Happiness and democracy

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Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 10th, 2017, 12:43 pm 

We all know Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and in it, he said. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

He did not mean the happiness of enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children. We need an understanding of Aristotle's reasoning to understand how the pursuit of happiness is tied to democracy, and our democracy is not compatible with Christianity. The Christian understanding of humanity is not an understanding of humanity that is compatible with democracy, and I think our democracy is in seriously trouble until we are aware of that. We are not made of mud but a god that made us more like angels than animals, and we were not thrown out of Eden because Eve ate the wrong fruit. Here is the reasoning behind a democracy, instead of a kingdom, and I want to know what you think this exlanation.

http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/aristotle/

The Hierarchical View of Nature

In order to explain human happiness, Aristotle draws on a view of nature he derived from his biological investigations. If we look at nature, we notice that there are four different kinds of things that exist in the world, each one defined by a different purpose:

Mineral: rocks, metals and other lifeless things. The only goal which these things seek is to come to a rest. They are "beyond stupid" since they are inanimate objects with no soul

Vegetative: plants and other wildlife. Here we see a new kind of thing emerge,something which is alive. Because plants seek nourishment and growth, they have souls and can be even said to be satisfied when they attain these goals

Animal: all the creatures we study as belonging to the animal kingdom. Here we see a higher level of life emerge: animals seek pleasure and reproduction, and we can talk about a happy or sad dog, for example, to the extent that they are healthy and lead a pleasant life

Human: what is it that makes human beings different from the rest of the animal kingdom? Aristotle answers: Reason. Only humans are capable of acting according to principles, and in so doing taking responsibility for their choices. We can blame Johnny for stealing the candy since he knows it is wrong, but we wouldn't blame an animal since it doesn't know any better.

It seems that our unique function is to reason: by reasoning things out we attain our ends, solve our problems, and hence live a life that is qualitatively different in kind from plants or animals. The good for a human is different from the good for an animal because we have different capacities or potentialities. We have a rational capacity and the exercising of this capacity is thus the perfecting of our natures as human beings. For this reason, pleasure alone cannot constitute human happiness, for pleasure is what animals seek and human beings have higher capacities than animals. The goal is not to annihilate our physical urges, however, but rather to channel them in ways that are appropriate to our natures as rational animals.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 10th, 2017, 3:04 pm 

Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:He did not mean the happiness of enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children.
What evidence do you have for this assertion?


Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:The Christian understanding of humanity is not an understanding of humanity that is compatible with democracy, and I think our democracy is in seriously trouble until we are aware of that.
The Christianity in which I was raised was not only compatible with democracy, but demanded it. You will have to offer more than a curt assertion to convince me of your view.

Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:We are not made of mud but a god that made us more like angels than animals, and we were not thrown out of Eden because Eve ate the wrong fruit.
We are made of mud, at least metaphorically and - if Cairns-Smith is correct - perhaps literally.

We are arguably more akin to animals than angels: we are demonstrably animals, angels are unlikely to exist.

Note: your quoted passage is obtuse and it is not clear whether you are arguing for or against the stated positions.

Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote: Here is the reasoning behind a democracy, instead of a kingdom, and I want to know what you think this exlanation.
I see nothing in it that in any way supports your contention that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. What is it you see.

It is perhaps presumptuous of me to disagree with Aristotle. I make the excuse that I am following a long line of much smarter persons than myself.

Being unaware of Newton's 1st Law of Motion his ideas concerning the goals of minerals were wrong. If he could be wrong in such a fundamental, to what extent should we value his other views?

There is clear evidence that several animals are well capable of reason. Some arguably do "know better" and therefore understand that they are responsible for their actions.

I won't disagree with his final conclusion as a generic statement. I will disagree with it being exclusively applied to only humans.

And, I repeat, even if his conclusions are 100% correct they do not appear in any way to demonstrate the incompatibility of Christianity and democracy.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 10th, 2017, 8:34 pm 

Eclogite » March 10th, 2017, 1:04 pm wrote:
Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:He did not mean the happiness of enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children.
What evidence do you have for this assertion?


Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:The Christian understanding of humanity is not an understanding of humanity that is compatible with democracy, and I think our democracy is in seriously trouble until we are aware of that.
The Christianity in which I was raised was not only compatible with democracy, but demanded it. You will have to offer more than a curt assertion to convince me of your view.

Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote:We are not made of mud but a god that made us more like angels than animals, and we were not thrown out of Eden because Eve ate the wrong fruit.
We are made of mud, at least metaphorically and - if Cairns-Smith is correct - perhaps literally.

We are arguably more akin to animals than angels: we are demonstrably animals, angels are unlikely to exist.

Note: your quoted passage is obtuse and it is not clear whether you are arguing for or against the stated positions.

Athena » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 pm wrote: Here is the reasoning behind a democracy, instead of a kingdom, and I want to know what you think this exlanation.
I see nothing in it that in any way supports your contention that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. What is it you see.

It is perhaps presumptuous of me to disagree with Aristotle. I make the excuse that I am following a long line of much smarter persons than myself.

Being unaware of Newton's 1st Law of Motion his ideas concerning the goals of minerals were wrong. If he could be wrong in such a fundamental, to what extent should we value his other views?

There is clear evidence that several animals are well capable of reason. Some arguably do "know better" and therefore understand that they are responsible for their actions.

I won't disagree with his final conclusion as a generic statement. I will disagree with it being exclusively applied to only humans.

And, I repeat, even if his conclusions are 100% correct they do not appear in any way to demonstrate the incompatibility of Christianity and democracy.


If you want to disagree with Aristotle's understanding of happiness that is great. Here is a youtube of a professor explaining Aristotle's idea of happiness. Please pick a point you want to argue and argue it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvAoxLz7gBI

Do we agree biblical mythology is not to be taken literally as God's truth?

To understand democracy, I think it is vitally important to think like Aristotle even though he was not 100% correct about all things. But let us begin with his understand of creation, a notion of cause and effect that is vitally important to good moral judgment and the justification for liberty and democracy.

Aristotle developed the four causes as a way of explaining why things are the way they are. He thought that if you knew the material cause, the efficient cause, the formal cause and the final cause of a thing then you had a very thorough explanation of why anything is the way it is.

The Four Causes:
Material Cause: The physical substance from which the thing is made. I.e. is it made of metal, wood etc.

Efficient Cause: The process or individual by which the thing has been made. The thing that brings about the effect. (This is probably closest to what we mean by 'cause').

Formal Cause: This is the most difficult of the four causes to understand. The formal cause is the concept or the idea of the thing. The properties and features it has to have to be the thing that it is.

Final Cause: The purpose or objective of the object. What it is made for.

http://www.philosopherkings.co.uk/godandcreation.html


One more point, animals reason? Great, now we will have to start putting them on trial for doing things they know are wrong. I really do not believe animals have the power reason humans have. However, I would also argue our opinion of ourselves as intelligence creatures is highly overrated.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 11th, 2017, 3:40 am 

Unanswered questions and unaddressed points:
1. What evidence do you have that Aristotle ".. did not mean the happiness of enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day . . ."? Hint: nothing in the quoted passage supports your assertion.

2. The Christianity in which I was raised was not only compatible with democracy, but demanded it. You will have to offer more than a curt assertion to convince me of your view. Do you intend to offer more?

3. You have not clarified what your paragraph on mud an angels was intended to mean.

4. I see nothing in it that in any way supports your contention that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. What is it you see? (There was no question mark in my original, but I would have thought the sentence structure marked it as a question.)

I am reluctant to proceed with those points you did respond to until you have clarified these unanswered ones.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 11th, 2017, 7:34 pm 

Eclogite » March 11th, 2017, 1:40 am wrote:Unanswered questions and unaddressed points:
1. What evidence do you have that Aristotle ".. did not mean the happiness of enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day . . ."? Hint: nothing in the quoted passage supports your assertion.

2. The Christianity in which I was raised was not only compatible with democracy, but demanded it. You will have to offer more than a curt assertion to convince me of your view. Do you intend to offer more?

