Author Topic: The key to happiness  (Read 799 times)

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Offline This Is Me

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The key to happiness
« on: September 03, 2013, 03:07:51 PM »
Finding my self lost in my thought, I came across this idea. Not to sound egotistical, but I was pondering the thought of how people always are searching for the key to happiness. I searched for it myself for 32 years.   I didnt even know what it was that was that I felt like I was missing, but ultimately I was missing me. Religion stole who I was.  In the mindset I have now, I can identify what the key to my happiness was.

I only have the perspective of what I have experienced. But do my fellow former Christians feel this this way as well? Have my "always have been" atheist friends feel satisfied with their general happiness?

My conclusion on my thought process was that dropping religion is the key to happiness. If you cant be yourself, you truly cant be happy. If you have religion, you cant be yourself. Your thoughts?


This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline Jontom10

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 03:56:35 PM »
Like anything in life, dependency on artificial contentment will not lead to true happiness but a shallow empty feeling of nothing. Is any heroin addict happy? Same goes for religion I think. Being happy in ignorance is the same as the feeling after shooting up.

I am an atheist and I experience both sadness, depression and happiness depending on my life's experience.

For me, life has no meaning other than that what you experience.
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 04:40:14 PM »
Being happy is a relative state.  It is completely subjective.  Anyone can describe their situation as happy based on their perception and standards of what qualifies as happiness.  A person can be happy whether or not they believe there is a god; whether rich or poor, healthy or sick; isolated or surrounded with people.  A person with a different attitude and mental state could land in my life and be able to be content.  I may land where one person is very content and be miserable.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline wright

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 06:39:43 PM »
I've struggled with depression all my life. When I became a Christian in the early '90s, the initial exhilaration did help, for a time. After the initial rush of novelty faded though, my depression returned and I simply rationalized coping with it in terms of my new belief: praying, having others pray for me, thanking god when my mood / circumstances improved, etc.

Since becoming an atheist again eight years ago, I've worked out a more rational method of dealing with depression. I can't make it go away, but I can greatly reduce it with regular exercise, socializing and just being more aware of my mood. I find happiness at often unexpected moments in my life, that occur whether or not I'm depressed at the time.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Nam

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 06:48:22 PM »
I never sought happiness, nor do I care to. I live my life, if certain emotions come that make me feel good, okay. If they don't, I'm fine with that, too.

-Nam
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 06:57:38 PM »
Happiness sucks as a goal. It is great as a byproduct.

Seeking it deliberately is a good way to miss out on a lot of things that are positive but not necessarily happiness-inducing. And I can't think of a better way to fail being happy then making it a high priority.

Nam has the right idea. Though he may be being a little to casual in this regard. Even I try a little harder than that.  ;D
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Nick

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 07:17:28 PM »
Nothing that the correct 5 white balls and the powerball won't cure.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 08:20:04 PM »
Nothing that the correct 5 white balls and the powerball won't cure.

Sadly, even that isn't true. We born loosers just don't know how lucky we are.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/03/terribly-sad-true-stories-lotto-winners/50555/
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline This Is Me

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 12:33:32 AM »
Happiness sucks as a goal. It is great as a byproduct.
Seeking it deliberately is a good way to miss out on a lot of things that are positive but not necessarily happiness-inducing. And I can't think of a better way to fail being happy then making it a high priority.

Absolutely agreed. In many denominations of Christianity you are taught how you are supposed to act and what you are to believe. I do not know of any Christian that can honestly say they do not pick and choose what rules to follow from the bible. These rules ultimately affect who they are. Depending on which rules they are picking and choosing, most are against abortion, homosexuals, different beliefs, ect. Many are actually excited to die just to go to heaven. I was against those same very things when I was a Christian. Once the bondage began to unravel, my views began to change as well. I am honestly ashamed of the person I used to be. I also have so much more of a value for life, as I now know heaven is not real.

The physiological damage done by religion can only be reversed by letting religion go. I would imagine atheist that has had no other belief system would not have an issue of knowing who they really are. Unless perhaps a problem that produces physiological problems, such as a controlling abusive spouse.

This is a happiness that nothing or anyone can take from me, Im too wise for that now =)
This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 01:32:40 AM »
I do not know of any Christian that can honestly say they do not pick and choose what rules to follow from the bible.

