Re: Unbounded happiness (was Re: Property rights)

From: Byrne Hobart (
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 08:49:56 MDT

> Second, happiness is bounded. There is no evidence that humans are
> happier
> than animals, or that the rich are happier than the poor, or that modern
> humans are happier now than centuries ago.Ζε

> When you look at objective
> measures like rates of depression or suicide, you might conclude the
> opposite.

Culture has changed to make suicide more acceptable, and there are fewer
unpleasant ways to die in the Western world. Someone who misses starvation
at five and smallpox at fifteen only to OD on sleeping pills at twenty-five
probably has it better than the person a few generations before who'd be
killed earlier -- if only because having the choice to die rather than
having that choice made for you should increase utility.

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