What is being good?

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Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 07:07 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;95013 wrote:
Greetings, Fido

Is it possible you are thinking of The Ten Commandments, many of which are 'thou shalt not'?

I take it you did not find my definition of "morality" as acceptable....? It seemed like the best (most appropriate) name to give to that particular formula in my system.

I know you believe love is the answer, but try teaching that in academic philosophy courses in major universities ! What is your definition of that term: "love"? Am I wrong? Isn't 'love' the most central term in ethics according to your point of view?

Ethics and its equal: Morality, are community... If you ask why people are generally moral it is because they have relationships with each other, and because morality is not rational, but irrational, and based upon an emotional connection most people make...Look at the most immoral people in the world, the serial killers, the Stalins, and Hitlers... They are people without the ability to connect the pain they cause with their own sense of being... The sympathy so natural to a child they are without, and they have often suffered some brutality in childhood...The question we must ask is how can we give that loving feeling, that community feeling to people long fractured from their communities??? Our laws, our states have gone about destroying communities until even the family is under fire, and then the lawyers and law makers wonder why people are not more moral, and why new laws must always be stopping up the rat holes of immorality... The fact is that all natural communities are moral, and these moral communities have survived for all time, but we are not surviving with laws in place of morals, or with reason in place of emotion... We are struggling, and have created societies of victims and victors... There is no true human bonding...We have no common currency as honor once was...
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 12:29 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;94773 wrote:
what then is wrong so that we know what not to do? I would obviously argue that anything that leads to more unhappiness than sadness is wrong. I don't understand your post.

And for crying out loud, it's obvious you ate to make yourself happy, just like it's the reason you pursue knowledge...it makes you happy. Seriously? It beats sitting around bored is your answer? It's like you know you do everything for happiness, but you want to argue.


Hi,

While happiness may be your goal, you may want to consider the possibility it is not everyone's goal. It is certainly not mine. I have learned that one cannot find happiness, it finds one - and usually when one least expects it. Searching for happiness is way too frustrating for me, and I certainly don't want to spend my life being frustrated. I am what I am, and sometimes I am sad, sometimes I am happy, and most of the time I am somewhere in between.

I am aware that others are different. Heck, there are whole industries revolving around how to find happiness, whether it be all kinds of books, practices, plastic surgery, dating services, etc. But none of that is part of my life. I play tennis and golf because it is something interesting to do.

Rich
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 09:04 pm
@richrf,
richrf;95056 wrote:
Hi,

While happiness may be your goal, you may want to consider the possibility it is not everyone's goal. It is certainly not mine. I have learned that one cannot find happiness, it finds one - and usually when one least expects it. Searching for happiness is way too frustrating for me, and I certainly don't want to spend my life being frustrated. I am what I am, and sometimes I am sad, sometimes I am happy, and most of the time I am somewhere in between.

I am aware that others are different. Heck, there are whole industries revolving around how to find happiness, whether it be all kinds of books, practices, plastic surgery, dating services, etc. But none of that is part of my life. I play tennis and golf because it is something interesting to do.

Rich

Happiness is every goal... We are given so little and it begins to dribble away as soon as we get it... What every your quest, happiness hangs on your every step, whether you see it in the eyes of a girl or glittering in gold, or in age beyond counting, or in dreams we are sold...There is not another word for what humanity needs, though meaning comes close without telling the end... We do not want to know... We want to feel blessed and satified, and tried and used, and when we die, all done, with our lives all lived and ready for the end of time and space and all...Are you ready??? How many of us can say like Faustus: Enough...Thee is never enough life...There is always enough pain...
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 09:18 pm
@Fido,
Fido;95105 wrote:
Happiness is every goal...


I guess that may be right for some people. It is a little too dramatic for me. I OK just doing interesting things in life like playing music, doing some color pencil art, or listening to Oldies.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 10:49 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;94773 wrote:
what then is wrong so that we know what not to do? I would obviously argue that anything that leads to more unhappiness than sadness is wrong. I don't understand your post.

And for crying out loud, it's obvious you ate to make yourself happy, just like it's the reason you pursue knowledge...it makes you happy. Seriously? It beats sitting around bored is your answer? It's like you know you do everything for happiness, but you want to argue.



Whose unhappiness or sadness? Yours? Mine? Everyone's?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 06:42 am
@richrf,
richrf;95106 wrote:
I guess that may be right for some people. It is a little too dramatic for me. I OK just doing interesting things in life like playing music, doing some color pencil art, or listening to Oldies.

Rich

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...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 07:13 am
@Fido,
Fido;95144 wrote:
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...