I have very recently let go of belief in god.  I was one of those who picked and chose.  If you read any of my older posts you'll see I chose not to follow most of the fundie type rules.  The only rules I really followed I still do.  Except the believing part.  Otherwise I have not changed.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline wright

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 01:36:03 AM »
Happiness sucks as a goal. It is great as a byproduct.

Seeking it deliberately is a good way to miss out on a lot of things that are positive but not necessarily happiness-inducing. And I can't think of a better way to fail being happy then making it a high priority.

Nam has the right idea. Though he may be being a little to casual in this regard. Even I try a little harder than that.  ;D

That's what I was trying to articulate; thanks, PP.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Nam

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 08:40:25 AM »
Happiness sucks as a goal. It is great as a byproduct.

Seeking it deliberately is a good way to miss out on a lot of things that are positive but not necessarily happiness-inducing. And I can't think of a better way to fail being happy then making it a high priority.

Nam has the right idea. Though he may be being a little to casual in this regard. Even I try a little harder than that.  ;D

I felt happy once. Didn't last very long[1], but if I attempted to try to get that feeling again, it wouldn't be the same since the first time came naturally. So why seek it? And why have the drive to care to?

So, I don't nor do I care.

-Nam
 1. not talking about sex, that's got a euphoric quality to it, brief as it is
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 09:21:13 AM »
Nam, I thought you were only an asshole. I didn't know you had other traits. I'll add curmudgeon to that right away!  ;D

Actually, I'm not happy much either. But when I am, it surprises me a lot and I like it.

I am content most of the time, which accomplishes most of what happy does. Without the giddiness.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Boots

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 09:49:55 AM »
I recommend seeking "fulfillment" rather than "happiness."  Being a good father and a good husband give me fulfillment, for example, even though some of the decisions I have to make (or the situations I'm put in) are definitely not well defined as "happiness."
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 10:54:06 AM »
We rate our happiness based on what level of needs we are willing to settle at...

« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 10:56:17 AM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline This Is Me

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 11:11:56 AM »
Happiness sucks as a goal. It is great as a byproduct.

Seeking it deliberately is a good way to miss out on a lot of things that are positive but not necessarily happiness-inducing. And I can't think of a better way to fail being happy then making it a high priority.

Nam has the right idea. Though he may be being a little to casual in this regard. Even I try a little harder than that.  ;D

I felt happy once. Didn't last very long[1], but if I attempted to try to get that feeling again, it wouldn't be the same since the first time came naturally. So why seek it? And why have the drive to care to?

So, I don't nor do I care.

-Nam
 1. not talking about sex, that's got a euphoric quality to it, brief as it is

One of the things I do admire about your posts, is the strong mind behind them. Just say totally out of the realm of reality, someone was able to take that strong mind away. Could you be happy? You would not be able to use the mind that defines who Nam is. Sure you would still be happy with the situations in life, and not physical looking for things to satisfy what you feel is just missing.

 I enjoy gaining other perspectives in things, because I am passionate about the physiological damage religion causes. The level of severity depends on how seriously one took the bible.

This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2013, 01:39:45 PM »
I am passionate about the physiological damage religion causes. The level of severity depends on how seriously one took the bible.

Could you please cite some examples of physiological damage you have personally observed or read about in religious people?  I have provided a definition of physiological for reference.

 phys·i·o·log·i·cal  (fz--lj-kl) also phys·i·o·log·ic (-k)
adj.
1. Of or relating to physiology.
2. Being in accord with or characteristic of the normal functioning of a living organism.
3. Of or being an additive primary color.
physi·o·logi·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


The following are the normal functions of living organisms:

Functions of living organisms:
1) Nutrition (Autotrophic or Heterotrophic)
2) Reproduction ( Sexual or Asexual )
3) Movement (Pseudopodia, Cilia Or muscles in limbs)
4) Sensitivity
5) Respiration
6) Growth
7) Excretion (Special excretory organs or simply by diffusion)

So if you please, explain how religion directly causes damage to these seven functions.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline This Is Me

