What do you we prioritize above being happy.

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    Jul 05, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    A thought I had in the shower.....

    Last night I was with some of my friends in concept studio. We were combing through some research on human happiness for a project that we are working on and eventually came to the conclusion that humans will soon be able to chemically induce and control their own feelings.

    So I asked everyone if they would they prefer to have their emotions regulated to prevent them from ever feeling life's most negative emotions. I guess I'm envisioning something along the lines of an insulin pump that monitors and controls levels of Progesterone, Testosterone, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Serotonin etc.

    So let's Say there was a little device called a Dopamax and you could clip it onto your waist and be happy all the time.........It sounds great, but for some reason, I have yet to find a single person who prefers the option to the organic human experience. Most people spend so much time pursuing money, sex, relationships etc, because they see these things as a precursor to happiness.

    So why when happiness is offered in a perpetual and unconditional form, would anyone turn it down? More importantly, why do MOST people see it as the unfavorable option.

    As much time as we spend obsessing over being happy, one might think that this would be a viable solution to the fact that some people will never find it (at least not in great quantities.) But since so many people seem to want to create their happiness organically, it can't be the only thing that truly matters to humans being.

    So my question is, what element of life is more important than happiness?

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    Jul 05, 2012 3:14 PM GMT
    Read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:17 PM GMT
    Unfortunately understanding the human brain is still in infancy. Sure maybe someday we could understand 100% but not likely. The actuality that an outside chemical could control our emotions with a high enough specificity and sensitivity to be marketed as such is null. Remember medicine is practice not science.

    Happiness is what everyone strives for. We all get there in a different but the same way: periods of pain followed by periods of growth. It's what Emily Dickinson says, "Smart Misery".

    Nothing is more important.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:20 PM GMT
    deltalimen saidUnfortunately understanding the human brain is still in infancy. Sure maybe someday we could understand 100% but not likely. The actuality that an outside chemical could control our emotions with a high enough specificity and sensitivity to be marketed as such is null. Remember medicine is practice not science.


    It depends on the amount of research allocated to the subject. If we developed medical technologies as fast as we developed military technologies, we would be there within a few decades.

    But it's a philosophical question, not a question about the viability of such a device.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:23 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidRead Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.


    I have, but I'm not envisioning a scenario in which other elements of life are so strictly regulated.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:26 PM GMT


    "What do you we prioritize above being happy."

    The happiness of those I love.

    Which, interestingly, makes me happy.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    Sounds great on a consumer level, but, unfortunately, disastrous on a macro platform.

    If we all could obtain a feeling of perpetual bliss from the local pharmacy, I wonder whether people would be significantly less motivated to find it through other more conventional means: prestigious career; friendships; relationships; sex; personal accomplishments; looking good; philanthropy and so on... Just like we see in people with drugs addictions.

    Also, how this would effect the economy on a wider scale if people stop trying to achieve happiness through the means above.

    Although, to play devil's advocate, perhaps this perpetual fountain of happiness would only help motivate people in their normal every day lives, desires and ambitions?

    In reply to your question: which element is more important than the feeling of happiness? Health and security of life.

    Although, I'm sure they are all partly interwoven with organic happiness- as opposed to that obtained in drug form.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:35 PM GMT
    METAMORPH saidSounds great on a consumer level, but, unfortunately, disastrous on a macro platform.

    If we all could obtain a feeling of perpetual bliss from the local pharmacy, I wonder whether people would be significantly less motivated to find it through other more conventional means: prestigious career; friendships; relationships; sex; personal accomplishments; looking good; philanthropy and so on... Just like we see in people with drugs addictions.

    Also, how this would effect the economy on a wider scale if people stop trying to achieve happiness through the means above. Although, to play devil's advocate, perhaps this perpetual fountain of happiness would only help motivate people in their normal every day lives, desires and ambitions?

    why would they have to though?
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Money and sex.

    Also power.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:37 PM GMT
    DEKIRUMAN said

    why would they have to though?


    We're socialised to want to achieve goals.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:39 PM GMT
    METAMORPH said
    DEKIRUMAN said

    why would they have to though?


    We're socialised to want to achieve goals.


    but if we were already happy, then we wouldn't need to do that. No one would need a prestigious career for example because no one would need to feel special.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:44 PM GMT
    getting back in shape, learning Spanish and staying off the smokes.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:49 PM GMT
    DEKIRUMAN said
    METAMORPH said
    DEKIRUMAN said

    why would they have to though?


    We're socialised to want to achieve goals.


    but if we were already happy, then we wouldn't need to do that. No one would need a prestigious career for example because no one would need to feel special.


