Is there a science to happiness?

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 27th, 2017, 9:40 pm 

Eclogite » February 18th, 2017, 7:18 am wrote:
zetreque » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:04 am wrote:
Revolutionary » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:39 pm wrote:So what's an effective way to affect change in the system?

Break the system so people have no choice and are forced to change.

Or

Get people involved so they feel like it's important to their survival and give them ownership over it because people are selfish egotisticals.

And avoid expressions such as "So when who let these fascist scumbags take over the education system?"

These will alienate you from a large body of the public who would otherwise agree with your aims, for those are words one would associate with an emotional, agenda driven, sophomoric, gullible fool.

You see what happens to acceptance of a message when you ramp up the rhetoric?


I think his question is a very important one and that it should be answered with an explanation that the world competed for Germany's "experts" at the end of the war and things like our CIA and space program are the result of bringing in these experts. And study of Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party are very much a driving force behind our politics and the US adopted the Prussian model of bureaucracy, leading to the writing of such books as "The Brave New World" and "1984". And the US replaced liberal education with Germany's model of education for technology that goes with the bureaucratic model that shifts authority and power from the individual to the federal government. Making the US the Military Industrial Complex of which Eisenhower warned everyone.

Although this is factual information, you are right about how people react to it. That reaction is unfortunate.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 27th, 2017, 10:15 pm 

mitchellmckain » February 23rd, 2017, 8:03 pm wrote:I suspect that part of the problem here is the old liberal fantasy that education is the solution to all problems, the automatic corollary of which is that failure in education should be blamed for all problems. But this is just plain nonsense. Of course, education is extremely valuable, but it is a resource that people have to choose to make use of, not a means of programming the perfect citizens. The latter is an approach which is morally wrong as well as doomed to failure. The simple and plain fact is that human beings can and will do things that they KNOW are wrong, irrational, stupid, and self-destructive. It is NOT just a matter of education! Education helps to be sure. But blaming education for everything wrong is stupid.


Before the more complete education for technology that replaced our liberal education, we prepared everyone for good moral judgment and I believe this is vital to liberty and democracy. I think leaving moral education to the church was a serious mistake that puts both our liberty and democracy in danger.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 27th, 2017, 11:33 pm 

]mitchellmckain » February 26th, 2017, 1:12 am[/url]"]
Athena » February 25th, 2017, 12:54 pm wrote:
Do you know of referral children? If they are found too late they do not become as normal humans, because we learn specific things at certain times in our development and the window of learning is closed when the time passes. We are as we are because this is how we learn to be. We are only born with the capability for this learning. If that learning does not happen at the right time, it does not happen, and the creature in the human form is more like an animal than a human. The planet we are born on would make a difference why?

I guess you mean "feral children."

The last time I looked into this I couldn't find any documentation on the internet at that time. I found more information when I looked it up this time and I am happy to have this information. It sounds to me like excellent support for my claim that those on the first planet would be nothing more than human shaped animals as I claimed they would be.

As far as I can tell you are making a case for my conclusion that the second planet has something which is a significant portion of our humanity even though this does not agree with your claim that, "our biology that makes us human." I certainly agree with your claim that "neither planet will have modern day humans" to the point of being tautological. But perhaps you shy away from complete agreement because you don't see a possibility for humanity in something without DNA as I do. Can we include you among those in scifi films slaughtering "artificiality" any who do not conform to their biological definition of humanity? Others such as myself see our biological machinery as just that -- machines which is even subject to engineering. The important question as we see it is, what do the machines do? And it is in those terms which I would define "life" itself -- not merely as a collection of specific examples but as a general process that can occur in many different mediums.


Back to the two planets- how do the young humans survive without caring adults? In the past the scholastic crowd argued, would children be born small adults if Eve had not eaten the wrong fruit leading to us all being cursed by God. There is something important about caring for babies that makes us better humans, and androids would not have this experience. It is our biology that provides us information about our existance and adroids lacking that biology would not have the receptors necessary to receiving that information.

I am a fan of the original Star Trek and most certainly am not into killing other forms of life and find your assumption offensive. Perhaps you can avoid making personal comments about my character, and then there will be no offensive statements for me to respond to.

I don't see a desire for respect as playing any more of a role in my posts than a desire to offend you. Perhaps the reason you are offended is a consequence of your lack of desire to understand what I am saying. What motivates my posts is a desire for the truth, which, when I read your posts, includes a desire to understand what you are saying. But, of course, a desire to understand what you are trying to say does not mean that I succeed. So, I do understand that it can often take some rough patches where we work out our misunderstandings in order to find a correct understanding of the position of other people.


I believe it is very important for humans to intentionally be respectful and that if you avoid making comments about my character and what you assume about me, there is little chance of me being offended.

I am a science teacher and I was told by people in education that science programs were being shut down throughout the education system, so there was less and less demand for science teachers.
For darn sure we have more important things to talk about, then if you can include me "among those in scifi films slaughtering "artificiality" any who do not conform to their biological definition of humanity?" that is a character slam that is disruptive to the more important matter of education. Please provide a more complete explanation about reducing science teachers. As I repeatedly tell my grandson, there are many fields of science. Are all fields of science being shut down? Would you say an education for science is different from education for technology?

I am dubious about whether wisdom can be taught in a classroom and even more dubious when people imagine that they are the authorities on wisdom who should be allowed to indoctrinate children in their way of thinking. I see more wisdom in restricting public education to the objective facts and letting students draw their own conclusions


It is my understanding that knowledge of science is essential to good moral judgment, and this is what the March for science on Earth Day is all about. Because of our denial of the science of global warming, we may destroy our civilizations, and in places like Indian, disease rules because the people refuse immunization. I think Cicero is perhaps the most important person to our democracy. He said so many things worth quoting and I am not sure we understand democracy and liberty without a knowledge of his thoughts.