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 05:26:52 PM »
Lori!!! Score on you!! I am laughing  at myself right now because of a misspelled word that spell check a gave the wrong word for. MY BAD haha. Thank you!!! does this make more since from webster?  :) :) :)
psy·cho·log·i·cal
adjective \?s?-k?-?lä-ji-k?l\
Definition of PSYCHOLOGICAL
1
a : of or relating to psychology
b : mental
2
: directed toward the will or toward the mind specifically in its conative function <psychological warfare>
— psy·cho·log·i·cal·ly adverb
See psychological defined for English-language learners »
See psychological defined for kids »
This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2013, 08:53:02 PM »
Sorry for my somewhat douchy response.  It's just that I suspect if a theist made a similar error there would be 27 posts far worse than mine raking him/her over the coals for such a comment.  I couldn't resist.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Nam

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2013, 08:57:21 PM »
Nam, I thought you were only an asshole. I didn't know you had other traits. I'll add curmudgeon to that right away!  ;D

Actually, I'm not happy much either. But when I am, it surprises me a lot and I like it.

I am content most of the time, which accomplishes most of what happy does. Without the giddiness.

I've got many-a-trait, asshole is just the main one. :P

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline Nam

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2013, 09:03:10 PM »
Quote from: This Is Me
One of the things I do admire about your posts, is the strong mind behind them. Just say totally out of the realm of reality, someone was able to take that strong mind away. Could you be happy?

I have no idea since that person wouldn't be me. You'd have to ask that person, which would be difficult since he doesn't exist unless you believe in multiple dimensions where he would inevitably would exist?

;)

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2013, 10:42:53 PM »
Nam, I thought you were only an asshole. I didn't know you had other traits. I'll add curmudgeon to that right away!  ;


I've always pictured as curmudgeons as elderly, like Andy Rooney. (When he was alive) (And old)
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline This Is Me

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2013, 10:43:44 PM »
Sorry for my somewhat douchy response.  It's just that I suspect if a theist made a similar error there would be 27 posts far worse than mine raking him/her over the coals for such a comment.  I couldn't resist.

Honestly, I couldnt of resisted either. No offense taken at all. Im glad you pointed it out to me, lol. Yes, I took the time to learn how to spell it.  :-[
4 years ago I started a topic in a Christian forum(hardly used)  titled "Evolution, Are you serious? " Hahahah, right?  Only a few posts in, and every atheist and their brother showed up. Lol. But yes, I have had my share of encounters of asses. One particular atheist that must of saw something in me that I didnt. He stayed on my logical merry-go-round for 4 months before I even had a breakthrough on evolution. It took 5 more months of debating with him to finish the Christian god off. Im very thankful for his mentor-ship.

PS...Spell check complex now...lol
This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline This Is Me

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2013, 10:44:58 PM »
Quote from: This Is Me
One of the things I do admire about your posts, is the strong mind behind them. Just say totally out of the realm of reality, someone was able to take that strong mind away. Could you be happy?

I have no idea since that person wouldn't be me. You'd have to ask that person, which would be difficult since he doesn't exist unless you believe in multiple dimensions where he would inevitably would exist?

;)

-Nam

Like I said, I like how you think.... 
This planet and universe puts me in awe everyday. Its not that I want to live forever, just long enough to learn everything =)  ~This is me

Offline Nam

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2013, 01:54:06 AM »
You're the only one. ;)

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline Boots

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2013, 07:58:54 AM »
You're the only one. ;)

-Nam

What, Nam, YOU don't even like how you think?!?!
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

"Many of my ultra-conservative Republican friends...have trouble accepting the idea God is not a Republican. " ~OldChurchGuy

"We humans may never figure out the truth, but I prefer trying to find it over pretending we know it."  ~ParkingPlaces

Offline junebug72

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2013, 10:37:40 AM »
Dang religion.  What peace and happiness I have known is because I believe in a Loving Creator.  So I have to agree with Lori.  What brings happiness to some doesn't work for others.  I have to find happiness through my fight with cancer and having spiritual beliefs helps.  I'm not going to be depressed I'm going to be OK no matter what happens because I believe that way.  It has worked for me when nothing else would.  I'll say this about it though it had absolutely nothing to do with religion.  I learned nothing about God through religion.  Seems to me religion's making a lot of non believers.  :o 

It's easy to be happy when all is good the secret to me seems to be in finding it through the hard times. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »

I have no idea since that person wouldn't be me. You'd have to ask that person, which would be difficult since he doesn't exist unless you believe in multiple dimensions where he would inevitably would exist?

;)

-Nam

Ooh, narly, like Sliders...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Dante

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Re: The key to happiness
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2013, 11:54:57 AM »
Honestly, I couldnt of have resisted either.

 ;)
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.