Wednesday, November 24, 2021

On Medium: Being Happy is the Meaning of Life — for Adult Babies

Read on about how Albert Brooks’ use of positive psychology to explain life's meaning amounts to a conservative excuse for capitalism’s takeover of philosophy.


  1. This post reminded me of the following piece I recently read:

    I think that you would find this pertinent.

  2. I do sometimes wonder if feeling pessimistic/optimistic about things that aren't moral agents (like animals) makes sense. Also, are people really turning their backs on suffering? Haven't millions of people being lifted out of poverty? Aren't these hundreds of thousands of NGOs out there helping those in need? Aren't there people like David Pearce, you, and even the author, who care about others?

    Lastly, I wanted to address the point in the post (it's part of an upcoming book, I believe) regarding being grateful while someone else was suffering. I don't think that one is grateful because the other person is suffering. Rather, being grateful is a way of recognising that one has so many sources of value that could be a source of incredible happiness for many people. Also, if you cannot be grateful if someone else is suffering, should you be miserable if someone else is happy?

    Btw, the author supports antinatalism. Quite a "trend", isn't it? God knows when this descent will end...

    Still, I shall continue to be a miserable optimist.

    1. So you're talking about the author of the article you linked to, Michael Ellsberg, not Albert Brooks, the author I criticize in the above Medium article. It looks like an interesting article on a mix of optimism and pessimism, but it's interesting how Ellsberg's focus seems to be sex, judging from his other articles.

      Often, rich Christians who feel at least unconsciously guilty about their hypocrisy make a mantra out of giving thanks and feeling grateful for everything they have. But this is a performance since they could easily put their money where their mouth is by doing what Jesus said they should do: give away all their possessions. The reason few do that anymore is because the Second Coming is two thousand years late, which means just about the entire New Testament, including Jesus's uncompromising morality is suspect.

    2. Indeed, I was referring to Ellsberg.

      That giving away all the possessions part reminds of Peter Singer and the effective altruism movement. It would be amusing if this mostly secular/atheistic worldview ends up giving more to charity than what most Christians do.