Yes, that was Aristotle's view too. Happiness is a process, not an event. Aristotle wrote, "Call no man happy until he is dead". What that meant, of course, was not, that only the dead are happy, but that the judgment of happiness has to be made of a whole life as lived through, and not on the basis of just enjoyments for a limited time. Of course, without enjoyments, no one can be called happy, but enjoyment by itself is not enough. Contentment is not the same as happiness. And then, of course, the kind of life that would make one man happy might make another miserable. It will depend on the individual's temperament. One size doesn't fit all. It would do people good to read Aristotle's Ethics.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 07:34 am
@Fido,
Fido;95144 wrote:
It is true for everyone, that we live between the poles of happiness and unhappiness...


Yes, I agree. It goes back and forth.

Rich
 
Adam101
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 12:37 pm
@Fido,
Fido;95144 wrote:
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.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 07:59 pm
@Adam101,
Adam...Happiness is not an infinite concept exactly...It is a moral concept, and you can classify all moral concepts as infinites because they are not based upon a physical reality... To the extent that we cannot live without our moral concepts it is not infinite, not more infinte than the life of a person... And it is relation to this finite reality, our lives, that we judge ourselves happy or not... Few people think of me as happy, but I would say I usually am...People think I am angry when I am only thinking...Maybe I have learned to look like that to keep them from bothering me...Judging my life rationally means knowing it was better than worse, and might have been much worse...I am happy for that, and it still hurts...
 
Adam101
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:36 pm
@Fido,
I mean that no matter what you can always be happier, no matter how happy you are, therefore, happiness is an infinite concept--something that can never be reached, only pursued.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:38 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;95341 wrote:
I mean that no matter what you can always be happier, no matter how happy you are, .


What makes you think that is true?
 
Adam101
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:46 pm
@kennethamy,
Because I believe humans are infinitely learning. I can't imagine a spot for us to say, "well, I guess that's about it." So, I feel like I can apply that to happiness. I feel like it's logical to say that, no matter what, because we can learn more about happiness, we can always be happier.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:50 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;95346 wrote:
Because I believe humans are infinitely learning. I can't imagine a spot for us to say, "well, I guess that's about it." So, I feel like I can apply that to happiness. I feel like it's logical to say that, no matter what, because we can learn more about happiness, we can always be happier.


I look at it like this:

Everything is evolving and if one is always happy, there is no motivator for change. Sadness is the motivator. When someone is sad they seek change. Sadness is a way to know that something has to change within oneself.

Happiness is the reward. It comes when it comes. You cannot do anything to find it. You can only change and maybe there will be happiness and maybe not.

But as soon as you have effected change, then the cycle begins again.

And so goes life. Sadness .... Happiness ... Sadness .... Happiness ....

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:54 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;95346 wrote:
Because I believe humans are infinitely learning. I can't imagine a spot for us to say, "well, I guess that's about it." So, I feel like I can apply that to happiness. I feel like it's logical to say that, no matter what, because we can learn more about happiness, we can always be happier.


It is not a matter of logic. It is a question of fact. Indeed, it is a psychological question. I don't think that what you feel about the question matters. That question is whether you have any evidence for what you say. I don't think we can always learn more about happiness (whatever that would mean). But even if that were true, why would it follow from that we could always be happier?

---------- Post added 10-05-2009 at 10:56 PM ----------

richrf;95349 wrote:
I look at it like this:

Everything is evolving and if one is always happy, there is no motivator for change. Sadness is the motivator. When someone is sad they seek change. Sadness is a way to know that something has to change within oneself.

Happiness is the reward. It comes when it comes. You cannot do anything to find it. You can only change and maybe there will be happiness and maybe not.

But as soon as you have effected change, then the cycle begins again.

And so goes life. Sadness .... Happiness ... Sadness .... Happiness ....

Rich


It makes me happy to play chess. And I often go to where I can play chess, and be happy. Therefore, I can do something to find happiness, and I do.
 
Adam101
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 08:59 pm
@richrf,
richrf;95349 wrote:
I look at it like this:

Everything is evolving and if one is always happy, there is no motivator for change. Sadness is the motivator. When someone is sad they seek change. Sadness is a way to know that something has to change within oneself.

Happiness is the reward. It comes when it comes. You cannot do anything to find it. You can only change and maybe there will be happiness and maybe not.

But as soon as you have effected change, then the cycle begins again.

And so goes life. Sadness .... Happiness ... Sadness .... Happiness ....

Rich


I write because it makes me happy. I choose to write because I want to and doing what I want to makes me happy. I sought happiness and found it. I was aware that writing makes me happy, because I've written before and found it to be pleasurable. Now, I understand that, generally speaking, if I want to be happy, I can write. I eat because I'm hungry. Hunger makes me uncomfortable--hunger makes me unhappy--therefore, eating makes me happy when i'm hungry--it contents me.