“For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero, On the laws

“What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

“God's law is 'right reason.' When perfectly understood it is called 'wisdom.' When applied by government in regulating human relations it is called 'justice.” Marcus Tullius Cicero


Cicero predates Christians and his concept of God is not the God of Abraham but the Greek notion of logos. Logos is, reason, the controlling force of the universe. Not a being that does the reasoning, but the reason oxygen and hydrogen make water or the reason for why things fall to the earth or fly through the sky, and the reason ducks are as they are, and humans are as they are. To be moral is to know the law (logos) and good manners. Democracy is not rule of a man or group of men over others, but is rule by reason, and only highly moral people can have liberty. Finally, only democracy is defended in the classroom is it defended, and science is vital this defense, because we can not right reason without it.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 28th, 2017, 12:17 am 

Eclogite » February 27th, 2017, 12:22 pm wrote:
Revolutionary » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:36 pm wrote:So please Eclogite answer a very simple question for me. Should the education system improve the quality of people's lives or diminish (or stagnate) the quality or people's lives?
Obviously the former.

In order to improve anything efficiently we need four things:

1. A quantitative description of what is wrong with the present system.
2. An understanding, as deep as possible, of how those defects arose.
3. A vision of the desired end point of the improvement.
4. A detailed step by step plan on how to move from the present situation to desired end point, including an assessment of the obstacles en route and how to overcome them.



Personal comments were removed because they put people on the defensive and distract our attention, taking us off topic. What is left is a very helpful list.

Number 1. I have said, the problem is replacing our liberal education with education for technology. I have said the social, economic and political ramifications of this change in education threaten the liberty and democracy of the US.

Number 2. I have said this defect arose for military reasons, and here is the varification of that.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=11211

243 - Statement by the President Upon Signing the National Defense Education Act.
September 2, 1958

Public Papers of the Presidents
Dwight D. Eisenhower<br>1958
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1958

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I HAVE TODAY signed into law H. R. 13247, the National Defense Education Act.
This Act, which is an emergency undertaking to be terminated after four years, will in that time do much to strengthen our American system of education so that it can meet the broad and increasing demands imposed upon it by considerations of basic national security.

While the Congress did not see fit to provide a limited number of National Defense scholarships which I recommended as an incentive to our most promising youth, I consider this Act to be a sound and constructive piece of legislation.

Much remains to be done to bring American education to levels consistent with the needs of our society. The federal government having done its share, the people of the country, working through their local and State governments and through private agencies, must now redouble their efforts toward this end.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER


Further explanation of 2. I have said Eisenhower warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex his administration put into place for national defense reasons, and let us stop denying the existence of the Military Industrial Complex and acknowledge the change in education that is very much a part of the Military Industrial Complex, was for four years (to be terminated after four years), but did not end in four years, and became a permanent replacement of our liberal education that transmitted a very different culture than the one we have now.

Number 3 "A vision of the desired end point of the improvement." This would be a return to liberal education, not as it was, but as Revolutionary has requested up-dated to meet our present and future needs.

Number 4. Before going to the work required in the fourth step, I want to know if we are making any progress of it I am still beating my head against a stone wall?
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Revolutionary on February 28th, 2017, 12:30 am 

@Athena I know that banging your head against the wall feeling but, it's more like talking to a wall. A lot of people told me that I am unqualified to talk about such things because I don't have a Ph.D and I should get a Ph.D first. Why would I go through all that stress, pressure, and heartache just to get a Ph.D so people "might" listen to me. Why can't they listen to me with out it. Is a person more or less of a person because he or she didn't graduate from some prestigious University? Why can't we listen to all people and respect them regardless of what there education level is. People who dropped out of the school system did it for a reason and they are still people like anyone else. When we overlook these people for their so call lack of education we do our society a great disservice. Also just because they don't have a degree or even a diploma doesn't mean they are ignorant and not worthy of being listened to. How do we know what trails and tribulations they had to go through all their lives.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Braininvat on February 28th, 2017, 10:10 am 

It's not that society overlooks people lacking education, but rather that it respects the hard work and acquired knowledge and skills of someone who gets a good and thorough education in a field where it is needed. If you have an ache in your gut, who are you going to listen to, your neighbor who seems smart and watches "Grey's Anatomy" every week, or someone with an MD who has completed their residency and is board certified? If you want to know about black holes, who seems more likely to have mastered their complexities, your bus driver or Kip Thorne (or Roger Penrose or Stephen Hawking, or whatever black hole pundit you've heard of)? You don't get a PhD just to have people listen to you, you get it because you are passionate about your subject and want to master it as much as you can with the help of people who really know that subject and who can connect you to a community of others who have also mastered the subject.

It's not that people won't respect you if you're a bus driver. Perhaps you will know a great deal about engine mechanics, traffic patterns, and rider social dynamics. But, as I suggested above, if you need a new liver or want to understand black holes, it's not the bus driver you turn to.

Society has professional training programs that are arduous because some fields require a great deal of hard work and guidance to achieve mastery. An uneducated person simply cannot know everything that they don't know. That's just how it is.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 28th, 2017, 12:44 pm 

Revolutionary » February 27th, 2017, 10:30 pm wrote:@Athena I know that banging your head against the wall feeling but, it's more like talking to a wall. A lot of people told me that I am unqualified to talk about such things because I don't have a Ph.D and I should get a Ph.D first. Why would I go through all that stress, pressure, and heartache just to get a Ph.D so people "might" listen to me. Why can't they listen to me with out it. Is a person more or less of a person because he or she didn't graduate from some prestigious University? Why can't we listen to all people and respect them regardless of what there education level is. People who dropped out of the school system did it for a reason and they are still people like anyone else. When we overlook these people for their so call lack of education we do our society a great disservice. Also just because they don't have a degree or even a diploma doesn't mean they are ignorant and not worthy of being listened to. How do we know what trails and tribulations they had to go through all their lives.



