Happy Liberals vs Happier Conservatives, and Other Links

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  1. Alex says:

    I’m surprised an article that was favourable to conservatives was posted at the New York Times. On the note of religion making people happier: brace yourselves, the “opiate of the masses” argument is coming.

    When we made the choice to offer government healthcare to people we knew such a thing (spending tonnes of money on someone before the died) was a possibility. We shoudln’t be concerned over the cost, we should be concerned about learning from the situation medically so someone else might not die in the future.

    The work people are doing with the brain is amazing.

    Less visits to the doctor probably means a lower level of cosmetic or otherwise unnessecary medical procedures. I doubt the number of medical visits for important or life-threatening issues dropped, except among the poorest of the poor.

  2. Caius Marcius Coriolanus says:

    I’m going to be careful in stating this, but I predict that there is going to be a fundamental shift in attitudes about life and quality of care in this country in the decades ahead. I think the next couple of generations in the western world, as they come of age, are going to have a darker mindset on this issue. The “let nature take its course” mindset will settle in for most people.

    This mindset will become prevalent partly as a result of the failure of national government-run health care systems in various countries to distribute adequate care to most people. Issues of fairness, enormous costs, and the amount of care that the elderly receive at the end of life at the expense of younger people will be thorny issues. Eventually, in the States, the tidal wave of public discontent might bring down Medicare.

    I know that this sounds semi-dystopian, but I just have this feeling that it is what lies around the corner.

  3. Studebaker says:

    Patient “spends” 2.1 million Medicare dollars before he dies.

    Accounts like this man’s are sad. But, there’s no real excuse for spending $1.2 million on a man who was not going to live. It said medical opinion on his prognosis was mixed. I wonder what the uncertainty was about — probably about whether certain members of the medical staff could extract more dollars out of Medicare.

  4. david says:

    Yet, according to John C. Goodman, happiness isn’t all it’s worked up to be…


    If Conservatives are happier, then I’d have to say I agree.

    @Alex, since you braced the crowd, I’ll bring it up. Are religious people TRULY happy, or just happy?

    Interestingly, most people regard Marx as a man who detested both religion and capitalism. However, he payed many compliments to both.

    Right before “the opium of the people,” he said “Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.”

    If the extremes are happier and, because more likely to be religious, conservative extemists are happiest, are both groups “opiated”?

    It seems possible that if one is absolutely certain about what is “the good,” regardless of where one falls on a spectrum, then one sees the world with such a “universal basis of consolation and justification.”

    Might this suggest a sort of Aristotlean Paradox, that contemplation and skepticism about “the good” leads to less of what Aristotle considered to be “the good” (happiness)?

  5. Ambrose Lee says:

    Please let this become a discussion about how happiness sucks. That was so informative last time.

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