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Happiness

innomen
Posts: 10,052
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10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
What is it, and how do we attain it?

To be happy is not the same thing as having fun. Fun is not the same thing as joy. We all seem to be striving for a happy life, but all have different ideas of how to attain it. Someone said to me that freedom from fear the root of happiness versus our perpetual illusion that happiness will come from freedom from want.

I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Thoughts?
belle
Posts: 4,113
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10/21/2010 9:38:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
my two favorite ted talks on the themes of which you speak:

http://www.ted.com...
http://www.ted.com...

also this blog is somewhat interesting, though i'll admit i just found it on google when i was searching for that first ted video and haven't looked into it too closely:
http://www.synthetichappiness.com...

overall i think happiness is a lot less about the ZOMG and a lot more about the day to day experiences that you enjoy. also if you're interested, look for "stumbling on happiness" by the guy in the first video... its pretty simplistic (i finished reading it within like 3 hours) but its a good overview of the most relevant recent research presented in an easy-to-follow way.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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10/21/2010 10:00:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:38:34 AM, belle wrote:
my two favorite ted talks on the themes of which you speak:

http://www.ted.com...
http://www.ted.com...

also this blog is somewhat interesting, though i'll admit i just found it on google when i was searching for that first ted video and haven't looked into it too closely:
http://www.synthetichappiness.com...

overall i think happiness is a lot less about the ZOMG and a lot more about the day to day experiences that you enjoy. also if you're interested, look for "stumbling on happiness" by the guy in the first video... its pretty simplistic (i finished reading it within like 3 hours) but its a good overview of the most relevant recent research presented in an easy-to-follow way.

Wow, pretty heavy in the analysis. There was a study/book called Gross National Happiness (or something like that), and it looked at various groups of people and made lots of different conclusions. Generally speaking, the most altruistic of people tend to be the happiest. The Greeks believed that happiness was The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your talents along lines of excellence. Some how i think happiness is achieved through combining these two things. Personally, i have come to understand what makes me unhappy, which by default is what i can learn to make me happy. Often, my wants do indeed create my unhappiness.
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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10/21/2010 10:12:10 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
what about having a state of mind that allows for happiness at any time? not just after you have achieved excellence in your talents (ego trophy) or your wants (stuff in most cases, status too sometimes).

you know when people talk about learning to want what you got? I think that's related to perusing happiness in the now. achieving excellence in your talents or acquiring your wants, those are things that can provide happiness for you when you don't have them yet by just recognizing them as part of your dreams or hopes or goals for the future. Having goals is an important part of happiness I think since it gives you room for a brighter outlook for tomorrow. It wouldn't make me very happy if I new today was as bright as its going to get.

happiness almost seems like just a description of what your current perspective is focused on. if you focus on the bad, then your perspective is inclined towards a bad mood, if your focused on the good then your perspective is inclined more towards happiness.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/21/2010 11:01:18 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Yes but we choose to do so, and can take back that choice whenever we want. We are therefore still free.

I'd say freedom is an important part of happiness.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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10/21/2010 11:11:05 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 11:01:18 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Yes but we choose to do so, and can take back that choice whenever we want. We are therefore still free.

I'd say freedom is an important part of happiness.

It is a bit of a paradox though, where we fully accept freedom as being a necessary component of happiness, but complete freedom will generally spell unhappiness, so we have to have the freedom, on our terms to give up our freedom, or...our terms. - You've probably been thinking about this a bit of late.

So we voluntarily give up specific but very significant pieces of personal freedom to find happiness and are very often successful in this transaction. So if we give up more and more voluntary freedom will we get more and more happiness? Are cult members happier than non-cult members?
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/21/2010 11:15:53 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 11:11:05 AM, innomen wrote:
At 10/21/2010 11:01:18 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Yes but we choose to do so, and can take back that choice whenever we want. We are therefore still free.

I'd say freedom is an important part of happiness.

It is a bit of a paradox though, where we fully accept freedom as being a necessary component of happiness, but complete freedom will generally spell unhappiness, so we have to have the freedom, on our terms to give up our freedom, or...our terms. - You've probably been thinking about this a bit of late.


You are right it is a bit of a paradox. I think it is almost a case that though freedom is happiness, sanity is restraint/accountability to another and you sort of need both. Can't think of a better way to say it.

So we voluntarily give up specific but very significant pieces of personal freedom to find happiness and are very often successful in this transaction. So if we give up more and more voluntary freedom will we get more and more happiness? Are cult members happier than non-cult members?

Hmmm... yes I imagine they generally are... curious.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
vardas0antras
Posts: 983
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10/21/2010 1:39:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
my secular response would be:

enjoying the simple things
i think freedom makes it easier for us to appreciate the little things in life hence greater happiness
also appreciation helps....almost forgot about that
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/21/2010 7:41:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
Someone said to me that freedom from fear the root of happiness versus our perpetual illusion that happiness will come from freedom from want.

I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Thoughts?

Very well said. Only the most childish of people think of freedom as happiness. I mean that literally, and not so much in an insulting way. Adolescence is when kids start to really resent rules and authority, because their hormones and maturing brains tell them to start forming an identity of their own. Instead of conforming to what their parents want, they start conforming to what their peers want, which is more practical because they will eventually be the next generation. It's obvious that mindless teen rebellion lead to the equation of "freedom" as happiness.