Revolutionary, maybe you will come to understand the seriousness of the situation we are in. Most people will say I am wrong, but we are what we defended our democracy against, and this is so because of the change in our bureaucratic order and education. Had you lived in my grandmother's time, you would have been respected because public education internalized authority and taught the importance of good manners and cooperation and our liberty and democracy depended on that education.

To understand this, people need to know of the Prussian takeover of Germany but this isn't going to happen, because no one believes what I am saying, but here, listen to Eisenhower himself and see what he has to say about the changes created during his time in office and his concern that we may lose control of the Military Industrial Complex- notice lack of respect for one another and reliance on the scientific and technologic elite was a major concern for him.

ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBNmecVtdU
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 28th, 2017, 12:55 pm 

Braininvat » February 28th, 2017, 8:10 am wrote:It's not that society overlooks people lacking education, but rather that it respects the hard work and acquired knowledge and skills of someone who gets a good and thorough education in a field where it is needed. If you have an ache in your gut, who are you going to listen to, your neighbor who seems smart and watches "Grey's Anatomy" every week, or someone with an MD who has completed their residency and is board certified? If you want to know about black holes, who seems more likely to have mastered their complexities, your bus driver or Kip Thorne (or Roger Penrose or Stephen Hawking, or whatever black hole pundit you've heard of)? You don't get a PhD just to have people listen to you, you get it because you are passionate about your subject and want to master it as much as you can with the help of people who really know that subject and who can connect you to a community of others who have also mastered the subject.

It's not that people won't respect you if you're a bus driver. Perhaps you will know a great deal about engine mechanics, traffic patterns, and rider social dynamics. But, as I suggested above, if you need a new liver or want to understand black holes, it's not the bus driver you turn to.

Society has professional training programs that are arduous because some fields require a great deal of hard work and guidance to achieve mastery. An uneducated person simply cannot know everything that they don't know. That's just how it is.


Time and again in this forum I have been told I do not deserve respect. That is not how things were for my grandmother's generation.

Excuse me? "you get it because you are passionate about your subject". I vividly remember my threads being closed and posting my objection to this and everyone jumping my case, explaining again and again that I am wrong, as though if I understood I am in the wrong, I would be happy to engage with people who saw me as the problem. You all have a standard to maintain, and strong action is taken when someone says something that does not meet that standard. I do not mean it is wrong to have standards, but in the past the standard was good character and good manners, and in the present, like Revolutionary said, it is technological correctness and an earned degree that gives a person authority in a culture that is radically different from my grandmother's day. A culture that is now what we defended our democracy against and Eisenhower warned us of.

The experts are far, far from knowing much of anything except their extremely small field of study. My father was one of them, and so were the professors I dated, who couldn't manage a discussion in anything but their field of study, and falsely inflated their egos by being sure conversations did not wonder from their field of expertise. Education has specialized people and doing so goes very much the needs of democracy. In a democracy where we hold responsibility for our institutions, everyone needs to be generalized.

An uneducated person simply cannot know everything that they don't know. and neither do experts. That's just how it is.

For crying out loud, get over your near worship of specialized experts, they do not deserve it. I studied public policy and administration at the U of O. I have an educated opinion about the wrong of relying way too much on social research and the "experts" and while ignoring the common people.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Braininvat on February 28th, 2017, 2:28 pm 

I was addressing R's asking about the need for formal education, using highly technical fields as an example. You seem to be responding to issues my post did not address. When you say the past standard was good character and good manners, it's not clear- the standard for what? Good manners is still the standard for a nice conversation. And is still not sufficient for having a sound opinion on the condition of my bile ducts or quantum effects at the horizon of a black hole. Your point, that experts should be broadly educated in the humanities and civics, is sensible but not what I was addressing in my post.

I will stop monitoring this discussion. But I hope each poster can stay on topic and avoid ad hominems like "near worship." Strive for clarity rather than snark. Good luck to you all.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Braininvat on February 28th, 2017, 2:36 pm 

Also, if someone with more expertise and wisdom on a topic tells me I am wrong, like Don Lincoln on particle physics or NatChemE on chemistry or information technology, then I am grateful they took the time to alert me to that. That's basic to the ethos of science, and the honor of its methods. If anyone doesn't like being wrong now and then, then they definitely aren't going to be happy in the STEM fields or a website devoted to those fields. Kind of an aside note, but it seems pertinent.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby zetreque on February 28th, 2017, 3:40 pm 

I also want to add that a reason go to through the school system is because you can't understand something until you try it. A ridiculous metaphor might be how can you know what it's like to play football by just watching football? You have to actually play the game to know what it's like.

Another reason is to learn the language. If a person doesn't want to go through playing the game, or learning the language, then they should expect not to be taken seriously by those that do and they should expect to be pursuing another path. It's just logical.

This by no means takes away the seriousness of the problem of so many struggling in school or the education system. I'm just pointing out a couple obvious problems here.

On another note. The comment about replacing liberal education with a technology one frightened me. That extreme is a scary thought. I haven't gotten into this thread because I don't have the time to get through my idea of the education system, but it certainly needs more ecology, environmental, sustainability and systems thinking in education.

If we had just technology education, we would all be drones building driverless cars for the privileged in a capitalist society rather than looking at the impacts.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on February 28th, 2017, 5:21 pm 

Braininvat » February 28th, 2017, 12:28 pm wrote:I was addressing R's asking about the need for formal education, using highly technical fields as an example. You seem to be responding to issues my post did not address. When you say the past standard was good character and good manners, it's not clear- the standard for what? Good manners is still the standard for a nice conversation. And is still not sufficient for having a sound opinion on the condition of my bile ducts or quantum effects at the horizon of a black hole. Your point, that experts should be broadly educated in the humanities and civics, is sensible but not what I was addressing in my post.

I will stop monitoring this discussion. But I hope each poster can stay on topic and avoid ad hominems like "near worship." Strive for clarity rather than snark. Good luck to you all.


