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Offline junebug72

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Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:50:42 AM »
I do wish I was as thorough as the atheist in providing links and references.  I can't possibly share all the influences I've experienced in my 41.5 years on this planet that has programmed my mind to it's current state.

I've read a whole lot of negative thoughts here.  My only concern with that is I'm convinced there is medicinal values in positive thinking.  I'm not the only one.  It has been an important part of my battle and so many others. 

Positive thinking, trust, sets off certain chemicals in the brain like oxytocin that is good for us. 

I believe empathy is positive thoughts.  It enables an individual to not take the actions of another personal and that is a key step in being happy in a crazy unpredictable world.

I think when people see that you are happy they want to know your secret because it's not that easy to pull off!

To my knowledge all the test of positive thinking/mindfulness have demonstrable results proving it's healing qualities.  Be in the present and control your thoughts.  The Toltecs called these thoughts myotes; spelling could be wrong.  They keep you up at night; make you worry and stress.  That's why this website is so important to this theist.  It gets the thoughts out of my head and subjected to editation.

Is not most of the chaos in this world created by unhappy people? If we could cheer everybody up we could fix this problem of suffering once and for all.  We together can...We don't need God/gods.


Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Joy to the world...


JB

Link to Author and Toltec master don Miguel Ruiz http://www.miguelruiz.com/
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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 08:47:24 AM »
How much positive thinking do I need to engage in to change outcomes for OTHER people?

Everything you've said about positive thinking so far is about changing your own outcomes - so how does this apply to the world in general? How do I go about using this power to eliminate female genital mutilation? How about for financial literacy? Or to stop sex trafficking or forced prostitution?

Positive thinking can absolutely have an impact on MY life, but my life is just fine the way it is. I'm interested in improving other people's lives. So how is this better than taking actual, useful action? How is it helpful at all?
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 01:48:49 PM »
How much positive thinking do I need to engage in to change outcomes for OTHER people?

Everything you've said about positive thinking so far is about changing your own outcomes - so how does this apply to the world in general? How do I go about using this power to eliminate female genital mutilation? How about for financial literacy? Or to stop sex trafficking or forced prostitution?

Positive thinking can absolutely have an impact on MY life, but my life is just fine the way it is. I'm interested in improving other people's lives. So how is this better than taking actual, useful action? How is it helpful at all?

Do you not have to understand a problem to solve it?  If the problem is unhappy people you have to know how society can create happier people.

We are part of society.  I haven't seen much evidence of your happiness Jag, sorry.

You are stuck on the idea that Belief in gods is to blame but it's not.  It is capitalism.  It is not belief that forms this society that we know.  Capitalism thrives on poor suffering populations.  Richard Wolff, Economist http://rdwolff.com/

JB
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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 02:50:02 PM »
Most, if not all economic systems have their own problems.  I doubt there is a perfect economic system.

I would say my life generally revolves around positive thinking, as I generally tend to be an optimist (glass half full) type of person.  Positive thinking is usefull for having a happy life but I don't know if it is absolutely necessary.  Some people may enjoy being negative, perhaps for anti-social reasons but I can't say that they are not happy (they might be unhappy, but they also might be happy, who knows).  Some people may even enjoy being unhappy, who knows.

We can hardly force people to be happy or think positively.

One of the problems I see with capitalism is that some people take advantage of other people who don't know any better.  Perhaps in some of those cases the people taking advantage don't know any better either.  It's also difficult to force people to not take advantage of other people.  I would say the best method would be to educate the people who are being taken advantage of and it is that eduation that some people work against so they can keep taking advanatge of other people.

Religion is one of those methods by which people can take advantage of others.

Don't get me wrong, religion can also lead to good being done and helping people but it is a double edged sword.  Why not put down the double edged sword and use a sword which can only lead to good being done and helps people.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 03:07:33 PM »

I'm convinced there is medicinal values in positive thinking..... Positive thinking, trust, sets off certain chemicals in the brain like oxytocin that is good for us.....To my knowledge all the test of positive thinking/mindfulness have demonstrable results proving it's healing qualities. 

