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March 12, 2017 / Congau

Happiness and Pleasure

Happiness is a pleasure; pleasure is not happiness. Happiness is a totality; pleasure is a single instance.

You enjoy a good meal; it’s a pleasure, but it’s not happiness. It may add a little to an otherwise miserable condition, but not so much. You have a good friend; it’s a pleasure to be with that person and he may really contribute to your happiness. The first is a single instance; the second is a condition that lasts.

A pleasure is a part of a good feeling, but happiness is a good feeling as an overall condition.

Therefore some pleasures that give a strong instant feeling may not add much to happiness, but even prolonged physical comfort can only partly contribute for the human mind needs more.

Mental pleasures surely are important. Playing games or reading books, each example of enjoyable activities, may be ingredients in a happy life, but they alone are not happiness. Still, happiness is pleasure.

Happiness is feeling good, and feeling good is pleasure.

Happiness is what we want; we want it because it pleases us and what pleases is a pleasure

Could we not just take happy pills or drugs, sit still, feel good and be happy. No, that is not what we want, we know something would be lacking, so it would not really please us.

True, we sometimes feel happy without there being any particular pleasurable activity at hand. It is then a general feeling of pleasure, but for it to be genuine it must contain a conscious satisfaction with the environment and one’s own position in it. Happiness can therefore not be an illusion or a drug inflicted hallucination. It needs to have a connection with reality or else it would only be a single instance of pleasure and an insufficient one.

Still, happiness is a pleasure since it is a good feeling. For each person happiness is whatever gives an overall genuine good feeling.

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