We are arguing values here, and this is not the first time you and I have argued values. I don't want to pick scabs off old wounds, but you have put technological correctness above good relationships. Also my arguing is not limited with you, but several times in this thread and many times in other threads, I have addressed the need to be respectful, and I have dealt with being told I do not deserve respect, which is a value statement that opposes our past cultural position on respect.

When communicating with people in other countries, I am told other countries think teaching people to get along is not considered a parental responsibility, but the responsibility of public education. In the US we speak as though we shouldn't be spending money on teaching the young how to behave.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Revolutionary on February 28th, 2017, 5:23 pm 

@everyone (except for maybe Athena and Zetreque because you guys kind of agree with me) if you are really serious about this and not just here to make this a Sisyphean conversation please provide me some feedback for this blog post I wrote up. Please read this thing the whole way through with out just skimming it and tell me if you think I'm right or wrong about the problems I talk about. Also if you think I'm wrong about anything please provide me with an in depth analysis of why. http://bakshandehariel.wixsite.com/webs ... -Solutions
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby mitchellmckain on February 28th, 2017, 11:14 pm 

Athena » February 27th, 2017, 10:33 pm wrote:
As far as I can tell you are making a case for my conclusion that the second planet has something which is a significant portion of our humanity even though this does not agree with your claim that, "our biology that makes us human." I certainly agree with your claim that "neither planet will have modern day humans" to the point of being tautological. But perhaps you shy away from complete agreement because you don't see a possibility for humanity in something without DNA as I do. Can we include you among those in scifi films slaughtering "artificiality" any who do not conform to their biological definition of humanity? Others such as myself see our biological machinery as just that -- machines which is even subject to engineering. The important question as we see it is, what do the machines do? And it is in those terms which I would define "life" itself -- not merely as a collection of specific examples but as a general process that can occur in many different mediums.


Back to the two planets- how do the young humans survive without caring adults? In the past the scholastic crowd argued, would children be born small adults if Eve had not eaten the wrong fruit leading to us all being cursed by God. There is something important about caring for babies that makes us better humans, and androids would not have this experience. It is our biology that provides us information about our existance and adroids lacking that biology would not have the receptors necessary to receiving that information.

I am a fan of the original Star Trek and most certainly am not into killing other forms of life and find your assumption offensive. Perhaps you can avoid making personal comments about my character, and then there will be no offensive statements for me to respond to.

Are you unable to distinguish between a question and an assumption?

I agree that the question I posed does ignore the fact that a great deal our communication with babies is nonverbal and I strongly suspect that some of this also plays a crucial role in BOTH the physical survival of infants was well as the formation of their awareness of self as caring beings. This does indeed make it difficult to separate the two. On the other hand we also know that children are survive in a wide spectrum of situation/environments from loving to hostile and this makes me doubt a legitimate case can be made that the circumstances outlined in the test are unworkable. I think the most we can question is whether the situation on the first planet would be something any rational humane person would actually contemplate doing.

Athena » February 27th, 2017, 10:33 pm wrote:
I don't see a desire for respect as playing any more of a role in my posts than a desire to offend you. Perhaps the reason you are offended is a consequence of your lack of desire to understand what I am saying. What motivates my posts is a desire for the truth, which, when I read your posts, includes a desire to understand what you are saying. But, of course, a desire to understand what you are trying to say does not mean that I succeed. So, I do understand that it can often take some rough patches where we work out our misunderstandings in order to find a correct understanding of the position of other people.

I believe it is very important for humans to intentionally be respectful and that if you avoid making comments about my character and what you assume about me, there is little chance of me being offended.

I frankly have no interest in your character either way. But I will not be brow beaten into avoiding the implications of issues by your wild accusations that you have been "insulted". Frankly I see this as disguised ad-hominem (i.e. distraction) tactic which leads us away from the actual issue of discussion into endlessly boring talks about character, respect, blah, blah, blah... It reminds me of teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 1st, 2017, 12:49 am 

And what part of this paragraph is not a negative comment about me?

I frankly have no interest in your character either way. But I will not be brow beaten into avoiding the implications of issues by your wild accusations that you have been "insulted". Frankly I see this as disguised ad-hominem (i.e. distraction) tactic which leads us away from the actual issue of discussion into endlessly boring talks about character, respect, blah, blah, blah... It reminds me of teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching.


Isn't it a bit dehumanizing to have no interest in the character of another, kind of like putting babies on a planet without nurturing to see what happens, and equating the babies with programmable machines. And how can you write a whole derogatory paragraph about someone built on the assumption you are not offensive? If you are female and not a guy, I would really be shocked because I assume a different awareness from females.

If you don't write about me, there is no reason for me to object to you doing so. That is just logic, not brow beating.

Have you been a parent? An involved parent is usually changed by the experience of parenting. This is not a one-sided experience where only the child is affected by the parenting, but the parent is affected as well. This is where the biology comes in and why the babies will be more human than the androids. The babies well not be fully developed caring beings. until they themselves are parents. Part of this change is hormonal and part of it is awareness and conscious decisions. The biological human having feedback systems the android can not have. Having a child is fundamentally different from androids building machine replicas of themselves.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby zetreque on March 1st, 2017, 12:57 am 

Revolutionary » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:23 pm wrote:@everyone (except for maybe Athena and Zetreque because you guys kind of agree with me) if you are really serious about this and not just here to make this a Sisyphean conversation please provide me some feedback for this blog post I wrote up. Please read this thing the whole way through with out just skimming it and tell me if you think I'm right or wrong about the problems I talk about. Also if you think I'm wrong about anything please provide me with an in depth analysis of why. http://bakshandehariel.wixsite.com/webs ... -Solutions


I hope that some egos can be put aside in this thread and people can give you some feedback on your thoughts here.

I too loved field trips in elementary school. Some of my best memories. Though I remember one field trip that was a bit of a nightmare and I protested it. haha
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Revolutionary on March 1st, 2017, 1:04 am 

@Zetreque what about all the other stuff I mentioned. Like the created a bridge instead of making it a risky swim.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby zetreque on March 1st, 2017, 1:11 am 

Revolutionary » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:04 pm wrote:@Zetreque what about all the other stuff I mentioned. Like the created a bridge instead of making it a risky swim.


