Greater happiness for a greater number Did the promise of the Enlightenment come true?

November 1, 2014Byens Lys Copenhagen
Happiness robins choice
Doors open: 19:00
Start programme: 20:00
Byens Lys
Fabriksområdet 99

What is happiness and how can that be measured in a society? How happy are we and how happy were we before? Is happiness only possible in heaven?

What makes people happy in a society? Statistically, it seems that you will be happier if: (1) you are in a long term relationship, (2) are actively engaged in politics, (3) are active in your work and free time, (4) go out for dinner and (5) have close friendships. And it also seems that people who drink in moderation are happier than people who don’t drink at all, that men tend to be happier in a society where women enjoy greater equality and that being good looking increases men’s happiness more than it does women’s. Now, how does this all come about? Can this be trusted?

In the 18th century, Enlightened thinkers challenged the belief that happiness exists only in Heaven. They claimed that happiness is possible in earthly life and foresaw that greater happiness would be achieved using reason. Did this promise of greater happiness come true? Several scholars doubt that we got any happier, some claim that happiness has declined and some argue that happiness cannot change lastingly. These critical claims are tested using data of empirical happiness research that has developed over the last 40 years, the results of which are gathered in the World Database of Happiness. seems that the Happiness man himself, Ruut Veenhoven - director of the World Database of Happiness and founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies - is going to be in town to explain all that one should know about happiness. Some people even say that he is the walking definition of happiness and that happiness as a concept has derived from him.

Afterwards, chilled cocktails and the amazing Magnetic Eagle playing upbeat, danceable songs and starting off the party.

Talk by

Ruut Veenhoven

Ruut Veenhoven studied sociology and is also accredited in social psychology and social-sexuology. He is emeritus-professor of 'social conditions for human happiness' at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and extra-ordinary professor at North-West University in South Africa. Veenhoven is director of the World Database of Happiness and founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies

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Music by

The Magnetic Eagle

The Magnetic Eagle is composed of Michael Rexen, Martin Ullits Dahl, Adi Zukanovic and Matias Wolf. Their music is organic, humanlike, teamwork based, with a huge output. Improvised songs that sometimes sounds like rock/pop/funk/dance/death industrial/disco/indie/experimental.

Magnetic Eagle