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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:35 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15044 date=1067106723]
you said it right there, 'bluebear'!
i.e., those ways of being happy failed and you were no longer happy!
[/quote]

yes, but the fleeting nature of happiness holds, in general, for anyone who aims for happiness, as opposed to the more enduring happiness one experiences as a by-product of realizing worthier aims.
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:36 PM
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[quote]What is happiness? It's a rather paltry emotion, little different from the sensations of pleasure and pain. There is little, if any, meaning in the experience of happiness alone as such. [/quote]
I would say that you are simply jaded by your previous failures. Your denial of happiness as an end is really a denial of your old concept of what leads to happiness
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:40 PM
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[quote]as opposed to the more enduring happiness one experiences as a by-product of realizing worthier aims.[/quote]
why do you associate 'enduring' happiness with worthy aims? Is this just coincidence, or is 'enduring' happiness a necessary and desirable consequence of pursuing worthy aims?

methinks you value this 'enduring' happiness, it is proof that you are doing the right thing.


A life without happiness is not worth living
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:43 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15050 date=1067107014]
I would say that you are simply jaded by your previous failures. Your denial of happiness as an end is really a denial of your old concept of what leads to happiness
[/quote]

What failures? I was very successful at attaining happiness when I actively sought it, but its nature was fleeting, and in the end, it was vanity. This holds, in general, for anyone who aims for happiness.

My denial of happiness as an end or as an aim to be sought for is based on my experiences, and in particular, on my experiences that a more enduring happiness results from seeking worthier aims in life. It is not a denial of my old concept of what leads to happiness, because the end itself, fleeting happiness, I rejected as worthless.
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:46 PM
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[quote]What failures? I was very successful at attaining happiness when I actively sought it, but its nature was fleeting,[/quote]
the fact that your happiness was 'fleeting' is evidence of your failure. What you were doing was finding unsustainable paths toward happiness, and when the happiness dried up you moved on
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:47 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15051 date=1067107246]
why do you associate 'enduring' happiness with worthy aims? Is this just coincidence, or is 'enduring' happiness a necessary and desirable consequence of pursuing worthy aims?

methinks you value this 'enduring' happiness, it is proof that you are doing the right thing.
[/quote]

The simple matter is that I do not aim for happiness, and neither do I 'want' it. It is something that I experience, as a by-product, during my striving towards worthier aims. Happiness, whether fleeting or enduring, is in the end, vanity, emptiness, and meaninglessness. Meaning is not to be found in happiness, but is to be found in the realization of worthier aims such as self-development, self-actualization, and the realization of God and Truth.

If I suddenly became incapable of experiencing happiness, I would still strive towards and realize my worthy aims because happiness is of no consequence regarding the worthiness of the aims as such.
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:48 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15054 date=1067107606]
the fact that your happiness was 'fleeting' is evidence of your failure. What you were doing was finding unsustainable paths toward happiness, and when the happiness dried up you moved on
[/quote]

such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM
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[quote]My denial of happiness as an end or as an aim to be sought for is based on my experiences, and in particular, on my experiences that a more enduring happiness results from seeking worthier aims in life.[/quote]
you are contradicting yourself, 'bluebear'. First you say that your experience shows happiness to be no end, but then you say that your experience shows that you should aim for that which brings 'enduring happiness' (is this 'enduring happiness' not an end? If not, why is it a qualifier for 'worthy goals'?)
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15051 date=1067107246]
A life without happiness is not worth living
[/quote]

I presume you're speaking for yourself. How sad!
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM
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[quote]such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.[/quote]
how about you prove it right instead of simply claiming it to be right
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:51 PM
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[quote]I presume you're speaking for yourself. How sad![/quote]
as opposed to happy?
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:53 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15057 date=1067107810]
you are contradicting yourself, 'bluebear'. First you say that your experience shows happiness to be no end, but then you say that your experience shows that you should aim for that which brings 'enduring happiness' (is this 'enduring happiness' not an end? If not, why is it a qualifier for 'worthy goals'?)
[/quote]

