Happy as a Pig

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Happy as a Pig

    (Written in old age) I have never belonged wholeheartedly to a country, a state, nor to a circle of friends, nor even to my own family. When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives. Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.

    Albert Einstein, in 'Quoted in C.P. Snow, Variety of Men'

    Happy as a Pig
     
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  3. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Happiness is a lie if it ignores right and wrong. Anyone who tries to sell you it are selling a delusion.
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I think humans would do well to emulate pigs.
     
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  7. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Biological humans and pigs are not so very different.

    - Both are omnivores.
    - Both are fairly intelligent.
    - In the wild, both organize themselves in small groups, clan-like.
    - While breeded pigs are heavier, the natural pig is only marginally heavier than the average human.
    - Their body construction is similar enough that pig organs have been considered to be transplated to humans to replace failed human norgans.
    - In the wild, pigs would eat humans (and they did) as well as humans eat pigs.
    - Both used to live in the same habitats, just recently humans made their way into places where pigs can't dwell naturally.

    Besides the little extra intelligence, better hands and the acquired use of technology, there really isn't that much that sets humans and pigs apart.

    ... not 100% serious, but the facts listed are true, at least as far as I know. The intelligence of humans is still debated though

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  8. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Oh, and young humans enjoy playing in the mud at least as much as pigs do

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  9. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Happy as a pig means not having to conform one's life to the expectations of others; collective thinking. If you hose the pig off with clean water, it will return to wallow in the mire.

    Mud is composed of water and earth in roughly equal proportions. Water is symbolic of thoughts, while earth is symbolic of instinct; mother earth. Playing in the mud implies a combination of thinking and instinct. This freer way of life is not always acceptable to those who belief in social procedures and protocol. There is no need for instinct; earth, when things are socially defined for you.

    The procedures of culture are water; based on thoughts and rules. The pig can understand these procedures; he can be washed in water. However, he is happiest being free to wallow in the mud, because the mud adds instinctive hunches and intuitions, to his thinking.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Has one achieved happiness, or achieved something and called it happiness?
     
  11. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if I understand this question correctly, but in the way I understand it, I want to answer yes, I have achived happiness (at certain moments, not a permanent state), and I am positive that every being has a something, that can be called happiness in regard to their live or existence.

    Even if this is as simple as a bacteria in anourishement fluid, with resulting low levels of stress indicators. Within it's small life, this bacteria is now happy.

    Happiness is aword that needs interpretation, depending on the actual situation, and the histors which lead to thsi situation, The word is meaningless in isolation. There is no absolute, and no permanent happiness. Happiness is part of a process.
     
  12. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Happy is a pig in a pigsty because is secure and food is provided . I am positive in the wild they face their problems , Hunting for food find a mate .
    So happiness is when you have security, So happy is a child between 1 and 2 years old because everything is provided.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The question is derived from a line in the fiction of Steven Brust that has little or nothing to do with happiness. It's a complicated explanation, as such.

    As briefly as possible, in the story an organization collapsed into chaos for various reasons. A certain man emerged and is credited with essentially rebuilding the organization; at the point the reader joins the story, well after the collapse and re-establishment of the organization, the man is not the top of the organization; a character, explaining the situation to our hero, says it is unclear if the man was actually the top of the organization or just planted a flag and called it the top, and everyone else just fell into line because it was the first clear opportunity to rebuild? After all, shouldn't the guy who rebuilt the organization be in charge? And yet, he is not.

    Ren Höek, another fictional character from a different set of stories, once proposed that he is happy when he is angry. This presents, in its own way, an illustration of the question: Is Ren genuinely happy specifically when he is unhappy?

    Did Ren Höek achieve genuine happiness, or did he achieve something and call it happiness? The prerequisite for his happiness, after all, is unhappiness. He must be unhappy in order to be happy.

    Every person I've ever asked this question says they are genuinely happy.

    This happiness is a result of electrochemical processes in the brain.

    Generally speaking, nobody experiences this happiness all the time; statistically, if one did, it would be a tremendous deviation.

    Then again, I've seen a suicidal smile from the brink; was she actually happy at the brink of self-destruction? Depressed people are not immune to brief periods of happy emotion.

    From my own perspective, I can tell you that certain nostalgia can produce nearly crippling sensations of happiness. Exactly nobody I know would suggest I am "happy", though.

