Happiness

GrayDuckGrayDuck Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-05-08 Member: 16134Posts: 274
Happiness: Is it a feeling or a decision?

I have been pondering this for awhile and have my answer prepared. I will post my thoughts a bit later on.
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  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Members Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Posts: 537
    Happiness.....Is a Warm Gun.

    (beatles)
    In Soviet Russia, walls strafe you ...

    SoS 8:6-7 "...for Love is as strong as Death, it's Jealousy unyealding as the Grave!"

    BY THE PADDLES OF PONG WHAT DO MIDICLORIANS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?!
  • ShloomShloom Members Join Date: 2002-07-25 Member: 997Posts: 379
  • SnidelySnidely Members Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Posts: 3,893
    edited September 2004
    Eh? I hit the edit button and it made a new post, instead. :/
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  • SnidelySnidely Members Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Posts: 3,893
    It's a mood.
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  • Dirty_Harry_PotterDirty_Harry_Potter Members Join Date: 2002-11-21 Member: 9500Posts: 1,725
    Happiness is a feeling, but you can to some extent decide to be happy.
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  • GrayDuckGrayDuck Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-05-08 Member: 16134Posts: 274
    Well, I can see that this isn’t going exactly where I had hoped…. So I’ll give my thoughts a bit earlier than I had wanted to.

    I don’t know (hence the question). Growing up, I always wanted to live ‘happily ever after’, and now that I’m getting there (in age) I’m not sure what that means. Am I content? Are things in my life going okay? Yes. Does that mean I’m happy? I don’t know… I mean, everyone could always stand to be happier, right? So therein lays my question… do I make the decision to be happy, or do I keep pushing for this utopian feeling that may or may not be out there?

    I just feel like I'm to the point of 'this is it', most of my "major life changes" are over. I am content now, but if things remained as they are now for the rest of my life, would I continue to be content? Would I be able to tell myself that I was happy and believe it? Is there a change that I could make that would make me live with the happy ‘feeling’ forever after, or is that a myth.

    I would like happiness to be a feeling, but I fear that it is a decision.

    I put this in the discussions forum because I wanted to get intelligent insight into what you all felt, and possibly some reasons behind it.
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  • SnidelySnidely Members Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Posts: 3,893
    edited September 2004
    It's a bit like that Calvin and Hobbes strip. I don't have it to hand, but it goes something like this:

    "Here I am, happy and content. But not euphoric. Knowing this, I am no longer happy. Damn."

    :|
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  • HawkeyeHawkeye Members Join Date: 2002-10-31 Member: 1855Posts: 2,075 Advanced user
    edited September 2004
    Happiness is phantom we can't catch. When we are children, our happiness takes the form of candy for example. Later in our lives, for a lot of people anyway, it takes the form of money. I believe if you have what makes you happy, it no longer makes you happy as you thought it would.

    I mean, you can buy 10000s of bars of candy now, but why doesn't it make you as happy as you thought it would be when you were a child? It is because we all want to chase something we can't catch.

    The secret to happiness is to be happy with what you have. Then you are happy, and not chasing happiness.
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  • illuminexilluminex Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Posts: 784
    I'm happy, but unsatisfied.
  • MrRobotMrRobot Members Join Date: 2004-09-27 Member: 31961Posts: 33
    science wise our body releases the happy chemicals when we think we're doing something to aid our survival. Its our decision to choose what we think is best for us so i guess its a decision to be happy. I guess thats why differant people get happy from differant things. The again theres the basic things we all think is good. You know Food and Sex, i think thats very much hard cod'd for every animal tho with very few exceptions(some mental conditions will make people fear food and stuff).
  • illuminexilluminex Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Posts: 784
    I wouldn't bring science into the picture. Science is a flawed thing, and its ultimate goal is not to explore the world, but instead to classify and bind it to Science's will. It's a sad, impossible goal, but it seems to be relentlessly pursued. Humanity, just like nature, is beyond the scope of science, and therefore a human concept, such as happiness, cannot be explained or explored by Science. Sex is pleasurable, but there are many cases where sex is not linked to happiness. And it is just these cases that mystify Science to no end.