Yup.  Don't disagree with anything there.


Is not most of the chaos in this world created by unhappy people? If we could cheer everybody up we could fix this problem of suffering once and for all.  We together can...We don't need God/gods.

Agree again. 

But how do we make everyone happy?  What do we do about the people who - like OCG - gain happiness from belief?  What about the people whose happiness comes from possessions? 

And what do we do about sets of people for whom happiness IS a zero-sum game?  Say, two fans of competing sports teams?

It would be a wonderful world if everyone was happy, I agree.  How do we get there from here?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 03:23:39 PM »
I haven't seen much evidence of your happiness Jag, sorry.

That's not very positive.

You are stuck on the idea that Belief in gods is to blame but it's not.  It is capitalism. 

Does that mean you wish to eschew capitalism?  What economic system would you recommend?

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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 04:04:11 PM »

Do you not have to understand a problem to solve it?  If the problem is unhappy people you have to know how society can create happier people.
How does this relate to what I asked?
Quote
We are part of society.  I haven't seen much evidence of your happiness Jag, sorry.
You don't know me well enough to speak to my state of happiness, or lack thereof. And frankly, I don't feel a need to provide you with a demonstration either - what might make you happy has no bearing whatsoever on what makes me happy.

And that's an awfully negative assessment from someone claiming to be here to promote positivity.
Quote
You are stuck on the idea that Belief in gods is to blame but it's not. 
If you're going to speak for me, please do so accurately. I've told you - directly and repeatedly - what I think the problem is, and you have again misidentified it and tried to make me claim a position that I do not hold.
Quote
It is capitalism.  It is not belief that forms this society that we know.  Capitalism thrives on poor suffering populations.  Richard Wolff, Economist http://rdwolff.com/
Ah yes, greed again.

None of this has anything to do with my post. If you don't have answers to the questions I asked, just say so. Responding by ignoring those questions is hardly going to propel the conversation forward.

If you do believe that you did address my questions, please provide a more comprehensive reply, as I don't see the connection you are trying to draw between my questions and your reply.
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Offline Jesuis

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 01:20:52 AM »
Every thought has an effect on your psyche and physical makeup. It is better to have positive thoughts that lead to positive outcomes rather than negative ones. But I have to interject here even positive thoughts have some selfishness in them - therefore to have no thoughts whatsoever has a greater healing effect to the entire system.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 12:44:59 PM »
How much positive thinking do I need to engage in to change outcomes for OTHER people?

Everything you've said about positive thinking so far is about changing your own outcomes - so how does this apply to the world in general? How do I go about using this power to eliminate female genital mutilation? How about for financial literacy? Or to stop sex trafficking or forced prostitution?

Positive thinking can absolutely have an impact on MY life, but my life is just fine the way it is. I'm interested in improving other people's lives. So how is this better than taking actual, useful action? How is it helpful at all?

Well to change the outcome for that many people, I doubt there is enough time in a day.  That's why it takes many people thinking positively together to make a difference.

Changing my own state of mind does help the world.  That makes 1 less unhappy person doing unhappy things to others. 

I don't think giving hope of a better life, a Happy life, is doing nothing Jag.  For instance a week or so ago there was an elderly lady waiting in the lobby at radiation treatment.  She was kind of complaining.  I could not help but hear the conversation.  I had to say; "I wish I was 80 before I got cancer".  She then began to consider herself lucky.  There are little things you can do for people like give them a smile to look at, it's contagious.

The answer I gave earlier still applies.  I think you should correctly identify the problem/s. 

1 person can not change the world.  I think not adding to the problem helps.  Understanding limitations helps.  Knowing you can not do it alone helps. 

What is your plan to stop these monstrosities?  Can I help in any way?

I hope you find this response more substantial.  If not please don't give up on me I'll keep trying or concede my claim is wrong.

Joy,

JB
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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 01:01:27 PM »
Your example is an action, not a thought. Ill give a more thorough response when I get back on my computer later today.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 01:10:54 PM »
But how do we make everyone happy?