Please do not intentionally misrepresent me. You're just arguing against a straw man now. tongue.gif I never said that you should aim for that which brings enduring happiness. What I said was that enduring happiness was a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthier aims. Enduring happiness is not an end and is not something to be aimed for. And I don't think it's necessarily a qualifier for worthy goals, but like I said, is a mere by-product, in general, though there's no reason to assume that every worthy goal will necessarily be associated with enduring happiness all of the time, though admittedly, my experience has been that striving towards and realizing worthy goals is invariably associated with enduring happiness. But it is not obvious that whether a goal is considered worthy or not is in any way dependent on whether striving towards it brings enduring happiness. So I wouldn't necessarily consider enduring happiness a qualifier of pursuing worthy goals, but would say that pursuing worthy goals tends to produce enduring happiness as a mere by-product. Nonetheless, the enduring happiness, in and of itself, is quite meaningless and worthless.
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 01:56 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15059 date=1067107858]
how about you prove it right instead of simply claiming it to be right
[/quote]

It has been my and other people's experience, and you've yet to inform me that you've experienced otherwise, so I can only presume in the absence of such an admission that you concur with me.
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jana t.
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:03 PM
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[quote author=bluebear link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15056 date=1067107730]
such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.
[/quote]

Could it be that happiness can be known as both a by-product and as an ends?

Could it be that happiness can be known in a diversity of scales, big and small, enduring and fleeting?

Could it be that some of us, perhaps through our choices and actions, have known happiness as only a small subset of these these many different forms?
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:14 PM
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'Bluebear', somehow you were(are) relating 'enduring happiness' with 'worthy goals' as if 'enduring happiness' was a necessary result of 'worthy goals'. Now that I have pointed this out, you are renegging on your 'enduring happiness' qualifier as you can not explain why it should be so. The only other 'explanation' (that 'enduring happiness' is a qualifier for 'worthy goals') is a contradiction with your position. Are you now going to hold that 'enduring happiness' has nothing to do with 'worthy goals', and that any such correlation is purely coincidental? If so, there is no need to be talking about 'enduring happiness' as it is obviously irrelevant to your 'aim'
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:16 PM
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[quote]It has been my and other people's experience, and you've yet to inform me that you've experienced otherwise, so I can only presume in the absence of such an admission that you concur with me. [/quote]
you're the one who is claiming that happiness is always fleeting (except you also somehow believe that there exists 'enduring' happiness). The burden of proof is on you to prove your claim, not on me to disprove it
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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:30 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15067 date=1067109262]
'Bluebear', somehow you were relating 'enduring happiness' with 'worthy goals' as if 'enduring happiness' was a necessary result of 'worthy goals'.
[/quote]

I never implied that enduring happiness was the result of worthy goals. What I said was that enduring happiness is a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthy goals. There's a big difference. Further, enduring happiness, in and of itself, is worthless. We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy. The fact that enduring happiness, which is in itself worthless, often or always accompanies the pursuit and realizing of worthy goals is not my problem to solve. The point is that aiming for happiness is foolish. One should aim for worthier goals, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential, in which case one will likely experience happiness as a by-product, though will very likely remain indifferent and detached from it since happiness is, in and of itself, worthless. That which is worthy is that which we strive towards and realize, and is that which fills our life with meaning. Striving towards happiness, which is itself worthless, will only lead to it's fleeting experience, from whence one will realize how empty and vain one's striving for it was, and will hopefully direct one's attention towards worthier aims in life, which will result in the experience of happiness too, but it no longer is something that is sought after because it's falsity and meaninglessness has already been discerned. If you aim for happiness in life, and it seems like you do, Dan, then it is very likely because you have yet to experience all that comes from pursuing worthy aims with all of one's being and consciousness.
As such, I would recommend pursuing something more meaningful in your life.


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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:40 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15068 date=1067109391]
you're the one who is claiming that happiness is always fleeting (except you also somehow believe that there exists 'enduring' happiness). The burden of proof is on you to prove your claim, not on me to disprove it
[/quote]

I've already proved it to the extent that my experience, and other people's experiences, constitute such proof.

