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  1. #1
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Default Is happiness natural?

    I am happy because I am safe, have a roof over my head, am not in any serious pain and don't have to fight for my survival. how can someone who lives in the wilderness, is unsafe nearly 24 hours a day and has to deal with hunger and pain be happy? is it possible to be happy without enough money to have safety, enough food/water and some level of comfort?
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  2. #2

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    Perhaps, perhaps not.

    But people are resilient creatures and who says what makes you happy makes another person happy? There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to happiness and many people in "challenging" situations find solace (and even joy) in things others who aren't in those situations might overlook or not value as much.

    So yes, I would say, theoretically speaking, it's possible to be happy without those things.

  3. #3
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    I wouldn't define 'happiness' as a consequence of the fulfillment of basic needs. If you have food and safety, you still feel a need to connect with your peers or express yourself in different ways. The guy in the wilderness struggles for food, you struggle for appreciation, you're both preoccupied, and I don't think he's less likely to feel 'happy' than you are.

    I don't even think he feels less content than you do. For you, food and safety has been a given since a long time, so losing it would harm you deeply, but preserving it wouldn't make you much more content, whereas he feels great on the rare occasion when such an important need is finally fulfilled.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
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    I believe happiness is an emotional response that is (like most emotions) untrustworthy and fleeting. But, as far as I am concerned I think I would not consider myself "happy" or "unhappy". I trend instead toward variants of content and discontent.

    We are very different. For example:

    "I am happy because I am safe, have a roof over my head, am not in any serious pain and don't have to fight for my survival."

    When the above is my condition I grow lazy, complacent, apathetic, weak and slow, and I lose my edge/instincts become dulled. Thus, I am a chore to be around and I am discontent - "unhappy".

    In contrast:

    "How can someone who lives in the wilderness, is unsafe nearly 24 hours a day and has to deal with hunger and pain be happy? is it possible to be happy without enough money to have safety, enough food/water and some level of comfort?"

    When the above is my lot I am sharp, focused, intensely interested and alert to the minute happenings around me (even more so than usual), I return to my peak mental and physical condition with ease as apposed to fighting to maintain them. I enjoy the challenges and puzzles to overcome and in general I am at peace, in my element and content - "happy".

    A few side notes for clarity:
    The wilderness is a sanctuary to those who understand it, not a source of fear and insecurity. There are times where safety is less than ideal but far fewer than when we are in any given city. Hunger and pain are transient and only serve to remind us that our bodies are leaving the homeostatic happy place and we should do something to return them there.

    Most importantly, the premise that money = safety is patently false. Money can buy you bigger, better blinders but safety it cannot purchase (unless you are renting the time and skills of those who have understanding and preparedness to deal with your safekeeping). Only understanding and preparation can make one safer, some of which requires some money but most of which is mental. Keep in mind, experts have agreed that every major city is but 4 meals away from utter collapse if the supply lines, etc. failed. Can you survive when the grocery stores are empty, travel is unsafe, and there is no running water, sewage, electricity?
    Last edited by Tiger Owl; 09-11-2011 at 09:00 AM. Reason: grammar
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  5. #5
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthtrekker1775 View Post
    I believe happiness is an emotional response that is (like most emotions) untrustworthy and fleeting. But, as far as I am concerned I think I would not consider myself "happy" or "unhappy". I trend instead toward variants of content and discontent.

    We are very different. For example:

    "I am happy because I am safe, have a roof over my head, am not in any serious pain and don't have to fight for my survival."

    When the above is my condition I grow lazy, complacent, apathetic, weak and slow, and I lose my edge/instincts become dulled. Thus, I am a chore to be around and I am discontent - "unhappy".

    In contrast:

    "How can someone who lives in the wilderness, is unsafe nearly 24 hours a day and has to deal with hunger and pain be happy? is it possible to be happy without enough money to have safety, enough food/water and some level of comfort?"

    When the above is my lot I am sharp, focused, intensely interested and alert to the minute happenings around me (even more so than usual), I return to my peak mental and physical condition with ease as apposed to fighting to maintain them. I enjoy the challenges and puzzles to overcome and in general I am at peace, in my element and content - "happy".

    A few side notes for clarity:
    The wilderness is a sanctuary to those who understand it, not a source of fear and insecurity. There are times where safety is less than ideal but far fewer than when we are in any given city. Hunger and pain are transient and only serve to remind us that our bodies are leaving the homeostatic happy place and we should do something to return them there.

    Most importantly, the premise that money = safety is patently false. Money can buy you bigger, better blinders but safety it cannot purchase (unless you are renting the time and skills of those who have understanding and preparedness to deal with your safekeeping). Only understanding and preparation can make one safer, some of which requires some money but most of which is mental. Keep in mind, experts have agreed that every major city is but 4 meals away from utter collapse if the supply lines, etc. failed. Can you survive when the grocery stores are empty, travel is unsafe, and there is no running water, sewage, electricity?
    your X is an N. INTJs live for mental challenges and become board and apathetic if their large mental appetites aren't satisfied
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    "You are a gay version of Gambit" Speed Gavroche
    "I wish that I could be affected by any hate, but I can't, cuz I just get affected by the bank" Chamillionaire

  6. #6
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Happiness can be an unconscious or conscious response.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fripping's Avatar
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    yes it is natural, your brain squirts out just enough to keep you from killing yourself. 'you' and 'yourself' meaning 'me' and 'myself'.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I think you can argue that misery is natural. Misery makes people want more and more and eradicate competitors. Ancestors who are miserable would procreate with more success than their non-miserable counterparts.

  9. #9
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthtrekker1775 View Post
    I believe happiness is an emotional response that is (like most emotions) untrustworthy and fleeting. But, as far as I am concerned I think I would not consider myself "happy" or "unhappy".
    me2

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I am happy because I am safe, have a roof over my head, am not in any serious pain and don't have to fight for my survival. how can someone who lives in the wilderness, is unsafe nearly 24 hours a day and has to deal with hunger and pain be happy? is it possible to be happy without enough money to have safety, enough food/water and some level of comfort?
    I don't see how the second set of conditions could guarantee someone would not be happy/content. Plus, it depends on how long someone has been under either set of conditions. If you've lived all your life without money, safety (which is relative), or enough food or water, then your definitions of comfort, contentment, and happiness will be defined in entirely different ways.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

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