I am completely and totally open to suggestions. 




What do we do about the people who - like OCG - gain happiness from belief? 


I think OCG is happy and we don't need to help him or others "like" him.  I'm sure OCG would be happy to help.




What about the people whose happiness comes from possessions?

I think the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money.  Money can come and go true happiness does not.  If money is the only way to be happy and Heaven and earth forbid you loose that mullah.  Then your happiness is lost.  So we must prove with our own actions that happiness an money are not synonymous.


And what do we do about sets of people for whom happiness IS a zero-sum game?  Say, two fans of competing sports teams?

We have to tell the sports fan nicely somehow that God don't care who wins at sports.  He does not select who gets to be rich and famous and who gets to live on the street.

It would be a wonderful world if everyone was happy, I agree.  How do we get there from here?

I am completely and totally open to suggestions. 


Joy,

JB
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 01:20:47 PM »
I haven't seen much evidence of your happiness Jag, sorry.

That's not very positive.

You are stuck on the idea that Belief in gods is to blame but it's not.  It is capitalism. 

Does that mean you wish to eschew capitalism?  What economic system would you recommend?

Yea you're right.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Man this being impeccable with your word stuff is hard to do.  Things worth doing usually are hard. ;)

I don't like capitalism no I don't.  I think it causes suffering. 

I think a 50/50 mix of capitalism and socialism is the way to go.  That way the smarter ones can make their money but the workers can have a decent life too.

Joy,

JB
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 01:26:55 PM »
Every thought has an effect on your psyche and physical makeup. It is better to have positive thoughts that lead to positive outcomes rather than negative ones. But I have to interject here even positive thoughts have some selfishness in them - therefore to have no thoughts whatsoever has a greater healing effect to the entire system.

The only thing I disagree with here is that positive thoughts have selfishness in them.  Would you please share an example of what you mean by that.

I completely agree with the no thoughts statement.  That is being mindful.  I'm just now learning this technique of mindfulness to aid in my smoking cessation.

Joy,

JB
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 01:33:00 PM »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 03:05:46 PM »
What about the people whose happiness comes from possessions?

I think the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money.  Money can come and go true happiness does not.  If money is the only way to be happy and Heaven and earth forbid you loose that mullah.  Then your happiness is lost.  So we must prove with our own actions that happiness an money are not synonymous.

I'd be interested if you could name a source of happiness that could NOT be lost, for starters.

Perhaps more to the point, can you see how your desire to tell people what is, and is not, a  "legitimate" source of happiness could well make people unhappy?

And what do we do about sets of people for whom happiness IS a zero-sum game?  Say, two fans of competing sports teams?
We have to tell the sports fan nicely somehow that God don't care who wins at sports.  He does not select who gets to be rich and famous and who gets to live on the street.

What has any god got to do with sports?  I thought you were saying that happy thoughts were good?  Did you actually mean to say "only happy thoughts that relate to a god are good"?

It would be a wonderful world if everyone was happy, I agree.  How do we get there from here?

I am completely and totally open to suggestions. 

So what you are saying is: you have a pipe-dream, but no idea how to get there?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 03:07:42 PM »
You are stuck on the idea that Belief in gods is to blame but it's not.  It is capitalism. 

Does that mean you wish to eschew capitalism?  What economic system would you recommend?

I don't like capitalism no I don't.  I think it causes suffering. 

I think a 50/50 mix of capitalism and socialism is the way to go.  That way the smarter ones can make their money but the workers can have a decent life too.

Sorry, what does "a 50/50 mix of capitalism and socialism" actually look like?  Which elements of which are you proposing we take?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 04:56:07 PM »
How much positive thinking do I need to engage in to change outcomes for OTHER people?

Everything you've said about positive thinking so far is about changing your own outcomes - so how does this apply to the world in general? How do I go about using this power to eliminate female genital mutilation? How about for financial literacy? Or to stop sex trafficking or forced prostitution?

Positive thinking can absolutely have an impact on MY life, but my life is just fine the way it is. I'm interested in improving other people's lives. So how is this better than taking actual, useful action? How is it helpful at all?

