in pursuit of dumb happiness
i'm already smart enough *and* my ass is plenty big, so yeah, i'd decline! but there are probably plenty of marginally intelligent, j. lo wannabes who'd sign right up! (her butt is a very popular model for tush tucks...)
--FoSO Wed Dec 8 09:10:48 2004
I've seen this type of thing before. It's a tough hypothetical, as I currently consider myself pretty happy. Why would I give up whatever intelligence I have in exchange? And why would being dumb make me happy? Dumb people (and even dogs) get upset about things, too.
--Max Wed Dec 8 11:18:18 2004
The dumb but happy falacy rears its ugly head again. It sets up a false sense that your current dizzying intelligence is somehow to blame for your unhappiness. Here is a little thought experiment for all my over-educated neurotic friends. Think about the times when you have felt the most happy, the most satisfied. Now, were those times when you had just accomplished something, just exercised your prodigious intellect? 

It when we struggling, unable to apply ourselves to produce a solution to a problem, that we are most unhappy. Stupidity is the root of your angst, your unhappiness.

The question might have been better phrased, "If you could remove awareness of all the problems that could possibly affect you that are beyond your ability to comprehend or solve in order to avoid the unhappiness it causes, would you?"

Most people who enthusiastically say "yes" are unhappy with themselves for their own resignation to not solve the problems that plague them when they were of manageable size. Now they live with an 800lb gorilla that they refuse to acknowledge. The people who say unequivocally "No" are people who have confronted problems that were beyond them initially, but grew in intellect or capacity enough to solve them. Now having come to value that growth, they value the problem.

But the vast majority of us fall somewhere in the "yes, but only on these issues". We would love to not worry about global nuclear war, terrorism, television drama cliff-hangers, farmland depletion, the ozone layer, overpopulation, AIDS in third world countries, the Y2K, peace in the middle east, and the de-industrialization of the US, so we could focus on the problems that we have some _hope_ of solving.

Let's face it, we are super saturated with issues to worry about, most of them we are so distant from that we have no way to affect the outcome. We are _just barely_ smart enough to perceive a problem (when spoon fed to us by the media) and see its repercussions and then worry. How many of us are smart enought to see a problem, its repercussions, and be content that someone smarter than us on that particular issue is working to solve it?

This would have landed on the people's sidebar, if Kirk would hurry up and give me an account.
----Evil Bastard Wed Dec 8 11:34:11 2004
I agree with Evil Bastard a bunch. The pill to happiness, didn't Aldous Huxley call that Soma in BRAVE NEW WORLD? As for me, I wouldn't trade my intelligence for happiness, that would allow for people to take advantage of me and for the State to pull faster ones, possibly oppress us more, possibly allow us to affirm oppressing other people and just provide everyone with more opportunities to get screwed over. Honestly, I think the more we use our intelligence, the more we encourage it in other people, the more we use it to accept responsibility and the more we see how things work around us, the more we can make the world better and the more we can appreciate the way things work.

Oh, and an editorial comment: You used 'effect' incorrectly. You should have used 'affect.' 'Affect' is the verb, and 'effect' is the noun.
--Mr. Lex Wed Dec 8 12:24:58 2004
Can I trade some of my intelligence for a woman with a big butt?
--E Wed Dec 8 12:43:28 2004
Well, the point of the hypothetical isn't to blame intelligence for making us unhappy, that the dumbness causes the happiness, but what if the pill just happened to do both.

Dang it, my mind did trip over affect vs effect but for some reason still grabbed the wrong ne.
--Kirk Wed Dec 8 13:41:30 2004
Well, can you quantify happiness? In the long run, I think with my intelligence, I find ways to increase my happiness and to find my way out of unhappy situations. After all, many philosophies state that happiness is a state of mind and choice, not so much a state of being. If you wanted a state of being pill that will help you feel happy but will make you dumber, you could always take Ecstasy.
--Mr. Lex Wed Dec 8 15:20:34 2004
I don't so much want to be happy at all times. I'd rather be like those invincible people I see around me, who get upset for five minutes instead of all weekend.
--Nick B Wed Dec 8 17:28:18 2004
I'd just rather live and let live... my own life and feel real.
--Wing and a prayer Thu Dec 9 03:21:05 2004

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