The Veritas panel discussion on happiness was a huge success.
Around two hundred people came to discuss the makeability of our own happiness, lead by three expertise opinions.
Sociologist Paul Schnabel explained that the state of the culture we are born into greatly determines the happiness we will experience, along with several personality traits and a genetic disposition to being happy. Social psychologist Roos Vonk distinguished between hedonistic short-term happiness and the more lasting happiness we only find when we learn to control our impulse driven happy-crazed selves. Philosopher René van Woudenberg determined happiness not as a goal which can be obtained, but as a state of being which occurs when leading a good life guided by the merciful relationship with God.
The participating audience was mostly in agreement with the presenting professors; about 70% agreed that happiness is not something you create by yourself, a vast majority believed that happiness-maximizers were indeed missing the boat and a small majority believed that happiness is mercy. There was some debate on the process of creating happiness by making others happy and if the ego is in the way of true happiness.
CAMeRA's Peter Roelofsma, one of the organizers of the event, delighted in the grand turnout and interaction between the audience and the expert. Overall, he seemed a happy man.
The VU Univerity's newspaper Ad Valvas also published on the Veritas forum on happiness.
To see the article (Dutch) click here.