I think it's an important point.

That's another area where everyone is different. Some lucky individuals do well in high school and jump right into college ready to keep going. Others can barely make it through high school and need a break before going on to college or a career. I was one of the latter. I love education but I barely finished high school and I spent a few years playing around with different jobs not really liking anything or knowing what to do and being put off by college because it cost money and I would be forced to learn a lot of stuff I didn't want to at the time and then later in life I was ready to jump right into college and do it all. Then I got burnt out near the end of that.

And in adult life you have to work while school which is difficult too.

The bridging between work life and school life is important. How to work that in to all the different needs for people is challenging though. I certainly would be nice if people could transition back and forth from school and work more in life.

One problem is once someone gets stuck/trapped in the adult working life in our capitalist system, it's difficult to go back to school. Especially ones that end up with families to support.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 1st, 2017, 1:41 am 

zetreque » February 28th, 2017, 11:11 pm wrote:
Revolutionary » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:04 pm wrote:@Zetreque what about all the other stuff I mentioned. Like the created a bridge instead of making it a risky swim.


I think it's an important point.

That's another area where everyone is different. Some lucky individuals do well in high school and jump right into college ready to keep going. Others can barely make it through high school and need a break before going on to college or a career. I was one of the latter. I love education but I barely finished high school and I spent a few years playing around with different jobs not really liking anything or knowing what to do and being put off by college because it cost money and I would be forced to learn a lot of stuff I didn't want to at the time and then later in life I was ready to jump right into college and do it all. Then I got burnt out near the end of that.

And in adult life you have to work while school which is difficult too.

The bridging between work life and school life is important. How to work that in to all the different needs for people is challenging though. I certainly would be nice if people could transition back and forth from school and work more in life.

One problem is once someone gets stuck/trapped in the adult working life in our capitalist system, it's difficult to go back to school. Especially ones that end up with families to support.


Europe encourages young people to travel and have some life experience before focusing on college and look at this--

WorldViews
7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wor ... 8d996968a2



Personally, I am not a big fan of colleges, especially if Mom and Dad can not easily pay for it, and I much prefer the Teaching Company http://www.thegreatcourses.com/ because for a few dollars a person can buy DVD's of college courses and watch them over and over again whenever a person has time to watch them. In my community, we can borrow some of these courses from our local library for free. Some colleges will give you credit for what you know, you just have to pay for the test.

And here is a movement I think we should support

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/ernest-young-degree-recruitment-hiring-credentialism/406576/

America’s tech sector has been the most outspoken about the irrelevance of degrees and grades when it comes to hiring: Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, has been quoted as saying that while good grades don’t hurt, they're “worthless as a criteria for hiring.” The company administers sample-work tests—the best predictor of success on the job, writes Bock—and he says that they’re “less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how you think.” One study found that pre-employment skill testing results in employees with significantly higher attendance rates and reduces turnover.


Or just look for a job where you can be promoted and work your way to the top. A faster food restaurant is a potential leg up in life. It is not that hard to get into management in the fast food industry and management experience can be taken other places, and work experience counts more than college education.

See if you can find a job in a company that uses the democratic model. because such companies offer ongoing training and advancement.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 1st, 2017, 11:22 am 

I woke with this discussion on my mind. The question of this thread is if there is a science of happiness and yes there is. Happiness has been well researched. We know the feeling of love results from...

Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.Jun 4, 2015
Oxytocin: Facts About the 'Cuddle Hormone' - Live Science
http://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html


There is physical cuddling and also verbal cuddling. If I tell you how much I appreciate your post and that I think very well of you as a human being, but I disagree on a point of logic, you will feel marvelous and appreciate the opportunity to explain yourself to someone who cares about you and thinks well of you.

We know being well rested and having plenty of exercise lifts our spirits. Here is a flood of information about the science of happiness.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=c ... appiness&*

Now can talk about cultural reasons that cause happiness to dimish? "endlessly boring talks about character, respect, blah, blah, blah... It reminds me of teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching." and the advice to "not let our egos get in the way", are dehumanizing statements that tend to make us feel bad about being feeling creatures. When such thoughts predominate a culture, happiness may be lacking. Destroying the value of the traditional woman and demanding she be as a man and compete for her place in life like a man, and the entertainment industry catering to the taste of young males and small minded people, can create a culture that may not be best for humans?

That is, our science of happiness needs to include cultural values and thinking it is not important to consider the other person's feelings is not going to manifest a culture that is good for happiness. When someone feels offended, the best way to handle this is say "I am sorry". It is like accidentally stepping on someone's toes and saying "I am sorry", instead of "keep your toes away from my feet". Getting defensive will not improve the situation as fast as being considerate. And because Americans are so focused being educated for jobs. People with the best social skills are the most apt to succeed and those who lack social skills are the most likely to fail, so maybe we should pay attention to "teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching."

I speak of "respect" because I speak of a culture that is most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 1st, 2017, 3:51 pm 

Athena » February 28th, 2017, 11:49 pm wrote:And what part of this paragraph is not a negative comment about me?

Isn't it a bit dehumanizing to have no interest in the character of another, kind of like putting babies on a planet without nurturing to see what happens, and equating the babies with programmable machines.

No, I see this interest in the character of others as being part of the delusion that one can stand in judgment of others. I already said that we would be right to challenge whether actually doing what was suggested in the first planet would not be humane. But I was careful to mention that the androids on the second planet were NOT programmed but had to learn just like children do. Furthermore, it is clear from the context of the whole question, that the whole point of the androids is just ONE THING and that is to make a distinction between our humanity and the particular chemical machinery by which we live -- our biology. If you were not so busy looking for insults, you would have tried to understand my explanation about this.