Well to change the outcome for that many people, I doubt there is enough time in a day.  That's why it takes many people thinking positively together to make a difference.

Changing my own state of mind does help the world.  That makes 1 less unhappy person doing unhappy things to others. 

I don't think giving hope of a better life, a Happy life, is doing nothing Jag.  For instance a week or so ago there was an elderly lady waiting in the lobby at radiation treatment.  She was kind of complaining.  I could not help but hear the conversation.  I had to say; "I wish I was 80 before I got cancer".  She then began to consider herself lucky.  There are little things you can do for people like give them a smile to look at, it's contagious.

The answer I gave earlier still applies.  I think you should correctly identify the problem/s. 

1 person can not change the world.  I think not adding to the problem helps.  Understanding limitations helps.  Knowing you can not do it alone helps. 

What is your plan to stop these monstrosities?  Can I help in any way?

I hope you find this response more substantial.  If not please don't give up on me I'll keep trying or concede my claim is wrong.

Joy,

JB

Ok, here's the most thorough reply.

First I’m not the one asking for solutions for everyone (“that many people”) – I think you mixed my post up with someone else’s in your reply. My question was not broad, or intended to apply to everyone at once; it was simply noting that MY positive thinking is only directly affecting MY outlook, and not actually changing any real circumstances for anyone else. Thinking positive means nothing if not accompanied by action to change the circumstances you are suggesting people think positively about.

I’d much prefer giving actual tangible improvements to giving “hope”, and you keep switching back and forth between “positive thinking” and “happiness” – I don’t see them as interchangeable, I see them as two distinct and separate things. You seem to be actually talking about moods. You indicate that you think I'm an unhappy person, but from here, it looks to me like you are proposing that I wander around with a big dopey grin on my face and expecting the world to get "better" because I'm smiling a lot. IRL I'm a serious person most of the time, but that doesn't equate to unhappy.

Regarding your chat with the elderly woman – like I said, this is not positive thinking on your part, you actually spoke directly to her and perhaps changed her attitude, at least for a few minutes. I do something similar. A few years ago, I decided to go beyond the typical off-handed compliments to various people, and make it a point to occasionally share a specific positive observation about them. Rather than thinking, “It’s nice that Jill is helping out” I’ll actually tell Jill that her willingness to step up and lend a hand whenever she sees a need is a really wonderful quality and that I appreciate her for that. Or I’ll tell a fellow student that I really like it when he shares an insight in class on a difficult topic, since it helps me understand the subject better than if I try to figure it out on my own. I make it a point to do this often, and usually privately. For me, this serves two purposes – it reminds me to TELL people what I appreciate about them (I think most of us do not get that kind of positive feedback often enough), and doing it privately demonstrates the sincerity of my remarks - I'm not saying it for the benefit of anyone but the person I'm talking to.

The point I’m trying to make to you is that action is still required for any changes to occur. If I’m struggling with something, of course my thinking influences how I handle it. But thinking is not doing. I can think positively about school (and I do because I love it), but if I don’t discipline myself to sit my rear end down and study, I’m going to fail. I still have to do the work, and all the happy thoughts I can muster won’t change that. Thinking is not enough.

When you ask what my plan is to "stop these monstrosities", I honestly don't know what you are talking about*. Which monstrosities are you referring to? Do you realize that we may not agree on what they are? Everyone has particular "causes" they are really passionate about, but they vary from person to person. I care about a lot of things but I'm only truly passionate over a few. As to "positive' thinking, I begin and end with "I'm positive that I can contribute in some small way to improving the lives of other people who are at a distinct disadvantage for one reason or another". Is that positive enough to satisfy you?

If you are asking what I'm contributing to making the world better, that's a completely different question, so perhaps that's better left for a different conversation.

*Unless you were referring to the examples in my first post - which were exactly that - examples.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 04:59:32 PM by Jag »
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2014, 09:37:47 PM »
Jag,

I want to give your reply the time it deserves to answer you properly.  I'll have to get back to ya in the morning. :)

I can say this right quick.  The monstrosities I was talking about were the ones you mentioned in your post.  Genital mutilation, etc..

