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Happiness
Posted: 18 July 2008 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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What is your definition of the happy life?

[ Edited: 18 July 2008 04:33 AM by Shane]
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Posted: 18 July 2008 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Shane - 18 July 2008 07:49 AM

What is your definition of the happy life?

Having a personal relationship with Jesus, and loving my fellow man as He loved us?

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Posted: 18 July 2008 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Jefe - 18 July 2008 10:42 AM

Dharana

We’re gonna die someday, Jefe, and dharana thing we can do about it. The secret to a happy life is not letting that fact bum us out unreasonably. I think we’re doing fine. It’s these other mooks I’m worried about. But then, we can’t let them bum us out too much, either, or we won’t have a happy life. Or something like that.

[ Edited: 18 July 2008 06:48 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 18 July 2008 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Jefe - 18 July 2008 11:06 AM

Something about a damned fish?...

Not from what I’ve heard. What is essential is invisible to the eye. I think ol’ shane is asking us to guess what his definition of a happy life is. That is usually what such a question is about.

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Posted: 18 July 2008 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Shane - 18 July 2008 07:49 AM

What is your definition of the happy life?

Happiness:

To destroy my Christian enemies, see them driven before me and to hear the lamentation of their women.

And, of course, lots of snuggling and puppies.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 19 July 2008 01:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I think ol’ shane is asking us to guess what his definition of a happy life is. That is usually what such a question is about.

Seeing several of the Christians on this forum, I understand why you would be hesitant to give a real response.  However this is an honest question.  In order to prove that Christ brings true happiness, I would have to have a sufficient definition of happiness that is agreed upon by most, wouldn’t I?  Otherwise I would just be spouting off nonsense.  Without a measuring rod to justify my claim, it would be worthless.  Besides, this question has been debated by some great minds and it is indeed worthy of a real discussion, whether you think I am trying to set a trap or not. 

In an effort to prove that I want to view an honest discussion, I will give you my incomplete definition of happiness.  Have your way with it.  “Happiness is obtaining, keeping, and appreciating, those things which are inherently valuable.”
1. The items value can not be based upon its ability to be traded for more gain, such as money, but can be considered useful without it being spent.  Example:  Money is only valuable if you can buy something with it.  Therefore, money does not make you happy, but it can be a tool to acquire those things that make you happy. 
2.  The thing must have its own dignity. 
3.  It must bring dignity and honor to the possessor.
4.  It is valuable in that it is capable of revealing a perfect quality, either in itself or in others,
5. It can cause one to strive to become better himself.

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Posted: 19 July 2008 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Shane - 18 July 2008 07:49 AM

What is your definition of the happy life?

This question can only be answered linguistically with a tautology. My happiness does not equal your happiness. One does not have to believe in dogma to enjoy life. One can learn to enjoy each moment without waiting for a paradise that can only be experienced after death if one happens to pick the correct god and beliefs from the myriad available.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 19 July 2008 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Shane - 19 July 2008 05:23 AM

Besides, this question has been debated by some great minds and it is indeed worthy of a real discussion, whether you think I am trying to set a trap or not.

But if you are trying to set a trap, I think you should be suffocated over a period of several days in a space capsule orbiting the planet Mars with your oxygen supply running out and CO2 building up in your living environment.

Shane - 19 July 2008 05:23 AM

“Happiness is obtaining, keeping, and appreciating, those things which are inherently valuable.”
1. The items value can not be based upon its ability to be traded for more gain, such as money, but can be considered useful without it being spent.  Example:  Money is only valuable if you can buy something with it.  Therefore, money does not make you happy, but it can be a tool to acquire those things that make you happy. 
2.  The thing must have its own dignity. 
3.  It must bring dignity and honor to the possessor.
4.  It is valuable in that it is capable of revealing a perfect quality, either in itself or in others,
5. It can cause one to strive to become better himself.

Yes, I think you are trying to set a snare. No cyanide pill for you, pal.  I think you should be suffocated slowly in your own metabolic products.

