happiness and other stuff
or, another horrifying (and quite possibly completely incorrect) simplification of that which we already understand instinctively
I started with the relatively simple thought that the ultimate goal in life is happiness. You may of course disagree with me here, and you may continue to do so throughout my writings, for I myself don't always agree. From that thought, I leaped to the thought that goodness is making other people happy. This is because of, and the cause of, the fact that goodness is relative; what I see as good doesn't necessarily seem good to your eyes.We see happiness in different ways, and different people get happy different ways (the most extreme example that I could think of is that some few, crazed people thought that Hitler was good, and some, few crazy people continue to think this).
From these ideas, I became interested in what exactly happiness is. Because I have a pointless, compulsive need to simplify complex philosophical ideas into short sentences, I came up with the thought that happiness is the fulfillment of desires.
This, I have found to be true of every instance I could think of, but I can't think of every instance. It also work to explain long vs. short term happiness: playing a game and winning gives us a small amount of happiness because we wanted to win for a short amount of time, but playing a very important game and winning gives us more, because we wanted to win more. Having a good life with all our basic needs met and no large desires makes kind our over-all mood happy. Constantly wanting to be something else, do something else, or be somewhere else gives our lives an over-all depressing mood.
Continuing down the chain of definition, I decided to define desire. This is very simple; it is a perceived necessity. That is mostly why I hate advertisements so much. I don't pay attention to them, and like to think that they don't effect me, but their sole purpose is to create a want, a perceived necessity. If they actually do what they are supposed to do, they create unhappiness, at least until the person buys the product. And that is just low.
Not only do I have an explanation for what happiness is, I think I ave an explanation for why it is what it is. Evolutionarywise (one of the best words I've ever made up), we didn't originally have happiness or intelligence, we had instinct. We had instinct that not only told us to go get food and water and sex, but that physically mad us do it. It wasn't always the best to follow your instincts, though, and the more creative primates were the ones who survived. In fact, it was the primates who thought of other needs (like sticks to bash things with and so on) that were the best at surviving. But even if you thought of something else, you don't necessarily follow it unless you feel a need to do that. So happiness eventually evolved to fill that gap; to cause perceived needs to become real needs through the concept that perceived needs and basic needs are both necessary for this thing that we strive for, happiness. If that all sounded kind of convoluted, here is a simplification: through the process of evolution, I think we changed from striving for food, water, and reproduction to striving for happiness.
Of course, I'm not a scientist and don't really know if anything I've said is correct. It is just what I believe, and will believe until I find a better explanation.
other people's thoughts