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  1. #61
    resonance entropie'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*?

    Would you believe they were kidding themselves? Would you force them to admit they do desire wealth, fame, and happiness?

    If these people said they have passing desires for these things, but the desires subside quickly, would you feel alienated? Would you alienate them?

    *By happiness, I mean being in a good mood.
    sex and power aint too far off. You know that dear intp. live with it
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  2. #62
    is indra's Avatar
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    tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers
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  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    Oh my god that would be terrible if they designed drugs to keep you happy. People would have nothing left to live for, they would just live for these drugs. We need to realise that happiness is a means, not an end.
    Exactly. But I think @Opal may disagree.
    @entropie @sunyata , I am not sure I understood your posts.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  4. #64
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Exactly. But I think @Opal may disagree.
    @entropie @sunyata , I am not sure I understood your posts.
    I disagree that happiness is a means. Designer drugs, though, give an unsustainable comfort... I understand circumstances where their use is necessary, but widespread use eliminates the imperative to improve the world we live in, which makes their use more appealing and likely.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    I disagree that happiness is a means. Designer drugs, though, give an unsustainable comfort... I understand circumstances where their use is necessary, but widespread use eliminates the imperative to improve the world we live in, which makes their use more appealing and likely.
    But if happiness is the goal, why do we care about sustainability?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield
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  6. #66
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    But if happiness is the goal, why do we care about sustainability?
    For the sustainability of happiness. Happiness would need to be long lasting under utilitarianism.

    What I was thinking, was like people at the top keeping things running, living maybe for the power, and then the masses taking these comfort drugs. Sustainable happiness for the greatest number.

    I used to be a utilitarian. When I was younger I started to question what the point of anything was. Like, say you go on a journey to find some treasure, what exactly is the value of the treasure you find? And I decided soon after, that well, it's the happiness it brings. And happiness seemed to be universally valuable, and seemed to be the only thing valuable. Basically, goodness must be known through experience, and some experience must be in itself good, and this good experience is known as happiness.

    But, now I'm just not so sure. It seems to me now that happiness is itself illusory in its goodness, and is just a reinforcement mechanism. Our brain tells us to prefer happiness, so we decide to associate happiness with healthy behaviours.

    But then I have quite a conundrum, since I had previously convinced myself that happiness was good and could be the only good, for goodness must be found in experience, and good experience is happiness.

    So, how do I solve this? What is good if it's not happiness?

    I mentioned in the thread I made on the nature of the true good, that it must be better to believe in a true good. And I also mentioned, that the fundamental ideas we use to explain our world have some kind of parallel existence to our true nature.

    So maybe the fact that we think happiness is good, means it really is?
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  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    For the sustainability of happiness. Happiness would need to be long lasting under utilitarianism.

    What I was thinking, was like people at the top keeping things running, living maybe for the power, and then the masses taking these comfort drugs. Sustainable happiness for the greatest number.

    I used to be a utilitarian. When I was younger I started to question what the point of anything was. Like, say you go on a journey to find some treasure, what exactly is the value of the treasure you find? And I decided soon after, that well, it's the happiness it brings. And happiness seemed to be universally valuable, and seemed to be the only thing valuable. Basically, goodness must be known through experience, and some experience must be in itself good, and this good experience is known as happiness.

    But, now I'm just not so sure. It seems to me now that happiness is itself illusory in its goodness, and is just a reinforcement mechanism. Our brain tells us to prefer happiness, so we decide to associate happiness with healthy behaviours.

    But then I have quite a conundrum, since I had previously convinced myself that happiness was good and could be the only good, for goodness must be found in experience, and good experience is happiness.

    So, how do I solve this? What is good if it's not happiness?

    I mentioned in the thread I made on the nature of the true good, that it must be better to believe in a true good. And I also mentioned, that the fundamental ideas we use to explain our world have some kind of parallel existence to our true nature.

    So maybe the fact that we think happiness is good, means it really is?
    Well, if the idea is to maximize the percentage of time I feel good while I am alive, why should I care about anyone else's feeling good or even if I live very long?

    I think the calculus of utilitarianism implied here is rather ambiguous.

    We can take the percentage of time I feel good while alive, the amount of time I feel good while alive, the percentage of time anyone feels good, the amount of time everyone feels good, ... etc. Optimizing any one of these things is different from optimizing the others, nevertheless all four of the scenarios has a drug enhanced scenario that can be quite optimal.

    I should note (again) that there are many things that motivate people beyond feeling good...like finding meaning or purpose, and even achieving flow...these things may or not feel good for people.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #68
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard'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*?

    Would you believe they were kidding themselves? Would you force them to admit they do desire wealth, fame, and happiness?

    If these people said they have passing desires for these things, but the desires subside quickly, would you feel alienated? Would you alienate them?

    *By happiness, I mean being in a good mood.
    Ahhh, I'd just identify them as an INFP 4w5 sp-dominant.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  9. #69
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    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?

    Interesting point in the bold...someone once asked Hall-of-Fame baseball legend Reggie Jackson if he was happy.
    He thought for a bit, and then replied, "Well, I don't know if I'm happy. But I'm one d@mn GLAD son-of-a-bitch!"
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  10. #70
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Well, if the idea is to maximize the percentage of time I feel good while I am alive, why should I care about anyone else's feeling good or even if I live very long?

    I think the calculus of utilitarianism implied here is rather ambiguous.

    We can take the percentage of time I feel good while alive, the amount of time I feel good while alive, the percentage of time anyone feels good, the amount of time everyone feels good, ... etc. Optimizing any one of these things is different from optimizing the others, nevertheless all four of the scenarios has a drug enhanced scenario that can be quite optimal.

    I should note (again) that there are many things that motivate people beyond feeling good...like finding meaning or purpose, and even achieving flow...these things may or not feel good for people.
    I would say that utilitarianism is the amount of good-feeling minus the amount of bad-feeling, taken over as long a time frame as possible. Hedonism tends to have a more individualistic basis, I think. But utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number. And it's amount, not percentage. Feeling good for a thousand years and bad for a hundred years is better than feeling good for ten years and bad for one year.

    I guess it's arguable whether a sense of meaning/purpose feels good or not. If it is something that be experienced, then surely it is something that feels good? But if it is not something that is experienced, then this isn't a problem. And I agree then that a meaningful life would be good, but what constitutes meaning and why is it good?

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