3. You have not clarified what your paragraph on mud an angels was intended to mean.

4. I see nothing in it that in any way supports your contention that Christianity is incompatible with democracy. What is it you see? (There was no question mark in my original, but I would have thought the sentence structure marked it as a question.)

I am reluctant to proceed with those points you did respond to until you have clarified these unanswered ones.


1. If several professors explain Aristotle had a much different understanding of what Aristotle meant by happiness, I think it is reasonable to believe them. Now I provided a link to one professor's explanation and below that link is another. And the link saying this very clearly tells us Aristotle did not think pleasures such as having an ice cream equalled happiness for a human.

It seems that our unique function is to reason: by reasoning things out we attain our ends, solve our problems, and hence live a life that is qualitatively different in kind from plants or animals. The good for a human is different from the good for an animal because we have different capacities or potentialities. We have a rational capacity and the exercising of this capacity is thus the perfecting of our natures as human beings. For this reason, ]pleasure alone cannot constitute human happiness, for pleasure is what animals seek and human beings have higher capacities than animals. The goal is not to annihilate our physical urges, however, but rather to channel them in ways that are appropriate to our natures as rational animals.


2. I am not well informed of Christianity but I think it claims we are sinners and need to saved by Jesus, the God of Abraham can violate the laws of nature and punish or reward people as he sees fit, and what happens is the will of God, rather than the result of our own thoughts and actions. There also is a Christian resistance to the idea that we evolved from animals. This is very different from Aristotle's understanding of humans and the universe, and democracy really depends on knowing that difference. It does matter to democracy that we understand morals is a matter of cause and effect, and good moral judgment, therefore, depends on education for good reasoning skills, rather than being saved by Jesus. If we do not understand what reasoning has to do with being citizens of a democracy and morals and liberty, and we do not educate for this, then everything is all messed up.

3. I didn't know I was being so vague. The bible clearly says man was made of mud and woman was made from his rib. Is there any science evidence that makes us think that is possible? Without the story of Adam and Eve, is there an explanation of why we are sinners or why we need to be saved by Jesus? I could be wrong, but it seems to me the God of Abraham religions are not a good explanation of creation, nor can the religion justify a democracy depends on people having a very different understanding of reality.

4. Democracy is very dependent on understanding humans as creatures capable of reason, and the universe is manifest through cause and effect and unlike other forms of government, education for good reasoning skills is essential to democracy and our happiness and our liberty.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 13th, 2017, 5:40 pm 

So how well is it working to state what we think is important, without concern for our relationship? I really don't think it is working well at all. I think we might conclude for people to achieve anything they must have good relationships so they are willing to work together. Threads get ignored or closed because of relationship problems, this is not all about logic but is very much about feelings, so saying the quality of the relationship does not matter is not good logic.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 14th, 2017, 4:52 am 

If we are going to make any progress here we need to dispose of one matter at a time, so I shall focus on the first point.

Athena » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:34 pm wrote:1. If several professors explain Aristotle had a much different understanding of what Aristotle meant by happiness, I think it is reasonable to believe them. Now I provided a link to one professor's explanation and below that link is another. And the link saying this very clearly tells us Aristotle did not think pleasures such as having an ice cream equalled happiness for a human.
I misspoke when repeating my query and led you to an error. My original question was what justification do you have for thinking Jefferson believed happiness to be more than "enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children."

If we focus on your last exclusion cause I have serious reservations that you are correct. Having a perfect mate and perfect children appears to be a perfect example of what Jefferson perceived as happiness.

I am not well informed of Christianity
That is very clear. You fail to make any kind of case for the notion that Christianity and democracy are incompatible. The responsibility of the individual is repeatedly noted, especially in the NT. What Christians understand is that this responsibility is not always met, because of the weakness of human will. In simplistic terms this is considered sin and Christ's self sacrifice "saves" Christians atoning on their behalf for those sins. The Christian is expected to behave in a responsible manner, supporting family, friends, community and culture. Democracy is an effective means of seeking this goal.

