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Happiness Vs. Nihilistic viewpoint

Both emotions and states of mind are within the mind and from an "atheist" point of view such things wouldn't exist. Objectively speaking, is it worth pursuing happiness understanding that it is only within the mind? Yes it is and understandable argument that we should try to best enjoy the life that we live rather than live painfully but is it really morally correct to idolize happiness and make it the center of life? I would think that any type of answer besides criticism would help in satisfying the question.


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    Nov 3 2013: Hi Gabe,

    Important question; thank you.
    The good things in life tend to come indirectly. Put in a different language we could say "it is in giving that we receive". By moving outwards in trust and compassion towards others, the inner roots of happiness (fulfillment) grow by themselves.

    The direct search for happiness has the habit of becoming a narcissistic approach to life whereby everything and everyone is viewed as a resource for the singular purpose of making me-myself-and-I happy. It doesn't work that way in my experience. I think many ancient sages would agree with that sentiment too.

    Some people are born with a strong pre-disposition to feeling that life is meaningless, and adopt a nihilistic viewpoint. However one can also, instead, adopt a viewpoint that life IS meaningful and embark on life's journey as a search for that meaning. From young teenager onwards I adopted this latter approach and can say that 40 years later through many times of despair and despondency, fulfillment and happiness are gifted as some kind of grace, partly I guess by never giving up hope. (In this respect I can recommend Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning").

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