[Paleopsych] True happiness.

Christian Rauh christian.rauh at uconn.edu
Wed Feb 23 16:19:36 UTC 2005

Is religion *true* hapiness?

I know many people who are oblivious to world events and are definetely 
more happy than the ones who follow what is going on. Are these people 
*truly* happy?

Is the spouse who doesn't know of their partner's affair *truly* happy?

Should we create an artifical environment of happiness?

This has been a long debate in philosophy.


Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. wrote:
> Marty Seligman (learned helplessness theorist, /Learned Optimism, 
> Authentic Happiness/, former APA president) - an atheist - mentions that 
> as a key to true happiness. He reviews literature that religious people 
> are generally happier and more fulfilled, more resilient. Czentmyhali 
> (spelling!) at U Chicago finds that kids involved in something greater 
> than themselves are much more likely to experience "flow" and periods of 
> greater happiness. Religion is clearly an adaptive force. BTW, I don't 
> want to hear arguments that religion is behind most wars. That is a 
> pretty tired argument that was thoroughly debunked by the 20th Century.
> Lynn
> Alice Andrews wrote:
>> Hi Gerry,
>> Thanks for the note...
>> There was an interesting article somewhere--maybe Frank sent it 
>> in?--about teenagers and the possiblity that what they were missing 
>> was 'religion' or 'spirituality' or a 'sense of purpose and meaning 
>> beyond them.' Do you remember reading that on paleo some time ago? I 
>> can't find it...But it seems apropos to your missive. (If anyone knows 
>> it and can send out again, I'd appreciate!)
>> Thanks and cheers,
>> Alice
>> Hi Alice,
>> Thanks for the rec re: Nesse's  "Evolution and the Capacity for 
>> Commitment".  Although I still haven't read it I'm familiar with its 
>> contents.  The issue of 'commitment' especially for young people is 
>> something that definitely needs addressing and maybe requiring our 
>> youth to make a firm political commitment to a particular party will 
>> carry over to their demonstrating less risky behavior with drugs, sex, 
>> employment, family or whatever.  Yet isn't our youth already 
>> politically brainwashed into political awareness or have they flicked 
>> away that duty as well?  I no longer hang out with our country's young 
>> but when I did I found that very few had their head screwed on 
>> correctly and many were adrift;  from what I hear now they still 
>> continue on their aimless flow.  When I wrote my original answer my 
>> thoughts were on "my generation", not the others.  Thanks for your post.
>> I'll add the book to my list.
>> Gerry
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> *From:* Alice Andrews <mailto:andrewsa at newpaltz.edu>
>> *To:* The new improved paleopsych list <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>> *Sent:* Monday, February 21, 2005 8:30 PM
>> *Subject:* Re: [Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20
>> Hi Gerry,
>> Randy Nesse edited a book called "Evolution and the Capacity for 
>> Commitment"; do you know it? It's wonderful... if you don't. (His 
>> 'Commitment in the Clinic' chapter is superb, btw.) Anyway, I think 
>> the book addresses your question. The word 'commitment' itself 
>> addresses the question. We have evolved mechanisms for detecting 
>> commitment and for detecting possible defection in others. People who 
>> tow the party line, etc. are considered committed. We seek out such 
>> people because it is proximately and ultimately adaptive to do so. 
>> Befriending, supporting, trusting, etc. the uncommitted would have 
>> been-- and still is, a risk (or threat). Such risks could have been 
>> very costly over our evolutionary history and can be still today. Of 
>> course, sometimes such risks (siding with someone who seems to be 
>> sitting on the fence, uncommitted, a rebel) can be to one's advantage. 
>> But 'ancient-brain' doesn't know this--and probably 'statistics-brain' 
>> doesn't know this either!
>> Anyway, enough late-night babbling! It's a good book and might answer 
>> your question...
>> All best!
>> Alice
>>     ----- Original Message -----
>>     *From:* G. Reinhart-Waller <mailto:waluk at earthlink.net>
>>     *To:* The new improved paleopsych list
>>     <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>>     *Sent:* Monday, February 21, 2005 9:55 PM
>>     *Subject:* Re: [Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20
>>     >> Someone beyond the liberal/conservative
>>     dichotomy may be rejected by both sides as a nuisance,
>>     a threat to shared assumptions that define a group
>>     against another.
>>     This is absolutely amazing!  Why would any audience
>>     reject someone who cannot plop into either the liberal
>>     or conservative camp?  Please explain the threat you
>>     feel is apparent.  This I need to hear!
>>     Gerry
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