Joy,

JB

I'm sorry I said that about you're happiness Jag.  That was stupid. :o
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 06:53:33 PM »
I'd be interested if you could name a source of happiness that could NOT be lost, for starters.

Perhaps more to the point, can you see how your desire to tell people what is, and is not, a  "legitimate" source of happiness could well make people unhappy?

When have I ever said what is and is not a  source of happiness?  Please share.


What has any god got to do with sports?  I thought you were saying that happy thoughts were good?  Did you actually mean to say "only happy thoughts that relate to a god are good"?

You're the one with that idea not me.  No I did not mean to say that.  I did not say that.  IDK, maybe read it again. 

So what you are saying is: you have a pipe-dream, but no idea how to get there?

No I didn't say that.  I was asking for opinions on the matter.  I thought we could exchange ideas.  I wanted others perspectives.  Geeze. :-\

At least I'm thinking positively. :angel:



JB

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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 07:50:15 PM »
I'd be interested if you could name a source of happiness that could NOT be lost, for starters.

Perhaps more to the point, can you see how your desire to tell people what is, and is not, a  "legitimate" source of happiness could well make people unhappy?

When have I ever said what is and is not a  source of happiness?  Please share.


My apologies for jumping in here, but maybe I can help.

Junebug, I think when you said the following:

I think the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money.  Money can come and go true happiness does not.  If money is the only way to be happy and Heaven and earth forbid you loose that mullah.  Then your happiness is lost.  So we must prove with our own actions that happiness an money are not synonymous.

The first thing you said was that you think “the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money”, that was interpreted as you saying what is not a source of happiness.

I guess it really comes down to if there is such a thing as objective happiness or is happiness just subjective.  I personally don’t think there is such a thing as objective happiness.  As soon as we say that one thing makes people happy no matter what, we will probably find out that it doesn’t actually make everyone happy.

I think happiness is subjective, different things make different people happy.  We can’t say, “well everyone do what makes you happy”, because what makes one person happy may make another person unhappy.

Now to the second part, I think Anfauglir was curious about if any type of happiness exists that is never lost.  In your example Junebug relating to money, you seem to imply that money comes and goes, and if someone is happy because of money but lose that money which would mean they are no longer happy.

It is true that we can lose the things that make us happy.  Does that mean we should distance ourselves from what we might lose even if it makes us happy?  I would answer no.  I think we just need to be aware that nothing lasts forever, including happiness and it helps to be prepared for that, but until the happiness is lost, enjoy it thoroughly.

What has any god got to do with sports?  I thought you were saying that happy thoughts were good?  Did you actually mean to say "only happy thoughts that relate to a god are good"?

You're the one with that idea not me.  No I did not mean to say that.  I did not say that.  IDK, maybe read it again. 

I’m not sure where the disconnect was here.

I think Anfauglir was talking about people who are happy when their home team wins.  For instance, I am a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team fan, and when they win I am happy, when they lose I am unhappy.  Note this is just an example, I’m not actually unhappy when they lose, but I’m not exactly happy either, not when compared to when they do good.  It is exciting when your favorite team wins, you get to jump up and down and cheer.  When they lose, there is no jumping up and down and cheering.  Some people get very unhappy and actually angry when their favorite team loses.

So if my team wins, I’m happy but on the flip side the other team lost which means that someone else might be unhappy.

This is what Anfauglir means by zero-sum game.  My happiness is someone else’s unhappiness.

So for the happy days, enjoy every moment of them, and for the unhappy days, maybe positive thinking is the fast track to returning to happy days.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 07:53:18 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 03:34:28 AM »
I'd be interested if you could name a source of happiness that could NOT be lost, for starters.

Perhaps more to the point, can you see how your desire to tell people what is, and is not, a  "legitimate" source of happiness could well make people unhappy?

When have I ever said what is and is not a  source of happiness?  Please share.


My apologies for jumping in here, but maybe I can help.

