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The Science of Happiness

Posted Dec. 28, 2013 by Fallensoul in Open

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commented on July 28, 2014
by dustproduction

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvfauh-XZiQ

Great video, great points. Share your thoughts.

  • 50 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 28, 2014

    "The Science of Happiness" is "Positive Psychology."
    I'm confused about how some can argue both sides to this issue.

    "It all comes down to our intentions in what we do with knowledge that should never be manipulated to suite our own idealisms especially in the west, we have distorted the known truth to make up a delusional realities like materialism which is based on consumerism, obviously the next delusional reality we westerners are concocting is based on positive thinking by ignoring all negative events & actions & to see them all in a positive way no matter how destructively negative they have been. We westerners must be awfully mad or stupid or something!"

    "There is an anxiety, as you can see, right here in the heart of American positive thinking. If the generic “positive thought” is correct and things are really getting better, if the arc of the universe tends toward happiness and abundance, then why bother with the mental effort of positive thinking? Obviously, because we do not fully believe that things will get better on their own. The practice of positive thinking is an effort to pump up this belief in the face of much contradictory evidence. Those who set themselves up as instructors in the discipline of positive thinking— coaches, preachers, and gurus of various sorts—have described this effort with terms like “self-hypnosis,” “mind control,” and “thought control.” In other words, it requires deliberate self-deception, including a constant effort to repress or block out unpleasant possibilities and “negative” thoughts. The truly self-confident, or those who have in some way made their peace with the world and their destiny within it, do not need to expend effort censoring or otherwise controlling their thoughts. Positive thinking may be a quintessentially American activity, associated in our minds with both individual and national success, but it is driven by a terrible insecurity."

    http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsidedexcerpt.htm

  • Silverghost Jul 27, 2014

    "His focus is not on what’s gone wrong, but instead on what makes people happy and why."

    I thought that is what I wrote about when I mentioned how spirituality has helped me cope better with my injuries....hmmmm, it is obvious I didn't go off topic at all.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 27, 2014

    The Science of Happiness

    Those that dwell on the negative are missing the point of this discuss:

    "Dr. Luskin teaches a variety of classes on happiness at Stanford. He's part of a movement that looked at psychology in the mid-1990's and saw science based on what's wrong with people: misery, anger, frustration, and depression. His focus is not on what’s gone wrong, but instead on what makes people happy and why. He describes the neurobiology behind mood states and offers simple strategies for finding the good, becoming more peaceful, improving relationships and appreciating yourself.

    Fred Luskin, PhD ’99, is director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects and a senior consultant in wellness and health promotion services at Vaden Health Center. His best known work combines lecture with a hands-on approach to the ancient tradition of forgiveness. Professor Luskin has engaged in international work with victims and survivors of violence in Northern Island conflicts, Ground Zero, and Sierra Leone, yielding significant results in forgiveness, stress reduction and enhanced states of well-being. At Stanford, he teaches positive psychology and emotional intelligence classes."

  • Silverghost Jul 27, 2014

    G'day Fallensoul

    Do you think contentment has everything to do with happiness, spirituality taught me contentment which taught me to cope a lot better with my injuries, I was happier because I was more content even when in chronic pain. I suppose some people are unable to see the connection but do you see the connection?

    I wonder how many people have gone right off topic to call people names and make insinuating personal remarks about others but I suppose that is allowed, for them only of course!! I love the double standards.......I wonder how we can change and monitor this better which is far more important to do than changing the rules when someone slightly goes off topic.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 27, 2014

    Who besides me addressed the Luskin talk?
    Who has listened to it?

    Is this another example of where commenters assume they are allow to free associate about something close to the topic of discussion?
    If it is how do we change this?

  • Silverghost Jul 27, 2014

    First of all I’m sorry for using myself as example as it does upset some people when I do this for various reasons.

    By the time I was six yrs old I incurred a chronic injury which of course gives one chronic pain, this chronic injury was never alleviated. Could you imagine someone completing a trade in carpentry/joinery with a fully dislocated elbow as well as other injuries without pain killers? I actually performed work tasks that fully able people wouldn’t do because the work was too hard like turf laying for example.

