An Argument for Happiness
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Health and Wellness

Part 1: My Argument For Happiness

And why God is real.


I guess we live in a world where we can make questionable claims like the title of this article, and then qualify it by redefining happiness from whatever people think happiness might be to "true happiness," whatever that means. And, without going into platonic ideologies, I'd like to impose another idea: that there is a grey area of emotional ambiguity that encompasses our entire mood of operation, which makes it almost impossible for anybody to empirically prove or disprove "true happiness." In other words, I think that through pure rationality, happiness doesn't exist.

Some of you might actually agree with this idea. Happiness, "according to science," is just a reward system in the form of a series of chemical reactions, that is aimed at survival. What we think is happiness is actually a set of signs and structures that keep us from discomfort. The question, then, would be if those sets of signs and structures are under our own control, or if society imposes them on us. Of course, we would like to think that we can decide what makes us happy. After all, the things we like are a part of who we are, our own identity. To say otherwise would not only mean that "true happiness" doesn't exist, but that neither does our own identity.

Take my family for example. My Grandfather loves bitter foods because his taste buds are too insensitive to pick up other flavors. Because I grew up with him, I've picked up his preferences for bitter food, even though my taste buds are fully functional. So, in terms of food preferences, I am my grandfather. If we looked at another generation, maybe we could see how Grandpa's father influenced his food preferences, and so forth. If my food preferences are completely influenced by my grandfather, does that make my likes and dislikes in flavor not my own? I suppose so because the very idea of "own" is a misconception of the same design.

But I do actually believe in true happiness. Okay, I'm a bad person. Sorry for tricking you! If you haven't guessed yet, this is a "natural" argument for God, one using empirical and rational proofs. But, I suppose it isn't really empirical since the argument I constructed above almost completely dismisses empiricism. Now, just a bit of a warning, my argument is "because God" and the classic Sunday School answer "but Jesus."

We can be confident in our limits and shortcomings in learning anything, especially "the truth." These limits are basically how our own identity seems constricted to the very precise moment in which we exist in. My preference for bitter foods inhibits me from really learning the qualities of all foods because I'm biased. And those preferences were imposed on me by the environment I exist in, such as my living with my Grandfather and his food preferences. But, our confidence in our own limits implies that there is something outside of our limits.

A popular riddle we've all asked as angsty teens might give us some insight. If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, with nobody around, does it still make noise? This riddle questions whether things exist outside of our limits, in this case, one of our senses. Before our entire view is destroyed by a philosophy class in college, most of us would say that a tree does make a noise. Though, we're forced to redefine "noise" from a thing that is heard, to a thing that is caused. Note that the center of the definition has shifted from us being in the center, (noise exists because we hear it), to an outside thing that causes it (like the falling tree).

What does this mean, exactly? Going back to the idea of happiness, if we change the definition from something we experience to something that is caused, then a couple things happen. First, happiness becomes a thing that exists outside of our own experience. Second, there is something that causes that happiness, that is also outside of our experiences. Needless to say, that "something" is God. Keep in mind that our identity is still ambiguous, because both arguments, so far, imply that our identity was caused by something.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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