  • SkulkBaitSkulkBait Members Join Date: 2003-02-11 Member: 13423Posts: 2,543
    QUOTE (illuminex @ Sep 28 2004, 12:37 AM)
    I wouldn't bring science into the picture. Science is a flawed thing, and its ultimate goal is not to explore the world, but instead to classify and bind it to Science's will.

    Wrong. Sience certainly does a lot of classifying yes, but that is not its goal, that is mearly an aid to the understanding.


    QUOTE
    Humanity, just like nature, is beyond the scope of science, and therefore a human concept, such as happiness, cannot be explained or explored by Science.


    You know, just because YOU can't understand it doesn't mean it isn't understandable. I assure you that phsychologists and phsychiatrists nowadays are pretty good at explaining how the human mind works. Hell, they can even create the feeling of happiness in a subject simply by introducing the proper chemicals.


    QUOTE
    Sex is pleasurable, but there are many cases where sex is not linked to happiness. And it is just these cases that mystify Science to no end.


    No, they don't. They mistify simple folk like you and me who haven't studied psychology (at least, not much).
    1.04ever
  • BogglesteinskyBogglesteinsky Members Join Date: 2002-12-24 Member: 11488Posts: 4,078
    I think I agree with Hawkeye on this one (for once). The only way to be happy is to be content with what you have. If you chase happiness, you will never catch it.

    SkulkBait:

    Does the defninition of happiness being just chemicals deduct from its overall meaning? The one things everybody in the world is striving for can be fully fulfilled in a simple injection. Heck, why not get an IV drip of happiness, so you are constantly happy? Yes, that would make you feel happy, but would you actually be happy?
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  • kidakida Members Join Date: 2003-02-20 Member: 13778Posts: 1,458 Advanced user
    edited September 2004
    \o/
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • SkulkBaitSkulkBait Members Join Date: 2003-02-11 Member: 13423Posts: 2,543
    QUOTE (Z.X. Bogglesteinsky @ Sep 28 2004, 03:44 AM)
    SkulkBait:

    Does the defninition of happiness being just chemicals deduct from its overall meaning? The one things everybody in the world is striving for can be fully fulfilled in a simple injection. Heck, why not get an IV drip of happiness, so you are constantly happy? Yes, that would make you feel happy, but would you actually be happy?

    The chemicals thing was ONE sentance in my entire post. Its mearly a side note. The point being that we understand happiness in both its forms: as a chemical reaction in the brain and as an emotion produced by certain psychological factors.
    1.04ever
  • ThE_HeRoThE_HeRo Members Join Date: 2003-01-25 Member: 12723Posts: 1,599
    QUOTE (Snidely @ Sep 27 2004, 12:22 PM)
    It's a bit like that Calvin and Hobbes strip. I don't have it to hand, but it goes something like this:

    "Here I am, happy and content. But not euphoric. Knowing this, I am no longer happy. Damn."

    :|

    Bill Watterson was wise beyond his years.

    I'm going to have to agree with King and Tyrant Calvin and el presidente Hobbes with this one.
    -tex
  • BogglesteinskyBogglesteinsky Members Join Date: 2002-12-24 Member: 11488Posts: 4,078
    QUOTE (SkulkBait @ Sep 28 2004, 07:47 PM)
    QUOTE (Z.X. Bogglesteinsky @ Sep 28 2004, 03:44 AM)
    SkulkBait:

    Does the defninition of happiness being just chemicals deduct from its overall meaning? The one things everybody in the world is striving for can be fully fulfilled in a simple injection. Heck, why not get an IV drip of happiness, so you are constantly happy? Yes, that would make you feel happy, but would you actually be happy?

    The chemicals thing was ONE sentance in my entire post. Its mearly a side note. The point being that we understand happiness in both its forms: as a chemical reaction in the brain and as an emotion produced by certain psychological factors.

