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Unknown comments on Not for the Sake of Happiness (Alone) - Less Wrong

48 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 November 2007 03:19AM

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Comment author: Unknown 22 November 2007 06:11:47AM 3 points [-]

Actually, seeking merely subjective happiness without any other greater purpose does often tend to make people unhappy. Or even if they manage to become somewhat happy, they will usually become even happier if they seek some other purpose as well.

One reason for this is that part of what makes people happy is their belief that they are seeking and attaining something good; so if they think they are seeking something better than happiness, they will tend to be happier than if they were seeking merely happiness.

Of course this probably wouldn't apply to a pleasure machine; presumably it is possible in principle to maximize subjective happiness without seeking any other goal. But like Eliezer, I wouldn't see this as particularly desirable.