Did you know there are two types of happiness? There is instantaneous, in the moment pleasure, and there is also a more meaningful happiness that contributes to fulfilment in life. We look for ways to relieve the tension this causes in many ways. Paul Bloom explains how and why.
"Psychologist Paul Bloom can't be the only person in the world to have wondered why anyone in their right mind would choose to train for a marathon.
Why volunteer for cramps, dehydration and bleeding toes?
While we're at it, why elect to watch a terrifying movie or take on a huge project you know will bring you stress?
"Chosen suffering" is a complicated human tick, Professor Bloom tells ABC RN's Big Ideas.
In this "hedonist era", we all want a good time, he says.
"But that's not all we want."
For centuries, religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and Enlightenment philosophers, have debated the value of suffering.
Professor Bloom argues that suffering can deliver us the goods we mightn't know we need – and even lead us into contentment.
The conversation with Paul Bloom, hosted by Matthew Taylor, was originally recorded by the RSA Bridges to the Future podcast and broadcast on ABC RN's Big Ideas."
Image: Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash
If this article leads to further thinking about happiness and suffering, you may find the following links helpful.
"Resilience in Tough Times" / Darryl Cross
"Questioning Christianity" / Tim Keller