    I know it was one sentance. Side not or not, you put it there, and I wanted to know exactly what you felt about it. Evidently, since you wrote it, you agree with it.

    My question was a simple one. Would being connected to an IV drip of happiness chemicals be the same as being happy? Is feeling happy as the result of chemicals exactly the same thing as being happy as a result of goodness knows what? Can you simulate the "happiness" emotion perfectly by simply giving the patient a dose of thse chemicals? Would the patient be able to distinguish between the happiness caused by circumstances and the happiness on tap? According to your idea, the patient wouldn't be able to. DIf that's the case, then why the heck aren't we doing it already? All these depressed people can be cured perfectly, and never suffer again with regular injestions of Happy Juice! ™ Now, for once, money can buy happiness! Regular payments of a low monthly fee will guarantee you a fresh delivery of Happy Juice! ™ to your doorstep every morning, delivered by your oh-so-friendly Milkman!

    Ok, so I may have gone a leetle OTT, but I hope you get the point. There is absolutely no way happiness is "just" a release of chemicals
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  • john_sheujohn_sheu Members Join Date: 2004-02-26 Member: 26917Posts: 365
    Completely off-topic, but I have to get this to you somehow...

    Nem, your PM box is full.

    Thanks, delete this post afterwards if you deem it fit.
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  • illuminexilluminex Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Posts: 784
    QUOTE
    Wrong. Sience certainly does a lot of classifying yes, but that is not its goal, that is mearly an aid to the understanding.


    Science doesn't want to truly understand anything beyond what it can bind to its will. The whole past of science throughout the 20th century is nothing but proof of this. Try reading between the lines. That's what this forums all about wink-fix.gif.

    QUOTE
    You know, just because YOU can't understand it doesn't mean it isn't understandable. I assure you that phsychologists and phsychiatrists nowadays are pretty good at explaining how the human mind works. Hell, they can even create the feeling of happiness in a subject simply by introducing the proper chemicals.


    Not everything in the brain can be scientifically explained. Humans are more complex than science. If you bothered to even look at what scientists actually know about people, you'd recognize that science is just barely getting the simplest look inside what makes people work. We defy logic at all costs because we are humans with consciousness.

    QUOTE
    No, they don't. They mistify simple folk like you and me who haven't studied psychology (at least, not much).


    All psychologists have proven is that humans are some complex product of genetics and our life experience. Also, your statement makes the grave error of belittling yourself AND me. Come on man, stop thinking so little of yourself. Psychologists are just humans trying to study humans, and the ones that are using too much science are going about it the wrong way.

    Science cannot explain happiness, since happiness is a variable with an infinite amount of possibilities. Science asks the same questions you and I do, and gets far more confused about the possible answers. For you and I, happiness is a personal thing. For science, it is a cornucopia of possibilities, with no answers that fit perfectly.

  • ForlornForlorn Banned Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 2634Posts: 6,495
    QUOTE (GrayDuck @ Sep 27 2004, 09:13 AM)
    Happiness: Is it a feeling or a decision?


    It is a decision:

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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (illuminex @ Sep 28 2004, 09:28 PM)
    Science doesn't want to truly understand anything beyond what it can bind to its will. The whole past of science throughout the 20th century is nothing but proof of this. Try reading between the lines. That's what this forums all about wink-fix.gif.

    Not everything in the brain can be scientifically explained. Humans are more complex than science. If you bothered to even look at what scientists actually know about people, you'd recognize that science is just barely getting the simplest look inside what makes people work. We defy logic at all costs because we are humans with consciousness.

    Science cannot explain happiness, since happiness is a variable with an infinite amount of possibilities. Science asks the same questions you and I do, and gets far more confused about the possible answers. For you and I, happiness is a personal thing. For science, it is a cornucopia of possibilities, with no answers that fit perfectly.

    Those are some pretty bold statements. I take it then that you have studied both the history of science and neuroscience in tremendous depth to be able to make such strong statements about them. At what university do you teach?