    To be respected by others. If everybody were happy, yet an elite few were happy and in a better social position due to what extras they have, I think it would be human nature that would urge envy and desire to have what they possess: a foot up above the rest of society.

    Besides: we'd still need to pay bills, eat, keep a roof over our heads and pay for our dwindling supply of happiness.
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    Jul 05, 2012 3:58 PM GMT
    Comrade_Cranky saidBeing fabulous.


    Best answer of the thread

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    Jul 05, 2012 4:02 PM GMT
    Nothing is more important than happiness. We are all looking for it at all times whether it be in a pill, a bottle, a personality, or ourselves. It is what makes us human -our laughter and our smiles, but we could never know happiness if we didn't also have pain in searching for it.

    When neural excitation is increased ( remember it's a non-linear function), inhibition is also increased proportionally. The CNS is very plastic and adaptive so keeping a constant state of excitation is hypothetically impossible.
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    Jul 05, 2012 4:07 PM GMT
    deltalimen said. The CNS is very plastic and adaptive so keeping a constant state of excitation is hypothetically impossible.


    Yep, that's pretty much the problem in a nutshell. I asked a professor and she believes that level of exposure to the same set of hormones at the dosages and frequencies that would be needed to make something like this possible would be very stressful.

    I was like icon_sad.gif
  • DanOmatic

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    Jul 05, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    There has to be yin to balance the yang. I don't believe that it is humanly possible to circumvent unhappiness, no matter what the "advances" of science might bring. I don't think it would be desirable, either, because without grief or unhappiness, we would all just walk around in a zombie-like lobotomized state.

    Usually happiness is found in the simpler pleasures in life, living in the moment, and being grateful. Unfortunately, our modern lives conspire against happiness, since the message is about looking to the future--rather than living in the present, cluttering up our lives with unnecessary complications--rather than simplifying, and feeling harangued by media if we're not measuring up to constructs of perfection--rather than appreciating the essence of who we are, flaws and all.
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    Jul 05, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    Sleep and making others happy.
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    Jul 05, 2012 4:35 PM GMT
    NC3athlete saidThere has to be yin to balance the yang. I don't believe that it is humanly possible to circumvent unhappiness, no matter what the "advances" of science might bring. I don't think it would be desirable, either, because without grief or unhappiness, we would all just walk around in a zombie-like lobotomized state.

    Usually happiness is found in the simpler pleasures in life, living in the moment, and being grateful. Unfortunately, our modern lives conspire against happiness, since the message is about looking to the future--rather than living in the present, cluttering up our lives with unnecessary complications--rather than simplifying, and feeling harangued by media if we're not measuring up to constructs of perfection--rather than appreciating the essence of who we are, flaws and all.


    OMG!!! this totally made me think of the end of a game called enslaved.

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    Jul 05, 2012 5:09 PM GMT
    Health.
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    Jul 05, 2012 5:21 PM GMT
    What do you mean by "we will soon be able to chemically induce and control their own feelings"?

    There's no 'soon' about it, we already have prozac and alcohol, the happiness substitute of housewives.
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    Jul 05, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    The only thing I prioritize above happiness is more happiness.
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    Jul 05, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    Contrast, relativiity, and diversity. If you don't experience unhappiness, then how do you know happiness feels when you are feeling it? All you'll be feeling is a state of in-perpetuum, because there is no point for comparison.

    It's the same idea as if you are staring at the candle flame during noon in a sunny day, you won't appreciate its brightness. But if you stare at it during darkness and it's the only source of light, you'll appreciate how bright and how magnificent that candle flame is.

    Therefore, do not fear unhappiness, for its purpose is to accentuate happiness, and offers a point of comparison. This is why you should also be appreciative when you are unhappy, for you know the happiness that you will experience later on will be perceived as much greater and more magnificent form of happiness.

    (Btw, that Dopamax idea won't work because receptors downregulate and you'll need greater and greater dosage to achieve the same effect. That's what cocaine does pretty much.)
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    Jul 05, 2012 6:34 PM GMT
    Doing the right thing is more important than being happy. There are lots of wrong things I would do to make my life better and easier, but it would be dangerous, inconsiderate or bad for the environment to do them.

    Actually happiness is quite low on the priorities. Responsibilities, helping others, maintaining integrity.. happiness takes a back seat.

    I'd have to think before taking Dopamax, but might do it. As long as it didn't make me forget the ugly truths about the world and had no addictive consequences, why not? It's hard to imagine being happy while caring about the state of the world at the same time.
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    Jul 05, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
    isolation