I would prefer not to? Wow, not a huge Melville crowd, I guess
June 29, 2011 3:31 PM Subscribe
A person actively avoids doing what he knows will make him happy. He just
doesn't want to do it. Psychologically, what's going on here? And more
importantly, perhaps, why
should he do what he doesn't want to do? What arguments, appealing to
either his reason or his emotions, might he consider?
posted by Busoni to religion & philosophy (37 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
I have a stretch of free time to myself, I've found myself actively avoiding the things I'd planned to do, from projects such as learning a new language to small chores such as cleaning the house. Instead I've been browsing the Internet and watching TV. On one hand, I know that doing what I'd planned will make me happy, but on the other hand, I just don't feel inclined to take any steps towards completing my goals. (Which is not to say I feel very satisfied with my current state.) Would I be better off abandoning my lofty goals?
A related question: the word "healthy" gets used to describe behaviors and thoughts, as in "that's not a healthy way to go about it," or "a healthy way of thinking." But what does health mean here? And why is it an end in itself? (Or is it?) I ask because I'm guessing that spending all day on Metafilter is not a "healthy" way to go through life, but I'm wondering if someone can unpack that sentence for me.