Sunday, May 14, 2017

662: About Happiness...

In our quest  for the meaning of life we have made some progress. How do we make life worth living? Why are we here?
We have at least found two elements which can serve as partial answers. One is altruism: to care about the needs of others.
If we don’t like to live in hunger and pain, it is easy to imagine that others don’t like this too and that we can help them and believe in reciprocity.
A second element is related to those abstract concepts like country, family, society, democracy, freedom, which somehow transcend individual needs.
We can link our personal goals with those, like I can link my desire to be free to my country and participate in defending the freedom of my country.
But maybe you get the feeling that we are missing something in this picture. Apart from all those nice goals and so on, 
isn’t the ultimate goal of life to be happy, to live a happy life? Aren’t we all longing for happiness in our lives?
Happiness, feeling happy is very valuable to us, so somehow it has something to do with the goal of life, you might expect.
But we all know that it is pretty hard or even impossible to be 24 / 7/ 365 happy. We also know that life does not necessarily feel meaningless, when you feel unhappy.
Happiness is a confusing concept. We all are pursuing it, but can we tell exactly what we are after?
Schopenhauer said: : Happiness is the multiple repetition of pleasure”. Most other philosophers however
made a distinction between a temporary state of excitement and pleasure and happiness as a more lasting state.
To say “Here sleeps a happy child” sounds normal and meaningful, but to say “Here sleeps a child enjoying pleasure” is somewhat odd.
So, maybe happiness is some background state we are in, while pleasure is a transient experience in the foreground.
Aristotle (384–322 BC) thought that happiness was the ultimate goal of all human actions. Every act has a goal,
and this goals is something good in itself or it is leading to the next goal. Every series of acts must end in something that is desirable because of itself, as Aristotle said.
And he concluded, that happiness satisfies this description. Happiness is always chosen because of itself. Never for other reasons.
Take honor for instance , he says. It is reasonable to ask, why someone pursues honour.
He can do is because of his pride or because of the respect others will give him or because it opens doors for him.
Such a question makes little sense if it concerns happiness. We do not want to be happy in order that we can do anything else. Happiness is valuable in itself.
That  we  would want happiness because of itself, I can understand, but I am still far from understanding what happiness  actually is,    
although I dare say, that I feel happy……. :-)
Thank you for your attention…

