Well, overall religion is based on happiness. To a lesser extent or a higher one, it is reaching happiness somewhere. Human nature right? The question I present is what your idea of happiness is?

1. For yourself.
2. For those around you.

The second one I left relative for those who wish not to include the world as a whole because this is sometimes impossible. It may be counted as your friends, world, family, county, ext. Your choice.

For myself:

1. Ideally it would be blunt form of myself that even strangers knew. This meaning that they would know I was Atheist and my values in life relatively. I grew up hiding myself from everyone.... and I mean absolutely everyone. This stuck with me and I now find happiness in truth.

2. I choose the world as a whole. For this it would be, not the truth for everyone to know. But rather, a balance. Not everyone is happy, but no one is excluded from everything and finds his or her place. This would be cliques that do not overrule one another as an absolute power, but when it was necessary. And foremost, everyone might not be able to deal with this, but could cope and would not go through drastic measures.... such as offing themselves.

Any criticism over my values is accepted also, as long as it's civil and leaves room for me to further state my point through this and not argue.
This is a touchy subject.... so I had to post this last thing just in case. Sorry.

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Stevie Hunter: Well, overall religion is based on happiness. To a lesser extent or a higher one, it is reaching happiness somewhere. Human nature right? The question I present is what your idea of happiness is?

You have inadvertantly stumbled on the reason why both islam and xtianity are viewed as nihilistic religions - as Nietzsche originally defined it and others have built upon.

reaching happiness somewhere

This is key: religion is about reaching for happiness. These religions are not about temporal happiness in any way. In fact, earthly happiness and pleasures are usually sinful, and endanger your divine ascension, your very soul. This existance that we live in is not meant to be enjoyed. Suffering itself is glorified - as can be seen by the various sick penance rituals that are promoted. So your question is not valid if it includes these religions.
Ermm.... fair enough. I guess I did over shoot what was initially my question. Which only was the question of happiness, this was my fault and thank you kindly for pointing this out.
1. Being an atheist I don't presume I will be any happier when I am dead so I strongly believe that constant ever-present happiness in the now is the ideal. Buddhism seems to follow that path as I understand it, but with a focus on peace as the ultimate happiness. And it claims to have the method, as does transcendentalism, to achieve peace. I don't think that's right thinking though.

I believe happiness is a state of mind and completely dependent on how you view the world and your place in it. Literally, to the observer, the world works for them in the way that they see that it does whether they see it as good or bad or whatever.

You have to have a pretty solid idea of how the world works to you, and accept that you are correct, in order to be comfortable enough in daily life to find happiness in things whether you see the world as good or bad or whatever. Happiness is an emotion that can be contained and nurtured just like rage or love.

2. Sometimes people genuinely don't want to be happy knowing full well what happiness feels like. Sometimes people want to be happy and don't know how. I believe that most people are driven by a subconscious desire to seek the equivalent emotion of childhood happiness. This is because most people experience happiness at some point as children from just being exposed to the wonders of life but then are told that childish activities and thoughts are wrong as they grow older. They still want to feel that way but they have to find another way to do it. SO SAYS SOCIETY. more or less.

I think that pattern recognition has a lot to do with psychological issues; and that everybody's brains work in the same way. With pattern recognition being the one constant in everyone's thought processes. So with a constant set of variables like strict centers of learning or mass mind control (religion) you can expect certain patterns to become self repeating or maybe replenishing is a better word. It's only natural that a person that has a worldview that demands immortality is going to subconsciously imprint that way of thinking in everything they say or do or make. They want their works and ideas to last forever just like their souls do. Science does a lot to shake up the religious world view. It proves things you can measure with your senses. No reasoning is even necessary to point out the flaws in the religious worldview.

Any world view that stands on shaky ground is bound to leave the observer a little nervous and paranoid and awkward in their search for happiness.

And so there is most of the world as I see it. On shaky ground. Humanity as a whole still doesn't get it. They all want to be happy and are stuck in a worldview of their own choosing that denies them what they want. And by "they" I just mean people in general from pole to pole.

This's just my opinion. I have yet to prove any of it but it makes sense in my worldview.
Oh, no it's perfect sense and actually open my eyes to a few things that were "within the lines". My idea of life, and happiness, is no more than my own delusion to ... say a religious person. All this means is my happiness is only compliant to myself in the same ways and even the more likely person will disagree. This was the point in this discussion, to understand how other people view this subject. Way to hit it on the nose!

Passing up the long life story, I do not need to have with 'wants' in my life because that is what I've thus told myself to believe. However, and this has happened before, when I loose everything that contains my happiness.... well it's not pretty. At one point in my life I changed (by constantly telling myself this until I believed) my view of happiness because of this. Because who I am is someone who does not need much, but will break if everything is taken away.

Hopefully this makes since, by your writing I think you'll understand.
I think I understand you. I have shaped my worldview to include even the things that destroy me personally. I know why those things happen to me and I'm ok with that. Not happy, of course, when bad things tear me down but I DO accept that they happen. I think trimming your personal wants and needs is just efficient living... as long as you're happy =)
Precisely, thank you.
1. Happiness is doing what I want, when I want. Happiness is directly proportional to freedom.

2. Happiness for other people is other people doing what they want, when they want.

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