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Happiness - Who needs it?
Posted: 23 August 2007 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Happiness… who “needs” it? Is it worthwhile to pursue? Does it even need to be pursued. Is the definition of happiness relative to the individual and based off of ones discrimination’s? Some even think that the pursuit of happiness is their purpose in life! What are your thoughts?

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Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

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Posted: 24 August 2007 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think the word happiness in this sense is a misnomer. The word that most people seem to be looking for is contentment.  I do think being content with one’s life is very important and necessary in order to reach one’s full potential.  If you are too busy living hand to mouth then you might not be very content with life and if you don’t have the means to achieve something better, then you might not be as satisfied with life as you could be.  Happiness is not a propetual state.  Life has it’s ups and downs- birth of a new baby, loss of a loved one, illness, graduation from school, loss of a job, getting a raise, health, another year older (for better or worse, getting older is good IMO)- all these things cause ups and downs, but without the ups and downs a person cannot grow as a human being.  I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life, but you know, I don’t think I would trade any of them.  Without the downs, how would you know what joy and happiness is?  I think this is the mark of true contentment, being able to deal with the ups and downs in life, which we all strive for, but the trick is not staying in one state.  We all must move on from one event to another whether it causes sorrow or joy, pain or comfort in our lives.  So one loses their job, they have to move on and find another job and the stress from the job loss passes, esp after one finds another job.  So, we lose family members and as painful as that maybe, we have to move on and look at what we do have as well as the future, which could bring new family members to love and appreciate. Thus, I think looking forward to the future helps with present stresses in life.  Yes, I’ve lost two family members in a matter of four months and not counting my sons, I only have four family members left, BUT I can look forward, even during my current loss of a cousin, to having grandchildren in the future.  So, I have my two sons among the four others, in which one day they will hopefully give me grandchildren to love and enjoy.

OK so like Kurtz, I strive for a positive outlook on life, but in this sense it is a reasonable and rational positive outlook to a good future.  One that is possible.  I can’t end world hunger and poverty, but I can dream about that.  However, I can look forward to having grandchildren in which I can be involved in their lives and hopefully help to give them a great start in this world.  I may not like that jobs offered to me now, but I can strive to find the one I like and will be satisfied with.  Some things are in our control and others are not.  Those that are in our control is what we use to find contentment, IMO.  Those that aren’t in our control we have to find something we can look forward to in order to overcome the bad times.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Well, the ancient greeks (particularly Aristotle) basically saw pursuit of happiness (eudaimonia) or the good life (eu zen) as the ultimate aim of philosophy. The complex question is, what is the good life? How is it achieved? One could do worse than to say that the good life is the happy life, but that simply replaces one vague term with another. What is happiness?

For an intro Aristotle’s interesting and very influential views on what true happiness amounts to, one can look HERE. For a longer essay, look HERE.

I believe it was John Stuart Mill who said it was better to be Socrates unhappy than a pig happy. The point of this aphorism is that there are degrees or grades of happiness, and some are worth more than others. What is happiness to a pig would not be so to a human, and the human somehow has a “better” grasp on the good life than a pig. Now, one may disagree with this, but there is certainly at least a grain of truth to it. We can all imagine the manufacture of some sort of Brave New World-ish soma pill that made people very happy drones. Would we really consider them to be living the good life? Would we consider that true happiness, or instead some sort of less important mental state?

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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t know.  Looking at my cats, I’d say they know what the good life is.  I think they have it made in the shade, but then again, they have been lucky enough to be adopted by humane animal lovers too.  There is only one thing I wish I could do for them- teach them how to read, but my older son thinks this could be a mistake (if it were possible that is) because then they would have to give up the life they have.  Maybe, maybe not, but that is beyond debate because it is not possible to teach cats how to read.  Even so, I think they are happy, from a cat’s eye-view though.  So, the pig analogy doesn’t seem to hold up for me, but I can guarantee you, that pig is scared for his/her life when it realizes the farmer is going to kill him/her. They aren’t that stupid.  (Brennen, you’re a vet, you can surely back me up here, can’t you?  LOL  )

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 24 August 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Mriana - 24 August 2007 08:59 AM

I don’t know.  Looking at my cats, I’d say they know what the good life is.  I think they have it made in the shade, but then again, they have been lucky enough to be adopted by humane animal lovers too.  There is only one thing I wish I could do for them- teach them how to read, but my older son thinks this could be a mistake (if it were possible that is) because then they would have to give up the life they have.  Maybe, maybe not, but that is beyond debate because it is not possible to teach cats how to read.  Even so, I think they are happy, from a cat’s eye-view though.  So, the pig analogy doesn’t seem to hold up for me, but I can guarantee you, that pig is scared for his/her life when it realizes the farmer is going to kill him/her. They aren’t that stupid.  (Brennen, you’re a vet, you can surely back me up here, can’t you?  LOL  )

How can you know for sure that your cats are happy? There are a lot of people I see everyday that “appear” happy when actually they are not.

