthink.com...

This topic seems to have gotten some attention as a corollary to other topics recently, so let's address it directly.

As for myself, I think that my biological "set-point" if such a thing does exist, is inescapably low for such a pursuit to be meaningful to me. So despite some notable efforts in the past to "be happy" or to find it, I have for all intents and purposes resigned myself to the understanding that I'll most likely never do either on any kind of permanent or even sustainable basis. That being said I do find value, meaning, and even pleasure and enjoyment in certain things, such as freedom, understanding, love etc. I tend to think the ultimate end of life should be fulfillment, not necessarily of a need for pleasure or even joy, but of what one feels intuitively to be their life purpose.

Now what do you think?
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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7/19/2012 9:50:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/19/2012 9:26:07 PM, mark.marrocco wrote:
My question to you is "The Pursuit of Happiness: Worth It or Worthless?"

http://bigthink.com...

This topic seems to have gotten some attention as a corollary to other topics recently, so let's address it directly.

As for myself, I think that my biological "set-point" if such a thing does exist, is inescapably low for such a pursuit to be meaningful to me. So despite some notable efforts in the past to "be happy" or to find it, I have for all intents and purposes resigned myself to the understanding that I'll most likely never do either on any kind of permanent or even sustainable basis. That being said I do find value, meaning, and even pleasure and enjoyment in certain things, such as freedom, understanding, love etc. I tend to think the ultimate end of life should be fulfillment, not necessarily of a need for pleasure or even joy, but of what one feels intuitively to be their life purpose.

We're consigned to happiness, but we can't appropriate it as "purpose" or "the ultimate end". It just is a thing. There is no purpose, vocation, or hidden task which we need to discover. Nihilism is here a useful tool. After clearing away the utilitarianism and the teleology, the commandments and the normative programming, there isn't anything down there: it's empty. But that open-endedness is, I think, a source not of despair, but of unbridled joy. Nihilism empties all of that stuff out, and redeems our potential for happiness from the specters of formalism, utility, and telos. This is, to whatever extent this statement is meaningful, a very beautiful thing.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/19/2012 11:12:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: I could write a book on this topic. Appropration is the worst possible form of reasoning what so every. Mutalation of Definitions is the heart of the problem of society. The source of miscommunication of humanity is the mutilation of definitions.

The primary function of language is to communicate our ideas. Since language is of physical symbols language can only have began by pointing to objects which eventually become internalized abractifications to represent mental, conceptions. Since you could never by define something to existence. There is never a rational justification of changing any definition because it would only ever serve to cause miscommunication. The subjectification of words is the cause if the circus of illusions, in the first place. The contenental notion Reapropration is why continental philosophy has cause so much more harm to us that we could recognize. Before it no body was ever so confused about the very same things now. Everybody knew what ever body was talking about, Re-apropriation is actualization of the TOWER OF BABYLON.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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7/19/2012 11:40:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/19/2012 11:12:10 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I could write a book on this topic. Appropration is the worst possible form of reasoning what so every.

Everything we do in discourse requires appropriation, sooooo........

Mutalation of Definitions is the heart of the problem of society. The source of miscommunication of humanity is the mutilation of definitions.

Language does not drop out of the sky as a complete body. It changes, evolves, and responds to whatever needs we have of it.

The primary function of language is to communicate our ideas. Since language is of physical symbols language can only have began by pointing to objects which eventually become internalized abractifications to represent mental, conceptions.

1. "Abstractification" is not a word.

2. Language is more than just the specific grammar or symbols belonging to a specific tongue. There is also the ungrounded presupposition of communicability--the fact of speaking--which underlies philosophy. The concept of "reference", or, rather, the possibility of signification, doesn't rest outside of language, but is originally a phenomenon internal to language itself. Taking further the Wittgensteinian remark that the limits of language are also simultaneously the limits of our world, we can come to understand the necessity of prodding and investigation the presupposition that there are speaking beings, i.e., that there is language. That requires an experience of language--or, if you prefer, of the fact of communicability without respect to particular discursive content--which is not grasped by the idea that the primary function of language is "just" signification.

