TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Is Happiness a conservative, status-quo concept?

"Money can't buy happiness". Many of us think this statement is more or less true. But what are the broader implications of this statement? After all, if "the pursuit of happiness" is delayed by acquiring wealth, than why should the government be promoting initiatives to raise the economic tide through assistance to business OR welfare policies? In other words, is the pursuit of Happiness a fundamentally conservative, status-quo idea? An interesting article on this subject is posted below - but what do you think?
http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13233/

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Cos Mo

    • 0
    Jan 16 2013: I believe "Money can't buy happiness" is neither universally true, nor false. It eventually comes down to what it takes for one person to be happy, or at least be in a state that he/she defines as happiness. If one's idea of happiness is cruising the Mediterranean on his private yacht with his family for 3 months a year, not only that money CAN buy happiness, but without it, (that particular) happiness is out of reach. If another's state of happiness greatly relates to his glory days as a football player, for instance, at 60, no money can buy that happy time back.

    In any case, for the great majority of people, happiness cannot possibly come from poverty. So, as Fritzie R also said, considering the pyramid of human needs, I believe that only those who managed to climb (quite) a few steps, and reached a certain degree of financial comfort, can stop and ponder if EXTRA money is necessary and apt to buy FURTHER happiness. I very much doubt that one living in cold, famine and sickness out of sheer poverty will ever concur that "Money can't buy happiness".

    Regarding the promotion of welfare, I think that, based on the above, for economical, educational, intellectual, emotional (and other) causes, the great majority of people are more likely to experience happiness (even if only as a projection) while in a state of prosperity, rather than poverty.

    Andrea F below is also right, I believe. The exhaustive explanation of the why? should not matter too much, if at all. It is a psychological feature meant to ensure a state of equilibrium, even if fragile and dynamic most of the time. Accepting a state of happiness for what it is may much better serve the purpose of the happiness, than trying to explain it.

    I do not have enough chars left for the main question :) I do believe, however, it is not rightly asked. Conservative and status quo are not synonyms here, as implied by the question. So, conservative - yes. Status-quo - no. Or so I think, at first glance.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.