The Discussion
[13:14] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:14] herman Bergson: .Happy now...? :-)
[13:14] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:14] CB Axel: meh
[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause everything works finally and is going in right direction, all have been good today
[13:15] herman Bergson: SO you feel happy Bejiita? :-)
[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): spring have arrived and on synday ill finally meet my dance rew again plus see a friend on Saturday
[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and have a beer after work tomorrow, so yes all is good here
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that make me really happy
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:16] herman Bergson: And yet....Can you pinpoint your happiness...define it..?
[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a beer in Sweden?
[13:16] herman Bergson: THAT is th e big party Beertje ^_^
[13:16] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I think Happiness is a state of mind a reaction to when our wants are met ?
[13:17] herman Bergson: Something like that indeed Fluffy
[13:17] herman Bergson: but what state of mind....
[13:18] herman Bergson: CB might say a highly endorphins induced state :-)
[13:18] CB Axel nods
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): starwars party after this yay, ust got even happier
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:18] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): Good question, would you get endophines enjoying good music?
[13:19] CB Axel: Probably
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): certainly
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think happiness is more than that
[13:19] herman Bergson: but some music don’t cause the production of endorphines...
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's pleasure that music gives me
[13:19] herman Bergson: at least by me :-)
[13:20] herman Bergson: Here we have  the same problem....
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I just eat chocolate gave me pleasure
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not happiness
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that is much more
[13:20] herman Bergson: endorphins is not synonymous with happiness....
[13:20] herman Bergson: it only correlates with my statement "I feel happy"
[13:22] herman Bergson: In the next lectures we'll try to get some more j hold on this concept of happiness
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] herman Bergson: so dont feel unhappy now about us not having all answers now :-)
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds like a good idea
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] herman Bergson: Maybe you could google on "happiness" :-))
[13:24] herman Bergson: Who knows what you'll find
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:24] herman Bergson: ANy questions or remarks left?
[13:24] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): whatever it is O.O I'd think it would be in the right-side of the brain.
[13:25] herman Bergson: ohh...what makes you think that Fluffy?
[13:25] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): the picture "THE MIND"  on the wall
[13:25] herman Bergson smiles
[13:26] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): says the right-side is nonverbal, analogic. etc
[13:26] herman Bergson: Thought so :-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: mavbe happiness is a concept and has different regions of the brain occupied ;)
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be
[13:26] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I know when things go right you get happy.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Are we our brain???
[13:27] CB Axel: Maybe happiness is when both sides of the brain are working together and not fighting each other. °͜°
[13:27] herman Bergson: We know that consciousness is generated by the brain.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: indeed CB :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: But again this question....
[13:28] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I think the brain is part of us, but we're not limited to our brain perse
[13:28] herman Bergson: when we have analysed really all details of the brain.....have we found consciousness then?
[13:29] herman Bergson: what is beyond that limit Fluffy?
[13:29] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): nope =]
[13:29] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): Our actions,
[13:29] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i think happy is the one who has reached his goal that makes him happy... everyone has different goals
[13:29] herman Bergson: You suggest free will here I suppose....
[13:29] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): hmm not really.
[13:30] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I mean the roles we play in other's lives.
[13:30] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): accomplishments.
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: experiences?
[13:30] herman Bergson: II just mention it because it is heavily debated by neuroscientists
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well interesting point.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: We are not our brain....we are our actions....
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: remember what mr Dennet said: one neuron = neuroscience - two neurons = psychology
[13:31] herman Bergson: comes close to Aristotle as well as Sartre I would say
[13:31] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): *stares at "the individual" poster*
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes  Fluffy....we have done more than 14 projects here now....
[13:32] herman Bergson: the pictures are related to them
[13:33] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I hope it's not against copyright to snapshot, sorry don't mean to get of track.
[13:33] herman Bergson: Take whatever you like form here....
[13:33] bergfrau Apfelbaum: the role we play ( in RL :-) is chosen by everyone himself. in any case, it should be so :-)
[13:33] herman Bergson: I myself steal whatever I can get hold of :-)))
[13:34] herman Bergson: DOnt you mean "the life we live" Bergie?
[13:35] herman Bergson: You can be forced into a role for instance....
[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yes sure i mean the RL :-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: like women are forced into a role by culture
[13:35] herman Bergson: feminists protest against that role and want a life to live
[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yes i just can talk from me, about my luck
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes some of us can.....
[13:37] herman Bergson: May be related to our individualism
[13:38] herman Bergson: We have to think about that......
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:39] herman Bergson: I was wondering if there is a relation between individualism and the chance to be(come) happy, live a happy life....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Like Bergie refers to herself...her individual situation...
[13:39] herman Bergson: We'll keep this in mind for next time
[13:39] bergfrau Apfelbaum: my big wish is happiness for all people without wars. Worldwide happiness. but then those who love the war would be sad :-)
[13:40] herman Bergson: That is a paradox indeed  Bergie...!
[13:40] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): I think equal happiness is possible only by denying freedom
[13:40] herman Bergson: We should keep that one in mind too for next lectures
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:41] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): or more specifically unifying the common purposes that lead to everyone's serenity
[13:41] herman Bergson: What do you say there....Fluffy?
[13:41] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): the reason why everyone can't be happy in the world
[13:41] herman Bergson: denying freedom?
[13:41] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): is because everyone defines happiness differently. and wants different things
[13:42] herman Bergson: That is an issue for  a next lecture indeed
[13:42] bergfrau Apfelbaum: happiness is individual ... the murderer, the child, the musician, everyone is happy with his goal
[13:42] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): therefore it's not possible for everyone to be happy. because that's the same is granting everyone all their wishes ?
[13:42] herman Bergson: is there a happiness relativism or not? :-)
[13:43] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): hmm, can you rephrase Mr. Bergson?
[13:43] Fluffy αкяïкợ (dinoraptor101): is happiness relative?
[13:43] herman Bergson: no....relativism means that there is no absolute standard
[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yes i think so
[13:44] herman Bergson: so...everyone his or her own happiness....regardless of....
[13:44] herman Bergson: but that leads to Bergie’s paradox
[13:44] herman Bergson: which we'll have to deal with
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm this seem not as easy as first thought indeed
[13:45] herman Bergson smiles
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because what makes one happy might not make another or?
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depends on i guess
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but some things must be able to make almost all  happy
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes we go again , isn’t it :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well...let everyone brain come to rest for a short while..
[13:46] herman Bergson: and I'll be happy to see you next Tuesday again :-))
[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation :-)
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ....
[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): look forward to that
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and Class
[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: be happy :-)
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: have a great time all

[13:47] CB Axel: Goodbye, everyone. See you Tuesday.

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