Since you could never by define something to existence. There is never a rational justification of changing any definition because it would only ever serve to cause miscommunication.

Definitions evolve, or are stipulated. This is unproblematic if one bothers to pay attention.

The subjectification of words is the cause if the circus of illusions, in the first place.

Definitions are subjective--specifically, they're intersubjective.

The contenental notion Reapropration is why continental philosophy has cause so much more harm to us that we could recognize.

1. "Appropriation" is not a "continental notion".

2. "Continental" does not denote a unified school of thought.

3. If you read any analytic philosophy, they do precisely the same thing when they employ philosophical or stipulative definitions. This practice dates back centuries. You can look at Hume, Kant, Spinoza, Leibniz, Descartes, Thomas Aquinas, Plato and Aristotle...

4. Continental philosophy has not caused any harm. There is good and bad continental philosophy, just as there is good and bad analytic philosophy. If you would take time to learn the style instead of excluding and insulting it out of what I can only take to be philosophical xenophobia, maybe you would have an easier time understanding what can be gained from their creativity.

Before it no body was ever so confused about the very same things now. Everybody knew what ever body was talking about, Re-apropriation is actualization of the TOWER OF BABYLON.

Oh, please. Language is inherently imprecise, and it doesn't matter who, where, or when you are--miscommunication has always existed, and trying to make a boogeyman and scapegoat out of continental philosophy isn't going to change that.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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7/20/2012 12:53:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.

It isn't garbage, and you won't crush it. And you're a piece of sh*t for acting like that.

I don't get what's so hard to understand about "we don't have a destiny or special purpose to fulfill, so embrace the fact that existence is open-ended".
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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7/20/2012 12:56:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 12:53:36 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.

It isn't garbage, and you won't crush it. And you're a piece of sh*t for acting like that.

I don't get what's so hard to understand about "we don't have a destiny or special purpose to fulfill, so embrace the fact that existence is open-ended".

It's not hard to understand, it's just scary (for some people) to accept to the point of never accepting it.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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7/20/2012 1:28:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I tend to think the ultimate end of life should be fulfillment, not necessarily of a need for pleasure or even joy, but of what one feels intuitively to be their life purpose.

I would agree, but I would also expand on what you mean by 'fulfillment.' I think once we've rejected a view of "ideal" or "true" happiness as a kind of crude preference satisfaction I think we've already made progress.
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/20/2012 1:37:24 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well I loved Cody's first post, frankly I'm too tired to try to understand the rest at the moment, and also my knowlege base on philosophy is limited in comparison. I honestly don't know what the Fool means exactly by appropriation (at least I have a suspicion here) or at all by continental/analytical philosophy. I already subscribe to Cody's original message of nihilistic open-endedness. But to the Fool I think that the changing of definitions isn't so much the problem of societal communication as the blatant misuse of words themselves. In other words, it's not usually ambiguous definitions that impede communication, but ambiguous phrases and sentences in communication itself. People have very little difficulty defining a single word, or at least understanding it, but when someone uses an ambiguous phrase or equivocates, all thought is simply suspended and the listener/reader is forced to accept the "information" they have received without the opportunity to understand, let alone question or criticize, what has been transmitted to them. That being said, I do like your signature, mine's from R.A.W. too. (:
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/20/2012 1:38:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 12:53:36 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.

It isn't garbage, and you won't crush it. And you're a piece of sh*t for acting like that.

I don't get what's so hard to understand about "we don't have a destiny or special purpose to fulfill, so embrace the fact that existence is open-ended".

Fool has a shtick where regardless of what you'll say he'll reduce things to the act of categorizing pre-conscious sensory input and the assignation of language to describe said sensory input.

He self-admittedly uses an unknown form of logic he created (instead of, say, first order logic or modal logic) which allows for incomplete boolean operators (if...), so he'll try to confuse you by citing proofs he made up (such as "Proof of Synonyms") which derive from said logic but are not complete propositions.
Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
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7/20/2012 2:00:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
well, we certainly can attune to happiness if we so desire, though it isn't the end or purpose of life. we are here to experience, and that includes all areas of existence. sometimes we tend to get stuck in a pattern of experiencing the same types of situations over and over because we have the idea that who we are is limited to our identity- what is around us, what we think, etc. Happiness is inherent in us. It is not something to reach for. All modes of expression are inherent in us. The experience is the input and the expression is the output and they thrive off of each other. we are more than the experience. our purpose of this life is to gain that experience to enrich our awareness. this is ultimately what everyone gains from what they go through, good or bad experiences alike.

