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14 votes

Do all systems of ethics boil down to maximizing pleasure and/or minimizing suffering?

Does every code of behavior you can think of for a robot boil down to maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain? Clearly not! We can give the robot rules for what to do in certain situations that are ...
causative's user avatar
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13 votes
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How much suffering is needed for an overall happy life?

I recommend this Alan Watts talk, 'Happiness Is Not The Meaning Of Life'. I suggest what you are asking is, exactly how much food should I eat to be happy? Starving will make you unhappy, eating only ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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11 votes
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Where did Kant say that "happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination"?

It occurs in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, here it is in context (from 4:418-19, p.29 in the Gregor's Cambridge translation): "He is not capable of any principle by which to ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes
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Are pursuing the well-being and reducing the suffering of sentient beings objectively good things?

In the proposition IX, part III of Ethics, Spinoza operates the following reversal of concepts: it is not because we judge that something is good that we desire that thing, but it is because we desire ...
armand's user avatar
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9 votes

How much suffering is needed for an overall happy life?

This chat on virtue ethics may be of interest to you: https://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/144709/virtue-ethics The "unhappiness needed" is which we need in order to develop virtues. It ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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8 votes

Can happiness be purely a state of mind?

Well, I'd say that fits Buddhism, where not happiness in the sense of getting what you want, but Bliss rooted in understanding the true nature of things, is the fruit of meditation and cultivating the ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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8 votes

Can happiness be purely a state of mind?

It would depend on how you define "happiness". If "happiness" is "absence of suffering", then Buddhism (there are many, many forms!) would generally say that cultivating ...
Frank's user avatar
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7 votes
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What's the best way to deal with nihilism?

Ahh, you are where I was a few years ago :) .. A good way to deal with nihilism would be to contrast it with the diametrically opposite possibility. A situation where there is perfect meaning to life,...
user2277550's user avatar
6 votes

Do all systems of ethics boil down to maximizing pleasure and/or minimizing suffering?

I think the reason you find the connection so strong is that humans tend to embed utilitarianism in their logic. However, this does not mean the system of ethics is maximizing pleasure/minimizing ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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6 votes

If all work is automated, what will humans be able to do?

Your "question" is actually a very lengthy musing, so suggest you return with a revised question. Just briefly, I am one of a number of people with doubts about the whole concept of "...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
6 votes

Do humans need some agency over the world around them for their lives to have some sense or purpose?

Your question is philosophical in the broader sense of the pursuit of eudaimonia. I think a number of philosophical traditions, such as Taoism or Confucianism, have means of dealing with this. I'll ...
J D's user avatar
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6 votes

What are the intellectual roots of U.S. happiness and Western Continental Europe suffering?

"La culture c'est comme la confiture, moins on en a plus on l'étale. [Translation: Culture is like jam, the less you have the more you spread it.]" -French proverb, often attributed to ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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6 votes
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The more you learn, the more you are sad?

Any given piece of information can make you sad, but it can also make you happy. Whether the sum of all knowledge makes you more happy or more sad would be hard to judge, especially given that every ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
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5 votes

What's the best way to deal with nihilism?

The work of the thinkers and writers we typically classify as "existentialist" (although few of them loved the term), Kierkegaard, Sartre, Dostoevsky, Camus, de Beauvoir, and so forth, can be viewed ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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5 votes
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If happiness is relative, why would I want to get more of it?

St. Thomas Aquinas, who was a follower of Aristotle in many things, has 32 questions on happiness (felicitas) in his Treatise on Man's Last End (Summa Theologica I-II qq. 1-5) or purpose, which he ...
Geremia's user avatar
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5 votes

Where did Kant say that "happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination"?

Glückseligkeit nicht ein Ideal der Vernunft, sondern der Einbildungskraft ist, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten Kapitel I
sand1's user avatar
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5 votes

Do all systems of ethics boil down to maximizing pleasure and/or minimizing suffering?

Consider this inexhaustive list of ethical types, (from: Ethics). Supernaturalism Subjectivism Consequentialism Intuitionism Emotivism Duty-based ethics Virtue ethics Situation ethics On the surface, ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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5 votes

Do humans need some agency over the world around them for their lives to have some sense or purpose?

You're making a whole lot of (in some cases rather offensive and harmful) unsupported assertions about what can and can not give other people purpose and fulfillment, and very questionable claims ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
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5 votes

How much suffering is needed for an overall happy life?

There seems to be no true happiness without some sort of suffering Suffering is patently a part of life, from the discomfort of being born into the world to the that of succumbing to death and ...
J D's user avatar
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4 votes
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Can happiness be measured quantitatively? such that an amount of money can buy

A person who managed to become rich and therefore happy hasn't bought happiness. "Buying happiness" would mean giving away money in exchange for happiness. This person hasn't been giving away money in ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 5,639
4 votes

How to live the present instead of just surviving?

You my friend, are not alone! And I for one congratulate you for seeking answers. You're also seeking answers in the right place. I had exactly the same experience and to some extent I still do, ...
Richard's user avatar
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4 votes
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Did Aristotle think that children could be happy?

Although Aristotle's eudaimonia is often loosely translated as "happiness" the meaning is quite different from the modern, subjective and emotional, idea. Aristotle's eudaimonia is objective ...
Conifold's user avatar
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4 votes
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How does Aristotle motivate that there is no universal good?

Plato held that the Form of the Good was the Form over all the others. It would function as the Form of Forms, then, giving them their being and intelligibility. On Aristotle's view, then, if there is ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
4 votes

Do all systems of ethics boil down to maximizing pleasure and/or minimizing suffering?

Systems of ethics are axiomatic You can reduce other ethical systems to maximizing pleasure and/or minimizing suffering if and only if you make some assumptions that are essentially utilitarian. ...
Peteris's user avatar
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4 votes

Does anyone talk about loneliness not as a failure of love

Grothendieck, a famous mathematician, said that his ability to be on his own was one of the sources of his creativity. Personally, I don't think loneliness is a good description of this mood, after ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes

Do we have to know certain things in order to die authentically happily?

"There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels." -from the opening section of The Dhammapada "I don't know why we ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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4 votes

Should happiness be attained by reforming the world around us for the better or by accepting it as it is?

Definitely do not accept it as it is. It is the most destructive force our planet has ever seen. To live rightly, you should follow these maxims: Seek Truth, Protect Beauty, Fight for Justice, and ...
Marxos's user avatar
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4 votes

Do humans need some agency over the world around them for their lives to have some sense or purpose?

Arendt shows in The Human Condition that purposeful and creative work is required for humans to be fully human. Further, it is a fallacy that simply because all work is automated means that work ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes

What are the intellectual roots of U.S. happiness and Western Continental Europe suffering?

I suggest qualifying the proposition regarding America vs. Europe. E.g., Hemingway was of a rather pessimistic view on happiness, as can be illustrated by this quote Madame, all stories, if continued ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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4 votes

Can happiness be purely a state of mind?

Happiness as a self-induced state of mind regardless of circumstance is the end goal of the Buddhist path as stated repeatedly in the Pali Suttas of Buddhism. The simile of the saw states this in no ...
InvalidBrainException's user avatar

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