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  1. #41
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    If someone wants anything, wouldn't that ultimately be wanting happiness? Wanting death, even, is willing something better, an end of unhappiness. I think this underlies the human experience.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    @Lark , the reason this question is important to me, is that I think we as a society place such a premium on high mood that many avoid people who don’t care so much for it. I think a large reason why a lot of people are more miserable than they would otherwise be, is because they are put upon to be in a higher mood…not just more grateful, or more satisfied with life, or engagement. People are told to smile more, The lack of smiling is seen as an indictment of character or attitude.
    Hmm, well, I do think that there is a lot of disconnect from feelings, or rather repression of feeling, by society at large.

    The shallow and superficial experience of affect and emotion, mismanagement of feeling, can lead to people exalting one emotional state, the positive one, because joy and happiness are generally perceived as less problematic or less difficult to manage than pain and misery.

    However, that's no good, its positively bipolar, the same as thinking that euphoria is worth the system of a down or lows in someone who actually suffers from bipolar disorder, its bad on personal level and bad on a social level too.

    Although by that I dont mean to say that people should affirm misery and sadness, nor that I particularly think that some kind of zen or CBT neutrality is desirable either.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    For my own part, I'd like to be happy, I think that that is more to do with relating to and being related to by others, find love, being productive and reasoning but money can grease the wheels sometimes.

    Or at least put distance between you and the assholes of life.

  4. #44
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Rather than worrying about wealth, fame, and happiness, it behoves us to worry about the meaning of meaning.

    http://courses.media.mit.edu/2004spr...rds%201923.pdf

  5. #45
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    @Magic Poriferan, would your responses change knowing that I am referring explicitly to mood?
    It's easy for me to grasp a person not living for pleasure. It's harder for me to parse happiness as a state of mind feom some other form of satisfaction with ones life purpose or accomplishments.

    You're saying that a doctor who looks back on his/her life and appreciates the history of successes in saving lives or healing the injured, is going to somehow want that, be satisfied with that, find that positive, but would not be in a state that you would call happiness?
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  6. #46
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    Usually very religious people take this view of the world, that even happiness is a false goal. I can see a person also investing time into contributing to the world, say as a teacher or inventor or something, without the desire to be compensated by wealth or fame. I think Tesla is possibly a good example of this, but he got royally screwed for it.

  7. #47

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    Unfortunately, for a good month or so, I’ll likely be posting rather infrequently. So in threads like this, I’ll be posting using the multi-quote tool. I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    If what you really meant is "What if someone doesn't want wealth, fame, or to seem happy to others all the time by smiling and otherwise affecting 'happiness'?" then... whatever, I couldn't care less.
    I think this is a gross mischaracterization of what I meant. “All the time” is an extreme in wealth and fame too. Also, desiring high mood does not require faking it, does it?

    I made this thread in the philosophy thread for a reason. Do you subscribe to the philosophy of Hedonism? If not, how would you explain your point of view to a hedonist who has made similar statements as you?

    I am not sure why pleasure and meaning or engagement cannot be seen as different things. Perhaps I am using the wrong words to describe the distinction. But I think the distinction a valid one.

    If you are a hedonist, then, perhaps I understand where you are coming from. But based on what I believe I know of you, I personally think this is a miscommunication (probably my fault).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Unlikely. I would still need context of the persons situation.
    The context in this case is in relation to the philosophy of Hedonism.

    From Wikipedia:
    Hedonism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    We are meaning creating animals, so wealth, fame, and happiness, only take their place within a framework of meaning.

    So wealth, fame, and happiness, are secondary to meaning.
    I agree with this. My question aims at understanding the points of view relating to judgements (possibly unexamined or purposefully compartmentalized) of those who value things different from others—especially at what seems to be a fundamental level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    If someone wants anything, wouldn't that ultimately be wanting happiness? Wanting death, even, is willing something better, an end of unhappiness. I think this underlies the human experience.
    Well, obviously, I don’t think that wanting anything is the same as wanting to be in a high mood, or feeling pleasure.
    Do you feel the same thing after doing something difficult but meaningful, as you do after hearing a good joke?
    I don’t. It is not just a matter of duration. They are different emotional states for me. So it’d be interesting to learn that his is actually strange.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    It's easy for me to grasp a person not living for pleasure. It's harder for me to parse happiness as a state of mind feom some other form of satisfaction with ones life purpose or accomplishments.

    You're saying that a doctor who looks back on his/her life and appreciates the history of successes in saving lives or healing the injured, is going to somehow want that, be satisfied with that, find that positive, but would not be in a state that you would call happiness?
    I think this hits at the core of the misunderstanding. Happiness is indeed a vague term. But I believe that it is the word that modern hedonists use when talking about what they value, advising friends in need, seeking advice, planning life decisions, etc.
    Granted, modern hedonists will not call themselves hedonists. But what else would you call a philosophy of maximizing happiness? Especially if that philosophy remains unexamined?

    With respect to the philosophy of hedonism, could a doctor justify the years of medical school, the painful losses of patients, the rigors of a high stress job, for the momentary look back on the rather mild contentment in terms of mood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Usually very religious people take this view of the world, that even happiness is a false goal. I can see a person also investing time into contributing to the world, say as a teacher or inventor or something, without the desire to be compensated by wealth or fame. I think Tesla is possibly a good example of this, but he got royally screwed for it.
    Something being a “false” goal is a pretty deep subject. There are a great many things that, when pursued directly, becomes self-defeating, or detrimental to the person pursuing it. I think the pursuit of high mood can be one of them.

    I don’t know if I am very religious, but I think the very common notion that we all do (or should do) what makes us feel good is a notion that bears examination.

    I find it interesting that you bring up someone like Tesla. He is among the people who got alienated for wanting different things from his contemporaries.

    -----
    @Lark I think mental illness has entirely different reasons for manifestation…a combination of genetic factors and life experiences. Although we can move our mood set-point a bit, about half of the factors are hereditary. Coping strategies ultimately require finding the right mindset, of course, just like most chronic illnesses, no matter how biologically based they are.

    This does touch on the cluster of things I have been thinking about lately. I made a thread about it earlier.
    Mental Illness and Wisdom

    The connection to this topic, however, may be best characterized by how dismissive people can be of the points of view of the people who are not in a high mood, while simultaneously very receptive to the points of view of those in a high mood.

    Consider how many new age philosophies and religions make use of how often people smile as the basis for forming their belief systems.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  8. #48
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    @ygolo, I think the confusion is stemming from our conceptions of happiness. After completing something meaningful but challenging I feel a more stable happiness than the brief relief of a good joke, though both sources of positivity are finite. I guess the belief that feelings are fundamentally chemical underpins my stance on this, as well as the belief we gravitate toward states that release these chemicals (physical closeness, security--to decrease stress, pleasant physical conditions, closure, intellectual improvement, achievement of any kind, etc.).

  9. #49
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    How would you react to people who don't desire wealth, fame, or happiness*?
    I would just assume they had different preferences in life, and wouldn't care unless they wished to force their preferences onto me. I have little desire for fame myself, if only because I like my privacy, and I think that feeling 'happiness' all the time would ultimately be unfulfilling and unsatisfying (that's a classic disagreement within Utilitarian thought), though I could certainly do with more than I have now.

    I would love to have wealth, though, mostly so I wouldn't have to work again, but also because I would kind of like to build my own eccentric castles, one on the left side of the Cascade Mountains, the other in the Appalachians.

  10. #50
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I didn't say it, you did! I don't understand why you're arguing, we agree completely.
    Hmmm, yes? Happiness is not a feeling or a mood. I'm good with that.

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