I certainly don't think that we are nothing and everything is pointless. this world and the people in it are sooo backwards. maybe that makes me crazy, but i could care less :P

No, no, no. We are not pointless or empty or nothing. We are infinite and powerful. Our bodies are reflections of the universe. We trick ourselves into thinking we are tiny and finite but that is just the scope of what we are experiencing through sensory perception, that is not who we are.
WAKE UP AND READ THIS: http://www.debate.org...
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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7/20/2012 10:13:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 1:38:12 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:53:36 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.

It isn't garbage, and you won't crush it. And you're a piece of sh*t for acting like that.

I don't get what's so hard to understand about "we don't have a destiny or special purpose to fulfill, so embrace the fact that existence is open-ended".

Fool has a shtick where regardless of what you'll say he'll reduce things to the act of categorizing pre-conscious sensory input and the assignation of language to describe said sensory input.

He self-admittedly uses an unknown form of logic he created (instead of, say, first order logic or modal logic) which allows for incomplete boolean operators (if...), so he'll try to confuse you by citing proofs he made up (such as "Proof of Synonyms") which derive from said logic but are not complete propositions.

And he wants to tell me about miscommunication...?
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/20/2012 10:17:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 1:38:12 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:53:36 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/20/2012 12:45:18 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I will crush that garbage in the morning.

It isn't garbage, and you won't crush it. And you're a piece of sh*t for acting like that.

I don't get what's so hard to understand about "we don't have a destiny or special purpose to fulfill, so embrace the fact that existence is open-ended".

Fool has a shtick where regardless of what you'll say he'll reduce things to the act of categorizing pre-conscious sensory input and the assignation of language to describe said sensory input.

He self-admittedly uses an unknown form of logic he created (instead of, say, first order logic or modal logic) which allows for incomplete boolean operators (if...), so he'll try to confuse you by citing proofs he made up (such as "Proof of Synonyms") which derive from said logic but are not complete propositions.

Hmmm... noted. I suppose I haven't studied enough of the different forms of logic as of yet, for instance what is first order logic exactly? And I've heard of Boolean, but haven't looked into it yet. I mostly know the basic generalities of formal (deductive) and informal (inductive) logic. i.e. My Ps and Qs to some extent, and good deal of informal fallacies to avoid.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/20/2012 10:29:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 2:00:00 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
well, we certainly can attune to happiness if we so desire, though it isn't the end or purpose of life. we are here to experience, and that includes all areas of existence. sometimes we tend to get stuck in a pattern of experiencing the same types of situations over and over because we have the idea that who we are is limited to our identity- what is around us, what we think, etc. Happiness is inherent in us. It is not something to reach for. All modes of expression are inherent in us. The experience is the input and the expression is the output and they thrive off of each other. we are more than the experience. our purpose of this life is to gain that experience to enrich our awareness. this is ultimately what everyone gains from what they go through, good or bad experiences alike.

I certainly don't think that we are nothing and everything is pointless. this world and the people in it are sooo backwards. maybe that makes me crazy, but i could care less :P

No, no, no. We are not pointless or empty or nothing. We are infinite and powerful. Our bodies are reflections of the universe. We trick ourselves into thinking we are tiny and finite but that is just the scope of what we are experiencing through sensory perception, that is not who we are.

Alright, I see where you're coming from in the first paragraph, and "dig" it. But, the point of philosophical nihilism isn't that there is absolutely nothing or that everything is meaningless. It's that nothing has inherent meaning, and only our own experience and consciousness gives it meaning, which is basically what you were saying before.

As for the last paragraph, that gets really into a sort of "new age" (I don't like it either) mystical interpretation of the existential universe. Which, I tend to think, may be comforting sometimes -- like a religion -- but can't do too much to help us with actual understanding and solving the real problems that you've mentioned.