  • illuminexilluminex Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-13 Member: 27317Posts: 784
    They're hardly bold. Whoo whoo, science knows that certain parts of the brain light up in deep concentration, or that certain hormones are released into the body when it's under pressure. That's great. But Happiness isn't a little pill. It's a state of being, something that science cannot, and will not, ever understand.

    Stop assuming that a college education is needed to make an informed decision about a subject. Education is possible without college. It's called "research on one's own time." I do suggest you try it.
  • camO_ocamO_o Members Join Date: 2004-04-19 Member: 28028Posts: 742
    edited September 2004
    You know there's something the f--- wrong with you when you find yourself happy all the time.

    Honestly, there's not much wrong with that statement. Happiness is a gift of emotion, it is not a state of being. It is a chemical response to positive emotional stimuli. Happiness may be described as a state of satisfaction with oneself. It is the means by which your brain rewards you for personal achievements, and it functions as a motivator and supplement to self determination. Happy people are usually more willing to make better use of their lives. While happiness is often the result of (not neccessarily well made) decisions, it is not a decision in itself.

    Happiness today can often be derived through less than natural means. Alcohol, pot, nicotine, heroine, etc. etc. are all means by which we substitute the happiness normally derived from human endeavour with that of artificial drugs. It makes me happy to have not fallen victim to any of these drugs, although I can't say the same for all of you.

    QUOTE
    Stop assuming that a college education is needed to make an informed decision about a subject. Education is possible without college. It's called "research on one's own time." I do suggest you try it.

    I enjoy how you managed to dodge the question while making a feeble attempt at establishing your own credibility. So what areas of science are you familiar with?
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  • UltimaGeckoUltimaGecko hates endnotes Members Join Date: 2003-05-14 Member: 16320Posts: 2,467
    QUOTE (Z.X. Bogglesteinsky @ Sep 28 2004, 06:01 PM)
    QUOTE (SkulkBait @ Sep 28 2004, 07:47 PM)
    QUOTE (Z.X. Bogglesteinsky @ Sep 28 2004, 03:44 AM)
    SkulkBait:

    Does the defninition of happiness being just chemicals deduct from its overall meaning? The one things everybody in the world is striving for can be fully fulfilled in a simple injection. Heck, why not get an IV drip of happiness, so you are constantly happy? Yes, that would make you feel happy, but would you actually be happy?

    The chemicals thing was ONE sentance in my entire post. Its mearly a side note. The point being that we understand happiness in both its forms: as a chemical reaction in the brain and as an emotion produced by certain psychological factors.

    I know it was one sentance. Side not or not, you put it there, and I wanted to know exactly what you felt about it. Evidently, since you wrote it, you agree with it.

    My question was a simple one. Would being connected to an IV drip of happiness chemicals be the same as being happy? Is feeling happy as the result of chemicals exactly the same thing as being happy as a result of goodness knows what? Can you simulate the "happiness" emotion perfectly by simply giving the patient a dose of thse chemicals? Would the patient be able to distinguish between the happiness caused by circumstances and the happiness on tap? According to your idea, the patient wouldn't be able to. DIf that's the case, then why the heck aren't we doing it already? All these depressed people can be cured perfectly, and never suffer again with regular injestions of Happy Juice! &#153; Now, for once, money can buy happiness! Regular payments of a low monthly fee will guarantee you a fresh delivery of Happy Juice! &#153; to your doorstep every morning, delivered by your oh-so-friendly Milkman!

    Ok, so I may have gone a leetle OTT, but I hope you get the point. There is absolutely no way happiness is "just" a release of chemicals

    If you're getting it artificially it's either a drug or a supplement (and in my mind: it's not valid).


    I don't even think happiness is just a chemical reaction too. It's the realization of what caused that reaction to happen. It's just simple euphoria if it's just feeling good.

    You can get euphoria from numerous sources (curse my mind, buy masturbation is the only example I can think of at the moment). You can be 'happy' in the sense that you're enjoying yourself, but you're not happy in the sense that "wow, I can think back on this as a good time" (well, I suppose you could...but that's a bit weird with this example).


