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Discussion: if that makes any sense. ...

in: CleverSky; CleverSky > 2022-11-29

Nov 30, 2022 12:00 PM # 
if that makes any sense.

It makes total sense. Or, at least, I feel that way lots of times. I assume part of that feeling was that it's been a while since you last ran and it was time to rectify that.
Nov 30, 2022 3:49 PM # 
Not only does it make sense, sadly, it fits about 80% of my runs these days.
Nov 30, 2022 4:28 PM # 
I suppose so. As a "member of this community", I guess the "glad I was doing it" part should be a given. The "not enjoying it" part is more interesting. Why am I doing it if I'm not enjoying it? I guess part of it is that I'm running around in the woods in the cold and dark with a light on my head and thinking that most people would say, "What, are you some kind of a nut?".

It's the flip side of the thing that Aims talks about, where people are having fun, but they're not happy. The example he gives is of somebody who drives all the way down to Cape Cod to play mini-golf. Sure, they're having fun, he says, but they only think it's making them happy. I, on the other hand, was not really having fun, but...
Nov 30, 2022 5:53 PM # 
Better than driving to Cape Cod for mini-golf.
Nov 30, 2022 9:13 PM # 
Why am I doing it if I'm not enjoying it?

Speaking qua philosopher: I think our well-being is a matter of preference satisfaction, and many, indeed most, of my preferences have nothing to do with the experience of enjoyment (or fun, or pleasure). So I have good and sufficient reason to do all sorts of things that I don't enjoy doing.
Nov 30, 2022 9:54 PM # 
I am sitting here working on a report projecting Sunderland's capital needs (buildings, vehicles, roads, sidewalks, parks, major pieces of equipment) over the next 10-15 years and laying out different ways of financing them, all in a straight-forward and easy to understand way. Trying to move the process along -- next stop is a Selectboard meeting in two weeks -- with the goal by late April of getting the town to vote to raise its taxes by about 3% specifically designated for capital needs.

Am I enjoying it? No. Will I be happy when I'm done this part. Yes. Will I be happy come late April? Depends how it all works out.
Dec 1, 2022 5:05 AM # 
I guess what it comes down to is that I really want two marshmallows.
Dec 2, 2022 2:30 PM # 
I have wondered about this myself, mostly because there seem to be a lot of people around who are laughing and having fun....I'm not much of an extravert, so I don't engage in demonstrable emotions. Interesting to think of what Aims says though, I would think, "thinking it makes you happy" is the point, if you think you're happy, then, in your mind you are, and that's the point.
I can't think of anything physical I do, which doesn't make me, at least, feel good, certainly afterwards.
Dec 2, 2022 5:15 PM # 
Aims's example is in fact part of a response to my philosophical question: "If you think you're happy, does that mean you're happy?". It gets at the nature of happiness. Most people say yes, but there are a few (I think Nancy and Phil are among them) who say absolutely not. Aims brings up the additional notion of "having fun" which he sees as distinct from "being happy". The mini-golf thing is actually an analogy to explain his main point, that being that people on stand-up paddleboards may be having fun, but they're not really happy. For Aims, it's all about boats.
Dec 2, 2022 8:09 PM # 
Well, at this point, I would have to resort to exactly how one defines, "having fun" and "being happy". I would say that, since this all "in your head", that if you think you are, you are.
Dec 2, 2022 11:10 PM # 
Even granting that happiness is a mental state – a state of one's mind – it doesn't follow that if we think we are in that state, we are. Granted, some mental states are like that, like being in pain. Arguably, it doesn't make sense to say "I thought I was in pain (when I got stabbed, or whatever), but I was wrong; I wasn't in pain." But happiness isn't like that. It is all too common to say things like: "I thought I was happy (when I lived alone, or whatever), but now I know I was wrong; I wasn't happy."
Dec 3, 2022 1:50 PM # 
A noted philosopher of my acquaintance once said, “I don’t think happiness is any big deal.”
Dec 3, 2022 3:38 PM # 
I think people can say that about pain as well. I though I had pain when... but now I know what real pain is. There are degrees of pain just as there are degrees of happiness.
Dec 3, 2022 10:14 PM # 
Along the lines of "I thought getting stabbed was painful until I got kidney stones". (Not a personal example.)
Dec 4, 2022 2:14 AM # 
Sure, there are issues about how we compare pains at different times, and how we remember pain. But pain and happiness are fundamentally different kinds of mental state. Pain is a sensation that I am conscious of when I have it. If you ask me if I'm in pain, to truly answer yes, I must be having a sensation of pain. Happiness is not a feeling (though it may sometimes be accompanied by feelings). If you ask me if I'm happy, I can truly respond yes even though there is no special happiness feeling occurring at the time. I think one can truly say they are happy if they are satisfied with their current life situation. Feelings are neither here nor there.

But whether you think happiness is a feeling or not, the bigger issue J-J was raising was whether or not to be a hedonist, to think that something is worthwhile to do only if one gets some positive feeling of pleasure, or some related positive conscious experience, from doing it. In saying above that I support "preference satisfactionism", I meant to reject hedonism in all its forms.

This discussion thread is closed.