i was listening to a debate between Sam Harris and a rabbi, and the rabbi remarked that people “of faith” were happier than nonbelievers. i immediately thought of the effect of the placebo, and Voltaire‘s Story of a Good Brahmin. it’s a very short story that you may be familiar with, arguing that a life of reason is preferable to a life of unquestioning “happiness.”
what is happiness? i’m a nonbeliever in gods, i neither follow nor practice any religion, and i know i’m going to die. if there’s anything after that, fine. if not, i’ll finally get a good millennium’‘s sleep. but i’m happy living a life of reason.
it seems to me that sheeple need—desperately need—answers; nontheists ask questions. we’re curious; they’re not. so there is more than one definition of happiness—mine happens to be based on living a life of reason and curiosity.
i recently saw a documentary on evangelical christians, and ted haggard said that his flock had more and better sex than nonbelievers. he had two young men with him, and they asserted that their wives climaxed every time and they had sex every day. statistically, what are the odds of that, unless they’re stepford wives. they reminded me of the “normal” citizens in Brave New World, digging their soma and happy as clams in an oil spill. lol.
what other versions of happiness can you think of? i’d appreciate any comments and feedback. what rocks your boat?
ps: i just won my 1000th game of FreeCell with no losses. i’m king of the world