The reason behind this is not that you appear to be a fundamentalist nutcase, but that you appear to be a moderate theist trying to rescue (for his own personal peace of mind) his untenable woo-woo from the modern scientific critique. Why can you not manage to do this in the privacy of your own room? Seeing the crusty hanky and the stained gym sock is not appealing to most people.

[ Edited: 19 July 2008 04:59 PM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 19 July 2008 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Jefe - 19 July 2008 04:02 PM

I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with Beam_Me_Up here.  Happiness is relative for every individual.
I can provide you a laundry-list of those items in my life that make me happy, but they may not be relevant or pertinent to you and your life.
Many of them are quite contextual to the reality of events and people in my life, so a generalized definition may touch a vague parallel to concepts that might describe aspects of my happiness in a general way, but my happiness is specific and measurable and quantifiable - if only by myself and for myself.

I see where you are going with this, but I have to disagree.  I find, upon reflection of the long list of things that make me happy, that in reality they are only connections to a few valuable things in my life.  For example, I have a long list of inside jokes that make me happy.  However, I am not happy because the joke is funny, but because it connects me to the Idea of Friendship, which is valuable in every way that I mentioned above, and in so many other ways.  Likewise, discovering new things makes me happy, but only so because it connects me to the chief part in man, ie. reason.  Reading your response makes me happy, but only because it connects me to the value of civil discussion.  As you see, the list may be long, but it can be brought down to a few, universal categories.  These categories are shared by all, can be measured by all, and are completely quantifiable.  At least this is the way I see it.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Shane - 18 July 2008 07:49 AM

What is your definition of the happy life?


Happiness is simply a state of mind resulting from contentment. One can make a decision to be happy and then fill in facts to support the objective. If one has sufficient food, shelter, reasonable health, clothing, and perhaps some mutual love, just what is there to foster any reasonable unhappiness? One is free to define their own criteria for happiness but it can be dangerous and destructive to confuse the means with the objective. Beware the ego.

I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet
- Damned if I Can Remember

Stay Well
Wot

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Posted: 20 July 2008 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Happiness is knowing when enough is enough.

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“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

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Posted: 24 July 2008 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Jefe - 20 July 2008 11:57 AM

I think your need to universalize these ‘traits’ dilutes them too much.
There are specifics that are not contained in a generalized (and thus sterilized) definition.

I may have overstated my case a little.  However, my main point still remains.  Those things which bring us happiness, do so because they connect to something, or are themselves, incredibly valuable.  While the connections are varied, and while the actual valuable items are numerous, their value is still determined by a few things.

It is not “connection to friendship” that makes me happy, but rather the specifics of that friendship - which are individual to me and my friend.

Like what?  Is it the love that you share for each other?  Is it the valuable time that you spent together?  Is it the trust that you have with him, so that you can share anything with him?

My “Friendship” with Salt Creek, or Beam_Me_Up via this internet forum bears very little resemblance to the “Friendship” i share with a life-long buddy from college who i spend face-to-face time with every week, yet the term remains pertinent to all of these relationships.

I could argue several different ways here.
1.  I could argue, based on the multifaceted nature of friendships, that friendship implies many different connections to few valuable traits, such as love and kindness.  Is it not the least bit possible that there is simply a stronger connection to love with your life long buddy than with Salt Creek?
2.  Could I not say that, in rating your friendships, you have proved that they are, themselves, quantifiably valuable?  I ask which relationship is more valuable to you?  Which would you least want to lose? From there all I would have to do is ask whether your relationship with your life long buddy is more fulfilling, and makes you happier, than your relationship with Salt Creek.  If you answer in the affirmative, then you have proven my thesis.

I have more ways that I could take this, but I think it is sufficient enough for you to respond to.  I have to say that it did take me awhile to think of an appropriate response.  Good logic, and I look forward to a new challenge.

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Posted: 24 July 2008 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Wotansson - 20 July 2008 10:18 AM

Happiness is simply a state of mind resulting from contentment.