Junebug, I think when you said the following:

I think the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money.  Money can come and go true happiness does not.  If money is the only way to be happy and Heaven and earth forbid you loose that mullah.  Then your happiness is lost.  So we must prove with our own actions that happiness an money are not synonymous.

The first thing you said was that you think “the first step is to understand happiness does not come from money”, that was interpreted as you saying what is not a source of happiness.

I guess it really comes down to if there is such a thing as objective happiness or is happiness just subjective.  I personally don’t think there is such a thing as objective happiness.  As soon as we say that one thing makes people happy no matter what, we will probably find out that it doesn’t actually make everyone happy.

I think happiness is subjective, different things make different people happy.  We can’t say, “well everyone do what makes you happy”, because what makes one person happy may make another person unhappy.

Now to the second part, I think Anfauglir was curious about if any type of happiness exists that is never lost.  In your example Junebug relating to money, you seem to imply that money comes and goes, and if someone is happy because of money but lose that money which would mean they are no longer happy.

It is true that we can lose the things that make us happy.  Does that mean we should distance ourselves from what we might lose even if it makes us happy?  I would answer no.  I think we just need to be aware that nothing lasts forever, including happiness and it helps to be prepared for that, but until the happiness is lost, enjoy it thoroughly.

Thanks Seven - yes, that's exactly right.  Junebug discounted money as a source of happiness, which I took from her words that she did so because it may not be permanent.  I was therefore trying to establish whether permanency was indeed a necessary component for "valid" happiness.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 03:43:10 AM »
And what do we do about sets of people for whom happiness IS a zero-sum game?  Say, two fans of competing sports teams?
We have to tell the sports fan nicely somehow that God don't care who wins at sports.  He does not select who gets to be rich and famous and who gets to live on the street.

What has any god got to do with sports?  I thought you were saying that happy thoughts were good?  Did you actually mean to say "only happy thoughts that relate to a god are good"?
You're the one with that idea not me.  No I did not mean to say that.  I did not say that.  IDK, maybe read it again. 
I think Anfauglir was talking about people who are happy when their home team wins.  .....So if my team wins, I’m happy but on the flip side the other team lost which means that someone else might be unhappy.

This is what Anfauglir means by zero-sum game.  My happiness is someone else’s unhappiness.

Again, exactly my point.  For some people, some happiness comes from vicarious victory of their team.  So if you support the Penguins, I support the Walruses, and our teams play, ONE of us is going to be sad at the end.  Zero-sum game, exactly.  At this point, I was thinking about general happinsess and positive thinking.

I was therefore quite stumped when Junebug said "tell the sports fan ... that God don't care who wins".  I could not understand why she had suddenly inserted notions of god into a secular example of happiness, which is why I was trying to understand whether what she actually meant was that only positive thinking that related to a god was useful. 

But she has been quite clear she didn't mean that - "No I did not mean to say that.  I did not say that. "  Which means I'm back to being confused.
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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 09:20:54 AM »
Again, exactly my point.  For some people, some happiness comes from vicarious victory of their team.  So if you support the Penguins, I support the Walruses, and our teams play, ONE of us is going to be sad at the end.  Zero-sum game, exactly.  At this point, I was thinking about general happinsess and positive thinking.

I was therefore quite stumped when Junebug said "tell the sports fan ... that God don't care who wins".  I could not understand why she had suddenly inserted notions of god into a secular example of happiness, which is why I was trying to understand whether what she actually meant was that only positive thinking that related to a god was useful. 

But she has been quite clear she didn't mean that - "No I did not mean to say that.  I did not say that. "  Which means I'm back to being confused.

I can't speak for Junebug, but if I were to guess, she may have interpreted what you said as "fans of a sports team who pray to God that their favorite team will win".  From that point of view, we probably all would agree that a perfect god probably doesn't pick favorites, or at least that is what Junbug was saying.

Of course, we are discussing happiness here, not praying to "God".

I don't think Junebug was associating happiness with praying, but I could be wrong.

EDIT:

Further thoughts on praying.  Perhaps some people are happy when they pray and maybe that is the association that Junebug was refering to. 