    Actually my shoulder is worse than my elbow but it’s not actually dislocated and no my dislocated elbow was never put back into place. About ten yrs ago I had the ulna head cut off and some nerve damage repaired but that is all.

    Life conditioning helped with my tolerance, it is amazing how the mind quite automatically adapts to certain conditions however by far this wasn’t the only thing that helped me cope and perform. I would not have done what I did without being spiritual in some sense; this gave me the strength to fight the pain and the ability to work around my disability without many people knowing about my chronic injury including my bosses.

    The point is, spirituality also gave me contentment in nearly every circumstance I found myself in. The main reason for this is when your desires aren’t fulfilled you don’t get depressed or angary, well most of the times.

    Certain types of people will continually bash spirituality but they obviously have no idea in what they are talking about, I’m living proof in how spirituality actually works at the physical level, it’s fact not just science speculations and theory.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 27, 2014

    "In psychology, the tendency is toward “setpoint theory” (refs. 5–8; see ref. 9 for a good overview). Each individual is thought to have a setpoint of happiness given by genetics and personality. Life events, such as marriage, loss of a job, and serious injury or disease, may deflect a person above or below this setpoint, but in time hedonic adaptation will return an individual to the initial level. One setpoint theory writer states flatly that objective life circumstances have a negligible role to play in a theory of happiness (ref. 10, p. 18).

    If the goal of public action is to improve well-being, this theory implies that economic and social policy is futile. Any measure taken to improve economic or social conditions can have only a transient effect on well-being, because each individual will in time revert to his or her given setpoint of happiness (see ref. 11, p. 227). Moreover, if setpoint theory is correct, not only is public policy likely to be ineffective, but there is little an individual can do to improve his or her well-being, except, perhaps, consult a psychologist."

    http://www.pnas.org/content/100/19/11176.full

  • Silverghost Jul 26, 2014

    G'day Ros, Fallensoul

    What is happiness to you?

    To me it's contentment in whatever I am doing either it be of science or spirituality, thinking or in thoughtlessness, whenever I am content I'm happy. Does contentment really mean happiness for everyone or anyone?

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/both-sides-the-couch/201311/happiness-and-contentment-what-is-the-difference

    Extract: The definitions from the online Merriam Webster dictionary use happiness and contentment interchangeably, but I don’t believe that they are the same concept. I would call myself content, but not happy. I'm content because I'm in a very different place than I was twenty, ten and even five years ago. I have two jobs (one as a social worker and one as a writer) and I am passionate about both of them. I have a small, but close circle of family and friends that care for me deeply, and I for them. I have both emotional and physical health.

    I’m into psychology, (analysing not therapy), but I don’t think this is quite correct for the main reason most people need their desires to be fulfilled to become happy where’s other people quite deep into spirituality don’t. I have desires myself but it matters not if they are fulfilled, my happiness doesn’t rely on my desires but my contentment in any circumstance I am in. I’m not always happy because I am not always content, to be contentment is happiness for me, I can’t be happy without being content.

    It’s a bugger psychology (science) isn’t always correct and in this case quite incorrect as it doesn’t allow for people who are into spirituality. Psychology or any of the sciences only using deductive reasoning to evaluate just doesn’t work in all cases.

  • NoetPoet Jul 24, 2014

    @dustproduction
    “Do people actually believe that discussions are without a context?”

    It very much seems that way!

    “Do you observe that some lack at objective viewpoint of themselves and others, to the point that they believe a discussion takes place on a level field, meaning the opinions are equal to evidence?”

    Yes unfortunately – and not only opinions, but hallucinations, straw-man generalisations and “hypothetical questions” as well.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 24, 2014

    @ Noet Poet

    Do people actually believe that discussions are without a context?
    I ask this because some seem to think that they do no engage in what they decry as "name-calling," but employ terms such as "bullies."

    Do you observe that some lack at objective viewpoint of themselves and others, to the point that they believe a discussion takes place on a level field, meaning the opinions are equal to evidence?