I do believe that contentment is a part of being happy.  I included it in my definition by requiring that one enjoy those things that are valuable.  However, I do not believe that it constitutes all of what makes a person happy.  Here are two examples of happiness that does not come from contentment.  The first is the search for knowledge makes men happy.  Obviously a search for knowledge assumes that the person is not content with the knowledge, which he currently possess. Therefore an act of un-contentment makes men happy. 
The second things that make men happy comes from the spirit of competition, such as sports, and debate.  Competition assumes that the athlete is not content with doing nothing.  His competitiveness is the drive to become better.  He is by no means content.

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Posted: 24 July 2008 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Jefe - 24 July 2008 10:57 AM

I’m curious to see where you’d like to go with this generalized definition anyway.

It’s actually pretty easy to see what is going on with Shane, here. I wouldn’t insult the guy if he would just finish up with the foreplay and get on with the fucking.

Like all philosophy n00bs online, he’s just read Plato’s Republic, or something like that. Now he’s on a kick to build up the entirety of human civilization from scratch. After he gets done with “happiness”, he’ll move on to “justice”.

Shane - 20 July 2008 03:22 AM

However, I am not happy because the joke is funny, but because it connects me to the Idea of Friendship, which is valuable in every way that I mentioned above, and in so many other ways.  Likewise, discovering new things makes me happy, but only so because it connects me to the chief part in man, ie. reason.  Reading your response makes me happy, but only because it connects me to the value of civil discussion.

Yep. It’s looking better and better for ol’ Plato. My gratitude to philosophy geeks like Shane is unending, for they have saved me the bother of reading this stuff in the dry original. I get to see first-hand what starry-eyed idealists do with it. One thing for sure they do with it is to behave, being arrogant little turds, as if no one in the universe has ever seen these ideas before, or that they are conducting a Socratic dialogue, with them in the starring role.

At the end, he will claim to have proved the existence of God. We’ll see.

[ Edited: 24 July 2008 07:22 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 24 July 2008 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Salt Creek - 24 July 2008 11:07 AM

[quote
It’s actually pretty easy to see what is going on with Shane, here. I wouldn’t insult the guy if he would just finish up with the foreplay and get on with the fucking.

Like all philosophy n00bs online, he’s just read Plato’s Republic, or something like that. Now he’s on a kick to build up the entirety of human civilization from scratch. After he gets done with “happiness”, he’ll move on to “justice”.

Shane - 20 July 2008 03:22 AM

However, I am not happy because the joke is funny, but because it connects me to the Idea of Friendship, which is valuable in every way that I mentioned above, and in so many other ways.  Likewise, discovering new things makes me happy, but only so because it connects me to the chief part in man, ie. reason.  Reading your response makes me happy, but only because it connects me to the value of civil discussion.

Yep. It’s looking better and better for ol’ Plato. My gratitude to philosophy geeks like Shane is unending, for they have saved me the bother of reading this stuff in the dry original. I get to see first-hand what starry-eyed idealists do with it. One thing for sure they do with it is to behave, being arrogant little turds, as if no one in the universe has ever seen these ideas before, or that they are conducting a Socratic dialogue, with them in the starring role.

At the end, he will claim to have proved the existence of God. We’ll see.

Happiness is soiling the wall of Plato’s cave. Oh wait, we cannot see reality. We need some enlightened guru (who is so far removed from reality as to think that he has some exclusivity on it) to rule us numbnuts. Exponential woo-approaching infinty. I believe that even Plato’s most well known student called bullshit on that.

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Posted: 24 July 2008 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Shane - 18 July 2008 07:49 AM

What is your definition of the happy life?

The state of being that’s commonly called happiness is a result of a “correct” mixture of ingredients that result in chemical balance. I use quote marks above to hint at the fact that no one mixture can be seen as correct, but rather many concoctions are available for anyone to try out. Management of one’s self image as well as one’s life expectations are crucial to the mix, and productivity and social interaction count both as key ingredients and as resultant features of happiness.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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