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Is Down Always Out?

When was it decided that happiness is the ultimate goal in life, and that the success of an individual is measured on how often he or she can maintain happiness? Happiness is pleasure, and isn’t — in all other contexts — the pursuit of constant pleasure ¬†considered hedonism? And isn’t the hedonist always depicted as selfish, indulgent, regarding personal pleasure above all else — including the well-being of others? The individual constantly subjects himself to activities that are unpleasant (intense physical exercise, intellectual puzzles, vegetables) because he knows that they are inherently good for him. Should emotions other than happiness — like melancholy, anger, restlessness — not be considered productive, as well? The analogy seems apparent to me. Why is uncertainty not the ultimate goal in life, and the inability to achieve it (leaving the individual to constantly wonder/wander) not celebrated?

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