Further, if happiness was the real aim in life, and if its pursuit ever resulted in enduring happiness, then there would be no aims left and nothing left in life to pursue according to you. A rather meaningless life, wouldn't you say?

Because you still pursue aims in life, and because you've already professed that the real aim in your life is happiness, I can only conclude that you've failed to achieve enduring happiness in your life, which is further proof of the validity of what I've been saying all along.
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 02:50 PM
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[quote]I never implied that enduring happiness was the result of worthy goals. What I said was that enduring happiness is a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthy goals. [/quote]
I defy you to explain why this should be


[quote]Further, enduring happiness, in and of itself, is worthless.[/quote]
but somehow you thought to mention it as if it were a 'benefit' of worthy goals. why?



[quote]We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy.[/quote]
a tautology is no explanation, 'bluebear'. Try harder




[quote]The fact that enduring happiness, which is in itself worthless, often or always accompanies the pursuit and realizing of worthy goals is not my problem to solve.[/quote]
Declaring such a fact and then denying the responsibility of proof is evidence that you simply want to believe it




[quote]The point is that aiming for happiness is foolish. [/quote]
maybe what you understand as 'aiming for happiness' is foolish, as evidenced by your past failures



[quote]One should aim for worthier goals, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential,[/quote]
Why? What makes these goals worthy?


[quote]in which case one will likely experience happiness as a by-product, though will very likely remain indifferent and detached from it since happiness is, in and of itself, worthless. [/quote]
Again, you offer no explanation as to why this association is 'likely'. Why is it likely?


[quote]That which is worthy is that which we strive towards and realize, and is that which fills our life with meaning. [/quote]
Are you saying that worth is simply a byproduct of striving and realizing? Is this another tautology? Why is it meaningful to strive and realize? Tell me why any act should be meaningful without saying 'because one strives' or 'because it is worthy'.



[quote]Striving towards happiness, which is itself worthless, will only lead to it's fleeting experience, from whence one will realize how empty and vain one's striving for it was, and will hopefully direct one's attention towards worthier aims in life, which will result in the experience of happiness too, but it no longer is something that is sought after because it's falsity and meaninglessness has already been discerned.[/quote]
again, you are stating that 'happiness' is a necessary consequence of 'worthy aims'. WHY?



[quote]If you aim for happiness in life, and it seems like you do, Dan, then it is very likely because you have yet to experience all that comes from pursuing worthy aims with all of one's being and consciousness.[/quote]
I have worthy aims because my happiness depends on it. I Cannot Be Happy Otherwise



[quote]As such, I would recommend pursuing something more meaningful in your life.[/quote]
I would recommend that you get a little more real


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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 03:10 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I defy you to explain why this should be
[/quote]

I decline your challenge because as I said before, it's not my problem, nor is it something that I feel needs an explanation.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
but somehow you thought to mention it as if it were a 'benefit' of worthy goals. why?
[/quote]

no, i never said 'benefit'. I said 'by-product', and the only reason I said it was to point out the silliness of aiming for happiness when one can achieve more enduring happiness by aiming for worthier goals.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
a tautology is no explanation, 'bluebear'. Try harder
[/quote]

Hardly. In the statement, "We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy", the relation is causal, not tautological.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Declaring such a fact and then denying the responsibility of proof is evidence that you simply want to believe it
[/quote]

the proof I've already given. It resides in my and other people's experiences. What other proof do you want? A videotape of my life or of other people's lives?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
maybe what you understand as 'aiming for happiness' is foolish, as evidenced by your past failures
[/quote]

using your definition of failure, which apparently means the failure of achieving enduring happiness when one aims for it, then you've failed too. So what's your point?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Why? What makes these goals worthy?
[/quote]

direct experience and a certain realization will answer these questions for you. It's something I find difficult putting into words, though I'll probably try later.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Are you saying that worth is simply a byproduct of striving and realizing? Or are you presenting an implied tautology?
[/quote]

I'm saying that we should strive after aims that we deem worthy.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Tell me why any act should be meaningful without saying 'because one strives' or 'because it is worthy'.
[/quote]

What you ask for requires a general definition of meaning, and this is something that's been written about in other places. If you've experienced meaningful acts, then you can ask yourself what made them meaningful, thereby answering your own question. You'll see that it's hard to put into words (though attempts have been made elsewhere).

