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Freedom or Happiness?

Bullish
Posts: 3,527
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5/28/2013 5:40:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So I was having this discussion with my 'Murcan friend about whether it would be better to be "free" or "happy". This guy was 'Murcan so you can imagine what he thought. Freedom all the way.

Ok so I'm going to define the terms. (Assume the two are mutually exclusive.)

Freedom: you can do anything you want without any appeal to consequence whatsoever. This means you can "play Superman". You can do what ever Superman can except you can also do bad things. You must live forever. You can change things. (Maybe make the world better)

Happiness: you have you happiness chemical receptors permanently loaded, and you don't grow resistence. Nothing can make you sad. It lasts forever. Everything else remains constant. There is no illusion of freedom.

This is slightly different from the Matrix question.

I'm really selfish so I chose the second one.
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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5/28/2013 7:26:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
First. Happiness bores me, as weird as that sounds. It'd be like chugging simple syrup all day long. I prefer to take life with the sweet and the sour, the bitter and the savory. It's interesting that way. Absolute freedom would also make my life infinitely more rewarding. On the other hand, I would probably want someone that I trust to end my life if I ever ended up being caught in a permanent state of bliss. I'm actually legitimately horrified and disgusted at the thought of it right now. So yeah. Definitely the first option.
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- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,252
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5/28/2013 7:52:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It is the contrast of emotion that validates our feelings. We know happiness by the fact that it is not sadness. We know bliss by the fact that it is not struggle. We know satisfaction by the fact that it is not discouragement or hopelessness. Without struggle in life, our potential remains untested. Who we really are and what we are capable of is never developed. It is only by the blowing winds and long droughts that trees grow their roots. People are the same way.

I would choose freedom, now and forever.
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/29/2013 11:30:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Happiness. It could be argued that we do not have freedom right now, the only thing is that we are not experiencing the string pulling. I cannot feel the neurons causally determining what I do so its as if I am free. However, if someone puts a gun to my head and makes me do something then I am experience string pulling, and it is not as if I am free. So I would say that as long as its as if I am free due to not experiencing the sting pulling, then happiness is obviously the best choice over actual freedom (which is worthless if you could be happy and have it be as if you were free simultaneously).
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/29/2013 11:34:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
As far as the definitions provided are concerned (if we have to go with them), still happiness. I cannot think of anything better than being hooked up to eternal bliss. It would be better than food, sex, love, drugs or anything because its the brain that cause all of those positive responses anyway.
tvellalott
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5/30/2013 12:13:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Wait, if I choose Freedom do my 'happiness receptors' still function normally?
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Bullish
Posts: 3,527
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5/30/2013 9:34:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/30/2013 12:13:46 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Wait, if I choose Freedom do my 'happiness receptors' still function normally?

The 2 are mutually exclusive in my question. If you are "free" you don't have happy receptor anymore. The best you personally can be is "not sad".
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AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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5/30/2013 6:20:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 5:40:56 PM, Bullish wrote:
So I was having this discussion with my 'Murcan friend about whether it would be better to be "free" or "happy". This guy was 'Murcan so you can imagine what he thought. Freedom all the way.

Ok so I'm going to define the terms. (Assume the two are mutually exclusive.)

Freedom: you can do anything you want without any appeal to consequence whatsoever. This means you can "play Superman". You can do what ever Superman can except you can also do bad things. You must live forever. You can change things. (Maybe make the world better)

Happiness: you have you happiness chemical receptors permanently loaded, and you don't grow resistence. Nothing can make you sad. It lasts forever. Everything else remains constant. There is no illusion of freedom.

This is slightly different from the Matrix question.

I'm really selfish so I chose the second one.

Both sound like they have possible benefits, but I think I'd rather have neither.

First sounds like god-mode, yawn. Is it challenging? Living forever would get boring even quicker that way.

Second sounds like I'd be even less motivated to go and do things for self-fulfilment. Being happy doesn't necessarily stop you striving, but for me, I'm lazy enough anyway. I need a little bit of negative emotion to kick my azz into gear.
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AlbinoBunny
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5/30/2013 6:23:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 7:52:45 PM, YYW wrote:
It is the contrast of emotion that validates our feelings. We know happiness by the fact that it is not sadness. We know bliss by the fact that it is not struggle. We know satisfaction by the fact that it is not discouragement or hopelessness. Without struggle in life, our potential remains untested. Who we really are and what we are capable of is never developed. It is only by the blowing winds and long droughts that trees grow their roots. People are the same way.

I would choose freedom, now and forever.

Not necessarily. Happiness may be given greater clarity by sadness, but it may still be felt as a constant positive reinforcement.

