Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 18, 2013

H1 Group 2 Smith

Today my group had the honor of discussing Smith and his philosophy. Overall one theme we can agree was talked about was the pursuit of happiness. Everyone wants to be happy. Each person strives to find something in this messed up world that brings pleasure and happiness to an otherwise dull life. Some may find happiness in worldly things, while others may find true happiness in things such as religion. I believe that we can all agree that it is quite important to find some sort of happiness in life or we will start to lead dull and boring lives. This could also lead to things such as depression or suicide. To avoid such terrible things, we must find some happiness in the things that we do. To smith, this happiness was found in wine. He became obsessed with wine. Not just one single wine, but the many variations that are available. Some people become obsessed with things that make them happy. Smith was extremely happy with his obsession with wine. He is allowed to be happy and become happy from anything that he chooses. What we did discuss was the difference between a healthy obsession and an unhealthy obsession. Many people can have obsessions that can gete our of hand.   Any obsession can get out of hand if taken and treated the wrong way. Even religion can get out of hand in some situations. The obsession that taxation is evil can be an obsession that is relevant for some people. However, this can become a very unhealthy obsession very quickly. It can become evil if it becomes verbal or physical. Some obsessions can become part of their imagination as well. In Don Quixote, he becomes obsessed with fairy tales that are not true and could never be true. For him, these creatures and stories are very real, but in reality, it is completely fake and just a part of his imagination. This also ties in to the discussion of Searle from last class. Self-decption when dealing with an obsession can become very unhealthy to that individual and others around him or her. Obsessions come from interests in newness of things surrounding you. This means that some obsessions can change or fall apart. Obsessions are a very big part of everyday life. Some people may even have obsessions without realizing it.
D.Q: Do we need obsessions to be happy? Or can happiness comes from other things?


  1. In my opinion, no obsession is healthy. Being obsessed with an object, an idea, or a person can all lead to problems in the future. Some people who are obsessed with doing certain actions can develop a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. Some fanatics of religion can get so wrapped up in certain aspects that they become an outlier in the faith or take verses to the extreme and only alienate outsiders. Charles Manson was obsessed with his idea of the future society of America and how he would rule, so he led others to commit murder. Some people become stalkers because they "love" another person so much that they cannot fathom leaving them alone. All these examples are infatuations gone wrong, but even if a person simply holds a person or idea in high regard, they can quickly tire of the constant stimulus of that thing. C. S. Lewis talks about this in his book The Screwtape Letters. He talks on the importance of constancy in a person's life as well as the variability as two aspects that are both necessary to enjoy life to its fullest. Without constancy, humans could never enjoy the little things because they would constantly be having massive overhauls in their lives, but without variability they would quickly tire of the mundane sameness. Finding an aspect of life that is enjoyable is very exciting to do, but wine need not be the be-all and end-all for everyone. Any aspect that one enjoys should be explored and pursued, a right given by the constitution: "the right to pursue happiness."

    FQ: Which philosopher made wine a defining aspect of his life in his pursuit for happiness and novelty?
    A: Smith
    DQ: How does happiness manifest itself in your life, and how far are you willing to go in its pursuit?

  2. I liked how Smith talked about how people don't get the same experiences from wine. We all have different tastes, so what makes you happy may not make me happy. Also in order to enjoy the wine, we have to be in a certain condition and the wine has to be in a certain condition. This can be applied to other stuff too.. like not matter how much you love baseball, if it's -10 degrees outside and you're freezing, you may not enjoy it as much. Or if you're in the stands puking or if you're extremely sunburnt, you probably wont be having as much fun at the baseball game. But basically what Smith was saying is that it's not just the wine that made him happy; it was the experience he had while drinking the wine. I think that's important in anything we become "obsessed" with or that we just spend time doing. If the outcome of the baseball game is all you're worried about and not the experience and excitement of the game, I don't think you're really able to experience as much happiness as you can. In the wise words of Miley Cyrus, "It ain't about how fast I get there, Ain't about whats waiting on the other side. It's the climb." I for something to make you truly happy, like wine for Smith, you have to be able to enjoy every part of it.

    DQ: Can orange juice bring about the same feelings as wine?
    FQ: T/F Smith thought orange juice connoisseurs could have the same experience from orange juice as he does from wine. FALSE

    Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
    Greg Anderson

  3. I think obsession actually leads to sadness if you're not careful. Hard work and dedication is completely different from total obsession. While hard work and dedication can bring you happiness in the long run, obsession can drive you crazy.

  4. I think all worldly obsessions are completely unhealthy. While a healthy enjoyment of something can be beneficial, taking it too far can be detrimental. In Smith’s case, he was obsessed with wine. Any obsession with alcohol is most likely not beneficial in any sense. Obsessions with ideas can also be eve worse than with objects. Such interests can lead to extreme actions and beliefs. This sort of obsession can be much more better distributed towards many objects or ideas instead of just one.

    FQ: Is obsession healthy?
    DQ: Who was obsessed with wine?
    Link: http://ct.fra.bz/i52/5/4/30/f_8d171f8701.jpg