Cos Mo

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Noface
Cos Mo
Posted over 1 year ago
Is Happiness a conservative, status-quo concept?
Hi Mathew, What you are saying makes perfect sense to me, and seems correct from a philosophical or spiritual point of view; but I am not at all sure you (or us, since I agree) are right from a social and evolutionary perspective. Studies have shown that people are more loss averse than they are risk driven, which in our context means they are more likely to attempt the preservation of a status quo they have come to accept, as you say, and be at peace with, then push forward to new heights and thus, in a way, evolve. I say in a way because evolution in itself does not necessarily mean being able to shop all Sunday long at the mall, yet the mall is a result of evolution. I believe that your pattern is at this time only available to the masses via education, not via genetic inheritance, which is opposite, and pushes toward conflictive changes. However, I do believe, in an intuitive manner, that acceptance of a status before peacefully moving to the next is also apt to bring evolution, albeit a slower one, following a different pattern than the one we've seen in the human societies. And yes, perhaps a safer one too. Still, I do not believe we are up to the task at this point in our evolution and structure. I believe that at macro levels, it's either conflictive evolution or status quo, since at this point, it seems to me that the only way to give up the status quo willingly is by need - generated by conflict and in turn generating conflict. Best, Cosmo
Noface
Cos Mo
Posted over 1 year ago
Is Happiness a conservative, status-quo concept?
Hey Mathew, Although I can see the reason in what you are saying, our track record as a race tends to argue for the contrary. We strive for more, in a pursuit of what may or may not be happiness. Accepting one's lot in life, while definitely possible for isolated individuals, and very likely apt to bring inner peace, wisdom, and a higher form of happiness to them, is not the way we are built, not in our nature as a race. Our continuous struggle for more, and more, and yet more, is what got us out of the caverns, it's what made us smarter, faster, stronger, better organized, and eventually it's what got people like Daniel, you and me writing to one another in some sort of intellectual and educational pursuit. Sure, it has its great downsides, but the item in discussion is our nature, not its effects on the world. It's the struggle for the promised happiness (albeit just projected) of a better status that makes us abandon the previous one, I believe. And I think that it is our nature to "run out" of a particular state of happiness and strive for the next, leaving the status quo behind. This can be the source of both great joy and great misery, and my feeling is that misery is more often than joy, but still this does not stop us (as humans) from striving for more. We ARE a very dubious creation, this much I can say :)
Noface
Cos Mo
Posted over 1 year ago
Is Happiness a conservative, status-quo concept?
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.