Happiness vs Truth

Discussion in 'Films, TV, Music, Books, Etc.' started by Flaming_Tiki_God, Apr 24, 2006.

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Hapiness or Intelligence

  1. Happiness

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  2. Truth

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  3. I can't decide

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  1. Haydi

    Haydi Rookie

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    What a strange poll... There is no choice between happiness and knowledge. Two totally different aspects of life that usually go hand in hand.

    I understand that life is complex and there's so much I don't know or can't understand. Still, whenever I find out more, it doesn't make me sad in any way. Knowing more just teaches me why I'm smiling...

    Are you afraid, that after you know everything, you know that there is nothing in life to be happy about? That's just not true. Sure, there are bad things going on in the world. Being aware of them doesn't make the good things go away. Maybe it gives some perspective, but there's always somethings to be happy about.

    Truth. I'd rather be happy knowing what there is to be happy about
     
    #21
  2. Flaming_Tiki_God

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    Think bigger. Say you knew absolutely everything about human nature. Would you still talk to people or pursue friends? I wouldn't think so because you already know how everyone will respond, and ultimately you’d be disappointed by human interaction in general. One of the great things about life is spontaneity. We don’t know exactly what will happen tomorrow. The intelligence I’m talking about takes that away. Then life will be very boring and there would be no reason to live it.
     
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  3. Haydi

    Haydi Rookie

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    The "intelligence" you're talking about isn't about truth or knowledge. It's about foretelling the future, which you simply cannot do by understanding human nature. Human factor is always somewhat irrational, that follows no real pattern. You can study some patterns that human nature tends to have, but irrational human behaviour cannot be foretold unless you're a prophet.

    Now, I do understand the point how some things in life are beautiful just becouse you can't predict them. I too enjoy such things that are way too difficult for me to understand.

    However, your question was that would I rather enjoy living in the darkness than understanding. Even if I were to have the skills of prophecy that you seem to be talking about, I see no reason why I wouldn't enjoy life. Sure, I would see the world differently, but every beautiful things in life would still be there. Perhaps from a different perspective. I would know what will happen and understand why they happen - understanding is also a wonderful feeling.

    My answer stands. Understanding just gives you another, more accurate view on the same issue. Why should I try not to understand?
     
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  4. xXJudyXx

    xXJudyXx Regular

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    Truth, i would want real happiness.

    Depressing book tho :S
     
    #24
  5. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    Actually Haydi, Laplace dreamt of science becoming so advanced that it would be possible to determine what will happen by knowing the current state of the universe. Because human reactions and emotions arise from chemical reactions in the brain and body it would be possible to foresee their actions. This idea was ended by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of course which states that to observe the position of a particle one must exert force upon the particle which changes the particle's velocity in an unknown way and the more accurately the particle is to be measured the higher the wavelength of light is needed, because higher wavelengths have higher energies the disturbance is increased and is more random and so the randomness is increased with efforts to increase accuracy. On the other hand if one is to attempt to determine the velocity of the particle the position is altered in an unknown manner. All this means is that unless we can observe the universe without changing it (we can't) then we won't be able to use the information to predict what will happen, but that doesn't mean that things aren't following a highly complex pattern, only that we can't know what that is.

    Sam
     
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  6. Haydi

    Haydi Rookie

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    The theory that every action is a counter-reaction, and every event reflects previous events, is still only a theory. Quite a strong theory actually, but still just a theory.

    In the case that the theory is correct, you propably could sense the future. That would require summing up all previous events that have affected these decisions, and as such be a very hard task even if you could find a way to measure the current state of the universe. However, even if you could foretell every human action, I think that doesn't necessarily mean there will be a pattern behind those actions. The way previous events sums up in an individual might be different for different people...

    I admit, that I quite hastely announced that future and human actions definately cannot be foretold. It is theoratically possible. However, I'm still going to support my previous claim by saying that not every action is decided by previous events. Most are, but there is also those irrational and mostly stupid decisions that you can't reason even for yourself... That too is still just my theory...
    ---

    And for the topic: that doesn't affect my previous statements. I just discovered another theory and learned more with the help of maca2kx and the Internet and I'm not sad or afraid becouse of it. I'm actually quite interested to find out more...
     
    #26
  7. Sad

    Sad Rookie

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    You, my friend, need to read some of Nietzsche's "On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life."

    Oh, and maca, I hope this is a relevant reply to your post:

    Reason, and our ability to build a systematic and monolithic interpretation of the world with it, is limited. No system constructed of it may be complete. As you noted with the Heisenberg Principle, we have already reached the limit in physics up to which reason can operate without paradox; beyond it, we have to admit self-contradiction to proceed. That is important, but more interesting is a similar discovery in mathematics by Godel. As William Barrett wrote in the Irrational Man,
    I cite that lengthy passage because it reflects a sentiment that has been argued for by numerous thinkers for quite a while: man's capabilities of interpreting the world are quite subjective and cannot be formulated to see it in its entirety. You can see this is a modern version of Kantian idealism--there may well be an objective reality out there (which, to be pertinent, may well be predetermined), but human perception of that world is filtered through the brain's functions (a grid of sorts, like one that filters the outside world's light into a prison cell) which have no means of getting to that basic concept. In fact, the very concept of "predetermined" may be a creation of the human mind and one of the filters through which it sees the world. As it is, there may be very little, if anything, that we can objectively know about the outside world (the so-called noumena).

    That's an idea heavily influenced by neo-Kantian idealism, at least. I'm not entirely converted to the notion, but it's one I've covered a lot of recently, and so have been playing around with it.
     
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  8. Paradox

    Paradox Soaring Phoenix

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    actually its a law: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/newt.html
     
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  9. Flaming_Tiki_God

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    Ugh, Let's bring this back down to Earth, por favor. Action/reactions, position of particles, and incomplete mathematics are nice and all, but it's a tad off the core topic. Maybe I shouldn't have used that example, but I have two more things to say for now.

    I'm wondering if it can be said that the purpose of any being's action is based ONLY on emotion (including physical comfort which brings happiness) and instict. If so, then it is emotion that governs us. Then happiness and love, the strongest and best of all emotions, are all that matters.

    Technology is fact/intelligence driven, but still, technology and our recognitions about the world around us only serve to add variety to the ways we can achieve happiness. People have found purpose in inventing televisions, radios, or mp3 players so that we can be happy in other ways. I suppose the reason people thought about and have discovered that the universe is accelerating and expanding is so that we humans wouldn't thing of ourselves as dumb, to take pride in ourselves. Why would someone even think about studying the universe?

    Just agree with me, and everything will be just fine and peaceful. :)
     
    #29
  10. Sad

    Sad Rookie

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    To be honest, I think Nietzsche's theory that the desire for power drives everything. The expansion of technology, then, is pursued to outdo one's rivals until it becomes such that if you cannot keep up with the pace, you lose, and the world becomes materialistic out of this "goods race."
     
    #30
  11. Ted_Wolff

    Ted_Wolff Rookie

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    Sad has found Nietzsche!
     
    #31
  12. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    That's dangerously 'cultish' there, reminds me a lot of Donnie Darko and the so called lifeline. As Donnie so eloquently puts it "there are other things that need to be taken into account. Like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You caní¢â‚¬â„¢t just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else." Happiness and love may be the best but they're not all that matter and they're not the most important.

    Haydi, Laplace's hope was that the human race would eventually be able to determine the current condition of any system and use that information to extrapolate the data into the future thus predicting with accuracy what would happen based on the present data, using Newton's laws this appears to be entirely plausible as every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle this idea of a completely predictable universe can be thrown out because of our limitations as mortal beings, it's an inescapable property of the universe that we can never accurately measure something but that's because of our own limitations, not because of an inherent randomness in the universe of which there may be none. I don't believe we can predict the future in this sense, we may be able to gauge a person and predict what they are likely to do based on their previous actions but this isn't the same as detecting the current state of particles and using that information to determine what their pattern through space will be.

    Paradox, I'm going to contradict myself here and say while you're right in stating Newton quantum theory introduces a certain amount of unpredictability. There are no specific answers in quantum theory, only a number of different possibilities with the likelihood of each occurring as a probability and because of this integral randomness it means it's impossible to know what will happen on a sub-atomic level and obviously sub-atomic particles influence the atoms they make up. Having said that this degree of randomness might just be another aspect of uncertainty that we, as humans, cannot get over and we may be introducing it ourselves in our efforts to detect what is happening. If that is so then we, as humans, won't be able to gather data and use it to predict with any great degree of accuracy what will occur but that does not mean that there isn't a determined path particles will follow.

    Raise hell :twisted:

    Sam
     
    #32
  13. Paradox

    Paradox Soaring Phoenix

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    i cannot speak for everybody. perhaps some do seek knowledge to make themselves seem more important and superior. but for me, the quest for knowledge is a quest to understand how things work. i enjoy learning the functions of the world and the universe. i love seeing new findings and understandings bring order to chaos. one studies the universe simply to know.

    and maca, you are indeed correct, as at the quantum level, the laws of physics begin to unravel.
     
    #33
  14. Haydi

    Haydi Rookie

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    Laplace issue:
    If I have understood correctly, what Laplace stated was that if we could determine the entire current state of every current particle, we could rationalize what this present state would lead to. Humans for an example are summed up by their biological inheritance and everything they have faced during their lives. All their future decisions, the way the are influenced by future events and their entire character are a sum of their previous influences. And the same thing happens also to every other developing organ besides human. Did I get the main idea?

