Sunday, May 14, 2017

663: Still looking for happiness...

In the previous lecture we saw an  example of an objective conception of happiness as formulated by Aristotle’s. 
According to Aristotle (384–322 BC), eudaimonia (happiness)  consists in the excellent functioning of the soul, thus the exercise of virtue. 
While Aristotle allowed, as does common sense, that a person’s happiness could also be affected by external goods and circumstances, 
the stronger view that virtue is not only necessary for happiness but also sufficient was affirmed by the Stoics. 
Both views, however, have seemed counterintuitive to many. If virtue is necessary for happiness, 
how is it possible, as it seems to be, for vicious people to be happy? And if virtue is sufficient, 
then would we not be compelled to call the virtuous happy even if they are consumed by torment and suffering? 
Epicurus (341–270 BC), the most famous advocate of happiness as a goal of life, was not the great pleasure seeker people usually thinks he was.
For the Epicurists was looking for happiness a serious matter, and they thought that the best way 
to achieve it was a sober and rather ascetic way of life according to our standard of a good life.
The epicurean happiness is the calm satisfaction and freedom of disturbing influences and not primarily enjoyment.    
Like Aristotle the Epicureans regard happiness as a kind of objective state. However, this objective approach, ends up in a paradox, 
because there exist vicious people who don’t care about any virtue at all and say that they are happy.
This objective concept of happiness was adopted and adapted by Christianity and happiness wasn’t a philosophical topic for centuries.
Happiness as the goal in life simply meant arriving in Heaven after a ious life on earth. 
When the dominance of Christianity dwindled, beginning during the Enlightenment,  the search for happiness found its master in John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873).
Mill believed that happiness  or pleasure, which he equated with happiness, was the only thing humans do and should desire for its own sake. 
Since happiness is the only intrinsic good, and since more happiness is preferable to less, the goal of the ethical life is to maximize happiness. 
This is what  Mill call "the principle of utility" or "the greatest-happiness principle." 
Mill offers his famous quasi-proof of the greatest-happiness principle. The core of his argument is this:
1 - Everyone desires happiness.
2 - The only proof that something is desirable is that people do actually desire it.
3 - So, each person's happiness is a good to that person.  
4 - Therefore, the general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons.
There is one difficulty here. This argument relies on a dubious assumption about how individual happiness is related to the general happiness.
Maybe you remember the problem we had with these abstract terms like family,  country and so on.
We’ll save that for another lecture. Now we are left with the question: Was Mill right - Can you equalise happiness with pleasure?
Thank you for your attention again :-)