  • NoetPoet Jul 24, 2014

    @ROS

    “Ignore the bullies! They are relentlessly feeding themselves and their egos at the expense of EVERYONE who attempts to participate on these boards.”

    Once again: holding you to account for your fantastical claims is not “bullying”. Offering a perspective which doesn’t flatter YOUR ego is not “bullying”. Appealing to science to understand unusual phenomena on a SCIENCE DISCUSSION BOARD is not “bullying”.

    “Open-minded, balanced, legitimate "scientists" would be unthreatened and naturally curious and welcoming of all contributors who present themselves unabusively and responsibly here.”

    Yes they would – including and especially those who offered intelligent criticisms of their ideas.

    “Reasonable, balanced lurkers and attempting participants can see the bullies for what they are!”

    I don’t know if you missed the memo when you were 5 years old, but here it is just in case you did: just because you can imagine it to be true doesn’t mean that it is true!

    “Don't afford bullies any kind of status as "authorities" you have to answer to!”

    No one around here has any “authority”, except perhaps the authority of logic and evidence they use to support their claims. Stop being so thin-skinned!

    “Hard core conventional minds refusing to grow and evolve beyond themselves need to be left to their own consequences. They are only holding everyone else back! Completely ignore them and address yourself to all the many lurkers who would love to participate, were it not for those selfish board bullies pushing them away!”

    Replace “conventional” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, as I’ve never seen you define it) with “delusional” and that comment would apply perfectly to you.

  • Silverghost Jul 24, 2014

    Sorry all, I put my last reply in the wrong section.

  • Silverghost Jul 24, 2014

    G'day Ros

    I wouldn't call them trolls but they certainly have troll tendencies as they seem to want to cause trouble rather than avoid it.

    You and I don't always agree but we leave it at that, we will discuss our differences in opinions but we don't take it personal and start calling each other cowards or spammers for example. I think certain people's unbecoming behaviour has a lot to do with dogmatism within a person’s ideological principles, to me extremist mentalities just don't belong in the sciences.

    I do understand the passion of science and of science being the be and end all however to me this is exactly what happened in the Dark Ages, the church people became too passionate within their ideological principles thus in turn disregarding any other ideological principle, the result of course was eventual chaos and mayhem. You can see this in the discussions here at times, my ideological principles and attached logics and reasoning is the be and end all.

    My views are certainty not the be and end all and need scrutiny but in a civil way, it would seem you can't scrutinise certain other people's views without them taking it personally, I really do think these people think their views are the be and end all, they certainly act accordingly.

    I think science in general needs to be psychologically looked at seriously to avoid or cease these God like tendencies; we certainly don’t need to go there again.

  • Silverghost Jul 24, 2014

    Yes I know you are right Ros, by reacting to such unbecoming behaviour I'm only enforcing such behaviour, I certainly don't want to be enticed into such behaviour again.

    I do think however, unbecoming behaviour should be pointed out like a obvious dishonest misleading statement for example, this pointing of dishonesty was directed at a statement not the actual person making such statements.

    Why don't these bullies just leave people like me alone, they know it's going to cause trouble on the board but they still do it? If they can't handle their own ideological principles being questioned, they shouldn't bash other peoples principles especially on other people's threads.

    Are my own threads misleading (dishonest)? To some people they would seem this way and I accept that but I don't try and go around making it a personal issue, I will state why I don't think they are misleading (dishonest) that is where it stops but not everyone is like this. On intellectual sites like this one, I think people should be a little more aware of their own behaviour before others!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 24, 2014

    @ Ros
    As you can see, I directed my comment to another here, I have also stated that
    I have no interest in engaging with sme individuals that comment here because I find them to be troublesome.

    Everyone is welcome to participate.
    Pointing out the behavior and history of others is not against the rules nor is it bullying.

    But you see where this is headed.

