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Happiness vs Suffering

Chicken
Posts: 1,296
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12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.

At the same time.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?
Disciple of Koopin
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tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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12/28/2012 4:31:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.
When you are dead, there's no difference between these.

At the same time.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?
Depends on the person & circumstances.

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.
No because it does not necessarily follow.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?
Many choose to life, however miserable, over death. "The dead know only one thing: it's better to be alive." -Private Joker, Full Metal Jacket.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
SarcasticIndeed
Posts: 2,215
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12/28/2012 5:02:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.

I actually thought of this. We die, and we feel nothing, literally. We are like a conscious spirit in a plane of infinite darkness. We feel no suffering, but no happiness instead. Seems rather depressing...

At the same time.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
tigers2005
Posts: 15
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12/28/2012 5:13:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I would say that we spend more time suffering, but another question could be what is more powerful? I would say that even if you spend a fraction of the time you spend suffering in happiness, it is more powerful and has a greater effect on you.
TheElderScroll
Posts: 643
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12/30/2012 10:49:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?
Perhaps. Let"s assume "Yes" for a moment.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?
No. The 1st question wouldn"t be "Yes" since the 2nd question addresses the problem within the sphere of "this life" whereas the 1st question specifically refers to the "end of this life" or "afterlife."

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?
My answer would be: "neither." I believe our aversion of death is rooted in fear, or a fear for uncertainty.
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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12/30/2012 12:41:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.

At the same time.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

Depends on the person. Im sure a very rich person would have less suffering and most likely more happiness than a poor person who is starving in a third world country. Im sure a psychopath would have less suffering than his victim.

Our aversion to death is rooted in the fact that we like to live, and its the only thing we know. We like to feel as if we have purpose in life, because it makes us feel better. Its a comfort blanket. Its why religion exists. People cant handle the cold hard truth that no one gives a sh*t about you and that no one will come to your funeral.
TUF
Posts: 21,310
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12/30/2012 1:32:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

Interesting question. I as well as many others would definitely suffer TO be happy, so happiness must outweigh suffering to some extent shouldn't it?

Why do humans go to work every day? To earn money, to spend it on their welfare, entertainment, and survival, all of which bring some glimpse or hope of happiness, if not the extent of happiness. Which is in a sense, a purpose we all live for, strive for.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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12/30/2012 1:57:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've thought before about whether the total happiness in the world is outweighed by the total suffering. If one were a utilitarian and had a quick and easy way to destroy the entire world, it might be that one would be lead to the conclusion that destroying the world would be preferable to allowing the huge sufferings endured to continue.

If one had to choose between allowing a happily married (I know, implicit sexism but ignore for the sake of this) girl who had everything she desired to live along with a brutally raped and dismembered torture victim who suffered before dying in insanity, or to kill them both at once, which would you choose?
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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12/30/2012 2:06:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Obviously these answers reflect only my own experiences.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

I believe the answer is bound up in temporal direction. I would endure suffering in the present for the promise of happiness in the future, but I would not enjoy happiness in the present at the cost of suffering in the future (assuming the quantities are roughly the same, however that could be quantified - perhaps it can't).

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

I do not know. My life is far from over (barring chance accidents, illnesses) so I can't accurately gauge this question. I don't clearly remember how happy or sad I've been in the past, either. And the answer to that question is even less clear with respect to other people.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

Our aversion to death is rooted in an innate biological desire to survive bred into us over successive generations via natural selection. But my own personal top reason to survive as long as possible is because I don't feel like I have enough time to experience all the things I want to in life. I want to learn the sciences comprehensively, for example, but I doubt I'll ever have the time.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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12/30/2012 2:18:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/30/2012 1:57:06 PM, Kinesis wrote:
I've thought before about whether the total happiness in the world is outweighed by the total suffering. If one were a utilitarian and had a quick and easy way to destroy the entire world, it might be that one would be lead to the conclusion that destroying the world would be preferable to allowing the huge sufferings endured to continue.

If one had to choose between allowing a happily married (I know, implicit sexism but ignore for the sake of this) girl who had everything she desired to live along with a brutally raped and dismembered torture victim who suffered before dying in insanity, or to kill them both at once, which would you choose?

