Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


Giving up the urge to be happy and letting yourself be happy can let you be happy/happier

There are people who say they search for happiness and that makes them happy. The conventional wisdom is that they must be lying. It says that people are happy if they give up the search for happiness.

A less extreme view is that nearly everybody has some happiness which stops them committing suicide so if you stop trying to be happier it will happen. The idea is that happiness attracts more happiness. This is actually a beautiful thought and at a stroke eliminates the need for ideas such as God or religion or Jesus. It is affirming that your human nature is just what it is and uses happiness as a magnet for more happiness. There is no magic in this. Happiness just helps you see other ways and new ways to be happy and new things to be happy about.

It is not true that just working and forgetting about trying to find happiness in it necessarily makes you happy/happier. It gives you a good chance. It is not true that it will necessarily keep you as happy as you are.

For that reason seeing happiness as magic or as grace from God is dangerous. You must avoid the danger of optimism which thinks things will be great when it does not have enough evidence. Or pessimism which thinks things will be awful without evidence. Study test and examine and be a realist. A realist avoids either polarity. The realist is somewhere on the spectrum between them.  Realists assume for the sake of argument and the sake of goals that no amazing coincidence is going to destroy things and no amazing coincidence is going to result in a near miracle.  The ambition is to be practical.  It is not about denying coincidences but ignoring them.  This amounts to denying divine intervention or the power of prayer for those things are inspired by coincidences - albeit only good ones which is rather dishonest and unfair.

Is giving up the search for happiness the cause of your happiness and sense of peace?

Indulgence will not make you happy as it leads to fear even if you donít realise it of being mastered by the desire or the object. So if you hold back and then partake you will find happiness in it. Happiness and self-control go together and self-control is an ingredient of mature sensible happiness Ė real happiness.

The interesting thing here is that indulgence need not lead to fear and yet it does. It is as if the fear is tacked on to it. It follows then we should not approve of how searching for happiness is disastrous.

We know that if we do something and seek nothing back that we find we can derive happiness from it. Happiness involves being at peace and you cannot have happiness if you keep wanting it for then you have no peace. Working in order to make yourself feel happy means you are telling yourself you are unhappy or could be better off so it isn't very positive. And fear will worsen because you can work hard to get something to make you feel happy and find out you don't feel any better when you reach your goal.

You stop yearning and working for happiness. Then happiness comes. Maybe its just coincidence? Maybe in some cases. But there is an influence that comes from being happy that leads to happiness increasing.

Are you mistaking the happiness and peace that comes from being less attached to things for being general happiness and maybe it will not last? Happy moments always happen to everybody anyway.


Persons who think saving money for a huge mansion to live in will necessarily make them happy are making themselves slaves to an idea. It cannot work. Because their goal is not about being a better person, they are considered selfish. People who let go of attempts to be happy in order to be happy may behave as better people would, but this good behaviour is only a by-product. Their goal is to find happiness in itself and not for others even though they do make others happy. If they needed to make others miserable to be happy they would. Their service then is not about love or respect for others but utility.

If you forget about gaining happiness, you can get it. Forgetting about happiness then to be happy looks like unselfishness or selflessness. It is not. Yet it is the main reason why society thinks altruistic people are so common. Whether you realise it or not, you are putting your happiness goals out of your mind IN ORDER TO GET THE REWARD OF FEELING YOU CAN BE HAPPY, ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING TO BE HAPPY AND GETTING HAPPINESS.

It may be objected that just because you forget about happiness does not mean you are forgetting as a means to be happy. You are not using forgetting as a tool to be happy. You might be just forgetting. But you would not be forgetting unless you believed you would be okay or if you felt it or both.

What if you really do not care if you are happy or not an end up feeling happier or happy? In fact you should not be happy for there is something warped in having such a lack of respect for yourself and then being happy.

If that is reasonable then so is somebody asking you to carry them on your back from Edinburgh to London.

Those who say they put happiness out of their mind and thus choose to be neither happy or unhappy are lying. They wouldn't want that. So they wouldn't be doing the forgetting unless they believed or felt they were going to be okay.

There is a self-manipulation side to this putting happiness out of your head to be happy. Death does not seem real to the person risking his life who jumps into the water to save you from drowning and that is why he is able to take the risk. He enjoys the forgetting and this enjoyment takes over. It is not the best kind of enjoyment but it is still enjoyment.

If you have a stomach pain you will find that if you sit around wishing for the happiness of relief you will only make it worse. That wishing keeps your focus on the pain and that consciousness makes you feel worse and worse. You will find that if you do something to distract yourself from the pain you will be better off. This is self-interest. And so is distracting yourself from the painful and unhappiness making fact that you cannot cause yourself to be and feel happy all the time. You will achieve that happiness by doing good works not by thinking about the happiness. Even good works that do not benefit others such as writing a novel when you have no hope of getting published or acclaimed make you happy. This is self-interest and it makes you happy!

Happiness is, according to altruistic and religious "wisdom", a side-effect of living a life that wants to see others happy. Sometimes it seems as if that is the case. But you will often do good and feel no better. It cannot be proven that the happiness really was a side-effect of the action. Two things happening at the one time does not mean they are connected or the first causes the second.

So I said earlier that putting happiness out of your mind and getting on with life lets you be happy and now I am saying that the happiness is not necessarily caused by the distraction?

#Answer 1 - its an influence rather than a cause - seeing it as a cause is dangerous for it is too strong and you will never trust yourself to be happy again if you use the method and happiness does not come or only misery comes

#Answer 2 - happiness is really a set - its a pile of individual happies. There is no guarantee that any method will make you happy say with your Monday morning work start. Its a case by case thing.

Egoists believe in looking after themselves and others for praise or love or happiness. Egotists are those who do this for even more mercenary rewards such as money and a good job.

Egoists have to forget about how happy anything will make them feel in order to allow themselves to be happy. They might not be happy but they will have no hope of being happy if they focus too much on happiness. This is because feelings are hard to predict and control. You can be content today and moody tomorrow for no real reason. You can work all your life for a million pounds thinking it will make you happy and feel nothing when you get it. The egoist with any wisdom at all will have to forget about being happy in order to hopefully be happy. Misers who want a billion pounds knows they have to stop thinking about the billion pounds if they want it. They have to put it at the back of their mind. Does their forgetting mean that they are not being selfish or that they are not being greedy? The egoists are just following the recipe for happiness. That is still egoism. The egoists are still doing what is best for themselves.
Egoists are certainly not forgetting about happiness in order to be unhappy or to feel nothing. Egoists must be doing it to feel happy. Egoist's method for attaining happiness. If egoists enjoy seeing others happy the egoist will not want to be unhappy or to feel nothing for that is not good for the people they help. It endangers enthusiasm and they may notice that you donít really like helping them.

Becoming a slave for happiness by trying ruins happiness. Back off and happiness can come. It may not but it can. At least you have opened the door. Happiness in general can improve for you but so can happiness in specifics. But don't try anything such as prayer or magic for your potential to be happy is all you have. It does not do to try and override nature.

It would be great if you just had to stop thinking of yourself to be happy but that is not the way things are. A God of love would set things up that way but he does not exist. There are barriers to happiness that you are not aware of and belief in God is one of them.

It takes a lot of self-challenging and self-knowledge to get your chance to let happiness find you.