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MYTH WARRIORS! “Happiness is a choice!”

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Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

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In the MYTH WARRIORS™ series we are targeting ideas to begin to assess whether they are credible or not. We are warriors fighting to establish clarity between what is accurate and what is simply a myth (or falsehood) in life. In this episode our topic is, “Happiness is a choice!”

What is happiness? What is choice? Do humans have any choice (or free will) or is everything that happens in our lives predestined? 

If an individual ascribes their entire life to predestination (or fate for non-theistic perspectives) the framework of determinism precludes the “choice” any emotion (including happiness). If an individual is not able to chose anything in their lives (as it was all determined for them), there is no “choice” for feeling anything (including happiness). This show topic will be a myth from the perspective of those who adhere to predestination.

For those who are not fully committed to some forms of determinism, the possibility of free will (in some capacity) provides the option of choice of emotion. If emotions are able to be elected by individuals, what is the benefit to choosing misery (assuming it to be the opposite of happiness)? 

Our culture and shared history abounds with examples of the individual who elects to feel and/ or express happiness (even for fleeting moments) under the most horrific of circumstances (war, famine, occupation, etc.). If is is possible to choose happiness, why bother? There are seemingly credible scientific research sources that assert physical, emotional and psychological benefits of positive moods (i.e., happiness). 

Let’s engage in this “dinner party” discussion of whether we have any option to support a credible assertion that “Happiness is a choice!” 

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