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Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

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Posted: 24 August 2007 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cats are not people.  They don’t hide their emotions like people do.  You know when they want food.  You know when they are wanting attention. Basically, if you know your cat, you know what they are saying to you and they will just as vocally and just as strongly tell you they do not like something. They do not hold back.  Similarly, a cat will tell you when they are not happy about something.  Many a cat has thrown a litter box protest in various matters like moving say.  Their behaviour speaks volumes.  One of the first things a vet will ask you, when you start to have behaviour problems with your cat, is “Has there been any changes lately?” The same stressors that get to us, affects them too.  Even they mourn at the loss of a lifelong relationship- be it human or another cat/dog.  Of course, a cat’s mental copacity is not the same as a pigs, either that or animal lovers have not gotten to know pigs very well.  Take the elephants even, they show emotions, including grief of a dead loved one and there are some elephant bulls that will loudly and clearly tell zoologist that they do not like living in captivity.  The sad thing is, if these bulls get too out of hand with their expressions of dislike for the zoo, they are put to sleep.  :(  You may say I am personifying animal emotions, but if you research animal behaviour, you’ll find some of the things I am talking about- including elephant mourning.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 24 August 2007 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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*raising my hand

I need happiness…

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“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

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Posted: 24 August 2007 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Morgantj Wrote:

Is it worthwhile to pursue? Does it even need to be pursued.

Indeed, I do think it is worth pursuing! I’ll forgo explaining the many thoughts on the issue and instead highlight others thoughts through material I am aware.

Since this is a CFI forum, I would first suggest, if you are not aware already:

Free Inquiry - Summer, 1998 - Volume 18, Number 3 - http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=index_18  - 2nd down on list.

October/November 2006 - Volume 26, Number 6 - http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=index_26

Also, the work by such people as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Martin Seligman, and Daniel Gilbert.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If one cannot open their mind, they cannot grasp the greatest gift of all!

Myths, philosophy, religions, theism, atheism, gnosticism are saying what life itself says: this is your life, and even though you are indoctrinated to the mentality of a collective universal human mind set, nonetheless, you are the only player of the game of your life, and it is your responsibility to come out from among them to form your own foundation and avenues of singular interindependency. The buck begins with you, and stays with you, and will end with you.

As the grains of sand upon the beaches of the world, so are the different ways individual men have come to the role they play in the odyessy of life.

Man knows nothing about death. Man knows only life. That which appears as death is only a rudiment of life which man can see has no beginning nor end. Life was before man became aware of it in this realm, and life will continue when man’s awareness of this realm is no more.

Out of life man came into this game of living. Starting with birth, the concepts of this world are instilled in men and evolve innto their prenatal, recial, religious, educational, and personal conditioning.

Men believe death ends life because they believe the body is the controlling factor of life. The body, as man’s interpreted thoughts are the controlling factor of living life between the arch of birth and death.

Man will, however, on occasion come to hear of men who practice Ascension; striving to acquire the reality which allow those who walked out of this world with their bodies. Enoch, Laotzu, Elijiah, and Jesus.

Then there is the description of Melchizedek who was “Without mother, without father, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.”

To have an open mind is to realize the possibiity that one has the ability to overcome the world mentality now, and thus, overcome the mentality of death in the realization they were never born and could not be dying. “Before Abraham was I am.”

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Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength jufa

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Posted: 24 August 2007 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Can you speak in modern English, please.  And, I hate to be boring on this point, but I will say it again: this is a philosophy forum.  So get logical or get out!

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Posted: 24 August 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Mind you, since you’ve started the hey nonny-nonnies with your poetical (pathetical, more like) language, allow me to just point out: first we had zerzel the mashed mangle-wurzel, then we had conquer the utterly bonquers, and now we’ve got jufa the fricking goofer.

Now, I don’t have a three-leafed shamrock handy, but I’m guessing this trinity is one and the same eegit.  Can someone track the IP addresses of these religious nuts and bar them, please.  There are less logical forums that they can go to so there is no reason for them to come here talking nonsense.  I don’t go to cloud cuckooland talking sense and I expect and demand the same courtesy in return, good day to to you sir.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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OOOOOH!! someone got S’d in the “A.”

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Posted: 24 August 2007 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I guess this is waht you American guys would call the DJGroethe Roast!

Edited: Oops, wrong forum, ignore.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I know Jufa made less sense then a Chomskybot and messed up the flow, but can we get back to the subject?

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Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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narwhol - 24 August 2007 03:59 PM

Can you speak in modern English, please.  And, I hate to be boring on this point, but I will say it again: this is a philosophy forum.  So get logical or get out!

Narwhol, that isn’t very nice and a bit uncalled for.  Jufa didn’t do anything inappropriate and even if Jufa had, it is not your place to say anything, regardless if s/he made sense or not.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Now come on, Mriana, you know better than to try and appeal to whatever humanity you think I might still have.  As to Jufa doing nothing wrong, well, going on a “philosophy” and spouting stuff that is the antithesis of philosophy is wrong.  I mean, the internet is a lot of things, and one of these things that it is is the biggest open mental institute the world has ever seen.  That means that Jufa has a world of people who think they’re Napoleon or that the holocaust never took place or that there are christs or that there are more fifth beatles than there were beatles or whatever that he can spout nonsense and preach unsupported opinions to.  He doesn’t have to come her and it is utterly inappropriate to do so.  There really is no point in citing imaginary people like jesus or satan to people who are here to discuss real things.  It doesn’t do us any good and it doesn’t do him any good.  It just wastes bandwidth.  It’s better for him to tell him and for him to go than for him to be stuck here as the class dunce feeling that he really shouldn’t be here than for him to hang on and have no peer group.

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