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I have worthy aims [b]because my happiness depends on it.
[/quote]

so without happiness, your life has no meaning and is without worthy aims?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I would recommend that you get a little more real
[/quote]

I'm as real as they come.

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Joesus
post Oct 25, 2003, 03:15 PM
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More blah blah blah?
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 03:36 PM
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[quote]I decline your challenge because as I said before, it's not my problem, nor is it something that I feel needs an explanation. [/quote]
Hey, if you want to believe what you want to believe, that's fine with me. Just don't expect me to believe you



[quote] the only reason I said it was to point out the silliness of aiming for happiness when one can achieve more enduring happiness by aiming for worthier goals.[/quote]
so you are saying that a person who seeks happiness would be wiser to pursue 'worthy' goals, because one would achieve 'enduring' happiness this way.



[quote]Hardly. In the statement, "We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy", the relation is causal, not tautological.[/quote]
and why do we deem them 'worthy'?


[quote]the proof I've already given. It resides in my and other people's experiences. What other proof do you want? A videotape of my life or of other people's lives? [/quote]
that's not proof, that's evidence. you offer no explanation as to why happiness must be fleeting, thus you have no proof



[quote]using your definition of failure, which apparently means the failure of achieving enduring happiness when one aims for it, then you've failed too. So what's your point?[/quote]
My point is that your 'evidence' is not proof


[quote]direct experience and a certain realization will answer these questions for you. It's something I find difficult putting into words, though I'll probably try later.[/quote]
now you sound like every religious dingbat on earth, unable to explain yourself but perfectly willing to claim that you 'somehow know' you are right



[quote]I'm saying that we should strive after aims that we deem worthy. [/quote]
can you tell me why something should be deemed worthy?



[quote]What you ask for requires a general definition of meaning, and this is something that's been written about in other places.[/quote]
so repeat it. surely it isn't difficult to repeat a general definition



[quote] If you've experienced meaningful acts, then you can ask yourself what made them meaningful, thereby answering your own question. You'll see that it's hard to put into words (though attempts have been made elsewhere)[/quote]
I'm asking you to tell me what makes an act meaningful. And I can see that you have no idea why



[quote]so without happiness, your life has no meaning and is without worthy aims? [/quote]
To fulfill a worthy aim brings happiness and is thus meaningful. If an aim does not bring happiness, it is not worthy


[quote]I'm as real as they come. [/quote]
don't kid yourself


8)
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Dan
post Oct 25, 2003, 03:42 PM
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sorry 'bluebear', but I gotta run for now. I'm going to the OU-Colorado football game and won't be back 'till late. Go ahead and take the time to offer your best rebuttal, and I'll get to it when I can


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Swan
post Oct 25, 2003, 04:00 PM
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happiness is definately a good motivator ; pursuits which achieved fleeting happiness ultimately led me to look for happiness elsewhere ; enduring happiness is a by-product of following my happiness which led me to what some might call worthwhile goals ; which others might call completely useless ; the one underlying theme was my happiness ; I was not content to wallow in my self - pity or misery

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bluebear
post Oct 25, 2003, 04:09 PM
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[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
so you are saying that a person who seeks happiness would be wiser to pursue 'worthy' goals, because one would achieve 'enduring' happiness this way?
[/quote]

yes, but the person who pursues worthy goals will soon realize that happiness is, in and of itself, worthless.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
that's not proof, that's evidence. you offer no explanation as to why happiness must be fleeting, thus you have no proof
[/quote]

the proof is in the experience.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
and why do we deem them 'worthy'?
[/quote]

so your strategy is to keep asking 'why' questions to every reply and explanation I post?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
now you sound like every religious dingbat on earth, unable to explain yourself but perfectly willing to claim that you 'somehow know' you are right
[/quote]