It's only with maturity do we realize that happiness comes from meeting responsibility. It's not really giving up freedom, but the fact that you have the capacity to take on responsibility for the sake of others. Falling in love, getting married, having a child, raising a child, everyone I know puts these things far above any other infantile notion of happiness they might have had when they were teens. When you finally start giving, when you learn how to nurture and support another person, when you stop thinking selfishly of your own wants and needs and freedoms.

Happiness is a very simple thing to acquire, just so long as you grow up.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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10/21/2010 8:05:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 7:41:14 PM, Kleptin wrote:
...It's not really giving up freedom, but the fact that you have the capacity to take on responsibility for the sake of others. Falling in love, getting married, having a child, raising a child, everyone I know puts these things far above any other infantile notion of happiness they might have had when they were teens....

statistically speaking, people with children are actually less happy than people without children :P
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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10/21/2010 8:13:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Of course happiness is joy. It's also contentment and simply being positive.

Happiness is something of a generalized emotion. Like anger, it can likely delineate into more specific composite emotions. For example, anger can actually be frustration or hurt, which is interchangeable with sadness, which appears to be a different approach to similar things. In other words, some people get angry and some people become sad, but it describes their state rather than going into detail about experience, present or cause. Happiness shares these characteristics.

People seek "happiness" the way they seek "love" and all of these other generalized positive emotions that don't have a specific directive like, say, arousal, the origin of which we can isolate. We wonder whether they exist and then experience them, but then question them once they disappear because we can't hold them, paint them, or define them in terms that apply to absolutely everyone sufficiently.

Happiness cannot be generalized. It requires desire to attain. It is as temporal as the means that you find sufficient to desire happiness.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/21/2010 8:31:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 8:05:08 PM, belle wrote:
statistically speaking, people with children are actually less happy than people without children :P

I'd like to see the stats on that. Perhaps they mixed terms up. More stressful? More worried? Probably. But I doubt that they would trade their kids for anything in the world. That type of survey is inherently biased, since people without children will have a different scale of comparison.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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10/21/2010 8:53:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 8:31:37 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 10/21/2010 8:05:08 PM, belle wrote:
statistically speaking, people with children are actually less happy than people without children :P

I'd like to see the stats on that. Perhaps they mixed terms up. More stressful? More worried? Probably. But I doubt that they would trade their kids for anything in the world. That type of survey is inherently biased, since people without children will have a different scale of comparison.

no doubt people with children claim to love their kids to death, and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world... but nonetheless their day to day happiness levels are diminished by having children.

skip the boring intro, he talks about it here, with references:

http://www.randomhouse.com...

the heroin analogy sucks.... but otherwise i think its a pretty clear overview. i get the feeling you're gonna say something like "thats not really happiness they are measuring".. and if thats the case, i challenge you to describe what they are measuring and how it is different from happiness.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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10/21/2010 9:46:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Happiness is a warm gun.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

Muh threads
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tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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10/21/2010 10:02:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:50:50 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 10/21/2010 9:46:05 PM, tvellalott wrote:
Happiness is a warm gun.

One of my favorite Beatles songs :D

Bang-bang, shoot-shoot.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

Muh threads
Using mafia tactics in real-life: http://www.debate.org...
6 years of DDO: http://www.debate.org...
Loserboi
Posts: 1,232
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10/21/2010 10:33:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
What is it, and how do we attain it?

Get rich or die trying, its that simple if one wishes to obtain happiness.
kelly224
Posts: 952
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10/22/2010 12:06:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 9:30:05 AM, innomen wrote:
What is it, and how do we attain it?

To be happy is not the same thing as having fun. Fun is not the same thing as joy. We all seem to be striving for a happy life, but all have different ideas of how to attain it. Someone said to me that freedom from fear the root of happiness versus our perpetual illusion that happiness will come from freedom from want.

Happiness is being content with yourself, and your life despite of the circumstances. IMO

I am also unsure how the concept of freedom in general fits into this. I think its a false, if not childish assumption that the more freedom you have the more happiness. In fact often we relinquish freedom in an attempt to find happiness (relationships).

Freedom from persecution, and others' opinions of you is necessary for happiness. I can see where this can be in the equation. Internal peace is happiness, because without it you are just wasting time.

Thoughts?
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/22/2010 6:06:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/21/2010 8:53:27 PM, belle wrote: http://www.randomhouse.com...

Despite the fact that none of his sources is a direct study, and he's just making a conclusion based on mixing and matching faulty conclusions of scattered articles, he does make some rational points, but they fall apart under scrutiny.

Fulfillment is a pretty big part of happiness, and I don't think that the happiness felt when the kids leave the nest has to do with them being a negative factor. It's just that when they leave, the job is done.

The author's main complaint is that the happiness is some sort of psychological denial. Actually, all forms of happiness come from this. The act of eating involves the work of biting and chewing, and the reward comes from our biological inclination to survive. Sex is exhausting and even slightly painful, but orgasm is granted by the same biology. There are many pains associated with raising a child, but the reward is no less legitimate than any situation above. You give, and you get, in all forms of happiness.

Whatever the cost may be, having my child say "I love you, daddy" is probably worth more than anything I could ever buy.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.