Edna asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 5 months ago

"Do what makes you happy"?? REALLY? ?

There’s this thing where we always say "Do what you want, Do as you please, do what makes you happy, live your best life etc" 

It’s not the worst thing, but Everytime people say that to me or someone, I cringe all the time. Bc from what I have seen, most times when we do what we want, and encourage others to do the same, it’s not always ethical or morally favorable. And I know it’s almost impossible to live a complete ethical life... but we can try. People have lost their lives and the lives of others, doing what "makes them happy". (E.g Drunk driving, Rape,) Maybe we should change the narrative to "Don’t do what you shouldn’t be doing" or "Do the right/ethical thing » I don’t know... what do yall think? 

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    I've lived a long time. I've seen my dreams fulfilled. I've been content. I've loved and been loved. I've been very wealthy and very poor and I've learned that purpose is what brings true happiness. Purpose. For each of us it's very easy to have. But few do. Have purpose.

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  • 5 months ago

    It's an oversimplification, Edna. There are a lot of aphorisms like this.

    First of all, it is important to realize that we have no control over most of the 7.5 billion people who live on this planet. If our only concern is to be happy and disregard the happiness of others, we would have to do things that would interfere with their pursuit of happiness. How can a moral person live in a world with so much injustice and pain, both physical and emotional, and only consider their own happiness? That's the flaw in all the quotes you've given us. They neglect or ignore that we are not alone. It has been shown that we are instinctively born with a sense of justice. I was surprised to lean this as I thought it had to be taught. Anyway, given that fact, how can a truly honest and moral person live by the quotes you've given? If your only concern is your own happiness you cannot care for anyone else in this world. That includes your children, your wife, and your extended family. Furthermore, as ephemeral and abstruse as it may sound, we are all a part of the family of man. No one should be completely happy while anyone in the world still suffers. 

    "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if any manner of thy friends or thine own were; any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in all mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." 

                                                                                                      John Donne

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  • 5 months ago

    How do you define happy? Raping someone is not happiness, happiness is living with peace of mind and contentment. Raping is an act of violence, when you are violent you are only thinking of yourself and what you want. You cannot be content and be selfish at the same time, you'd be living in a hustle life style.

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  • 5 months ago

    Yeah, it's good to do what makes you happy within reason...or what makes you happy within the confines of what is non-destructive, moral, or something along those lines. Like, if it makes you happy to scuba dive or hike, or paint, etc. then you should "do what makes you happy". But if what makes you happy is binge-watching porn, or torturing children, or eating 5000 calories worth of junk food a day then you should probably NOT do what makes you happy.

    And beyond this, how do we define happiness? I would contend that happiness contains, per se, some notion of positivity or goodness. If someone says that it makes them happy to torture animals, my response would be: "really"? Like, are you sure about that? Are you sure "happiness" is what you feel when you torture something? Because my contention would be that "happiness" is the wrong word...more like "sick satisfaction" or something to the that effect.

    Anyway, you can write a whole book on happiness or what constitutes happiness or how do we define happiness, etc. but the nutshell version would be to simply say you should do what makes you happy within the confines of goodness, or something to along those lines.

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  • GA41
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    This was written by a Chinese Philosopher 2000 years ago. It is true today. Memorize it and live it.:"The key to ultimate happiness is to let go of worry and regret, and to know that being happy is one of life's most satisfying feelings. Allow positive and uplifting thoughts to outshine and overwhelm any sadness hidden in the recesses of your mind. Knowing that disease and disaster is a natural part of life is the key to overcoming adversity with a calm and happy spirit. Happiness is waiting for you, only you can choose to receive it.---------> The Bible also supports this contention. This was also written 2000 years ago. "4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.(Phillipians 4:1-9).------> You will not find happiness in things or fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Control your thoughts and desires. Seek God first. ---"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33). I wish I would have know this at an early age. I have found it to be true.

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  • 5 months ago

    i think you have a good point

    • Larry K.
      Lv 7
      5 months agoReport

      This doesn't answer the question.

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  • 5 months ago

    That's cool with me. I think a vast majority of the people that say that would also agree. People, very often, are imprecise with their words.

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