    Personally if someone here makes a claim that I have made "indecent remarks." in my comment yet there is no evidence I refuse to engage with such individuals, especially where there is previous history,.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Jul 24, 2014

    Ignore the bullies! They are relentlessly feeding themselves and their egos at the expense of EVERYONE who attempts to participate on these boards. Open-minded, balanced, legitimate "scientists" would be unthreatened and naturally curious and welcoming of all contributors who present themselves unabusively and responsibly here.

    Reasonable, balanced lurkers and attempting participants can see the bullies for what they are!

    Don't afford bullies any kind of status as "authorities" you have to answer to! No matter what you say, they will persist in invalidating you to maintain their perceived ego status in this little niche they have carved for themselves. Hard core conventional minds refusing to grow and evolve beyond themselves need to be left to their own consequences. They are only holding everyone else back! Completely ignore them and address yourself to all the many lurkers who would love to participate, were it not for those selfish board bullies pushing them away!

  • Silverghost Jul 24, 2014

    Sadly enough nothing has changed, certain people are still trying to obviously cause trouble on this discussion board by making it personal, this is a very good indication of that.

    So when someone disagrees with someone else's ideological principles, it's OK to make it personal and cause unnecessary trouble. It is very obvious what certain people are trying to do here. I wish people on this board would stop personalising the discussions.

    I would call the following remarks and name calling a personal attack on my character not my principles.

    You are talking out of your rear end (as usual).
    Here it is for again for the technologically impaired:
    Yes I thought you'd be a coward
    Simply more spamming.
    So in other words you are just spouting unsubstantiated BS (again).
    Or maybe you know that any "evidence" you put forward for your BS will be shot down in flames.
    hypothetical questions do not qualify as evidence of anything except your own warped thinking and fantasies.
    Stop hiding behind excuses like a coward and just post your "evidence" already.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 23, 2014

    @ Noetic Poet

    What's changed?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day NoetPoet

    RE:"Your continued evasion of the first question clearly shows that you can't provide the names of any such scientists because your claim is an outright lie.'

    This has done it my friend, calling people liars outright after being warned from such actions by IONS staff is beyond words.

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    I asked you to provide names of scientists (including psychologists) who say happiness doesn't exist. I have also asked you to provide a clear definition of happiness. You are obviously avoiding both questions, despite the fact that they are on-topic.

    Your continued evasion of the first question clearly shows that you can't provide the names of any such scientists because your claim is an outright lie.

    Your continued evasion of the second question shows that you have no desire to stay on topic, and thus no respect for what IONS is and does.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day NoetPoet

    I'm about to complain to IONS about your behaviour as well, your way too aggressive & uncivil, just reread what is stated here & tell me it's not aggressive & uncivil!!!

    Philosophy can help one to understand more complex thought as opposed to just rememorising info from books, memorising info from books is but only relying on others to think for us. This will help with what one can't understand from others who think more in complex thought.

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    "The people in them days used deductive reasoning to formulate that happiness does exist & what does science use today? Inductive reasoning to formulate a scientific method firstly & deductive reasoning to formulate an answer but does inductive reasoning exclude happiness from existing? It can't in the reasoning process used in inductive reasoning so we come back to why do some scientists say happiness doesn't exist today? This is indicating our deductive reasoning process has changed to another form of reasoning which isn't in line with science formulisations, in other words it’s not of deductive or inductive reasoning but possibly an off shoot of one or both reasoning processes."

    That made no sense whatsoever. Who are these scientists that say happiness doesn't exist? Provide names.

    "I agree because when inductive reasoning came into being our reasoning process changed but happiness was still accepted as existing as psychologists believe still today."

    Again, no scientifically testable definition of happiness was ever offered, not by any philosophers and certainly not by yourself. Therefore, if anything science would necessarily have to be silent on the issue of whether or not happiness exists.

    "I did by the way earlier on produce two psychologists who say happiness exists & psychology is a science but I suppose it's not now again."

    I asked for names of scientists who say that happiness *doesn't* exist.

    "This isn't exactly civil nor is it morally correct, you have answered one of my questions after I asked it twice where I have answered numerous questions of yours.:

    No you have evaded my questions, just like you are evading this one.