I've tried explaining, but there comes a point when recourse to actual experience is necessary.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
I'm asking you to tell me what makes an act meaningful. And I can see that you have no idea why
[/quote]

And I asked you to ask yourself what makes an act meaningful, and I can see that you have no idea why. At least I took the extra step and said that I would talk more about it later.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
To fulfill a worthy aim brings happiness and is thus meaningful. If an aim does not bring happiness, it is not worthy
[/quote]

That's fine for you, I suppose, but I have found aims much worthier than happiness, as have many of the great ones of the past that I've learned from. Fortunately, many people don't require happiness to have worthy aims in life and to have meaning. The life without happiness would be completely devoid of meaning and value for you, but certainly not for me. I think that says a lot.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
don't kid yourself
[/quote]

but aren't you kidding me with this whole 'happiness should be the aim of life' business?

Also, you never answered my question about why you don't (or do) pop 10 or more prozac each day since you're so keen on achieving happiness.

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rhymer
post Oct 25, 2003, 04:19 PM
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Hi all,

just thought I might dip my oar in before this one runs out of space.
We wouldn't be happy then, would we?

One dictionary definition.
"State of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy".

So, there are degrees of happiness. I think we all know that!

I tend to think of happiness (by analogy) as like a thermostat which has a reference setting (set by ?). If glum, motivation kicks in to bring it back to or above that setting.
[by doing somerthing to increase contentment].
I can accept that if I feel glum, I may choose to do something I enjoy doing in order to increase my current state of happiness.


What I would like to know is how the stat is set.
Is it 'expectation', or by comparison to other peoples apparent state of happiness?

Best regards, Bill.
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bluebear
post Oct 26, 2003, 08:49 AM
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[quote author=rhymer link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15082 date=1067116789]
One dictionary definition.
"State of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy".
So, there are degrees of happiness.
[/quote]

it's good to point that out, that there are degrees of happiness, and that for any state of happiness, even happier states can be envisioned and are possible. As such, it would not be possible to be aimless if one's aim in life was happiness since one could always aim for more happiness and greater degrees of happiness. Therefore, Dan needn't worry about ever being aimless and purposeless in life, though I would still dispute that happiness is the aim in life that people should seek.

[quote author=rhymer link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15082 date=1067116789]
What I would like to know is how the stat is set.
Is it 'expectation', or by comparison to other peoples apparent state of happiness?
[/quote]

I think its basis involves many factors, including the two that you mentioned, and also involves expectations based on other peoples apparent states of happiness. Happiness can be considered within the context of brain function and dopamine release, or it can be considered from a 1st person perspective, in which case we know that we have some control over our happiness to the extent that we know what makes us happy and know how to acquire or achieve such things, and also to the extent that we recognize that happiness comprises part of one's state of mind, which we have considerable control over.
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bluebear
post Oct 26, 2003, 09:53 AM
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Dan,

I would like to clarify a point. When I said that happiness is worthless in and of itself, I meant that to experience happiness alone is worthless. Nonetheless, without contradicting myself, I will acknowledge that happiness can attain meaning and worth when considered to comprise a part of more meaningful and worthwhile experiences, even while I maintain that considered in and of itself, happiness, alone, is meaningless and worthless. If happiness attains meaning and worth, it is only within the context of more meaningful and worthy experiences, and these more meaningful and worthy experiences are, in general, the result of pursuing and realizing meaningful and worthy aims. Pursuing happiness as the sole aim in life is not meaningful, nor is it worthy. This does not rule out pursuing happiness as the means to further aid one in pursuing one's meaningful and worthy aims. But as such, happiness, in and of itself, is a tool and an aid, and not an end in itself to be sought for. One should aim for worthier and more meaningful goals in life, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential and humanity's potential.