But yes, the journey and the struggle is what makes like fulfilling, it probably wouldn't be (or maybe shouldn't be), without it.
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AlbinoBunny
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5/30/2013 6:26:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 11:30:57 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Happiness. It could be argued that we do not have freedom right now, the only thing is that we are not experiencing the string pulling. I cannot feel the neurons causally determining what I do so its as if I am free. However, if someone puts a gun to my head and makes me do something then I am experience string pulling, and it is not as if I am free. So I would say that as long as its as if I am free due to not experiencing the sting pulling, then happiness is obviously the best choice over actual freedom (which is worthless if you could be happy and have it be as if you were free simultaneously).

Sort of like Compatibilism?
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AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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5/30/2013 6:27:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/30/2013 9:34:49 AM, Bullish wrote:
At 5/30/2013 12:13:46 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Wait, if I choose Freedom do my 'happiness receptors' still function normally?

The 2 are mutually exclusive in my question. If you are "free" you don't have happy receptor anymore. The best you personally can be is "not sad".

From bad to worse. lol
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leojm
Posts: 1,825
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6/3/2013 9:00:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 5:40:56 PM, Bullish wrote:
So I was having this discussion with my 'Murcan friend about whether it would be better to be "free" or "happy". This guy was 'Murcan so you can imagine what he thought. Freedom all the way.

Ok so I'm going to define the terms. (Assume the two are mutually exclusive.)

Freedom: you can do anything you want without any appeal to consequence whatsoever. This means you can "play Superman". You can do what ever Superman can except you can also do bad things. You must live forever. You can change things. (Maybe make the world better)

Happiness: you have you happiness chemical receptors permanently loaded, and you don't grow resistence. Nothing can make you sad. It lasts forever. Everything else remains constant. There is no illusion of freedom.

This is slightly different from the Matrix question.

I'm really selfish so I chose the second one.

wow, um this is hard. I would go for freedom, because if you have freedoms then happiness fallows.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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6/5/2013 12:12:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If I was free, I would still long for happiness. If I was happy, I wouldn't need freedom. I'd go with happiness.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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6/5/2013 6:18:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 5:40:56 PM, Bullish wrote:
So I was having this discussion with my 'Murcan friend about whether it would be better to be "free" or "happy". This guy was 'Murcan so you can imagine what he thought. Freedom all the way.

Ok so I'm going to define the terms. (Assume the two are mutually exclusive.)

Freedom: you can do anything you want without any appeal to consequence whatsoever. This means you can "play Superman". You can do what ever Superman can except you can also do bad things. You must live forever. You can change things. (Maybe make the world better)

Happiness: you have you happiness chemical receptors permanently loaded, and you don't grow resistence. Nothing can make you sad. It lasts forever. Everything else remains constant. There is no illusion of freedom.

This is slightly different from the Matrix question.

I'm really selfish so I chose the second one.

I reject your definition of happiness. There is a difference between bliss and happiness. Happiness has deeper implications associated with gratitude, acceptance and a few other factors, that do not make it mutually exclusive to freedom.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/10/2013 3:17:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
RESPONSES MUST BE ABLE TO BE SUNG

The only way you can stop me acting as I'd rather
Is if I plan on using force to thereby harm another.
If you think that's bad for me, you still can't my liberty!
As that won't maximise...
The total happiness!
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/10/2013 3:21:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 3:17:02 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
RESPONSES MUST BE ABLE TO BE SUNG

The only way you can stop me acting as I'd rather
Is if I plan on using force to thereby harm another.
If you think that's bad for me, you still can't my liberty!
As that won't maximise...
The total happiness!

I've got more!

When we sit and speak our minds, other people hear.
This stimulates discussion, and helps problems disappear
If we're wrong we just move on, but if we're there's progression!
And by contributing to the greater dialectic which is in the interests of man improving his understanding of how to approach the world...
We will maximise...
The Total Happiness!

Yeah.. I can't be arsed to solve that line, but that works quite nicely, I think, in answering your question.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/10/2013 3:32:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If we accept that freedom is the means with which we exercise and promote happiness then if we can rationally state that we ought to choose happiness.

However, if we also accept that there are higher pleasures and lower pleasures, and simple artificial injection of hormonal pleasures isn't enough, then we must accept the fact that happiness, the base pleasure, is not enough, but we also need stimulation of the higher pleasures and that is where true pleasure lasts.

Take Nozick's Pleasure Machine. It is basically this analogy in the way that you have to decide happiness is all there is. Once we understand instead happiness is tiered, however, his machine falls flat on its face. Freedom is the strongest way of pursuing (if not necessary to pursue) higher pleasures, and thus it is more valuable than base happiness.

Take happiness from understanding something complex, winning a heated debate, or things along these lines. These are better by far than simply being passive recievers of chemicals. Thus, higher happiness takes precedence over base ones.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...