    Pretty much everybody has periods in which they feel happy. But is a clinically depressed person happy? Hang on to that thought for a moment, please.

    Can we show that happiness in the bacterium the way we can observe it in the human brain? If the microorganism is "happy", do we say that literally, or is it figurative?

    Back to that thought I asked you hang onto: While it is clinically and scientifically possible that a person can exist devoid of happiness―resulting, as such, from brain structure, electrical flow, and chemical influences affecting that electrical flow―I have never personally known one; they are, it seems, rather quite rare, and we tend to consider this state deviant and even a disorder. Still, though, can, say, an anhedonic person find some manner of satisfaction in life?

    Because there is also this definition of happiness, and, in truth, it seems more in line with the notion of happiness and well-being in the Einstein quote.

    There are plenty of people who show moments of happiness who are, ultimately unhappy overall. Perhaps it is not simply a question of individual interpretation, but also one of context. Consider the American political landscape for a moment; we hear that many voters are "unhappy", and this usually comes up in relation to why they back Donald Trump, or cling to conspiracy theories, and all that. Presuming this unhappiness, and even anger, are reasonably correctly identified, I sincerely doubt the overwhelming majority of these "unhappy" people never experience any moments of happiness.
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I have never aspired to a continuous state of happiness, if by that we mean a feeling of giddy and excited mania. Those moments come and go, and return me to my much more settled and stable sense of peace and contentment. Contentment in just being alive, experiencing what's going on and marveling that nothing bad is happening at the moment. I'd like to chalk up this attitude to my spiritual demeanor and reverence for Being in all of its manifestations. Perhaps partly. But I suspect my serotonin booster is doing most the work here. Without this I'd probably lapse into pessimistic cynicism about everyone and everything, lamenting the loss of substance and authenticity in an all too fake world. A justifiable take to be sure. But does one really want to live in that sort of bitter, if-only malaise?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  15. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    So are you happy or unhappy . If happy how do you maintain in the state of happiness ?
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm content. I don't want to be happy all the time.
     
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  17. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    What about knowledge? It straight knows everything but still allows for calamity and doom. I couldnt hate anything more than embodied omniscience.
     
  18. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Even that stil think that there are some misunderstanings in both our interpretation of the others posts, there are indications that we basically agree. To show this I have quoted my closing words from ym own posting and a sentance that seemed important in your posting.

    We basically say the same:

    - Happyiness is a momentary thing, not a permanent one
    - Happiness can be achieved, temporarily , even in long and lasting states of unhappiness
    - I refered to process and your refer to a context. I believe that we mean basically the same thing, that happiness can't be seen or understood in isolation, but within some context - I agree that I need to widen my view on "process" to other influence but just the history that lead to the moment of happiness,.

    Still I am somewhat puzzled what you want to tell me ... long years I was in therapy for depression. Happiness was scarse and is scarse in my life. Still there are undoubtedly happy moments. I can understand those who smile when they are about to die. I had times when I'd have smiled to - finally be free, finally end the pain, escape this rotten existence, even if it's the end of existence. At time "not being" looks more appealing than to exist in pain and desperation.

    I think I'll be one of those who smile when they die. Even that I decided to live this live as long as possible - if it feels too rotten, I'll take the freedom to end it. And I'm quite sure that in this moment, I'll feel good about the decision. I might even smile.
     
  19. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

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    Tickling a pig would make it happy, however that is in the past. However should a pig continue to laugh it may breed more laughter: it may eventually cry. A crying pig will eventually cry itself dry. A dry pig, is that happy? It isn't swimming. It cannot be raining. It must be as happy as a pig in mud (Earth.) But that is the pig My question is this: does the SIGHT of a dry pig mean happiness?
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think human beings search for fulfilment, rather than happiness. A sense of achievement, or something that makes them feel OK when they look in the mirror and when they contemplate extinction. "Happiness" is rather a shallow goal, though fulfilment may lead to a sense of contentment, or even happiness, as a byproduct..
     
  21. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    It may sound sappy, but screw it.

    The point in life is understanding. So parents can teach their children.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    One of your more Delphic pronouncements, BwS....

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  23. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

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    Exactly exchemist. Wins versus losses. Welcome to life...
     

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