    "http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/opening-happiness"

    Again, I asked for names of scientists who say happiness DOESN'T exist. This article does not name any scientists who hold that view (and yes, that includes psychologists).

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day NoetPoet

    RE:"Yes we are obviously still using deductive reasoning today. So what? What does that have to do with the nature and existence of happiness?"

    This same deductive reasoning was used to formulate that happiness did exist, I will repeat myself.

    The people in them days used deductive reasoning to formulate that happiness does exist & what does science use today? Inductive reasoning to formulate a scientific method firstly & deductive reasoning to formulate an answer but does inductive reasoning exclude happiness from existing? It can't in the reasoning process used in inductive reasoning so we come back to why do some scientists say happiness doesn't exist today? This is indicating our deductive reasoning process has changed to another form of reasoning which isn't in line with science formulisations, in other words it’s not of deductive or inductive reasoning but possibly an off shoot of one or both reasoning processes.

    If a totally different reasoning process is being used from deductive & inductive reasoning it stands to reason why some scientist who use this different reasoning process can't see happiness existing.

    RE:" aether, humourism, indivisible atoms and numerology which are not accepted by modern science."

    I agree because when inductive reasoning came into being our reasoning process changed but happiness was still accepted as existing as psychologists believe still today.

    I did by the way earlier on produce two psychologists who say happiness exists & psychology is a science but I suppose it's not now again.

    RE:"Okay, I've answered your question. Now you answer mine:"

    This isn't exactly civil nor is it morally correct, you have answered one of my questions after I asked it twice where I have answered numerous questions of yours.

    RE:"You say that some scientists say that happiness doesn't exist. Can you name any of these scientists?"

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/opening-happiness

    Sorry, that's right psychology isn't a science again when it suits!!!

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    Okay, I've answered your question. Now you answer mine:

    You say that some scientists say that happiness doesn't exist. Can you name any of these scientists? More importantly, can you even provide a clear definition of happiness? Scientists require a clear definition of happiness before they can determine whether or not it exists.

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    Yes we are obviously still using deductive reasoning today. So what? What does that have to do with the nature and existence of happiness?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day NeotPoet

    Once again my question wasn't answered but brushed over by folly, re: "are we still using deductive reasoning today?"

    It is pointless talking to anyone who knows very little in how deductive & inductive reasoning work in unison to start with, I suggest a little more in-depth thinking is needed like philosophy for example.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/ded-ind/

    http://atheism.about.com/od/criticalthinking/a/deductivearg.htm

    http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ded_ind.html

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    No it doesn't. How many present-day doctors and biologists do you know of who subscribe to humourism? How many physicists do you know of today who rely on astrological and numerological principles in their research?

    You say that some scientists say that happiness doesn't exist. Can you name any of these scientists? More importantly, can you even provide a clear definition of happiness? Scientists require a clear definition of happiness before they can determine whether or not it exists.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day NoetPoet

    It does, how long has deductive reasoning been used, Aristotle comes to mind so are we still using deductive reasoning today? How about answer just this one question for me; a yes or no answer is all that is needed.

    The people in them days used deductive reasoning to formulate that happiness does exist & what does science use today? Inductive reasoning to formulate a scientific method firstly & deductive reasoning to formulate an answer but does inductive reasoning exclude happiness from existing? It can't in the reasoning process used in inductive reasoning so we come back to why do some scientists say happiness doesn't exist today? This is indicating our deductive reasoning process has changed to another form of reasoning which isn't in line with science formulisations, in other words it’s not of deductive or inductive reasoning but possibly an off shoot of one or both reasoning processes.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 04, 2014

    G'day Dusty

    RE:"What is it that makes something a science?"

    Formulated logics.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_makes_something_a_science?#slide=2

    RE:"Are there any great philosopher and thinkers around today?"

    21st-century philosophers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:21st-century_philosophers

    Living Philosophers You Need to Know...

    http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2005/05/living_philosop.html

    Maybe you could have looked this up or were you just trying to slip me up!!!!

    The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.

