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27 July 2010 @ 09:59 am
Because I know how everyone loves radio buttons  

It is better to be

happy
32(60.4%)
good
21(39.6%)

It is better to be

good
45(84.9%)
right
8(15.1%)

It is better to be

happy
42(79.2%)
right
11(20.8%)

It is better to be

good
19(36.5%)
happy
29(55.8%)
right
4(7.7%)
 
 
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on July 27th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
I don't know how you can be good without being right. I suppose you could stumble onto right/good behavior even with bad/ignorant thought, but odds seem low for that.

Rowan: Barbalibmzrowan on July 27th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Paging Ben the Philosopher... ;-)

In my view, "goodness" comes from intentions and the processes you use to reach a decision. Whether those intentions and processes are based on "correct" factual information or not is a separate matter (as is the existence of "correct" information).
(no subject) - dbang on July 27th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - dbang on July 27th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on July 27th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dbang on July 27th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Philosophical gibberish - (Anonymous) on July 28th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Philosophical gibberish - dbang on July 29th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
Pierceheartpierceheart on July 27th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
Shouldn't the last one be "It is best to be"?
lazyzlazyz on July 27th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
But is it better to be lucky or smart?
Stable Strangelet: postcuthalion on July 27th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, it totally is!
Spikespike on July 27th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
At a certain point, you'll sacrifice anything for a little happiness.
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on July 27th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I was thinking about this, I decided that it's MOST interesting to think about it in the "within a couple of SDs of the norm" range, because the more extreme cases are so, well, extreme.
metagnatmetagnat on July 27th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
If I knew the answers to your questions, I believe I would be living a more complete and focused life.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on July 27th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
My mom asks "would you rather be happy or right?" all the time, so I've had a lot of chances to consider that one :)

I assumed that I got to define "good."

In the long run, I think doing things I think are bad will keep me from being happy. I am aware of how insanely lucky I am that often, being good makes me happy.
Susan Constantsconstant on July 27th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the opportunity to create a Condorcet's paradox with my answers, but you almost spoiled it with your last question. Luckily, I got away.
Will O'the Wispwotw on July 27th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
This is not a Condorcet paradox; it is just garden variety
irrationality.
(no subject) - sconstant on July 27th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rowan: Barbalibmzrowan on July 27th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm interested that some people are changing their answer for the last question. If one picks both good and happy above right in the first two questions, then the last question is identical, logically, to the first.
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on July 27th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
It is. I just decided to answer another question when answering the last one: "it feels better to me" vs "it is Better in the world". This was an irrational act on my part, but I'm like that. :)
(Deleted comment)
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on July 27th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
If that's the case, then the critic was wrong, not right, in choosing to voice his criticisms. Rightness of choice != correctness of fact.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - dbang on July 27th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Yagayagagriswold on July 27th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
It's hard for me to separate being happy from perceiving that I'm being good. If I think I am doing something bad, I'm not going to feel happy about it.
Chipceo on July 27th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. "Good" is tricky to define; for this poll I was sort of unconsciously defining it as "in accordance with the expectations of society/authority/etc.", so I put "right" ahead of it. That's either because of or despite the fact that I'm a parent; not sure which. :-)
Kcatkcatalyst on July 27th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
For me, the phrasing "better to be right" strongly means public acknowledgment, getting someone else to note one's rightness. So it's the least important. In fact, the more fundamental meaning didn't even occur to me until I saw the debate in comments. I guess I could call that "getting it right", "being accurate"? Anyway, with THAT meaning, I think it ranks above happy but below good. If good was kind/nice, though, I'm not so sure.
kinesthetic chutzpahdilletante on July 27th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
i see people use "be right" in different ways. i think that in arguments with close friends/lovers, the complaint "you just need to be right all the time" usually means something like "be acknowledged as being right," whereas in the sentiment "i'd rather be right than president" it means more like "have views that are correct even if nobody else agrees that you're right."

in either sense, i feel like whether being right and being good are in conflict or not, and if so which is preferable, kinda depends on what the consequences are of being wrong.
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on July 27th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I find that being right often sucks a lot. When I have dinner with a couple and think "that's not going to work" I would so much rather be proven wrong. There is the tiny satisfaction of "ok, I do have perception and understanding of these things," but that is far outweighed by "people I care about are suffering and I was pretty sure that would happen and there was nothing I could do to prevent it". Same thing with politics--usually sucks to be right. The times when I'm right and it's a happy thing are notable and I do my best to revel in them.

I like "happy" because I'm able to judge that one fairly indisputably. Sages and fools have debated "good" and "right" and will continue to do so and I have my own opinions on the topic that sometimes match up with those of others and sometimes are relevant. But whether or not I am happy, whether or not a particular experience adds or subtracts from my happiness--I get to be the judge of that.
(Anonymous) on July 28th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Buzzkill
Ben the Philosophy guy again.

Sadly, sages and fools also debate 'happy' (Epicurus vs. Aristotle, Bentham vs. J. S. Mill, etc.) And some (like all of the above except Bentham) think you can be wrong about whether or not you are REALLY happy, as opposed to whether you just THINK you're happy. The good news is, if you think you're happy, things could definitely be worse.