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Thread: Happiness and morals

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Moiety's Avatar
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    Aug 2008

    Default Happiness and morals

    Okay so I was having a very nice last couple of weeks, and I've been in such a good mood for a long time. Optimistic. Then tonight, I watched American History X for the fourth time or so in my life. It instinctively brought up a mixed bag of old feelings and old questions.

    People close to me have told me I have difficulty relaxing and I should cut myself a break. They say I don't allow myself to be happy.

    After watching the movie I was reminded how I wanted to be a vigilante when I was a kid, or a teacher or lawyers or a much fucking hate and injustice in this world brings me down and makes it impossible for me to feel the right to be happy. It got me thinking about living in heaven.

    What if I could live in the safest (low crime rate), richest, most peaceful country? What if one could just hide from all the bad realities? I started thinking...."man, I shouldn't have watched that brought me down"..."maybe I should stop watching sad movies!". Theoretically I could forge the most ideal reality for me. Then I thought...would I really want my kids to grow up in country "Heaven" and not have to deal with anything bad in this world? Would if they had to leave the country one day? Would they be prepared for the world out there?

    What about other people? People are suffering out there, and I'm doing nothing to aid them!! I'm sitting here worried about this dispute I had with a friend, or what I'm gonna do for myself....what about others? Is it morally right to try and be happy without harming others but not ACTIVELY trying to make other people happy?

    Now, one obviously cannot obsess over little children in Sudan dying of hunger would go mad.....but do you ever think about this? Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

    (PS: Sorry if the post is incoherent. I was overall the place when I was thinking it up. I could have explained it a whole lot better too, but I'm lazy. It makes me happy being lazy you see? )

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane Array
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    May 2008


    The nicest thing about happy people is that they help people by just existing.

  3. #3
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    One sx/sp


    Being morally right is not boolean. Consider the amount of happiness you take away, and the amount you create. The more net-happiness you create, the better you are doing.

    That being said, knowing what gets the best results is not always easy, as indicated by those who give too much too fast, and crash, and then become useless and dependent for the rest of their lives. They did not necessarily do the best thing, though their convictions lead them to take that action initially.
    Go to sleep, iguana.

    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Smile The Mirror and the Bed

    They say you are happy if you can look yourself in the mirror and you can sleep at night.

    And they say a bad conscience will make us turn away from the mirror and keep us awake at night.

    But doing what we know is right in our deepest self requires moral courage. But every policeman, fireman and soldier has physical courage. And every mother will defend her children as a tigress defends her cubs. But moral courage is rare.

    So rare that many of us don't like what we see in the mirror and we toss and turn at night.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Sparrow's Avatar
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    May 2010


    Not everyone is able to help others because they are in need themselves and it doesn't mean those people aren't happy. Being happy can mean being thankful for family and having a roof over your head. Don't get yourself down for not saving the world . You sound so enfj lol .
    Fe | Ni | Se | Ti ... 3w4 ... Lawful Neutral ... Johari -Nohari

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    INFj None


    It's a hard world to live in. Often I think that I hate it here, but here I am and here I will remain for the unforeseeable future. And there are good things, too. Honestly, I know some pretty bad off people and they are usually the first people to help others, often as not to their own detriment in a purely material sense.

    For me, I lean towards what MP says, the most net good. But as a family person, I prioritize my family in a lot of ways. For example, I know when I get a good sale on jeans for my sons to wear to school, the jeans are probably being made in sweatshops in poor conditions, possibly by children. I don't like that. If our family was better off, I would try to buy ethically made clothes if they are available, but we have limited time and resources and as a mother, I have to look after my own young first. So if I find jeans for $8 a pair at JC Penney, I buy and am grateful to have them. Essentially both the children in the sweatshop and my own family are victims of the same machine and victims and victimizers of each one another.

    I try to do small things like buy fair trade tea, coffee, and (this is harder) chocolate. When my friends are in need and I can help, say with a ride to a job interview or paying for a GED test or some food from my cupboards or garden, I do. I like the idea of not participating in the big consumer machine, but I can only do so much. I keep a few chickens for eggs, both because it makes me feel a little more independent and I like knowing that the eggs my family eats are from chickens who get to scratch around in the grass and chase crickets.

    I don't watch the news. I read the headlines on yahoo, but the last few times I've watched the news, I've just sat there and cried. My crying didn't help anyone else and there wasn't really anything I could do to help, so I just don't put myself through that. I see enough suffering in every day life.

    You do the best you can. Sometimes the best you can is a choosing of lesser evils or less immediate evils. And you find happiness in the good and beauty that is out there, too. You have to let yourself see it and appreciate it when you do.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Phoenix_400's Avatar
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    Sep 2009


    Bah. A little bit of selfish-ness can be a good thing. I've seen too many that tried to help others so much that they never took care of themselves (something I was guilty of trying to help friends in my youth). You don't look after yourself enough and you burn yourself out. If you can't help yourself then you can't help anybody else.

    Look at it this way. To excel at anything you 1st have to master the basics. To build a home that's going to last, it has to sit on a solid foundation. What is the basic foundation of a society? The Individual. If you improve yourself and your way of living, it flows out into your community. The things that affect us affect the people closest to us, and what affects them affects those close to them. It spreads like a shockwave, ripples on a pond.

    Find what makes you happy. Share that happiness with others. Let them share that happiness with their others. Take care of yourself and give when you can to the causes you find worthy.

    Basically, be the change you want to see in the world.
    "People in glass houses shouldn't use Windex when living near bird sanctuaries."- myself

    "We are never alone my friend. We are constantly in the company of victories, losses, strengths and weaknesses. Make no mistake, life is war...and war is hell. Those who fight the hardest will suffer the most...but that's what you have to do: Fight. As long as you're feeling pain, then there's hope...because only the dead do not suffer." -RD Metcalf

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