(1) Joao Sousa: I suspect, what's
common to all the situations [in which suicide occurs] is very
(2) Phil Roberts, Jr.: On previous
occasions I have suggested a simple perspective on all this, i.e., that
happiness is simply a state of mind that is attained when all of one's needs
have been met. These fall into three basic types:
physical - e.g., the need to
avoid physical pain
mental - e.g. the need to avoid the pain of boredom
emotional - e.g., the need to avoid the pain of
feelings of worthlessness
(3) Jay R.
Feierman: Phil, do you think that physical, mental and emotional are
three, mutually exclusive categories? Also, why is the need to avoid the pain
of boredom or meaninglessness "mental" but the need to avoid the pain of
feeling worthlessness "emotional"?
and emotional are not valid categories in a biological taxonomy
because (1) they are not mutually exclusive and (2) there is no larger,
inclusive category, which one can define, into which all three (physical,
mental and emotional) can fit. They are "unlike kinds."
Also, you say that
you have "suggested" this theory of human happiness on previous occasions. Why
should anyone believe something just because you suggest it? If this is this a
scientific theory of human happiness, what are some testable Null
hypotheses, whose refutations are predicted by the theory? Or, instead, is
this just an explanation of what, in your opinion, is required for human
happiness? Explanations are judged on their ability to
accommodate historical facts. They last until a better explanation
supplants them either because it accommodates the historical facts better or
someone with higher status proposed the newer explanation. Evolutionary
Psychology needs to decide if it a behavioral science or a discipline which
gives evolutionary explanations to historical facts.