Others such as myself see our biological machinery as just that -- machines which is even subject to engineering. The important question as we see it is, what do the machines do? And it is in those terms which I would define "life" itself -- not merely as a collection of specific examples but as a general process that can occur in many different mediums.


Athena » February 28th, 2017, 11:49 pm wrote:Have you been a parent?

I am the father of three boys ages 22,21, and 11, and there was no time during which I was not completely involved in raising them, including living together with them in the same house.

Athena » February 28th, 2017, 11:49 pm wrote:An involved parent is usually changed by the experience of parenting. This is not a one-sided experience where only the child is affected by the parenting, but the parent is affected as well.

Indeed. I have always said that having children is one of the most arrogant things we ever do. The only thing which exceeds this in arrogance is backseat parenting. Each child is so unique that they practically have to teach the parent how to be their parent -- how to be what they need. If the parent learns some humility from the experience then they are indeed changed for the better, but this does not always happen. Regardless, while we somewhat agree on this aspect of parenting, we definitely DO NOT agree on your explanation for it.

Athena » February 28th, 2017, 11:49 pm wrote:This is where the biology comes in and why the babies will be more human than the androids. The babies well not be fully developed caring beings. until they themselves are parents. Part of this change is hormonal and part of it is awareness and conscious decisions. The biological human having feedback systems the android can not have. Having a child is fundamentally different from androids building machine replicas of themselves.

No this is NOT biology. It is the nature of life -- the living process by which we participate in our own creation by making our own choices. The difference between a child and a tool is not the machinery by which they function but what this machinery actually does. Both biochemistry and electronics can be used to design machinery for a specific task and thus exist as a means to an end. The difference in a child is in the fact that they grow and learn for themselves, deciding what to make of themselves and that is why they are an end in themselves. We may not be there yet, but we are rapidly approaching the point where the divide between biology and electronics is becoming smaller, both as our electronics becomes more compact, complex and sophisticated and as our understanding of how biology works increases.


BUT let me once again remind you what I have said ALL ALONG in this discussion, that despite my very good reasons for my position on this, this is a subjective position on the entirely subjective question of where our humanity is to be found. I do not expect your agreement but neither should you expect me to agree with you on this. It is to be expected given our history that many people still have a conception of humanity which is rather narrow and there is no objective evidence to prove them wrong. It is a choice we make about who we are and how we want to live. And before you start imagining insults again, this is not to say that your conception of humanity is more narrow than mine. On the contrary, with your love of star trek, you may indeed have concocted a definition of humanity that is actually wider than mine (which is still based on inheritance, just not a biological one). I probably would argue that wider is not the same as better.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 1st, 2017, 4:29 pm 

Athena » March 1st, 2017, 10:22 am wrote:That is, our science of happiness needs to include cultural values and thinking it is not important to consider the other person's feelings is not going to manifest a culture that is good for happiness. When someone feels offended, the best way to handle this is say "I am sorry". It is like accidentally stepping on someone's toes and saying "I am sorry", instead of "keep your toes away from my feet". Getting defensive will not improve the situation as fast as being considerate. And because Americans are so focused being educated for jobs. People with the best social skills are the most apt to succeed and those who lack social skills are the most likely to fail, so maybe we should pay attention to "teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching."


We see quite a variety of personalities in life and film... Some people, especially young people, stick out their toes to make others step on them so they can demand apologies. They play these dominance games with both physical threat and with trash talk/rhetoric about respect, etc... This leaves others choosing whether to play their dominance games with apologies or to ignore them, usually because they have better things to do with their time. The funny thing about respect is that, like trust, those who demand it most from others are usually those who shouldn't be, except perhaps to give sufficient lip service in order to make them go away.

Athena » March 1st, 2017, 10:22 am wrote:I speak of "respect" because I speak of a culture that is most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior.

That may be your reason for what you say, but I cannot help but doubt a culture obsessed with respect is the most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Eclogite on March 1st, 2017, 5:28 pm 

What makes me happy is when someone says to me "This document is sub-standard. You should have written A and B, not C. In part F your premises are sloppy, your exposition incomplete."

This makes me happy because they have valued me enough to be honest with me. I value honesty. An honestly expressed opinion is the highest mark of respect I know.

What makes me sad is when someone treats honest respect as an insult. It reduces their humanity and corrupts mine.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 1st, 2017, 7:34 pm 

Eclogite » March 1st, 2017, 4:28 pm wrote:What makes me happy is when someone says to me "This document is sub-standard. You should have written A and B, not C. In part F your premises are sloppy, your exposition incomplete."

This makes me happy because they have valued me enough to be honest with me. I value honesty. An honestly expressed opinion is the highest mark of respect I know.

What makes me sad is when someone treats honest respect as an insult. It reduces their humanity and corrupts mine.


AMEN!!! Three cheers for constructive criticism! It is something you can use to improve what you are working on. But other kinds of criticism are not so helpful, like when it looks too subjective or self serving.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Revolutionary on March 1st, 2017, 10:12 pm 

And yet still no response from you guys to the article I wrote... Oh well I'll wait. I'd respect an honest opinion.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Eclogite on March 2nd, 2017, 5:29 am 

Revolutionary » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:12 am wrote:And yet still no response from you guys to the article I wrote... Oh well I'll wait. I'd respect an honest opinion.
I have, I believe, stated a few times that I believe your premises are faulty. I cannot address your proposals without examining first the thinking behind them. If, and only if, I find a substantial part of that thinking to be flawed I would suspect it unlikely that you will have constructed something of value upon such a flimsy foundation.

In one of your blogs you said this: "When you go back to the beginning of your public education days and remember all the assignments, book reports, and group projects that you’ve ever done - have any of them created a lasting impact throughout your life as of now?"

Yes. Very definitely. In what you would call sixth grade I was praised by my teacher for the quality of a story I had written as a class assignment. I have used the memory of that success and recollection of what made it a good story to help me write manuals and construct training courses that have connectivity and energy and relevance.