That is a great question. I'd probably kill them both. What about you?
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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Chicken
Posts: 1,296
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12/30/2012 3:06:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/30/2012 2:18:54 PM, Maikuru wrote:
At 12/30/2012 1:57:06 PM, Kinesis wrote:
I've thought before about whether the total happiness in the world is outweighed by the total suffering. If one were a utilitarian and had a quick and easy way to destroy the entire world, it might be that one would be lead to the conclusion that destroying the world would be preferable to allowing the huge sufferings endured to continue.

If one had to choose between allowing a happily married (I know, implicit sexism but ignore for the sake of this) girl who had everything she desired to live along with a brutally raped and dismembered torture victim who suffered before dying in insanity, or to kill them both at once, which would you choose?

That is a great question. I'd probably kill them both. What about you?

Agreed. Absences of suffering outweigh absences of happiness.
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Right Hand Chicken of the Grand Poobah DDO Vice President FREEDO

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Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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12/30/2012 5:15:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/30/2012 2:18:54 PM, Maikuru wrote:
That is a great question. I'd probably kill them both. What about you?

I'd kill them too. Which is a bit troubling to me, because it implies that suffering is weighed more negatively than happiness is weighed positively.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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12/30/2012 5:30:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/30/2012 5:19:02 PM, Thaddeus wrote:
I'd let them both live. I don't care either way and it requires less effort.

Okay, you have to flick a switch to save them. The default is that they both die. Same answer?
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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12/30/2012 6:08:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/30/2012 5:30:12 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 12/30/2012 5:19:02 PM, Thaddeus wrote:
I'd let them both live. I don't care either way and it requires less effort.

Okay, you have to flick a switch to save them. The default is that they both die. Same answer?

Nope. I do nothing again.
OMGJustinBieber
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12/31/2012 10:43:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

If I understand the question correctly, then no. Suffering is not unconditionally bad. It can provide you with the grounds to become a stronger person and empathize better. Frankly, I don't think someone has lived a complete, full life if they had never suffered. I don't mean to glorify it though - obviously with some suffering there's essentially none of the benefits I described above.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

I think it depends on the person.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

I think it's biologically hard-wired into us.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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12/31/2012 11:47:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.

At the same time.

Oh, dear. No, not at all. We must have suffering to make the happiness more delicious. What is eating if there is not eating? There is neither.

It's curious, that humans are so averted by pain that they'd actually relinquish pleasure. What causes your poor souls such burden? The depths of sadness that I've encountered is extraordinary. But, it's symptomatic of necessary evils, no doubt. You just can't help yourselves, and it ends up torturing some of you.

One way to look at it, perhaps, is to acknowledge that there is always a degree of joy proportionate to your pain that is achievable, by mere dynamics of the sensation. So, perhaps the depth of your pain can help inspire you to find the joy that it suggests you can also have.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.

You have two options in life. You can climb into the stage where the grand play is commencing, pick up the script and begin writing yourself in to the action, or you can walk off the stage into nothingness and create everything yourself. There will be a lot less people there and a far fewer resources to get what you want, though.

There is equal potential for the full spectrum of experience in either scenario, and it's inevitable that you will experience both before your character is written out of the narrative (or stops existing despite it, so to speak).

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

I'm sure it's just a natural will for survival, but I'm sure sensorial titillation and positive interaction helps.
natoast
Posts: 204
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1/3/2013 10:09:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/28/2012 3:30:29 PM, Chicken wrote:
Just looking for responses to these questions and why.

Do Absences of Suffering outweigh Absences of Happiness?

Let's assume when we die, that we do not suffer anymore, but we are not happy either.

At the same time.

Is there more Suffering in life than Happiness?

If yes, then would the first question also be a yes? Why or why not.

Is our aversion of death rooted in our egos, or do we actually feel as if we have some sort of individual purpose to live?

I think that our aversion to death is actually rooted in or genes; the creature that fears death will be more likely to live, and pass on it's genes, so we simply have a genetic disposition to fear death.