Happiness, pleasure or joy is the emotional state of being happy. The definition of happiness is one of the greatest philosophical quandaries. Proposed definitions include freedom from want and distress, consciousness of the good order of things, assurance of one's place in the universe or society, and so forth. Associated emotions include joy, exultation, delight, bliss, and love, and antonyms include suffering, sadness, grief, and anger.
Philosophies of happiness
- Utilitarianism commonly seeks the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
- Epicureanism is the belief that the greatest good is to seek happiness for oneself.
- Hedonism is any philosophical theory that gives pleasure a central role.
- Eudaimonianism is the view, associated with Aristotle that happiness is constituted by faring well and doing well, understood as a life lived in accord with the human excellences or virtues.
Some claims that happiness is a synonym for evolution or growing. If someone evolves, he/she is happy, if not, he/she isn't. Although this theory is questionable, it makes the word "happiness" useable for non-biological living systems, for example an artificial intelligence, or a complex system (see Gaia or Galaxia).
See also: morality, which might be defined as the study of the fair distribution of happiness.
A number of commonly recommended ways to produce happiness:
- sexual intercourse and other sex. Also Tantra
- money and business, prosperity
- friends and friendships (also penpals)
- romantic relationships and romance
- philosophy, Epicurus, Epicureanism
- pets and animals
- greeting cards and postcards
- family and parents
- expanding our knowledge, reading and learning new things
- alternative lifestyles
- drinking, alcohol
- meditation and yoga
But most of the above, as a side effect of causing happiness, can also be addictive. An addiction can mask unhappiness and prevent one from finding true happiness.
See also: Bill Joy