I still use that memory fifty seven years later, yet it is only one such example from my time in primary and secondary school. I strongly suspect that not all of my classmates left school with the same positive recollections. Was that primarily the failing of the educational system, or was part of it down to their own approach to learning?

Now perhaps no teacher ever praised you for your work. Perhaps the educational system did fail you miserably. (In which case I'm puzzled as to how you acquired the skill of writing interesting, well structured blogs!) But you cannot, as you appear to be doing, make a blanket condemnation of the system, asserting that it is failing everyone. That approach fails on two grounds:
1. It alienates people who do not wish to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
2. It does not investigate the weaknesses of the system with sufficient granularity.

Given those weaknesses as a starting point, why would I expect the derived solution to be viable?
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 2nd, 2017, 12:22 pm 

[quote="mitchellmckain » March 1st, 2017, 1:51 pm
No, I see this interest in the character of others as being part of the delusion that one can stand in judgment of others. I already said that we would be right to challenge whether actually doing what was suggested in the first planet would not be humane. But I was careful to mention that the androids on the second planet were NOT programmed but had to learn just like children do. Furthermore, it is clear from the context of the whole question, that the whole point of the androids is just ONE THING and that is to make a distinction between our humanity and the particular chemical machinery by which we live -- our biology. If you were not so busy looking for insults, you would have tried to understand my explanation about this.


I am reading a book on logic and it humbles me. I find it very hard to get the explanations of logic to stick in my head. This makes me very aware of the problem of thinking our thoughts are logical when they are not. An active brain does not equal good thinking. My point of saying this is that I question how well I think things through. My thoughts, may be nothing more the erroneous ideas?

However, for us to have good relationships instead of being anonymous and saying anything we want to each other, not caring how our words might make another feel, we either need to agree on the rules, or we need to know each other well enough to actually feel like a valued relationship exist. It is inherent in relationships that we do judge the character of each other. That judgment is essential to protecting ourselves and family. We do not want to do business with a crook. We do not want to hurt someone we care about and how much we care about another depends on our judgment of that person's character, as surely as H2O becomes water. Not understanding this has resulted in manifesting a culture that is impersonal and dehumanizing and unsafe in many ways. At least that is my reasoning.

I feel threatened by the rise of thinking androids can be superior to humans, because in my mind that is an expression of how much we have dehumanized ourselves. Your androids can not be as humans because being a human is not restricted to having a brain. Being human is about having a body that feels pleasure and pain, safe of threatened. I repeat, having a body that feels these things. We are far being brains in vats, and I really don't think it would be pleasant to have my brain transferred to an android even if that meant I could live ever. The pleasure in life is feeling it. On-line sex does not appeal to me.

Bottom line, you either judge me or dehumanize me. I will take my chances at being judged. That might be better than being put in a gas chamber by someone has dehumanized me so completely he can do that to others.

Others such as myself see our biological machinery as just that -- machines which is even subject to engineering. The important question as we see it is, what do the machines do? And it is in those terms which I would define "life" itself -- not merely as a collection of specific examples but as a general process that can occur in many different mediums.


Yes, it is clear you equate our biological being with just being a machine and that is frightening. Other than engage with you in intellectual argumentation, or as an extension of a gas pump or cash register, I would not want to engage with you at all unless your position on human values changes. I have also questioned the sanity of engaging you here because you have said things that resulted in me feeling very bad, and you took absolutely no responsibility for that. How far is this from putting someone in a gas chamber? It is a failure to relate to another that is dangerous. I think in these terms because I know the US replaced liberal education with Germany's model of education for technology and this education is dehumanizing. It was not Christianity that made the US different from Germany, but a difference in our education. I am not seeing your reasoning as the better reasoning because I am aware of a frightening history and the US adaptation of the German models of bureaucracy and education.

I think we should avoid discussion of family that is too personal, because that opens the door to offenses. I have noted you are a parent.

Indeed. I have always said that having children is one of the most arrogant things we ever do. The only thing which exceeds this in arrogance is backseat parenting. Each child is so unique that they practically have to teach the parent how to be their parent -- how to be what they need. If the parent learns some humility from the experience then they are indeed changed for the better, but this does not always happen. Regardless, while we somewhat agree on this aspect of parenting, we definitely DO NOT agree on your explanation for it.


Do you think an android who builds a replacement, will learn humility as a human parent does? Will the baby android always be different from the parent and will the parent android always have to figure out how to change in relationship with the child android? What about the cues of size and difference in strength and capability? Will the baby android clue the parent android as a human being does, being completely dependent in the beginning and then growing larger and stronger and more capable? How will android go through this biological process that trains us to be parents?

No this is NOT biology. It is the nature of life -- the living process by which we participate in our own creation by making our own choices. The difference between a child and a tool is not the machinery by which they function but what this machinery actually does.
It is not? Are you sure about that?

The difference in a child is in the fact that they grow and learn for themselves, deciding what to make of themselves and that is why they are an end in themselves.
I think that is significance difference.

We may not be there yet, but we are rapidly approaching the point where the divide between biology and electronics is becoming smaller, both as our electronics becomes more compact, complex and sophisticated and as our understanding of how biology works increases.


Have you ever fantasized about having the perfect android mate? This male or female has the perfect body and could not be more attractive. Even better, it is programmed to meet your every need and has the ability to learn over time, but will never become as your inferior as a human husband or wife. What kind of improvement would androids be if the androids became as annoying as their human models? Like if we want androids to be just like humans, keep having babies- it is easy and exactly why do we want androids? Back to sex and the perfect relationship, let your imagine wonder. For how long do you want to share life with your android slave, completely under your control and always predictable pleasing? If not, then is the purpose of having androids?