I have done some praying in my lifetime and I can honestly say praying never made me happy, although it didn't make me unhappy either.  When I prayed in the past, I didn't have any expectations of my god.  Of course, just because praying didn't make me happy doesn't mean praying does not make others happy.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 11:23:58 AM by SevenPatch »
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 11:55:07 AM »


Ok, here's the most thorough reply.

First I’m not the one asking for solutions for everyone (“that many people”) – I think you mixed my post up with someone else’s in your reply. My question was not broad, or intended to apply to everyone at once; it was simply noting that MY positive thinking is only directly affecting MY outlook, and not actually changing any real circumstances for anyone else. Thinking positive means nothing if not accompanied by action to change the circumstances you are suggesting people think positively about.

I’d much prefer giving actual tangible improvements to giving “hope”, and you keep switching back and forth between “positive thinking” and “happiness” – I don’t see them as interchangeable, I see them as two distinct and separate things. You seem to be actually talking about moods. You indicate that you think I'm an unhappy person, but from here, it looks to me like you are proposing that I wander around with a big dopey grin on my face and expecting the world to get "better" because I'm smiling a lot. IRL I'm a serious person most of the time, but that doesn't equate to unhappy.

Regarding your chat with the elderly woman – like I said, this is not positive thinking on your part, you actually spoke directly to her and perhaps changed her attitude, at least for a few minutes. I do something similar. A few years ago, I decided to go beyond the typical off-handed compliments to various people, and make it a point to occasionally share a specific positive observation about them. Rather than thinking, “It’s nice that Jill is helping out” I’ll actually tell Jill that her willingness to step up and lend a hand whenever she sees a need is a really wonderful quality and that I appreciate her for that. Or I’ll tell a fellow student that I really like it when he shares an insight in class on a difficult topic, since it helps me understand the subject better than if I try to figure it out on my own. I make it a point to do this often, and usually privately. For me, this serves two purposes – it reminds me to TELL people what I appreciate about them (I think most of us do not get that kind of positive feedback often enough), and doing it privately demonstrates the sincerity of my remarks - I'm not saying it for the benefit of anyone but the person I'm talking to.

The point I’m trying to make to you is that action is still required for any changes to occur. If I’m struggling with something, of course my thinking influences how I handle it. But thinking is not doing. I can think positively about school (and I do because I love it), but if I don’t discipline myself to sit my rear end down and study, I’m going to fail. I still have to do the work, and all the happy thoughts I can muster won’t change that. Thinking is not enough.

When you ask what my plan is to "stop these monstrosities", I honestly don't know what you are talking about*. Which monstrosities are you referring to? Do you realize that we may not agree on what they are? Everyone has particular "causes" they are really passionate about, but they vary from person to person. I care about a lot of things but I'm only truly passionate over a few. As to "positive' thinking, I begin and end with "I'm positive that I can contribute in some small way to improving the lives of other people who are at a distinct disadvantage for one reason or another". Is that positive enough to satisfy you?

If you are asking what I'm contributing to making the world better, that's a completely different question, so perhaps that's better left for a different conversation.

*Unless you were referring to the examples in my first post - which were exactly that - examples.

*I was referring to the examples in your first post.

Does what you think not dictate what you do?  I don't just smile at people I share my joy and that is action.  If I was to be depressed and wallering in self pity I don't think I'd feel much like helping others.

No jag I would never ask you to reveal all you do.  I applaud you for not bragging about your good deeds. 

Yes that is positive enough for me.

I don't disagree with taking action...many atheist and theist take action.

No our causes are probably not the same but I'm sure are equally as important.  I do think we share the desire to rid the world of religion we just have different very strong  ideas of how to go about it.

I think showing a living example of how you can believe in God in a more positive way can not only bless you but society.  I don't think atheism is going to solve the problem of religion but encourages it instead.

I did not have that opinion of atheism until I started talking to them.  Now I believe it is just as, well almost as, harmful as religion.  There is a claim of knowledge that neither possess.