I can spend my whole life doing things that I think will make me happy, and that would be pursuing happiness.

---------- Post added 10-05-2009 at 10:05 PM ----------

kennethamy;95351 wrote:
It is not a matter of logic. It is a question of fact. Indeed, it is a psychological question. I don't think that what you feel about the question matters. That question is whether you have any evidence for what you say. I don't think we can always learn more about happiness (whatever that would mean). But even if that were true, why would it follow from that we could always be happier?


Because, the more you learn about happiness, the larger your acumen is going to be on the pursuit of happiness, and as a result your quest for happiness will be more accurate.

Why do you think we can't learn forever about happiness? I believe we can further our learning about anything--we can make anything better--and it seems apparent considering our situation now compared to our situation 100 years ago. Humans are adapting, so it seems a human concept such as happiness is going to be constantly changing to our adaptations and therefore an infinite concept.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 09:15 pm
@Adam101,
Adam101;95353 wrote:
I write because it makes me happy. I choose to write because I want to and doing what I want to makes me happy. I sought happiness and found it. I was aware that writing makes me happy, because I've written before and found it to be pleasurable. Now, I understand that, generally speaking, if I want to be happy, I can write. I eat because I'm hungry. Hunger makes me uncomfortable--hunger makes me unhappy--therefore, eating makes me happy when i'm hungry--it contents me.

I can spend my whole life doing things that I think will make me happy, and that would be pursuing happiness.

---------- Post added 10-05-2009 at 10:05 PM ----------



Because, the more you learn about happiness, the larger your acumen is going to be on the pursuit of happiness, and as a result your quest for happiness will be more accurate.

Why do you think we can't learn forever about happiness? I believe we can further our learning about anything--we can make anything better--and it seems apparent considering our situation now compared to our situation 100 years ago. Humans are adapting, so it seems a human concept such as happiness is going to be constantly changing to our adaptations and therefore an infinite concept.


Well, for one thing, we don't live forever. And, in any case, I am not clear what you mean by "learning about happiness". Do you mean, how to be happy; what happiness is; whether there is anything better than happiness, for example being a moral person? But there is always a limit on any one subject, and also, your capacity for learning.

I don't think our concept of happiness changes, although it may be that what makes us happy changes, as we learn more and more; things that used to make us happy no longer do, and what never made us happy begins to do so.
 
Adam101
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 04:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;95357 wrote:
Well, for one thing, we don't live forever.


I'm sorry, but that's an assumption. Who really knows how long we live...not me, not you.

Quote:
And, in any case, I am not clear what you mean by "learning about happiness". Do you mean, how to be happy; what happiness is; whether there is anything better than happiness, for example being a moral person?


All of the above and more...

Quote:
But there is always a limit on any one subject, and also, your capacity for learning.


How do you figure? Can you show me proof of this...especially that there's ALWAYS a limit on ANY one subject. That FEELS illogical to me, and my mind doesn't seem to want to understand it on its own...my heart just won't accept it and neither will my mind.


Quote:
I don't think our concept of happiness changes, although it may be that what makes us happy changes, as we learn more and more; things that used to make us happy no longer do, and what never made us happy begins to do so.


I think you just proved me right with this part. ty
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 05:03 am
@Adam101,
My purpose I hope to find whilst I am kind to myself, others and the enviroment, I feel I can't go wrong that way, and I always have a good time/fun in this process.
Caz out. Wink
 
Adam101
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 05:14 am
@Caroline,
I've been kind to myself, others, and the environment for evil purposes. For instance, how moral is it to tell myself when I'm upset to tears, "It's going to be Ok, Adam; just forget about it?" I tell myself this to be kind, to keep me from feeling the feelings that are upsetting me to tears, but, personally, I think being honest and saying, "This sucks. Let's embrace what we truly feel, acknowledge its location in between the poles of happiness and happiness, understand its cases and effects, and then progress in a way that makes these feelings change to happiness."

Or how about that time we were sweet to our parents so they'd give us money and we could go spend it on evil things, whatever they may be. What they don't know won't hurt them, right? We're not being very rude to them, I mean, we are creating a false reality for them, but for the most part, we aren't effecting them that much, and we're doing what we want, so we're being kind to ourselves, however, it seems immoral to me...it produces unhappiness to be kind in this spot. I think it would be better to just act normal instead of kind.

If what I think is true, anything can be a good thing, and man I mean anything, and anything can be a bad thing...again, anything.
 
 

 
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