# "Balance" theory

• April 17th, 2011, 09:57 AM
Raziell
"Balance" theory
I have a theory that all humans in their lives will receive equal amounts of happiness and sadness. (As long as they are free)

This is because:

A) Both happiness and sadness have diminishing returns
B) Happiness and sadness values are purely relative to the subject

Consider this, a man has "Everything". He will appreciate this less and less and take it for granted. If he gets a glass of water, this will increase his happiness by a minimal level.

Then consider a man lost in the desert. At the last moment he finds a gas station and he gets a mug of water. Can you imagine how unbelievable good that water must taste? How extremely happy he must be?

Then lets take a negative aspect...

A woman loses her cat, she feels terrible. If she gets a new cat every year, and lost it again each 6 months. Would her following losses be as strong as the first?

Both objectively and subjectively, things that grant you happiness has diminishing returns. And the amount of happiness gained is completely different for each person. To put it simply:

The more happy you are, the more it will take to make you even happier.
The less happy you are, the less it will take to increase happiness positively.

I believe if it could be measured mathematicly all people would have roughly the same happiness level. Material wealth or mental "wealth" is irellevant, because everything you have will be devalued over time.

DISCUSS :)
• April 17th, 2011, 08:39 PM
Bunbury
I'm cheap, but I'm not free. And I find your idea preposterous. Is the guy with one leg who sits in a wheelchair at the traffic light with a cardboard sign getting his share of happiness according to your theory?
• April 18th, 2011, 05:34 AM
Prometheus
Socrates once said:
Quote:

He is richest who is content with the least
I do remember coming across a study which looked at happiness comparing rich and poor and found happiness soon plateaued as wealth increased. Can't remember how robust the study was though.

However, i think happiness is too subtle to be quantified and exchanged like some energy form until an equilibrium is reached.