    Henry Ford

  • NoetPoet Jan 04, 2014

    "if happiness was realised to exist by these great thinkers of philosophy & mysticism it would seem obvious happiness should also be accepted as being of existence in modern day science. "

    That doesn't necessarily follow at all. Philosophers and mystics had a whole bunch of ideas such as the aether, humourism, indivisible atoms and numerology which are not accepted by modern science.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 04, 2014

    What is it that makes something a science?
    Are there any great philosopher and thinkers around today?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 03, 2014

    Modern day science derived from philosophy & mysticism, that is fact so if happiness was realised to exist by these great thinkers of philosophy & mysticism it would seem obvious happiness should also be accepted as being of existence in modern day science. Scientists must ask themselves why aren't they accepting of happiness existing.

    One possibility is we have become too dictated by deductive reasoning over inductive reasoning which has narrowed our reasoning processes to a narrow minded frame of logics.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 03, 2014

    So, happiness is a philosophy and not a science?
    What would may it a science?
    Perhaps there is a psychology of happiness. But this is not to say that the philosophy or psychology is the experience.

    happiness (n.) 1520s, "good fortune," from happy + -ness. Meaning "pleasant and contented mental state" is from 1590s.

    happy (adj.)
    late 14c., "lucky, favored by fortune, prosperous;" of events, "turning out well," from hap (n.) "chance, fortune" + -y (2). Sense of "very glad" first recorded late 14c. Ousted Old English eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. Meaning "greatly pleased and content" is from 1520s. Old English bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Greek to Irish, a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise."

  • NoetPoet Jan 03, 2014

    So did any of those great thinkers actually find happiness? Or is happiness, like the Philosophers Stone and the Holy Grail, a shadowy elusive thing of legend which some merely *claimed* to have found?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 03, 2014

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_happiness
    Extract: The philosophy of happiness is a direction by which philosophical inquiry approaches the nature of happiness and the ways by which to attain it. Both the classic Western philosophy (Ancient philosophy) and the Eastern philosophy since its inception deal with the subject of happiness.

    If happiness doesn’t exist the greatest thinkers of mankind got it awfully wrong then since complex thinking came into being. I do find it funny when greater thinkers than we looked at attaining happiness when it’s not supposed to exist, I can imagine them laughing at some of us now who don’t believe happiness exists today.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 03, 2014

    Allow me to pose this question to others for their response.

    "What is the etymology of the word "happy (or happiness)?"

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G'day NoetPeot

    Even though pain centres & pleasure centres of the brain have been determined happiness isn't liken to pain in that it exists?? Fair enough!!!

    So what is happiness you are still asking after presumably read all the links supplied? Again fair enough.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G'day Dusty

    RE: "What is the etymology of the word "happy (or happiness)?"

    Try for once to answer other peoples question & queries for once & you might get a reply to your questions. Respect begets respect!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    I asked a relatively simple question, and three quote from Psychology Today later, I'm repeating the same question.

    What is the etymology of the word "happy (or happiness)?"

  • NoetPoet Jan 02, 2014

    No it wouldn't, and certainly not if your quote from the "Opening Up to Happiness" article is anything to go by.

    So what is happiness then? Is it a deliberate practice of mindful detachment like the Opening Up to Happiness article says, or is it pleasurable feeling generated by a certain kind of neurological stimulation like the futurepundit link says?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G’day NoetPoet

    This would be like saying pain doesn’t exist so we shouldn’t try to understand it, pain does exist & so does happiness.

    http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/science2.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleasure_center

    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/001447.html

    I suggest you read the links this time.

  • NoetPoet Jan 02, 2014

    So in other words, happiness is the realisation that there is no such thing as happiness and no point in pursuing it. An intriguing paradox...

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014


    http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/happiness

    Extract:” Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated in recent years thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition. Not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but experts agree we can all learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.”

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/opening-happiness

    Extract:” One reason we have so much trouble attaining happiness is that we don't even know what it is. We keep trying to annihilate anxiety and other disturbances. But happiness has more to do with broadening your perspective, says a ground-breaking psychiatrist who blends Western and Eastern thinking.”

