The question is really simple, but at the same time really deep. Why do we seek for a life that would make us happy?

Why for example wouldn't we want to be sad? Or to be neither happy nor sad? Why do we want to have pleasure?

  • 1
    Our brains reward us with dopamine when we do things that favor our reproductive success. Maybe you would respond by asking "why do we like dopamine?", but this is, at least, a reduction of your question to neuroscience and philosophy of mind. – Tim kinsella Jul 26 '14 at 2:15
  • 1
    Also, here's a marginal note that may or may not be illuminating: Can you come up with a non-circular definition of "pleasure" which is better than "that which is sought after"? – Tim kinsella Jul 26 '14 at 2:27
  • It's cultural and economic. If you're at the survival level, you don't worry about being happy, just about getting something to eat. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Since most of us are posting from relatively well-off locations, we see a lot of happiness-striving around us. If we were in a refugee camp in Somalia we wouldn't see so much self-actualization going on. Or Internet chatting. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs – user4894 Jul 26 '14 at 3:08
  • This is the same question I posted here. – Hakim Jul 26 '14 at 10:25
  • 1
    @AsphirDom - I am certain that I do not understand fully what qualia are, but I wonder who could possibly justify a claim that they did understand it fully? (I can envision strategies that Vitalists used, but we all know how well those worked out, hm?) – Rex Kerr Aug 1 '14 at 0:23