BUT let me once again remind you what I have said ALL ALONG in this discussion, that despite my very good reasons for my position on this, this is a subjective position on the entirely subjective question of where our humanity is to be found. I do not expect your agreement but neither should you expect me to agree with you on this. It is to be expected given our history that many people still have a conception of humanity which is rather narrow and there is no objective evidence to prove them wrong. It is a choice we make about who we are and how we want to live. And before you start imagining insults again, this is not to say that your conception of humanity is more narrow than mine. On the contrary, with your love of star trek, you may indeed have concocted a definition of humanity that is actually wider than mine (which is still based on inheritance, just not a biological one). I probably would argue that wider is not the same as better.


Democracy is about arguing until there is a consensus on the best reasoning. If you want to bring an android into this argument for the android's point of view, great! Let your imagination do this if you like.

I disagree with "given our history that many people still have a conception of humanity which is rather narrow and there is no objective evidence to prove them wrong." Rather I would say this problem results from not understanding logic and democracy.

My understanding of being human is based on looking at them from every possible angle, to name a few of these angles- zoology and anthropology, psychology and sociology, a study of religion and study of history, and an understanding of logic, as well as my personal experience of life- something that not even a god can have, because it requires living in mortal body to know life by experiencing it.

And about logic, I am sorry you feel defensive, but I will repeat, unless you assume things about me and write about me, there is no chance of me being offended.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 2nd, 2017, 1:06 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 1st, 2017, 2:29 pm wrote:
Athena » March 1st, 2017, 10:22 am wrote:That is, our science of happiness needs to include cultural values and thinking it is not important to consider the other person's feelings is not going to manifest a culture that is good for happiness. When someone feels offended, the best way to handle this is say "I am sorry". It is like accidentally stepping on someone's toes and saying "I am sorry", instead of "keep your toes away from my feet". Getting defensive will not improve the situation as fast as being considerate. And because Americans are so focused being educated for jobs. People with the best social skills are the most apt to succeed and those who lack social skills are the most likely to fail, so maybe we should pay attention to "teachers in school who wasted so much of our time on this babble rather than on the what they were supposed to be teaching."


We see quite a variety of personalities in life and film... Some people, especially young people, stick out their toes to make others step on them so they can demand apologies. They play these dominance games with both physical threat and with trash talk/rhetoric about respect, etc... This leaves others choosing whether to play their dominance games with apologies or to ignore them, usually because they have better things to do with their time. The funny thing about respect is that, like trust, those who demand it most from others are usually those who shouldn't be, except perhaps to give sufficient lip service in order to make them go away.

Athena » March 1st, 2017, 10:22 am wrote:I speak of "respect" because I speak of a culture that is most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior.

That may be your reason for what you say, but I cannot help but doubt a culture obsessed with respect is the most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior.


That post was frightening to me. It seems with education for technology came this mentality of dominance and fear of being dominated. This is greatly different from our past culture which was much more a culture for peace where consideration of others and cooperativeness were taught in public education. I do think, if we are going to think it is better to spend on education and medical care, than on war, as all other modern countries are taking care of social needs, then we need to return to liberal education transmitting the culture we had. I think that education is very important to world peace and defending democracy. You know, leadership by example, instead of inflaming the arms race and pissing everyone off because we have the ability of a bully.

When Richard M. Brickner, M.D. wrote his 1943 book "Is Germany Incurable?" He made the argument that Germany was paranoid. He defined paranoia as an excessive need to be superior and in control. I do think this is the result of replacing our liberal education with the German model. I think the social, economic and political ramifications of this change in education are huge.

Why wouldn't a culture built on Greek philosophy and the later reasoning of the Age of Enlightenment, that lead to the establishment of the US democracy, and proceeded to fulfill the promise of a New Age, not lead to happiness? What is your reasoning?

Another point of logic, because Trump is doing this I want to call it to everyone's attention. Take the word obsessed out of this sentence

That may be your reason for what you say, but I cannot help but doubt a culture obsessed with respect is the most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior


That may be your reason for what you say, but I cannot help but doubt a culture with respect is the most likely to manifest happiness and moral behavior


You see the argument against my point was not logical but based horrors! on the strength of being "obsessed"! A worded to trigger an emotional reaction, canceling out logic.

Another point of logic is culture and how we understand "respect". "We are respectful because we are respectful people. It doesn't matter who the other person is". versus "Respect must be earned." That is a difference between the democracy we defended and the republic we defended ourselves against in two world wars.

Actually, this is how the General Report of the Seminar on "What Is Democracy" Congress on Education for Democracy, August, 1939 explains democracy.

"Democracy is a way of life and social organization which above all others is sensitive to the dignity and worth of the individual human personality, affirming the fundamental moral and political equality of all men and recognizing no barriers of race, religion, or circumstance." That is built on the ancient Greek philosophy that got the notion of democracy rolling. It doesn't seem too obsessed, does it?

Our Social Security pensions are based on age, not need, to protect the dignity of the elderly. Our attitude towards privacy was almost sacred. Understanding the differences between Sparta and Athens seems very important to understanding present. Germany was the Sparta of the modern world, and the US was the Athens of the modern world and used the Athenian model of education for well round, individual growth. Knowing this is important to our culture and value judgments. It is kind of a choice between individuals with independence and dignity and a voice of authority or being a Military Industrial Complex, a well-armed ant colony.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Athena on March 2nd, 2017, 1:56 pm 

Eclogite » March 1st, 2017, 3:28 pm wrote:What makes me happy is when someone says to me "This document is sub-standard. You should have written A and B, not C. In part F your premises are sloppy, your exposition incomplete."

This makes me happy because they have valued me enough to be honest with me. I value honesty. An honestly expressed opinion is the highest mark of respect I know.

What makes me sad is when someone treats honest respect as an insult. It reduces their humanity and corrupts mine.


What is an example of treating "honest respect as an insult"? I can not imagine what that would be.
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Re: Is there a science to happiness?

Postby Revolutionary on March 2nd, 2017, 1:58 pm 

@Eclogite you grew up in a different time period and a different geographical location. You can't really compare your situation to mine. Also what blog post did you read the first one where I "take people through my past" or the other one where "I talk about solutions."
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