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wonderpup

Why No Happy Pills?

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If we can agree that the ultimate purpose of the economy and by extension free markets is to increase the sum total of human happiness then there seems to be an anomaly- which is our failure to develop- and apparent lack of interest in developing- the means to artificially stimulate our brains so as to safely induce feelings of happiness.

Instead we attempt to achieve the same result by leveraging vast physical resources in an effort to manufacture goods and services that will induce these feelings of happiness via indirect stimulation of the brain via the senses- which is far less efficient and far more wasteful.

Why is it that Capitalism has not more sharply honed our quest for human happiness by directing the market toward evolving the means of directly manipulating the brain itself?

After all a truly optimizing market should have been able to work out that since the brain is the conduit through which humans experience reality it would be far more cost effective to create products that would directly manipulate the brain to produce the desired effect, rather than waste time and resources on 'consumer goods' that are designed to achieve the same thing but in a far less direct fashion.

Yet to my knowledge there is no (legal) commercial enterprise currently in existence that is seeking to develop and market a drug/device/technology that would simply allow the average person to directly control their own sense of well being by directly-and safely- manipulating their own brain.

The market is failing us badly here I feel- the current solutions such as alcohol or narcotics are poorly implemented and dangerous and so would seem to be crying out for some smart entrepreneur to step in and improve the offer- but none seems to be prepared to do so.

Yes there are barriers- Governments might look unkindly on any attempt to market what they could view as an alarming new development- but since when did Capitalism allow this kind of consideration to stand in it's way? In almost every other field the march of progress is seen as inevitable- but in this one area there seems to be an odd collusive reluctance to even begin to explore the possibilities.

Yet the benefits could be enormous- give people the ability to manipulate their own levels of well being and how many problems would it solve? Well, for example, mental illness would probably drastically reduce- and conflict between people and nations would do likewise- if only because it would be difficult to persuade a happy and contented population that they needed to go to war in the first place.

Global warming would be reduced as there would be less need to expend resources and energy producing vast amounts of 'consumer goods' designed to make people happy- they would be happy without them.

The more you think about it the more odd it seems that Capitalism has not spawned a huge industry devoted to the safe manipulation of human brains at a consumer level- after all what more perfect alignment could there be between a product and a market than a simple pill or device that would safely and without fail make you always happy?

I realize that we do of course have a huge pharma industry but would argue that the avowed purpose of this industry is not to induce ongoing states of happiness in the population,but rather to restore the sick to the current 'normal' state of mind that is for some reason considered optimal. This is not the same-I suggest- as offering the average person the ability to induce feelings of happiness and well being at will- I am not aware of any pharma company that is openly stating that this is it's objective.

Edited by wonderpup

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I doubt a happy workforce would be driven to go work, make stuff, take on debt, etc.

Yep. This is the reason. We need to work and consume our way to happiness. No other way I'm afraid.

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Why is it that Capitalism has not more sharply honed our quest for human happiness by directing the market toward evolving the means of directly manipulating the brain itself?

Capitalism? Do you realise you have never lived in one? Other than that, the market is what it is, not much of a reason to lament. Not sure what the point of the write-up is... maybe time to head to Himalaya on a sabbatical?

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Why capitalism makes us sick

Quite thought provoking. Wasn't aware that the reason many children are 'sick' is because their parents are stressed.

Edited by RentierParadisio

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Yep. This is the reason. We need to work and consume our way to happiness. No other way I'm afraid.

Work is at the very core of most modern Religions....God INSTRUCTS us to work for 6 days.

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Happiness is not our natural state, in fact I would say it is probably an anomalous and fleeting state. Most people have periods of contentment but happiness is another monster.

I think the switch to an industrial society has not allowed our brains enough time to adapt and all the things that we did for hundreds of thousands of years were abruptly changed, especially in the west, for example, families living together and people being social creatures. Instead we are told we need to be independent, to live separate and that our reason to live is to make money so we can buy things. This is completely abnormal to us as we are basically animals and our brains don't know how to respond so we become depressed/malfunction. That is why depression/anxiety etc are so prevalent. Modern society has not helped us, it has merely told us we need these material things like a drug and then we wonder why we are in the state we are in.

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Conclusion: "aim" of current system (crudely caricatured as "capitalism") is not maximising human wellbeing or pleasure, but maximising individuals control of resources.

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Conclusion: "aim" of current system (crudely caricatured as "capitalism") is not maximising human wellbeing or pleasure, but maximising individuals control of resources.

Spot on +1 Profit as 'rent'

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...consumerism will not bring happiness.....improving looks, replacing workable kitchens and bathrooms, mind altering drugs, slight upgrade new gadgets.....all very short-term and short lived..........Nature, plants and animals, the weather, good friends family and support systems, self achievement, esteem and worth, the things that money can't buy, what is given not what is taken, being grateful for what has been given....to be taken three times a day. ;)

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Happiness is contentment with your life as it is, yet the goal of marketing is to manufacture and perpetuate feelings of discontent. We are at a point where it is questionable whether it is even possible to participate in modern consumerist society and be happy.

When the feeling of discontent becomes too much, people see their gp who will give them a leaflet about depression and possibly start them on anti depressants, so they can 'manage' to continue their 'normal' life in society.

There is no drug that will bring a person happiness because happiness is not a place to arrive at, it is manner of travelling.

Don't confuse capitalism with society. Capitalism is just an economic system and should not be charged with delivering happiness. What it will deliver is productivity. If you want happiness you will need to look completely the other way at your spiritual life.

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Two observations:

1. Human motivation and economics is based around indivuals never being satisfied and eternally searching for betterment. If this state of nirvana is reached the yearning for more would be nullified. In whose interest would that be? The indivual? Quite possibly. Society and improvement? Maybe. The commercial and corporate spheres who seek to up sell? Unlikely. The ruling state who control through fear and enforced poverty? Unlikely.

2. Happy pills do exist in a mild form and an extreme form. In extreme form such as heroin, crack and crocodyl just to name a few, the individual will forgo all other priorities to obtain and ingest the source of happiness. This really is destructive. In the milder, e.g. MDMA form, if the need to achieve more and more is nullified because the misery of daily grind is compensated by the recreational use of substances (even if legalised; let's ignore alcohol and tobacco for the moment) then would the tax gains raised by the controlling powers on a £30 per weekend splurge ever match the income from current strivation for bigger house / better x / y / z?

My tuppence worth of input as devils advocate....

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"The Buddha says is that when our desires, our craving, our constant discontent with what we have, and our continual longing for more and more does cause us suffering, then we should stop doing it. He asks us to make a difference between what we need and what we want and to strive for our needs and modify our wants. He tells us that our needs can be fulfilled but that our wants are endless - a bottomless pit. There are needs that are essential, fundamental and that can be obtained and this we should work towards.Desires beyond this should be gradually lessened. After all, what is the purpose of life? To get or to be content and happy."

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Agree with much of what has been said......when others tell you you need it, you tell them you don't need or want it.

When instead of looking into self, try and look outside of self and to others.....unhappy people I find can only think about themselves, their problems, their disappointments, regrets and losses......we all have those feelings, dwelling in negative emotions can only create more negitive thoughts anger and resentments.....PMA.....easier to say. ;)

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