Seriously,

JB
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 12:07:18 PM »
Look at it like this...Happy...Happier...Happiest.

Happy people do happy things.  Sad people do sad things.  Angry people do angry things.  So on and so on. 

Materialism is a temporary fix. 

Happiness comes from within, I think, not from the outside.  This way no matter what happens in your life you can still be happy.   

Smiles,

JB
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2014, 03:46:05 AM »
Happiness comes from within, I think, not from the outside.  This way no matter what happens in your life you can still be happy. 

So happiness is entirely self-generated?  I'm not sure I would agree with that, as the implication is that whatever is happening to you externelly, you can still be happy (or conversely, that nothing that happens external to the self can cause happiness).

I agree with you initial point about positive thinking.  One's "reality" is to an extent determined by how we choose to perceive the world (the old "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade"), but I don't think its possible for a person's level of happiness to be completely divorced from external factors.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2014, 09:54:58 AM »

*I was referring to the examples in your first post.
Ok thanks for clarifying. FTR, those were literally just things off the top of my head, not particular things I expect to resolve.

Quote
I think showing a living example of how you can believe in God in a more positive way can not only bless you but society.  I don't think atheism is going to solve the problem of religion but encourages it instead.
I do what I do without any god beliefs to guide my behavior. I do what I do because I'm able to do so and it's important to me; that's not the case for everyone, obviously. We already had this conversation about climate change and it didn't go anywhere useful (in your thread on belief not being harmful, IIRC). I'm not going down that path again.

Quote
I did not have that opinion of atheism until I started talking to them. 
I bet you know at least a few closet atheists in real life and do not realize it. Don't make the mistake of thinking that those of us who post here speak for atheists everywhere. We represent a small fraction of non-believers here. What we (here) have in common are two things: A disbelief in deities and a willingness to get on the internet and argue about it. The second clause in the preceding sentence is not even remotely the case for the vast majority of atheists I know in real life.

Quote
Now I believe it is just as, well almost as, harmful as religion.  There is a claim of knowledge that neither possess.
Who is claiming knowledge? I continue to ask for evidence, as does every atheist here.

Again, I think you are missing the underlying point. I think about and decide which action(s) to take or not take based on the real world circumstances I encounter. God beliefs get in the way of scientific progress - not necessarily your personal god beliefs, but certainly those of people in positions of influence and power.

I do not care what a theist believes as long as they keep it out of the way of progress. That means keeping it out of laws, legislation, and policy. They can keep right on being hypocrites, or wonderful people, or anything in between - it matters not one bit to me as long as I'm not obligated to participate. That is what I fight against in religion - and it's as much for the benefit of theists as for non-theists - do you really want to be governed by god beliefs that contradict your own? Do you want to live in a country where beliefs like those being promoted around here by the current bunch of litterbugs are the fricking law of the land?

I may be wrong about this distinction, but I'm throwing it out there for you to agree or disagree. I'm taking the position that productive thinking is far more useful that positive thinking. Positive thinking  about the issue of poverty, for instance - what does that even mean? I honestly can't figure out what you mean by positive thinking because you keep adding action - which is what makes changes actually happen.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 10:01:32 AM »
Hellfire for you, because this "expert" says so

This ^^^ disgusting crap is not being promoted by atheists, this is coming straight form some "expert" asshole's personal god beliefs. It's an argument about the LAW, by the way.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Positive Thinking vs Negative Thinking
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2014, 12:33:11 PM »
That's not me Jag.  I am against religion, big time.  I bet religion angers me more than it does you.  I would not bet money on it.  Just saying.

I honestly believe that to beat religion you have to let people believe in God.  I know that sounds backasswards but I believe it's true.  Once people start seeing the benefits of belief w/out religion I think many will follow suit. 

Great post I hope I didn't miss any questions. :o

As far as positive thinking goes I'm not going to take a positive action if I'm thinking negative.  That's the purpose of positive thinking.  Our actions start with our thoughts. 

Happy Days,

JB
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
1) Is man merely a mistake of God's? 2) Or is God maybe merely a mistake of man?