More choices does not make us happier

What makes a person happy is knowing the right thing to do, and doing it. When someone is disoriented, and does not know the right thing to do, giving them more and more choices only makes them more and more miserable.

Fifty-inch plasma screen TVs cannot cure spiritual emptiness.


  1. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, "Of that Brahman which is immortal, imperishable, and eternal, and which is *the foundation of the only true happiness in the world*, I am the source."

  2. I've never believed that more choices makes people happier. But I don't see any reason to believe that knowing and doing the right thing equates with happiness. It seems to counter the whole "The right thing is not always the easy thing." expression.

    1. 'It seems to counter the whole "The right thing is not always the easy thing." expression.'

      No: the easy thing also does not equate with happiness.

      See Keshav above.

  3. The Hindu philosopher Vedanta Desikan said that all material goals have seven doshas or defects:

    "1. alpa - their end results are trivial
    2. asthira - they are transient and impermanent,
    3. asukara - not easily obtained, they require much effort and are time consuming.
    4. asukhavasana - ultimately ending in grief and disappointments.
    5. dukhanvita - accompanied by disappointments and supported only by struggle.
    6. anucitam - incompatible with our essential being.
    7. abhimana-mula - they’re based upon a false sense of self and lead to further perpetuation of this delusive sense of identity."

  4. Richard Speck died a happy man.

  5. This was my point in The Pain of Hard Choice -- going into materially-worse states (jobless -> jobless and trapped in an elevator) can give a measure of psychic relief because it becomes much easier to decide on a course of action.

    For some problems, one might not even know what they are doing wrong, and what progress toward a solution would look like, which can be really stressful and frustrating.


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