3. I didn't know I was being so vague. The bible clearly says man was made of mud and woman was made from his rib. Is there any science evidence that makes us think that is possible? Without the story of Adam and Eve, is there an explanation of why we are sinners or why we need to be saved by Jesus? I could be wrong, but it seems to me the God of Abraham religions are not a good explanation of creation, nor can the religion justify a democracy depends on people having a very different understanding of reality.
You appeared, at times to be saying the reverse. Then the obverse, then . ... Your intent is now clear.

I have two separate points, both already made, but ignored by you. Firstly, most Christians see the Genesis story as metaphorical. Also, the speculation of Cairns-Smith on abiogenesis sees life arising on clay templates.

Secondly, it seems arrogant to declare that only someone who sees reality the same way you do can value democracy. You have offered no evidence to support this declaration.


4. Democracy is very dependent on understanding humans as creatures capable of reason, and the universe is manifest through cause and effect and unlike other forms of government, education for good reasoning skills is essential to democracy and our happiness and our liberty.
You are making connections where none exist. Sadly, in an argument wherein you appeal to reason, reason itself is sadly lacking.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 15th, 2017, 11:55 am 

Eclogite » March 14th, 2017, 2:52 am wrote:If we are going to make any progress here we need to dispose of one matter at a time, so I shall focus on the first point.

I misspoke when repeating my query and led you to an error. My original question was what justification do you have for thinking Jefferson believed happiness to be more than "enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children."


And my answer is knowing what professors have to say about that. What is wrong with my answer considering I have even linked to that information? How do you validate gravity holds things to earth? You refer to the authority of science, right? I refer to authorities on the past that brought us to the present.
If we focus on your last exclusion cause I have serious reservations that you are correct. Having a perfect mate and perfect children appears to be a perfect example of what Jefferson perceived as happiness.


If you use the links, it is explained a happy family is one condition of happiness, and this condition of happiness is not god given, and can not be bought, but is dependent on virtues, and it is only one condition of happiness that comes out of being educated and virtuous. Moral means, knowing good manners and the law (universal law as we come to know it through math and science). I would like to point out here, this understanding is behind what you called my "obsession" with respect. Hopefully, in time all of you all will understand my reasoning and begin responding differently to what I say. I am about principles, not petty chiding for personal reasons.

I am not well informed of Christianity


I am shocked that you have not accepted my argument that Christianity is not compatible with democracy, because it is mythology based on "superstitious notions", as Jefferson called them. Democracy depends on knowing truth that is the result of science and good logic skills, and all the reasoning for democracy is based on science is different from the reasoning based on superstitious notions.

That is very clear. You fail to make any kind of case for the notion that Christianity and democracy are incompatible. The responsibility of the individual is repeatedly noted, especially in the NT. What Christians understand is that this responsibility is not always met, because of the weakness of human will. In simplistic terms this is considered sin and Christ's self-sacrifice "saves" Christians atoning on their behalf for those sins. The Christian is expected to behave in a responsible manner, supporting family, friends, community and culture. Democracy is an effective means of seeking this goal.


No, the failure is your lack of knowledge about democracy. I am giving you the necessary information, but it appears you can not receive the information because of having ideas that block your ability to grasp what I am saying, and this might be more obvious if you actually followed the rules of good argumentation, which is to say what you disagree and why, that is to demonstrate better reasoning, instead of attacking me again and again and never giving a better reasoning. But this time you give a good example of why Christianity is not compatible with democracy.

"What Christians understand is that this responsibility is not always met, because of the weakness of human will." Why do we have weak wills? Why should I even belief this is true? and the next "Christ's self-sacrifice "saves" Christians atoning on their behalf for those sins" where is the science to back that notion? What is this sin thing in the first place? Use science to convince me of what you are saying, please. How is that notion of Jesus anything but superstition, the belief in supernatural powers? That is the kind of thinking that is not compatible with democracy. Knowing truth is not studying a holy book and there are several. It is science and good logic that is essential to democracy, not mythology and superstition. And our ignorance of this is glaringly obvious with the election of Trump.

