Does Authenticity lead to Happiness? - http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/don ... -happiness
Finding Happiness in Authenticity - http://learnthis.ca/2011/10/finding-hap ... henticity/
I do not believe that Aristotle's derivation of Eudaimonia fully encompassed aspects of 'authenticity'. However true it may seem that authenticity may lead to happiness I also argue that it is not the only way. The question is as to whether 'true happiness' (ultimate state of satisfaction in life) may only be reached through adoption of an authentic self. Individuals will often aspire to role models, characters that trully inspired them throughout life - does this process aide us in discovering whom we really ought to be?
Some individuals are materialistic, and that cannot be easily changed unless one is willing to undergo a psychological lobotomy or conditioning process. I would argue that it is ethical to condition a child's mind from an early stage, after all children learn from their surroundings and every parent believes that correct discipline shapes one's self to his/her future life to be. It is henceforth an ethical duty for every parent to seek a way to raise his/her children in a way that will maximise their happiness and in such a manner that will maximise good to society (Utilitarianism). I do not believe any ill-harm would come to anyone although when faced with matters of teaching Theist/Atheist beliefs I believe a profound philosophical teaching of a vast range of views becomes a necessity in order to let the authentic-self of the youngling to choose his/her own mind by their own accord. I had just such an upbringing concerning faiths, I opted to being a Theist in the end but I wonder how others would fare?
True happiness is a state of integrity, and if you are true to oneself maybe you will experience joy or satisfaction - I would like to hear arguments against this statement. Universalising the maxim in which every individual attained 'true happiness' would society be impeded in it's drive to progress forwards as an intellectual society? I believe not, and if it were the case I would argue that the process of conditioning was done wrong. So where could this process start? The education system would have to play a big role in educating their pupils in aspects of tolerance and virtues. This is often done through the means of storytelling but few individuals are often aware of it. The problem is that the range of educational material is trully immense and this can cause alienation to segments within society, ie: nations. We are not generally familiar with folkloric stories from different cultures but more often all stories share common elements, a hero, a villain, and a moral point. I would argue that our prime directive in guiding the youth would be to focus on the moral aspect of stories and not so much on the gloryfying of the hero at the expense of the villain. A villain in its own accord is just a troubled individual that is misunderstood and when we begin to understand the causes for his/her actions we may be able to build our empathy for the character and hence grow wiser.
So in shaping society, by teaching our young, and the grown ups, I believe aspects of communication play of vital importance. One would have to be creative with his/her speech so as to clarify a moral point and embed its justification on one's mind without sounding like a preacher - it would have to be done by subtle means. If this were not the case there would be no credence to self opinionated individual decision making and society would not be aspiring to aspects of being 'authentic'.
Disney, a propagator of European idealised stories, targets the G rated audience, but by doing so they appeal their stories through emotive aspects that bring excitement and may generate a quick buck. I was surprised to know that after the fallacies of 'Alladin' (the initial opening theme song was racist) they initiated a 3 year feasibility study of indigeneous Americans on the making of 'Pocahontas' - now this is what I am talking about when launching an ethical and morally binding story. Disney suddenly took a sudden turn to educating individuals about history whilst remaining sensitive to different cultures, creeds, and beliefs. When teaching aspects of religion to our young (a major decisive factor for one to achieve true happiness) we ought to be fully attentive to the underlining philosophical ideals pertaining to them.
I can understand how from an 'Atheist' perspective you may deem this as utter non-sense, after all, why the hell am I going to teach my son/daughter about the existance of the flying spaghetti monster? But before you think such an idea as ludicrous think of the implications. Using an example, the character of Jesus himself was deemed as the ultimate symbol of Altruism in human form (or Isa in Muslim terms) - is this not a cause worth fighting for?
Back to conditioning... I do not have children, I am not sure if I ever will, but if I do I sure intend on them learning a bit of every faith and commonly bound aspects such as ethics shall be severely covered through figurative tales and stories told to them - maybe even relating my daily life at the expense of the stupidity of others around me in the workplace (anything to draw a laugh). I do not know much about psychology, but the books I have read have been too complex to put in practical use. Would it not be more morally binding to have psychologists caring and fending for our children in pre or primary schools?
I have a book I read twice which discusses how to raise children from baby years, and every several months it discusses what next you should be teaching your child. The book is not erroneous but I believe that some steps can be boosted up faster a little. Whether the quest to induce a child to achieve 'true happiness' at an early age is too harsh I do not know. After all, children usually live happy lives throughout the early years without much effort, but I wonder, what effects would correct discipline have on an individual if paid attention early - this in latter years? My hope would be that they would mature faster and hence be less of a burden in my retirement years - a way to get them booted out of the house faster I hope.
Maybe I deviated a bit on the topic there, I guess I was bored, and I am very tired, but does anyone know of a good parenting book that preaches virtue and ethics to the young? Maybe a methodological way that can be even applied to adults. I have been using some friends as guinea pigs in the way I am encouraging them to find their inner true self, so far the experiment is a partial failure - the fallacy being in encouraging enthusiasm and overcoming laziness. I guess with some individuals the very essence of happiness encompasses being lazy - for me this is the case 'till I attain the job I love. Like someone I admire once said, if you find a job you love you will never work a day in your life. So be it!