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Humans don't want happiness above all, argued Nietzsche

Finding meaning above happiness

Finding meaning above happiness

For many people, the pursuit of happiness is the meaning of life itself.

However, Friedrich Nietzsche saw the pursuit of happiness as a pointless waste of human life. He was instead dedicated to the idea of finding meaning in life where people are willing to undertake great suffering in the name of a goal they have set.

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Our Fixation With Happiness
  • Most of us actively try to build our lives around a constant state of happiness.
  • The problem is that very few people choose to do great things or want to make an effort to achieve ...
The Meaning Of A Good Life

Maximisation of pleasure is erroneously thought to be the path towards a good life. Avoidance of pain, disappointment, injury, sickness, boredom, loneliness and sadness is what is generally pursued by all, not realizing that pain and suffering are inevitable if one is alive.

Philosophers like Epicurus claim that a good life is attained when pain is minimized. But as happiness comes with loving attachments, pain becomes inevitable and even necessary in our path towards happiness.

Life Is Nothing Without Pain

Anything good in life requires some amount of toil and suffering.

Writing a novel, preparing and eventually running a marathon, or giving birth requires sacrifice, patience, pain and suffering, eventually producing something meaningful and joyous.

Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
  • Metaphysical nihilism ar...
Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

How we perceive philosophy
How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

In...

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.