The Discussion
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess I could but also guess there is much more to it then equlizing
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i Like Mills idea there the only thing i can find is there are some things making some happy that don’t make others happy
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then there are things that i guess everyone could get happy of
[13:20] herman Bergson: The problem is how to deal with happiness as a concept....
[13:20] CB Axel: I heard a quote once, and I can't remember it exactly or who said it, about how people look for happiness when they should settle for contentment.
[13:20] herman Bergson: is it some objective thing or is it a subjective state
[13:20] CB Axel: Or something like that.
[13:21] CB Axel: I've given up on happiness and will settle for contentment.
[13:21] herman Bergson: WHich refutes Epicurus idea of happiness CB
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is happiness?
[13:22] herman Bergson: Contentment will make you feel happy, CB :-)
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is it pleasure?
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or much more?
[13:22] herman Bergson: IN the short term happiness is a mental stae....
[13:22] herman Bergson: state....
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): pleasure vs happiness whats the difference
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its almost 2 words for the same thing
[13:22] herman Bergson: in the long term happiness refers to a good life you live
[13:23] CB Axel: Not really. To me contentment is being satisfied with what I have even if I'm not overjoyed with happiness.
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when you are happy you feel pleasyer and feeling pleasyre make you happy
[13:23] CB Axel: It's lack of unhappiness.
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and i cant type cause have coded too much again
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:23] herman Bergson: Here you see the two meanings of happiness mixed up CB...
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): working on my games as usual
[13:24] herman Bergson: the short term feeling vs the long term condition of life, you live
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that goes well and that also make me happy
[13:24] CB Axel: So happiness is short term and contentment is long term?
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:25] herman Bergson: the philosophers balance between these two interpretations....
[13:25] herman Bergson: it means that happiness isnt ONE thing but this combination
[13:25] CB Axel: But can you have contentment without happiness?
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess you could say that cause happiness is definitley more then one thing it seems
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like that pleasure happy combo, if these are 2 separate things they always come together id say
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): never separate
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or?
[13:27] herman Bergson: Contentment....thinking about your life and seeing how content you are with the overall result induces a good feeling....which I'd call a happy feeling
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): can you be happy without pleasure
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[13:27] herman Bergson: Happy without pleasure???
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also come together those 2
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes i don’t think that is possible
[13:28] herman Bergson: If you take happiness as a kind of container concept, I'd say pleasure is a part of it...
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so are they the same things or 2 different things always combined?
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa id say that could be one definition
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): happiness wold then contain both pleasure and contentment
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that seems a logical definition id say
[13:30] herman Bergson: SO happinesss makes life worth living  :-)
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): id say that
[13:31] herman Bergson: As a desirable thing in itself it certainly is part of the meaning of life then
[13:32] herman Bergson: Happiness is a central concept in ethics....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if we take the children concept used in many of my game engines and programming in general it would look like: Contentment and pleasure are both childern to happiness and happiness in turn among some other things are children to meaning of like
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): life
[13:33] herman Bergson: Still the Aristotelian idea that a morally good life is a happy life
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that is on top of it all
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or is it?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is there something more above that that meaning of life is child to
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): our body maybe
[13:35] herman Bergson: you regard happiness as a Class Bejiita?
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess, but the concept is solid in general and easy to visualize
[13:36] herman Bergson: Classes look like container concepts
[13:37] herman Bergson: Wittgenstein dealt with this issue....
[13:37] herman Bergson: Take the term "GAME"
[13:38] herman Bergson: there are a lot of games but you cant find an overall and universal feature that makes an individual game a member of the family "GAME"
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): one thing with parent children concepts however is that a parent will affect all children below but if that parent in turn is child to something above it will not affect this parent
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in Unity for ex if i put a camera as children to my main character the camera will always move with the character but the camera will in turn not move the character but be moveable by itself if grabbed in the editor
[13:39] herman Bergson: THis is becoming to esotetic Bejiita :-)
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also telling the camera in script to move wil not move the main character
[13:39] herman Bergson: esoteric :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but is this concept true for the meaning of life parent child concept
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i don’t think so, i think that no matter where in the chain they will al affect each other
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): pleasure, contentment happiness ect
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its more like a chain, if one link breaks everything is affected in negative way
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all have to be there
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to be complet
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): complete
[13:41] herman Bergson: ok :-)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and for the meaning of life to be at 100%
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its tricky to try describe it in this way but the best way i can try visualize my ideas
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): since im familiar with these concepts
[13:43] herman Bergson: ANd the question was is happiness equal to pleasure....
[13:43] herman Bergson: That was MIll's problem....
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what i can say for sure is that this is indeed more complex then it first seem because we dont think normally of happiness like this, instead we think, i have fun , im happy, tomorrow il go out have a beer ( i will actually do that) - Im happy and so on
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think pleasure is for a short time, happiness last longer
[13:44] herman Bergson: Take the proud martyr...totally happy standing on his stake while the fire starts....
[13:45] herman Bergson: He may be happy but you can harly say he experiences pleasure there
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa there we have happiness without pleasure i guess
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but that case is rare
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes indeed
[13:46] CB Axel: Is the martyr truly happy or just smug?
[13:46] herman Bergson: one case is enough to proof that happiness and pleasure are different states of mind or conditions of life
[13:46] herman Bergson: Take these religious groups and their collective suicides.....
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can one feel pleasure and be unhappy in the same time?
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they are brainwashed
[13:47] herman Bergson: They died happily
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they think they teleport to paradise
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:48] herman Bergson: But when you say you are happy, Bejiita, arent YOU brainwashed parhaps?
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i can only refer to my own personality mostly
[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i have to go ... thank you hermand & class <3 p="">
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): goodnight bergie
[13:48] herman Bergson: Brainwashed by commercials and the like?
[13:48] CB Axel: Bye, Bergie.
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how I am and think as a person
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok Beertje
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): goodnight
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i also see through commercials unless it is something i really need
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but can agree coca cola is tasty but i also know its not healthy at all
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i can see through stuff
[13:50] herman Bergson: This can become an endless discourse ...:-)
[13:50] herman Bergson: So let's save some gunpowder for a next time :-)
[13:51] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe true and time is running away
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but been nice as usual
[13:51] herman Bergson: Tahnk you all for your participation :-)
[13:51] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now im gonna continue a bit on my Myst project
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:51] CB Axel: Bye, everyone. See you Thursday.

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