I am out of time and will continue later. I hope you back up your notions of truth in the meantime.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 15th, 2017, 1:22 pm 

Athena » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:55 pm wrote:
Eclogite » March 14th, 2017, 2:52 am wrote:If we are going to make any progress here we need to dispose of one matter at a time, so I shall focus on the first point.

I misspoke when repeating my query and led you to an error. My original question was what justification do you have for thinking Jefferson believed happiness to be more than "enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children."


And my answer is knowing what professors have to say about that. What is wrong with my answer considering I have even linked to that information? How do you validate gravity holds things to earth? You refer to the authority of science, right? I refer to authorities on the past that brought us to the present.
You leave me at a loss. I am definitely failing to communicate. I shall try harder.

1. I made a misstatement in an earlier post. It is very important that you recognise that. I was asking for evidence about Jefferson's thinking, not Aristotle's thinking.

2. To be very clear, what evidence do you have that Jefferson believed happiness to be more than "enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day, or a vacation to a tropical paradise, and not even having the perfect mate and perfect children" ?

3. Perhaps I am missing it, but I see nothing in your links that addresses Jefferson's thinking.

4. Please point me to the precise link and the passage(s) within that link addressing Jefferson's thinking.


At this point the simplest explanation I have is that you have not carefully read my post wherein I explained my mistake and restated it with reference to Jefferson. It is as if you still think, despite my correction, that I am asking you about Aristotle's views. If there is some other explanation please provide it.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 16th, 2017, 12:53 am 

I have provided the evidence you requested and I can not imagine why are not satisfied it, but I will give you one more explanation. This is one is very long and detailed and you will need to pull further questions out of it, because now I need some reason to believe you are doing your part in trying to understanding. Or you could argue what I said about sin and Jesus if you like, and try to convince me superstition is compatible with democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0wRT1coJh8

If you don't want to watch the whole video, of course, you won't have a good understanding, but skip to 26 minutes into the video and the professor explains what happiness is not and eventually mentions Ice cream is not Aristotle's idea of happiness. At 45 minutes he says happiness depends on politics and after that, he explains the ice cream doesn't equal happiness.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 16th, 2017, 11:33 am 

"Secondly, it seems arrogant to declare that only someone who sees reality the same way you do can value democracy."

That seems a very odd statement to me, considering I don't know any more about reality than Socrates claimed to know. Rather I know enough to know how much I do not know, except that I firmly believe democracy depends on knowing truth and the best way to know truth is through math, science, and logic, not religious myths. It is not my understanding of reality that matters, but the method we use to understand it. The Christians I know look for truth in the bible and that is not where I think we find it.


You do not see a difference between claiming life came from mud and developed through the line of mud, microbe, plant, animal, and claiming a God made a man from mud and a woman from his rib? I know Christians have been rationalizing why science says one thing and the bible says something else, but denying the difference between religious mythology and science does not seem right to me. Muslims are doing the same thing and take pride in their holy book being more scientifically correct than the Christian bible, and Jews are mumbling the God of Abraham is their God, and to one of God's chosen people means to be one of them. In a democracy, we hopefully use the scientific method and learned logic skills for determining truth.

Arrogant is a good word though, when considering what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves. You can be completely wrong and not admit it, and the mod comes down on me for saying this is not right. That is supportive of arrogance isn't? Whereas nothing would justify me being arrogant because there appears to be a shared opinion I am usually in the wrong. I would not derail this thread with this argument if you had not made the statement about me that you made, and I want to add, Revolutionary has not posted since his thread was closed.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 16th, 2017, 11:55 am 

Athena » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:53 am wrote:I have provided the evidence you requested and I can not imagine why are not satisfied it, but I will give you one more explanation. This is one is very long and detailed and you will need to pull further questions out of it, because now I need some reason to believe you are doing your part in trying to understanding. Or you could argue what I said about sin and Jesus if you like, and try to convince me superstition is compatible with democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0wRT1coJh8

If you don't want to watch the whole video, of course, you won't have a good understanding, but skip to 26 minutes into the video and the professor explains what happiness is not and eventually mentions Ice cream is not Aristotle's idea of happiness. At 45 minutes he says happiness depends on politics and after that, he explains the ice cream doesn't equal happiness.

