Clap along if you feel . . .

LETTER

Re: What are the ingredients of happiness? March 31 column.

My greatest happiness comes from rubbishing your and Bob Hughes’ left-wing progressive views. You’re both barmy and have no idea of what reality is about.

All we ever hear from the pair of you is quotations of what others think laced with questionable references and an extraordinary one-eyed view of everything. Strikes me as strange that the two of you have any sense of happiness at all — couple of doom and gloom merchants I’d say.

John Fricker

As one who cares for his fellow beings and their futures, I don’t at all mind being called a left-wing progressive. Judging from John Fricker’s repeated outbursts of blind hate and anger on this site, I am sure both Martin and myself have a higher sense of happiness than he has.

Bob Hughes

I have been searching my mind for a psychological explanation for John Fricker’s long track record of mindless and gratuitously abusive comments on serious issues raised by Bob Hughes and myself. The fact he has extended his cheap jibes to a column on such a politically neutral topic as “happiness” forces me to conclude that, just as a frightened dog can be very aggressive, Mr Fricker feels threatened by anything that invites a modicum of thought. If evidence-based columns constitute a threat to his simple-minded view of the world, one can only hope he represents a tiny minority of Gisbornites.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

This is a well-constructed argument and interesting question — what constitutes happiness, does it change over time, and is belief in a divine controller necessary for that happiness?

The author is suggesting, I think, that happiness follows much the same arc as that predicted by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Lack of basics creates unhappiness, happiness increases in proportion to the degree that basic needs are met, but once basic needs reach a certain level there is no greater advantage to be gained in the pursuit of happiness — at least not via material progress. He then suggests greater happiness could be gained by a feeling of connectedness to others and a harmony with nature, but that this is jeopardised by the overbearing influence of “religiosity”. Hmmm.

Religions, of course, are man-made power structures designed to maintain the advantage of the clerical class. To succeed, they need to keep their subjects subordinate, ignorant and above all contributing to the coffers of the upper echelons. Fear is a great motivator of obedience, and the primary teaching tool of religions. Happiness simply doesn’t reside where fear reigns. For this reason, it doesn’t surprise me that there is an inverse relationship between religiosity and happiness.

Ann David, Waikanae

Re: What are the ingredients of happiness? March 31 column.

My greatest happiness comes from rubbishing your and Bob Hughes’ left-wing progressive views. You’re both barmy and have no idea of what reality is about.

All we ever hear from the pair of you is quotations of what others think laced with questionable references and an extraordinary one-eyed view of everything. Strikes me as strange that the two of you have any sense of happiness at all — couple of doom and gloom merchants I’d say.

John Fricker

As one who cares for his fellow beings and their futures, I don’t at all mind being called a left-wing progressive. Judging from John Fricker’s repeated outbursts of blind hate and anger on this site, I am sure both Martin and myself have a higher sense of happiness than he has.

Bob Hughes

I have been searching my mind for a psychological explanation for John Fricker’s long track record of mindless and gratuitously abusive comments on serious issues raised by Bob Hughes and myself. The fact he has extended his cheap jibes to a column on such a politically neutral topic as “happiness” forces me to conclude that, just as a frightened dog can be very aggressive, Mr Fricker feels threatened by anything that invites a modicum of thought. If evidence-based columns constitute a threat to his simple-minded view of the world, one can only hope he represents a tiny minority of Gisbornites.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

This is a well-constructed argument and interesting question — what constitutes happiness, does it change over time, and is belief in a divine controller necessary for that happiness?

The author is suggesting, I think, that happiness follows much the same arc as that predicted by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Lack of basics creates unhappiness, happiness increases in proportion to the degree that basic needs are met, but once basic needs reach a certain level there is no greater advantage to be gained in the pursuit of happiness — at least not via material progress. He then suggests greater happiness could be gained by a feeling of connectedness to others and a harmony with nature, but that this is jeopardised by the overbearing influence of “religiosity”. Hmmm.

Religions, of course, are man-made power structures designed to maintain the advantage of the clerical class. To succeed, they need to keep their subjects subordinate, ignorant and above all contributing to the coffers of the upper echelons. Fear is a great motivator of obedience, and the primary teaching tool of religions. Happiness simply doesn’t reside where fear reigns. For this reason, it doesn’t surprise me that there is an inverse relationship between religiosity and happiness.

Ann David, Waikanae

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John Fricker - 7 months ago
Ouch! I've never been savaged by two dead sheep at the same time before.

Don Miller, Picton - 7 months ago
To quote Carl Jung: "Thinking is difficult, that is why most judge."
Where do you fit, John?

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