For instance, on a FB post a certain "Conspiracy Theory" page had put up, they asked what everyone thought about who actually was "running" the world (e.g. Rothschilds, Illuminati, etc.), and while I don't think those cliché answers are helpful either, someone wrote "God, still on His throne. Their power is just an illusion." And while I'd rather people interpret spirituality as being more personal (as you have done), so that they realize and harness their own power, instead of ascribe it to external, mythical (as described in most religions) beings, I don't think saying "Everything's alright because God/Allah/Yaweh/The Universe is still in control" actually accomplishes anything. If we have such powers, we need to use them. That's the only way anything will change.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/20/2012 11:38:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's that nothing has inherent meaning, and only our own experience and consciousness gives it meaning, which is basically what you were saying before.

That's existentialism in a nutshell.
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/20/2012 12:10:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 11:38:11 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It's that nothing has inherent meaning, and only our own experience and consciousness gives it meaning, which is basically what you were saying before.

That's existentialism in a nutshell.

Exactly.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/21/2012 2:43:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/21/2012 2:10:49 AM, FREEDO wrote:
There is no pursuit of happiness. The only pursuit is the pursuit of ego.

Hmm... I usually think of ego as being presevered or amplified (well in the sense that what is intended is to do either/or), but I've never heard of it described as something being pursued.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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7/21/2012 2:50:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/20/2012 1:28:17 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I tend to think the ultimate end of life should be fulfillment, not necessarily of a need for pleasure or even joy, but of what one feels intuitively to be their life purpose.

I would agree, but I would also expand on what you mean by 'fulfillment.' I think once we've rejected a view of "ideal" or "true" happiness as a kind of crude preference satisfaction I think we've already made progress.

Definitely. I tend to think fulfilment can also just be a sufficent amount of enjoyment, or really whatever you would feel fulfills you.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
FREEDO
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7/21/2012 3:17:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/21/2012 2:43:59 AM, mark.marrocco wrote:
At 7/21/2012 2:10:49 AM, FREEDO wrote:
There is no pursuit of happiness. The only pursuit is the pursuit of ego.

Hmm... I usually think of ego as being presevered or amplified (well in the sense that what is intended is to do either/or), but I've never heard of it described as something being pursued.

All we do, we do for the ego.

"He who despises himself nevertheless esteems himself as a self-despiser."
~Nietzsche
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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7/21/2012 3:40:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
"Happiness cannot be pursued."
-- Krishnamurti
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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7/21/2012 8:48:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/19/2012 9:26:07 PM, mark.marrocco wrote:
My question to you is "The Pursuit of Happiness: Worth It or Worthless?"

http://bigthink.com...

This topic seems to have gotten some attention as a corollary to other topics recently, so let's address it directly.

As for myself, I think that my biological "set-point" if such a thing does exist, is inescapably low for such a pursuit to be meaningful to me. So despite some notable efforts in the past to "be happy" or to find it, I have for all intents and purposes resigned myself to the understanding that I'll most likely never do either on any kind of permanent or even sustainable basis. That being said I do find value, meaning, and even pleasure and enjoyment in certain things, such as freedom, understanding, love etc. I tend to think the ultimate end of life should be fulfillment, not necessarily of a need for pleasure or even joy, but of what one feels intuitively to be their life purpose.

Now what do you think?

Well, "happiness" as some overarching, comprehensive term is likely more a conflation with satisfaction -- pursuing a goal and attaining that goal, and the purported satisfaction that accompanies it. This is how I've reasoned that people somehow come to the conclusion that one can achieve "happiness" by aligning with society's values.

I would personally define this overarching "happiness" as a sustainable means to have direct access to the sensation in its many manifestations, which includes satisfaction, but also appreciation, excitement, titillation, and virtue.

From the vantage of a relationship, I'd say that "happiness" is merely an abstraction that people have contrived to weigh against the things they will and won't accept. Ultimately, a relationship is purely contingent on the desire of each party to remain part of them.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/21/2012 4:28:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL