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How is happiness achieved?

CringeWorthyCliche replied...
Feb. 20 at 7:36 pm

@stuntddude
I had to read Wikipedia's article on negative utilitarianism to know for sure. I don't think I am a utilitarianist at all.
 
Going into the thread, nobody really defined "happiness", "goodness", "love", "fulfilling", etc... We've been tossing words around like some kind of joint, talking as if we saw certain things in the same way. Example: "a good traditional marriage"...
 
I really believe that happiness, on any level with any meaning, has no correlation to world views, faith, or lifestyle. In truth, it only correlates with choice.
 
So... I don't know what realm of philosophical ideals that would put me in.
 
@Lucy-Agnes
If all happiness comes from God, would you also say that all benefits come from God, also? I mean, ultimately, the benefits of a "healthy, traditional marriage" can be traced to God, right?
But would God really offer any benefits to  a bad "traditional marriage?" Don't you think this would compromise his perfectly good and pure nature as Godhead?
 
God, I would think, sees things in black and white. Guilty or not guilty. Good or bad. Right or Wrong. A white lie, in this world of absolutes and perfection, is just as evil as murder (see! I'm not a utilitarian!) So, a good g.ay marriage would be just as bad as a good traditional marriage with the occasional white lie.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 21 at 5:09 pm

@CringeWorthyCliche:
Oh, no, that wouldn't compromise God's nature! If there's anything good in a tr.aditional m.arriage, it's going to cause happiness; if there's anything bad in a tr.aditional m.arriage, it's going to cause misery. It's not as simple as "a good married couple will always be perfectly happy, and a bad married couple will always be perfectly miserable." 
 
Right and wrong are black and white. But people aren't. God understands that there is both an objective and a subjective aspect to morality. Bad actions are objectively bad, and good actions are objectively good; God has no patience with evil as such. But He also understands that people are people, that they get blind and confused and hurt and make mistakes, and He is merciful and loving and good. He isn't going to punish a m.urderer in the same way He would a little boy who tells a lie to get out of going to school because he's afraid of being bullied--that would be ridiculously unjust! 

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Feb. 21 at 6:44 pm

I wouldn't say anything good in a traditional marriage would cause happiness. I'll use the example of faithfulness- while cheating is not the answer, staying with someone who you don't love might make you miserable, no?

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Teagan_JosephsonThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 21 at 7:56 pm

I've wondered about this question here, if god created humans and he… for example made us not enjoy sh.it. It's gross, it's just natural. But wouldn’t it be natural for him to make ra.pe also unappealing? Wouldn’t that shatter his “amazing holy best thing ever” image?

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CringeWorthyCliche replied...
Feb. 21 at 9:25 pm

@Lucy-Agnes

Sure, God understands that people are just shi.tty. And sure, He's "merciful." But he would treat a small boy differently from a man just because of a different s.in?
 
James 2:10

Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
 
Perhaps God sees si.n simply as one thing: retaliation against him.
 
Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
 
Alright.

I just quoted the Bible. Shi.ts 'bout to get real. If God judges people differently according to different si.ns, then these verses (and the entire book, because of authenticity and stuff) is false and the christian faith is wrong.

But if God does judge a murderer and a liar the same, then his sense of Justice is "ridiculously unjust!"

Or, possibly, you (and me, btw. I'm not perfect either) have a bad sense of judgement.
 
@wolvesandwilderness
 
yes.
 
@Teagan

A christian would argue that God made se.x, not ra.pe. Ra.pe is just misused s.ex, or something like that. For example, Karate is a good sport to learn for many reasons. Becoming a dangerous, yet awesome, psychotic killing machine of awesome ninja prowess is not one of them.
 
Wow... Dic.ks ard kicks share some interesting qualities...

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Feb. 21 at 10:31 pm

We were debating this whole omnibenevolence thing on another thread. Might have been under Philosophy or Personal Opinions... the latter, I think, and a thread about Christianity. It stopped because I didn't really have anything more to say- it was just difference of opinion, clear-cut. Maybe you'd have something to say that I did not.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 22 at 4:09 pm

@wolves:
In that situation, wouldn't it be whatever you didn't like about your spouse (d.rinking, or snoring, or whatever) that made you miserable, and not your act of fidelity? Being faithful would at least give you some satisfaction that you were doing the right thing.
 
@Teagan:
...Isn't r.ape unappealing? 

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 22 at 4:14 pm

@CringeWorthyCliche:
God would totally treat people differently based on different sins/situations. He does it all the time in the Bible. For example, when Jonah disobeyed him he sent a whale to swallow Jonah, and then saved him after he repented so he could preach to Ninevah. Getting swallowed by a whale is unpleasant, but it isn't as bad as losing your newborn son, which is what happened to David after his act of mu.rder and ad.ultery. 
 
When reading the Bible, you have to read it all in context. It's wrong to take one verse out of context and use it to prove a point. That's why I'm Catholic--like you said, flawed people can't be trusted to interpret God's word flawlessly, and that's why God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in the Church and teach us exactly how to interpret the Bible. 

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Feb. 22 at 4:45 pm

Maybe there's something about your spouse that makes you unhappy, but your fidelity could also make you unhappy if you long for someone else. You want to be with someone, but being faithful to your spouse keeps you tied to them (and again, cheating is not the answer).
 
Isn't r.ape unappealing?
If it was unappealing to everyone, then the amount of cases would be much, much lower- humans tend to avoid what isn't appealing to them.
 
Getting swallowed by a whale is unpleasant, but it isn't as bad as losing your newborn son, which is what happened to David...
Continuing this from the other thread, I guess... God killed a newborn for the sins of his father. That's as much punishment for that baby as it is for David. I mean no offense in asking this, but out of curiosity and desire to understand: if you are pro-life and disapprove of a.bortions, then how is killing a newborn baby any better?
 
It's wrong to take one verse out of context and use it to prove a point.
You know, I hear this a lot from some of the people I know, and it doesn't stop some of them from screaming about Leviticus 20:13 because they're upset about g.ay marriage.
 
...and that's why God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in the Church and teach us exactly how to interpret the Bible.
But then why does everyone have different interpretations, even Catholics?

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CringeWorthyCliche replied...
Feb. 22 at 10:15 pm

@Lucy
 
Now we're talking hermanuetics. But you broke one of the basic rules of biblical interpretation by setting up a false comparison between Jonah's and David's si.n. Not to mention the trials of Jonah and David are in no way meant to show the varying degree of God's judgement. Eitherway, your example falls short, and this is why.
 
The sin.s of Jonah:
1. Disobediance. That's the obvious one.
2. False teaching. The sailors wanted to know how to know how to calm the seas, and Jonah told them to thorw him in. The language of this implies death, a human sacrifice. What God wanted was obediance from Jonah, not Jonah's death.
3. Murder:
a) Suicidal murder. Jonah thought God would destroy his ship if he tried to run away. He was hoping for it. That's why he was able to sleep in the ship, he had already accepted death. Also note chapter 4. He would rather had died than to see Ninevah forgiven. He said that!
 
b) Attempted murder of the sailors/Ninevites. First, he knew God would forgive the Ninevites if he were to preach to them. So, he ran away! Second, he thought God would kill him out at see, which would include the sailors on the same ship as him.
 
Oy. Being swallowed by a fish isn't a good enough punishment. He should burn in he.ll. But, like I said before, the purpose of the Book of Jonah isn't show God's varying degrees of punishment (which isn't even a thing), but rather to shadow Christ's advent.
 
 
Alright, now tell me how I took the verses I quoted out of context? And the term to describe this would be eisegesis: interpreting passages in such a way that the interpreter adds his/her own assumptions, or meaning.
 
I quoted James, who was arguing against guys that had a wanky veiw on law and gospel. And I quoted Jesus, who was answering a pharisee lawyer dude a question about the nature of God's law. And somehow, that's what were arguing about...

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CringeWorthyCliche replied...
Feb. 22 at 10:17 pm

@wolvesandwilderness
 
Is it sad that I'm agreeing with you? And I'm a conservative christian...

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Feb. 23 at 5:44 am

I would say no. I'm a conservative Christian myself. I just happen to have a different image of God in my head than this, I think.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 23 at 2:05 pm

@wolvesandwilderness:
 
Mightn't it be your longing for someone else that's making you unhappy, rather than your fidelity?
 
Regarding r.ape, most decent people I know are disgusted by the idea and would consider r.apists to be more or less messed up. R.ape, like all sin, is a per.version of something good (in this case, s.ex).
 
Fair question about the newborn baby. It is hard to understand God's punishments...I don't understand it, just trust that He knows best. The difference between ab.ortion and God taking David's son is that in ab.ortion, it's us flawed humans who are killing the baby and with David's son, it's our Creator who is taking back His own. The fact that God is God gives Him the right to deal life and death. Does that help at all?
 
Leviticus 20:13 might be part of the Old Law, but it's from a section of the Old Law that lists a ton of really basic s.exual guidelines (like, don't have s.ex with animals or people closely related to you). And "hom.ose.xuality is wrong" is totally in keeping with the rest of the Bible. That particular verse just happens to be a really clear example of God laying down the line and saying frankly, "Don't do this."
 
Different interpretations (serious ones...there are parts of the Bible that can be read in multiple ways, I would assume, that are all in keeping with orthodoxy) come from people not respecting the Church's position. The official interpretations of the Church are consistant and unchanging.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 23 at 2:06 pm

@CringeWorthyCliche:
 
Sorry, I thought those examples up off the top of my head under the impression you weren't particularly familiar with the Bible. :) I can see I was wrong, and I'll have to give the matter a little more thought to reply properly. :)

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Feb. 23 at 8:11 pm

Mightn't it be your longing for someone else that's making you unhappy, rather than your fidelity?

Possibly both- if you want someone else, you're unhappy about the current state of things, but possibly the fact that you must be faithful or be publically villified (or just feel awful about yourself) makes you unhappy as well.


Regarding r.ape, most decent people I know are disgusted by the idea and would consider r.apists to be more or less messed up. 
1. Most decent people?
2. Well, most ra.pists aren't terribly disgusted by the idea. Hence the act.
 
...it's our Creator who is taking back his own.
But... why is it fair or good or right to take back the life of a child because their parent did something wrong? That seems a little Hammurabi Code to me- there was a rule that said if a house collapses and kills the owner's son, the builder's son would be put to death. Now, the builder's son did nothing wrong. But he is still killed because of something his father did. Is that fair? I really cannot call God omnibenevolent if this is called justice.
 
That particular verse just happens to be a really clear example of God laying down the line and saying frankly, "Don't do this."
So... according to many of the people I debate, si.ns like these are wrong. You'll be condemned to he.ll. But if I lie, I'll be forgiven. If I steal, I'll be forgiven. If I kill someone, I can be forgiven. Yet with other people, you may be condemned for murder and not hom.ose.xuality. There isn't exactly a clear example- it's completely down to interpretation. Thou shalt not kill- well, what about all the people in the Bible who slaughter people left and right? What if it's in self-defense? What if it's a necessary evil? It might be a clear example to you, but what if God never meant it to be that way, and all the se.xual guidelines are actually just historical and can be ignored in this day and age? The Bible is entirely unclear because it is human-written and contains their bias, and because it has vague words and contradictions.
 
Different interpretations... come from people not respecting the Church's position.
No, I'm pretty sure it's because things can be looked at differently. Let's say you're looking at a rock- you describe it as large, grey, and round. Your friend describes it as smooth, dark, and heavy. Same rock, different description. Also, yeah, people did turn away from the Catholic Church back in older times because it was corrupt and because it persecuted people.
 
The official interpretations of the Church are consistant and unchanging. 
"Consistant and unchanging" does not mean correct. Not an attack, just a fact.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 26 at 10:20 am

"Most decent people" was a bit of sarcasm for ya. :) As for r.apists not being disgusted by it... In a perfect world, all that is morally disgusting would seem morally disgusting. But our world isn't perfect; it's been terribly warped by Original Sin. It's easy for us humans to get confused and mistake something bad for something good, put mere pleasure above real happiness. Hence all sin (not only r.ape, but any sin).
 
I can't explain God's acts of justice...I'm sure there are theologians who could explain it very well, but I can't. I just have to trust, because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. I can conjecture, though, and if you want to hear some of my thoughts on the matter, I'd be happy to elaborate.
 
Anyone who condemns one sin as unforgivable and brushes away another one as forgivable is missing the point about sin. All sins are terrible, and all grave sins can land you in H.ell. At the same time, all sins are forgivable if you repent. There are also clear guidelines for when killing is acceptable--murder is wrong, but self-defence is okay (under certain criteria, i.e. the principle of double effect).
 
The Bible is entirely unclear because it is human-written and contains their bias...
 
I don't think it's possible to hold this belief and be a Christian. The entire point of the Scriptures is that they are from God. God used man to write them as a human writer uses a pen. The Catholic Church calls it "Divine Inspiration." 
 
There are certainly different interpretations of the Bible, but many of them contradict each other, and therefore cannot all be right. God has provided us with the Church to give us the correct interpretation. 
 
I don't deny that the people in the Church are often horrible sinners who committed atrocious crimes. That's because they were people. It doesn't say anything about the truth of the creed or the fact that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Magesterium to make the right call on teaching faith and morals. The personal morality of its members should not be used to judge the perfection of the Church. "The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a club for saints." :)
 
"Consistant and unchanging" does not mean correct.
 
True! :) Obviously I believe they're correct as well. :)

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Feb. 26 at 3:26 pm

I don't think it's possible to hold this belief and be a Christian.
Somehow I manage.
 
God used man to write them as a human writer uses a pen.
1. Where exactly does it say that these are directly God's words in the Bible?
2. People can be inspired by people and works and then write about them. That doesn't mean it isn't their writing. Take for example His Dark Materials, which is heavily inspired by Paradise Lost. Milton did not write His Dark Materials. Even quoting God in the Bible doesn't mean He wrote it. There is only a claim of inspiration. Call it divine if you want, but the Bible is human-written, and if we humans are as fallible as claimed, then our interpretation is very likely off anyway.
Most modern translations come from the KJV, which is biased itself because of what King James allowed. So even if the original Bible was purely God's word, any copy we have now is not the original and is warped.
 
God has provided us with the Church to give us the correct interpretation.
How do you know the Church is the most accurate? If it's because it most closely follows the Bible, see my point above that the Bible isn't purely God's word at this point and contains bias.
 
The personal morality of its members should not be used to judge the perfection of the Church.
Why not? First of all, I've often heard that a church is more the people than the building. Secondly, can I not judge the Na.zi Party for the actions of its members, or Doctors Without Borders for the actions of its members? An organization is defined more by its members than its principles. 

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 27 at 5:05 pm

The theological term "divine inspiration" means a different thing than the "inspiration" we talk about in everyday conversation. I don't know of a specific verse that says "The Bible is divinely inspired," rather, I believe it is because that's what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says. (For Catholics, the Bible doesn't stand on its own, so to speak--it goes hand in hand with Oral Tradition and the teaching of the Magesterium. Together these things make up what we refer to as "the three-legged stool.")
 
How do I know the Church is the most accurate. Good question. :) I'm reminded of a G. K. Chesterton quote--"The difficulty of explaining 'why I am Catholic' is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: Catholicism is true." Catholicism makes sense on every front, not just in its interpretation of the Bible. It makes sense historically, and philosophically, even scientifically and poetically. In his book Orthodoxy, Chesterton compares it to his father (or mother? I forget :P), who he eventually came to trust in all matters as a child because he realized, after so many proven instances, "that his father was a truth-telling thing." Catholicism as a whole makes sense to me; why should I question its interpretation of the Bible?
 
You've got a point with the members/principles things. This is why scandal is such a horrible sin--people blame the church for what its members do wrong. Maybe a good way to explain it is that...the Church has the Holy Spirit at her heart and is therefore the source of grace and holiness, but her members are still struggling to conform themselves to her standards. Besides, her principles and teachings can be true even if her members aren't perfect.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 28 at 4:46 pm

(Just so you guys know, I'm going to be disappearing from Teen Ink until at least Easter beginning tomorrow...so if someone says something to me and I don't respond, that's why.) :)

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Teagan_JosephsonThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 1 at 9:42 pm

Wrote this after reading this entire forum about 6 times over
 
The Veil Happiness
 
We, humans, are so foolish. We let ourselves be raised under the title of happiness in which our elders write. We do not jump for the feeling of love or the study of ourselves. Instead we sit, learning the manuscript of joy that we have not wrote. Where there could be true peace found in simplicity or nature we sit in the busy city, convincing ourselves that we are happy in the pools of alcohol and items that we buy to fill a hole that only grows. Once we realize this society isn’t made for contentedness or glory that it tries so hard to convince us of, we weep the internal tears of terrible retrospect. It truly is a wonder how we don’t accept and acknowledge the state of our world, and it's priorities. Those that do, seek their simplistic pleasures that do more than the complex “joys” that we have accepted as our only sources of happiness. We ignore the fact, the fact of true elatedness comes from the truth that we must shed the social camouflage that embraces all others. To live as you, not the egotistical frame that we are trained in. Run free, run naked, in your own personal wealth that you must create.Take the chance, make the effort that potential has no limits for. It is hard.     

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