What has any of that got to do with Jefferson's view of happiness. At this point in time I do not care a stuffed mountain gorilla about Aristotle's view. I am only, at this point, interested in Jefferson's view. You keep coming back and addressing Aristotle. I have told you I am not interested in his view. How many times do I have to say it. Jeffersons's view is currently the focus of my interest. Will you please address that.

It seems to me you have not bothered to notice that I have been asking you about Jefferson. I went to the trouble to explain that I had inadvertently referred to Aristotle when I meant Jefferson. I apologised for that. This is now the third or fourth time I have asked you about Jeffersons's views. Why in the name of Robin Williams are prattling on about Aristotle?

And, to anticipate what you might say, I don't care how many professor's express a view that you claim coincides with that of Jefferson, unless they offer evidence that such was his view.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Athena on March 16th, 2017, 12:18 pm 

Eclogite » March 16th, 2017, 9:55 am wrote:
Athena » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:53 am wrote:I have provided the evidence you requested and I can not imagine why are not satisfied it, but I will give you one more explanation. This is one is very long and detailed and you will need to pull further questions out of it, because now I need some reason to believe you are doing your part in trying to understanding. Or you could argue what I said about sin and Jesus if you like, and try to convince me superstition is compatible with democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0wRT1coJh8

If you don't want to watch the whole video, of course, you won't have a good understanding, but skip to 26 minutes into the video and the professor explains what happiness is not and eventually mentions Ice cream is not Aristotle's idea of happiness. At 45 minutes he says happiness depends on politics and after that, he explains the ice cream doesn't equal happiness.

What has any of that got to do with Jefferson's view of happiness. At this point in time I do not care a stuffed mountain gorilla about Aristotle's view. I am only, at this point, interested in Jefferson's view. You keep coming back and addressing Aristotle. I have told you I am not interested in his view. How many times do I have to say it. Jeffersons's view is currently the focus of my interest. Will you please address that.

It seems to me you have not bothered to notice that I have been asking you about Jefferson. I went to the trouble to explain that I had inadvertently referred to Aristotle when I meant Jefferson. I apologised for that. This is now the third or fourth time I have asked you about Jeffersons's views. Why in the name of Robin Williams are prattling on about Aristotle?

And, to anticipate what you might say, I don't care how many professor's express a view that you claim coincides with that of Jefferson, unless they offer evidence that such was his view.


LITERACY! To understand what Jefferson meant by happiness, one must be literate and understand at least Aristotle's explanation of it.

It seems to me you are making absolutely zero effort to understand the subject and I can not imagine what is happening here being tolerated in a science thread. It is pointless to continue like this.
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Re: Happiness and democracy

Postby Eclogite on March 16th, 2017, 5:40 pm 

Athena » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:18 pm wrote:It seems to me you are making absolutely zero effort to understand the subject and I can not imagine what is happening here being tolerated in a science thread. It is pointless to continue like this.
In contrast, it seems to me that you are being deliberately obtuse.

Jefferson was an educated man. I would be amazed if he was not familiar with Aristotle's thoughts on happiness. However, that familiarity is no assurance that he agreed with them.

You made an assertion concerning Jeffersons's views on happiness. It should be a simple matter to demonstrate from Jefferson's writing what those views were. By citing specific writing by Jefferson you could directly confirm the accuracy of your assertion. That is a simple and direct approach.

Instead you argue that because certain professors have interpreted Aristotle's views on happiness in a particular way, that Jefferson, as a literate, educated man must have held the same views. Such a convoluted justification, filled to the brim with assumptions, is foolish.

From the foregoing I understand that you are unable, or unwilling to provide simple, direct evidence to justify your assertion about Jefferson's views on happiness. I further understand that you seem incapable of recognising the illogical nature of your approach.

As a consequence of these two observations I am forced to agree with you: further discussion with you on this topic would be utterly pointless.
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