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Old 03-01-2010, 12:50 AM #1
Laureate
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Happiness

It seems to me that my life is a series of goals with no intention on stopping. Ultimately accomplishing these goals does not make me happy: I don't want to spend my life chasing one goal after the next (graduating college, then getting a home, then a family, and then WHAT?! sit around and subside?!). So I ask you, oh Small Talk: Religion/Philosophy, what is the key to happiness?
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:53 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
It seems to me that my life is a series of goals with no intention on stopping. Ultimately accomplishing these goals does not make me happy: I don't want to spend my life chasing one goal after the next (graduating college, then getting a home, then a family, and then WHAT?! sit around and subside?!). So I ask you, oh Small Talk: Religion/Philosophy, what is the key to happiness?
Finding something you enjoy doing and doing it well?

And it does have an intention to stop, it's called death.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:18 AM #3
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So I ask you, oh Small Talk: Religion/Philosophy, what is the key to happiness?
Finding inner peace; security.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:28 AM #4
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Inner peace; security.
Inner peace, sure. Security = boring. Life's more fun on the edge.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:36 AM #5
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I think I'd be more happy in life if I worked a menial job than a office position or higher level management.

Not retail though, but like construction, landscaping, anything else that's not stuck in a cubicle or very high mental stress.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:23 AM #6
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don't store your treasures up, with moth and rust
where thieves break in and steal
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:28 AM #7
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Hope, you can't have happiness without hope. A man cannont live without hope, period.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:19 AM #8
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:22 AM #9
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A warm gun.
Yes, yes. Come to the darkside.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:20 AM #10
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ooooh i sense a nihilism discussion coming.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:26 AM #11
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I was sensing an Aristotle discussion. Nicomachean Ethics anyone?
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:51 AM #12
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I was sensing an Aristotle discussion. Nicomachean Ethics anyone?
That's exactly what I thought when I read the OP lol.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:50 PM #13
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Originally Posted by WorldStrike View Post
I was sensing an Aristotle discussion. Nicomachean Ethics anyone?
Exactly, Philosophy 101.

Read this for how Aristotle first addressed this problem:
http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:06 PM #14
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Completely subjective. Anything objective (as far as this discussion is concerned) is an illusion generated by correlated behavior. I really, really hate ethics. Unfortunately it's probably one of the more useful aspects of philosophy.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:13 PM #15
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Completely subjective. Anything objective (as far as this discussion is concerned) is an illusion generated by correlated behavior. I really, really hate ethics. Unfortunately it's probably one of the more useful aspects of philosophy.
Idk... you could trace motivation to the innate need to pass on our genes.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:20 PM #16
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Idk... you could trace motivation to the innate need to pass on our genes.

Sure, but that just gives a pretty empty "meaning" to things don't you think?

edit: I mean, yeah we probably should (generally) pass on our genes for the proliferation of our species as a whole. But that still doesn't necessarily have much to do with my personal happiness. This is an example of something that is very widespread (highly correlated), but that's all it is. It says nothing true or necessary on a per-individual basis.

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Old 03-01-2010, 06:59 PM #17
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I thought of the beatles song first, actually, but I felt old.

I think buddha had it right. You can't be happy as long as you desire something more. As long as I keep a check on my desires, I find myself to be pretty happy. In fact, a poll of people who know me would probably end up saying I'm the happiest, most content person they know.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:24 PM #18
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What if a person is content to be in a constant state of want? Let's say a person always wants more, but is comfortable with always wanting to improve themselves/gain more for themselves. Can we call them "happy" because they are content? Also, would "happiness" be directly proportional to one's amount of want? If so, it would mean that a person could be happy to a degree while still in a state of want, but a person who wants less would posses a higher degree of happiness.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:42 PM #19
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What if a person is content to be in a constant state of want? Let's say a person always wants more, but is comfortable with always wanting to improve themselves/gain more for themselves. Can we call them "happy" because they are content? Also, would "happiness" be directly proportional to one's amount of want? If so, it would mean that a person could be happy to a degree while still in a state of want, but a person who wants less would posses a higher degree of happiness.
of course we're in a constant state of want, we're human. The thing is, you don't allow the want to become a gauge of your happiness. I desire better things, better work, better knowledge, etc. But there is a level of contentment to be had in what we have as well, and as long as your focus is on happiness/thanksgiving for what you currently possess(be it materials, relationships, or even a shopping cart full or recyclables) instead of not having that which you desire, I believe you will be judged "happy". I think happiness is measured as a state of restless contentment. Just because you are content doesn't mean you can't desire more. It is the level to which you allow your desires to overshadow your "wealth" which is the gauge of your happiness.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:48 PM #20
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Originally Posted by hsilman View Post
I thought of the beatles song first, actually, but I felt old.
Don't worry, I did too and I'm in my twenties.

She's not a girl who misses much
Do do do do do do, oh yeah
She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand
Like a lizard on a window pane

The man in the crowd with the multicoloured mirrors
On his hobnail boots
Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy
Working overtime
A soap impression of his wife which he ate
And donated to the National Trust
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:06 PM #21
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Completely subjective. Anything objective (as far as this discussion is concerned) is an illusion generated by correlated behavior. I really, really hate ethics. Unfortunately it's probably one of the more useful aspects of philosophy.
Well, if the "key to happiness" differs from person to person, it just means it will be much harder to answer Laureate's question. I think rather than asking for his personal key to happiness, he wants a psuedo-platonic ideal of happiness, sort of a "do this and be happy forever" thing (No offense Laureate). I think the idea is: a large percentage of life is doing things you don't want or like in order to do things you want to. I have a menial job so I can go on vacation, I work so I can play. BUT this can happen faster if you have a job you enjoy doing, or are born rich. Of course, this is all useless if we don't have free will and just follow our wants, getting to them the shortest way possible.

Hope that helps...
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