It is true for everyone, that we live between the poles of happiness and unhappiness...The thing you seem to know, without knowing you know, is that no one reaches happiness by the direct route... When you are done with life, and in retrospect you have had enough, and done enough for others, and stood up for good, and pushed it through, then you might judge yourself happy in spite of the inevitable regrets...
I want to write something soon about an idea that is stirring in my mind, and I'm going to entitle it "The Happy Delusion". I believe that, though we're in pursuit of happiness, happiness is an infinite concept so that no matter what, we can always be happier, and we will never reach our true potential as it rises forever. It's a delusion to say you're truly, 100% happy. Have fun trying is the only advice I can give.
---------- Post added 10-05-2009 at 02:53 PM ----------
A response from a different discussion on the same topic:
Ok. Thank you for responding. Yes, one thing could make a person "happy" that you think is generally bad, like murder, torture, and even lying (lying is a fun one in morality, btw). But, when considering the consequences, the thoughts, the feelings, the causes and effects of his actions, we can determine which cause and which effect produced the most happiness. Though an evil person can be happy personally, many of his actions are a foggy with ignorance, because they lead to unhappiness in ways the evil person is unaware of. They make other people unhappy, they make life harder for him/her later, etc.
All this stuff that you say is bad, like bad habits, fucked up organs, etc., are formed from actions that have apparently led to more unhappiness than happiness. They were morally wrong. Eating right is morally correct, because you have to take into consideration your body and your offspring's body and how happy each body will be according to your actions.
Describing happiness has led me down a path where I feel I have discovered that happiness is a (I originally explained it as a feeling, but now I'm not so sure), and humans produce a feeling, i believe, for every fragment of reality that we understand, for every moment of living, there's a feeling produced, and I believe our conscience derives a conclusion as to whether we like it or not. I believe that, in general, feelings we like, or enjoy--feelings pleasurable to the individual--lead to happiness, but awareness of the situation and all it's causes and potential effects influence our feelings. For instance, in opening a door you feel hardly any feeling as there's not much value in consequences--we only opened a door and it meant little to us. However, if we knew there was someone behind the door that was to get hit and hurt when we opened the door, our feelings about opening the door should change, because there's more value in the thoughts of happiness and unhappiness.
I think we can murder, torture, love, laugh, lie, cheat, and steal and still be moral, but we have to be conscious of the cause and effects of our actions. If it produces more happiness than unhappiness, do it; for instance, if someone raped and murdered your child, what would you want to do with that person? I think you're justified to something! But the action you take is depending on a fluid database of observations and hypothesis'. However, if someone is continually cutting himself and not harming anyone else, but it makes him happy, I still think this is immoral. If you agree or disagree it doesn't matter to me yet, because I just want to know what you think are positive and negative effects of cutting one's self and their value. With our imagination, intuition, acumen, etc., we can determine what we think is the best actions, or most morally good action according to a polar reality of happiness and unhappiness, and proceed perfectly in our ignorance. We will still make mistakes, but our intentions are good because we're trying our best to produce happiness in everyone and in everything.
I'm young and just discovered a neat concept. I feel like happiness and sadness are infinite concepts that are under the rule of ultimate happiness, because we can be happier no matter how happy we are, and we can be sadder no matter how sad we are, but no matter what we're trying to be happy. So, happy is a delusion, and we must really just have fun trying at it.
Forgive me for writing so much, but the idea is complex to me, and I want to discuss as much as I can with anyone and everyone. Thanks for you time.
Also, without open minded thinking, I think it's impossible to become any happier, because you must think about your actions, situations, memories, feelings, thoughts, and YOUR POTENTIAL to be happier in order to progress in the name of happiness. If a person THINKS they're happy being oppressed, I think it's because they can't or never have exercised the idea of true freedom and then compared it to true oppression. True meaning the concept in its infinite form, because oppression can be a good thing--it can lead to one or multiple forms of happiness, in general--and freedom can be a bad thing--it can cause sadness in life.