    On the same end of the stick, you can't really be happy if you weren't sad before (more of a continuum than a "Now I'm happy, now I'm sad!" thing). I figure, it's kind of a useless question to ask: if you feel good, you feel good.

    [Although, realistically, it's more a feeling than a decision...I can't just say to myself, "Be happy, damn you!" and miraculously be happy. Though you do need to decide what makes you happy (when it happens or before).]
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  • kidakida Members Join Date: 2003-02-20 Member: 13778Posts: 1,458 Advanced user
    Totally true man. I could never be truly happy without knowing why I am happy or what it is that makes me happy. Just being happy without knowing why is just a feeling.
  • Fat_Man_Little_CoatFat_Man_Little_Coat Members Join Date: 2003-12-02 Member: 23857Posts: 197 Fully active user
    edited September 2004
    I don't think happiness is a decision. If it was, who would decide to be sad?

    Ultimately, its a temporary state, which is what gives it its high value and worth.
    As far as chasing your dreams of happiness and realizing they may not come to fruition, there's a term for that:

    disillusionment.

    Let me add: Happiness is relative, therefore to argue how to go about it is also inherently relative and subjective. Trying to answer it objectively may be the wrong way to approach it.
    Damn straight I'm a foul beast. Don't you forget it.
  • DuluozDuluoz Members Join Date: 2004-09-29 Member: 31986Posts: 8
    QUOTE (Fat Man/ Little Coat @ Sep 29 2004, 05:24 AM)
    I don't think happiness is a decision. If it was, who would decide to be sad?

    Morrissey.

    Mind is the Maker, for no reason at all, for all this creation, created to fall.
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (illuminex @ Sep 29 2004, 12:00 AM)
    They're hardly bold. Whoo whoo, science knows that certain parts of the brain light up in deep concentration, or that certain hormones are released into the body when it's under pressure. That's great. But Happiness isn't a little pill. It's a state of being, something that science cannot, and will not, ever understand.

    Stop assuming that a college education is needed to make an informed decision about a subject. Education is possible without college. It's called "research on one's own time." I do suggest you try it.

    Well you were talking about the "goals" of science as if you were intimately familiar with them.

    At any rate, the current state of a scientific field says very little about how thoroughly it will be developed, especially when you have such a cursory view of the current state of the art.
  • HawkeyeHawkeye Members Join Date: 2002-10-31 Member: 1855Posts: 2,075 Advanced user
    It has been proven that "happy" chemicals produce a happy warm fuzzy feeling when they are released into the brain. Which implies that if you had an IV drip of "Happy" drug, you *would* be happy all the time.

    However, is it feasible to believe that this is really the case? Would you really be happy as a vegetable? Seems inconceivable, but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. Drug addicts are classic examples of this. Drugs make them feel good, and make them forget about problems. It makes them happy! Thus some people would be happy taking a high dose of a "happy" drug that would not kill them but simply make them happy for the rest of their days.

    Though, while that is true, also what is true is that there are people who have tried drugs, they enjoy drugs, but they do not wish to take drugs. Why is that? It gives a pleasureable feeling no doubt, and I'm sure it makes them feel a heck of a lot better than they felt before. So why do they try to quit?

    Physiologically, our bodies are trained to *want* and *crave* anything that gives us a feeling of pleasure or happiness. If we do anything otherwise, it would only be because there is a presence of mind that is greater than ourselves driving our decisions. It is my theory that we have souls, and that this is the sole (no pun intended) thing keeping us from all making ourselves braindead in pleasure. Something is looking at ourselves from the 3rd person and giving us judgement greater than what our body or brain would ever tell us to do.

    Just my two cents. smile-fix.gif
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  • Mad_ivansMad_ivans Members Join Date: 2004-08-24 Member: 30849Posts: 114

    Happiness is the result of Hard Work (Madivans 29/09/04)
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    Denial is the second
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