If you make happiness your sole aim in life, then you might as well be shooting heroin or overdosing on prozac, since this is what your ethics justifies and really boils down to, and this, to most people, is simply repugnant, pathetic, naive, and is not what one's life is or should be all about. Or better yet, the culmination of your 'ethics of happiness' for you would be to hook electrodes into your own brain and continuously stimulate your happy centers so as to make you happy all the time. Forget everything and everyone else, right? So long as you're happy, nothing else matters, right? The world could go up in flames, but so long as you're happy, everything's just great, isn't it?

Since you would put the pursuit of your own happiness above all else in life, Dan, I take it you have no calling in life. Further, you seem rather ungrateful to life, since according to you, the life without happiness is not worth living. Well, did you ever think that perhaps it is you who are not worthy of life? Life is a gift of sorts, and with it comes tremendous responsibilities. Yet, you don't want the gift unless there's happiness included in the package. Besides being ungrateful, that's also just irresponsible, don't you think? The key difference between your 'ethics of happiness' and my ethics seems to be that mine can justify life in the absence of happiness, whereas yours cannot. In the absence of happiness, you would turn tail and run away from life and reject it, considering it not worth living, whereas I would still fully accept life's challenge and find meaning and worth in pursuing my aims. In essence, your 'ethics of happiness' is weak and it degrades Man to a very small and ridiculous stature indeed, whereas mine elevates him to heights you cannot imagine and which are completely inaccessible to those following your 'ethics of happiness'.

A note about definitions, by 'meaningful', I mean 'significant, full of significance', and by 'worthy', I mean 'deemed sufficiently meaningful to oneself and/or to humanity to justify personal sacrifice and investment of resources'. Happiness is not a necessary condition for being significant or meaningful. If you ask me what 'significant' means, I would reply that this is something that everyone hopefully knows from experience, and for me to further define such terms would result in a circular definition (which all definitions are if we continue to pursue the meanings of different terms indefinitely), or it would amount to me trying to explain to a blind person what it's like to see. At some point, you need to have recourse to the actual experience, and without this experience, nothing I say will get through to you.

And finally, on a different note, and maybe this is already obvious, but having aims in life (i.e., being oriented towards the future in a particular manner) does not preclude experiencing the here and now, and of vividly living in the present. On the contrary, living in the here and now, and fully in the present moment, while at the same time pursuing meaningful and worthy aims, is very meaningful indeed.

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Joesus
post Oct 26, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Joseph Campbell once said "follow your Bliss"
In the long way around the barn approach to relative happiness we find that we travel from one idea to another. Each idea hopefully creates an experience equal to, or better than the previous experience. This maintenance approach to life is fairly consuming.

The meaning behind the words of Joseph Campbell is to follow that which expands your consciousness Permanently.
When it comes to measuring chemical levels in the body or brain such as dopamine or endorphines and making comparisons to relative conditions, Science has not yet developed a measurment for levels of consciousness, nor has science been able to come to any agreement on whether such a thing exists beyond levels of fantasy.

Only by expanding consciousness does the need for the maintenance approach to happiness become unnecessary.
If the mind is expanded in its awareness beyond fear and judgment then what has meaning in happiness is no longer relative. Simply experiencing becomes a Joy.

Consciousness recognizes consciousness. Until man can fabricate a means to measure spirit and the awareness of higher states of consciousness then one will have to rely on experience for validation.

The subjective/objective experience will have to evolve into something greater in order to escape the differences that prevent the world and what is in it to be anything less than perfect.
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bluebear
post Oct 26, 2003, 02:26 PM
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I found this at http://tobyjohnson.com/clearlight.html

Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you never knew there were going to be doors."

Bliss is a technical term in Buddhism. It does not mean mere happiness or satisfaction. Rather it means fulfillment of who we really are, realization of buddhahood (expanding consciousness), accomplishment of the goals that drive us to find meaning in life. To follow our bliss is to disregard all the rules that tell us how we are supposed to behave and to seek our own path.

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