    This is suggesting anyone with a closed minded perspective will most likely be unhappy however that can be changed by broadening one’s perspectives. Being happy certainly isn’t a chance or luck thing by a long shot but a choice we make.

    Extract:"My experience as a psychiatrist trained in Western medicine and in the philosophy and practice of Buddhism has given me a unique perspective. I have come to see that our problem is that we don't know what happiness is. We confuse it with a life uncluttered by feelings of anxiety, rage, doubt, and sadness. But happiness is something entirely different. It's the ability to receive the pleasant without grasping and the unpleasant without condemning."

    I see you doing this quite often Fallensoul.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    It occurs to me that the word "happy" is rooted in a sense of luck or chance, which would make it inconsistence with science.
    Allow me to ask this question: What is the etymology of the word "happy (or happiness)?"

  • Fallensoul Jan 01, 2014

    dusty: Are you saying you're living life to be unhappy?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 29, 2013

    Living, for every creature on Earth, is about surviving.
    Happiness, for me, is just another state of being much like laughing that registers when we reach a fixed point within ourselves that trigger the feeling.

  • NoetPoet Dec 29, 2013

    "Happiness" is a chimera. All I know for sure about it is that the more you pursue it, the more elusive it gets. "Happiness" is a bit like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey: the donkey chases and chases it, but the carrot is always just out of reach.

    I would even say that humans have actually evolved to NOT be happy, that we have instead evolved to constantly be looking for something better. Consider this: happiness necessarily implies contentment, contentment implies complacency, and complacency puts one at greater risk of being overwhelmed by hostile forces sooner rather than later.

    A large part of what we call happiness is due to having a strong sense of belonging and territory (both physical and psychological), *and* in knowing that this belonging and territory is not in danger of slipping away. I think that the best definition of "happiness" is the one given by Nietzsche:

    "What is happiness? The feeling that power increases - that resistance is being overcome."

  • mrmathew1963 Dec 28, 2013

    G'day Fallensoul

    It is funny, the only way we are taught to be happy is through possessions either through possessing knowledge, material wealth, lays & so on which all comes down to numbers which infers deductive reasoning. It would seem we are being taught deductive reasoning excluding inductive or any other reasoning process & we know how flawed deductive reasoning actually is when used on it's own. Is this why this world is so chaotic?

    What teaches or should teach us happiness without the numbers? Spirituality, because it has been proven scientifically how psychologically beneficial spirituality can be. Yes through certain religions this hasn't occurred but we are humans & all humans will make mistakes, all we need to do is learn from them.

  • Fallensoul Dec 28, 2013

    Thanks dusty. Did you notice that the points you chose to comment on are all sort-of negative. Was there anything positive you learned from the video? For most of us, we are trying to be happy. It seems to be a basic desire of all living beings. Are you saying you're living life to be unhappy?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 28, 2013

    I disagree with Luskin's premise that we are all trying to have a happy life. Luskin himself admits that he doesn't know what "The Science of Happiness" is.
    Daniel Kahneman claims that the word itself, "happiness," is no longer a useful term.

    "Everybody talks about happiness these days. I had somebody count the number of books with "happiness" in the title published in the last five years and they gave up after about 40, and there were many more. There is a huge wave of interest in happiness, among researchers. There is a lot of happiness coaching. Everybody would like to make people happier. But in spite of all this flood of work, there are several cognitive traps that sort of make it almost impossible to think straight about happiness.
    The first of these traps is a reluctance to admit complexity. It turns out that the word "happiness" is just not a useful word anymore, because we apply it to too many different things. I think there is one particular meaning to which we might restrict it, but by and large, this is something that we'll have to give up and we'll have to adopt the more complicated view of what well-being is. The second trap is a confusion between experience and memory; basically, it's between being happy in your life, and being happy about your life or happy with your life. And those are two very different concepts, and they're both lumped in the notion of happiness. And the third is the focusing illusion, and it's the unfortunate fact that we can't think about any circumstance that affects well-being without distorting its importance."

    http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html

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