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RE: The Pursuit of Happiness | Better than Happiness

in #life5 years ago

Happiness a zero sum game? No way! Strive for win-win solutions in life. I agree that zero-sum games do exist, but reducing the creation of happiness to one is someone's agenda to make people miserable for some ulterior motive.

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Thanks for commenting @yawnguy.

Can you share some of the Zero Sum Games that you think exist and then differentiate it from happiness?

I'd love to read that 😊👍

Let's see. What immediately comes to mind for zero-sum games are financial ones involving a party and a counterparty. I could look some up, but you could do that too. I scanned over the Wikipedia article, but like most there it's written for college grad-level people who are already experts in that field, i.e. useless for almost everyone else.

Happiness examples? That's far easier. Your small child is unhappy and it tends to lower your tone too (= lose-lose). So you quickly shift his attention onto something better, he cheers up and you feel better too (= win-win).

On a solo basis you're out walking and unexpectedly hear birds singing beautifully. Instant smiles. Did some living entity slip down some cosmic scale a point or two to balance out your uptick? Well, not observably, although if you are determined to maintain this zero-sum agenda then it's impossible to prove someone in the universe didn't suffer.

I don't have an agenda @yawnguy aside from expressing myself and understanding life more. My perceptions and ideas are also not set in stone.

Here is another question that might help our discussion.

  • If we created a scale with extreme hardship and suffering on the left, and extreme happiness and pleasure on the right, where on the scale do you think is most ideal?

Fair enough. Most ideal for whom? Some chronically-unhappy people seem to love to wallow in their misery, and would be quite put out to experience genuine joy. Others, who chronically live life on a high-scale basis, finding joy and beauty in almost anything, will shrug off momentary down periods.

But that's only on a personal basis. Which of the two is more useful to society? The miserable wretch who requires help from others or the extrovert who builds great things [I'm not talking about sociopathic politicians]?

I tend to think closer to neutral between Pleasure & Displeasure is the most stable and healthy realm to exist in @yawnguy.


I have experienced a little hardship, and I have also experienced high amounts of pleasure (especially from helping others) but I noticed that there was a cost to myself and others in both.

When happiness for oneself and happiness for others is the first priority for a person, suffering will accompany that happiness. That is because happiness is their first priority, not the prevention, reduction and elimination of suffering.

On the otherhand, focusing on the prevention, reduction and elimination of suffering in and of itself, will make life more comfortable and easy, even if it's not flooded with super amounts of happiness.

I think The Pursuit of Happiness is a misguided attempt at making life comfortable and easy. It has it's perks but I can see now that focusing on what I mentioned is superior.

Thank you @yawnguy.

I am not sure about this but I think Western societies and maybe all modern societies in general, focus more on the pursuit of happiness and less on the prevention, reduction and elimination of suffering.

It might even be an epidemic.

P.S. I will see about making edits to my original post.

Personally, happiness is pretty irrelevant. I strive to get a result with something in the real world, not to tweak my feelings to feel a certain way. It's like my stress-release work: the real purpose is to discharge the harmful energy out of a hot topic, and the fact that one also often feels amazingly calm and peaceful for minutes or hours is purely incidental, although far more visible.

Yeah, the pursuit of happiness as an end in itself is very wrong-headed.

Do you think Western societies in general gravitate to much towards the pursuit of happiness and not enough towards the prevention, reduction and elimination of suffering? @yawnguy

It's all bread and circuses. The powers that be don't want the plebs (us) to look closely at what they are doing, so it's all distraction from their wanton destruction of basically everything that's worthwhile on Earth in their pursuit of unlimited wealth. In addition to the mindless distraction, shoot-em-up video games do what? Desensitize an entire generation to killing others themselves, not just watching others do it, and become familiar with military everywhere -- as in martial law imposed when "we" have finally had enough. Although I don't think the drugged populace will ever have the guts to rise up. Etcetera.

Western societies do what they are told to do. It's a top-down action, not a bottom-up (grass roots) one. These are the kind of agendas I was referring to before.

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