    However, although this is what most scientist probably have to base their researches on, this hasn't actually been proven solid. Or has it? I do realize how every event is effected by a previous event, but I don't entirely agree that there can only be one way how the current state can solve out. I'm talking about some irrationality in life and... perhaps the concept free will.

    I know I can't prove the existence of free will. (which actually takes away most of the idea of a scientific discussion...) I'm just bringing up that even with the current influences inserted into my mind, I believe I still can choose whether I stay home tomorrow, or go to school. The choice is very much leaned towards going becouse of the person I've become. But if we followed the Laplaces principal - whatever the choice will be - the choice has already been caused by some outer influence, which takes away the idea of choosing...

    I'm just trying to point out that the presence of such irrationality in the world hasn't been proven incorrect. Evidently events and persons are mostly put together by their influences in a logical pattern, but at some point there might still be events that follow no logic: the nightmare of a mathematician...

    Just to be clear: I'm not basing this idea on any proof. But I haven't found proof that it's not a possibility... I guess I'm just trying to mess up the rest of the scientific community...
    --
    Well... not going to agree with you. Yes, people act the way that they choose best for them, so you could say that every action that we do aims for our own happiness. But that's only saying that people act the way they choose. That really isn't something that's supposed to change our behaviour, becouse every action - including studying and seeking the truth - have always aimed for that same personal happiness. That's just how a human being works.

    Technically studying and seeking knowledge is just another way for people to seek happiness. Just like other people who do the same thing by watching sitcoms. With the exception that researchers have a greater possibility to finding out some revolutionary technology (which will probably be used to make that lazyboys life even easier...)

    Perhaps you should just agree that seeking intelligence or the truth aren't in no way opposite to the concept of happiness. Yes, ignorance can be a bliss, but just as likely as can studying and intelligence. I see no reason why we should stop seeking intelligence while it makes so many happy and can lead to improve someone's life...
     
    #34
  15. piracer

    piracer Rookie

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    George Orwell, if i may qoute, 1984 "Ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery"

    happiness, because at the end of the day, when your happy, who cares about anything else?
     
    #35
  16. Flaming_Tiki_God

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    I never said they were opposites. It's like I'm asking you what you prefer between red and yellow, and you're replying with orange.

    and by your reply, you agreed that happiness drives the quest for knowledge, so at the root happiness is more important than knowledge.

    I'd rather be stupid than unhappy. If I could find peace within myself and with the world, I would want absolutely nothing else.
     
    #36
  17. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    But the thing is the question itself is limited. For many people intelligence brings happiness, there are two ways of looking at this, firstly you could say happiness is the most important because it's the force driving someone to seek knowledge, secondly you could say that intelligence is the most important because it's the thing that allows you to be happy and it facilitates the happiness. Personally I'll take the hidden option and say you're right in saying it's like choosing between red and yellow, they each have their own advantages and one isn't better than the other, just different.

    Sam
     
    #37
  18. abcwtf

    abcwtf Guest

    Goddamn you fellas are smart.
     
    #38
  19. Haydi

    Haydi Rookie

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    Well, ok. I understand that I'm not following or getting the question, But it's such a weird question, becouse we all technically try to act the way that brings us the most happiness. That's just how I feel people work. (sidenote: quite similiar idea was introduced in Mark Twain's 'What is man?'. Just naming obvious influences...)

    Now, if seeking knowledge is a thing that brings me happiness, then how can I choose between two things, when the other leads to the other?

    Ok, I could be happy without knowledge. Also I would never even try to seek knowledge if it wasn't bringing me happiness and satisfaction, which it does. - So I'll choose happiness.

    However, I will still aim to seek more and more knowledge, becouse it does bring me happiness. So my previous answer has no real meaning...

    EDIT: Darn I'm slow! Two other replies were inserted while I was writing my own! Plus maca had the same point I did... Oh well...
     
    #39
  20. Flaming_Tiki_God

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    I suppose that's as far as you'll go. Good enough!

    so I just realized what you and Maca were saying, so say you have three situations

    Situation 1 - Happy, dumb people pretty much uninterested in science. Would this be a good world to live in? Well, it seems it would be boring, but as long as one's happy...
    Happiness - 1
    Intelligence - 0

    Situation 2 - a world like this one, with intertwined intelligence and happiness. Is this a good world? I guess. Draw.
    Happiness - 2
    Intelligence - 1

    Situation 3 - Super intelligent but unhappy people where a smile is rare. Would this be a good world to live in? Definitely not. Happiness and smiles and all that wonderful stuff (I hate talking hippie language) add a lot to the beauty of life and blah blah blah
    Happiness - 3
    Intelligence - 1

    Happiness for the win! Yay.

    Yeah, so I'm pretty much restating what I've been saying, "beating a dead horse".
    ...
     
    #40

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