If one pays enough scientists can find an answer to the question about money buying happiness, although if the costs rise through continuing research that may cause one unhappiness. If the answer is 'no' could we really be happy with that? Would it be more mature to just say 'lets be unhappy and just not find out the answer to the question of money buying happiness?' Some of us never have the money to personally research the answer, yet it seem likely that at least increments of money can buy a sort of happiness.
Many people continue research in to the questions regarding money and happiness. One should like some input from Locke or Hume on the question of happiness, or even the inventor of utilitarianism John Stuart Mill. Well, let's try Locke's opinion on atheism first, for most believe the empiricists supported atheism happily.
"Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of toleration."-John Locke.
What could science do with a statement such as that? It is obvious that demographics and population pressures can compel some people to experience ideas and politics they would rather not share including atheism, abortion and such. If science determined that the world is overpopulated and reduction of the population through exporting them to Mars and Europa would increase the happiness of those that remained on Earth would it be worth borrowing the money from China, Japan and India to accomplish that? Can happiness that doesn't benefit everyone equally really make everyone happy? Is even one voter unhappy that George W. Bush cannot have a third term, and if so what can fix that?
Human happiness is a personal experience. Happiness cannot be discovered on sale at Wal-Mart though some things there can make one happy. Personally I like the bags of Jelly bean like things for a dollar that don't make the bad teeth painful. Science could determine if I am happy, or any person by attaching electrodes to the heads of shoppers and measuring their happiness increase as they buy more items, and determine if actually giving up the money reduces the overall happiness. B.F. Skinner might have tried that with Galapagos Island marine Iguanas feeding them special treats to discover if they were more happy when compelled to give a piece of paper to the scientists before receiving the reward.
Food, shelter and clothing, happy socialization and personal security comprising freedom from interference from others should be available in almost any fair state of nature even yet in human societies one can have forced privations that make life really uncomfortable. Some scientists conducting field experiments can confirm that money can buy happiness every time they give money to some broke, hungry, tired and poor person whom they encounter. Moral philosophers such as JJC Smart have considered if the happiness that isn't long lasting is as meaningful as short term happiness. An example could be the warm campfire that goes out and then one freezes with the feet no longer functioning for the cold. Money can only buy things one needs, yet it is also a pre-paid credit permitting a certain amount of security of future purchases of things one needs. in that is perhaps the conclusion for the question. Yes money can buy happiness but only temporarily, and not as an end in itself (an I am not even a scientist) if one hasn't got other overriding concerns that aren't solved with money that make one unhappy such as an awareness that a tidal wave is approaching to destroy the ice-cream store, that the end of the world is going to happen in ten days yet you don't know how old the sign that says so is and so on. If that isn't a satisfactory determination there are more research points I have provisioned...
What is money? It is an exchange medium that permits better trading of goods and services. What is happiness? Happiness is a subjective psychological condition within an individual that may be brought into being through innumerable causes, even sometimes the destruction of something. One state of affairs or relation may make one happy and another unhappy. Happiness isn't a commodity or trade good for market purchase.
Yet science could brainwash everyone with drugs-more than 50% of Americans use prescribed drugs today and science could decide to eliminate the survivors of that and allow politicians of a globalist mode to force people to buy happiness, perhaps.
Since the end of the cold war a Judas economy developed that divorced labor from capital. Capital became global instantaneously able to flit about the Earth to buy the cheapest ;labor and production while American workers were sold out. Money became worth less in the U.S.A. eventually, the capital investing class of the top 5% concentrated wealth and everyone else that worked for a living became lint-not even money could buy them happiness, and the congress were clueless sycophants of globalism and its government supporters. Ecological economics were ignored by globalist seeking to convert the natural resources of the Earth into products for consummation and waste. Nothing is 100% recyclable because of the laws of thermodynamics.
Well paid government funding of happy scientific researchers can tackle the tough question of 'can science determine if money can buy happiness'. Field testing of this hypothesis on scuba diving junkets to Belize will be a priori methods of structuring rigorous controls parameters to discover if Seagram's Smoothies are better in a laboratory or on the beach.
Scientific method isn't meaningfully applicable to non-scientific questions such as 'can money buy happiness. Science is in theory valid in determining certain relations between material objects. Subjective psychic preferences that are indeterminate naturally haven't a right or wrong preferred alternative answer for themselves anyway, yet consider a couple of elements of ecological economics and value theory...
Happiness is a moving target that changes as quickly as the sun dashing behind a cloud, or an opposing quarterback fumbling the ball away in the red zone,. Happiness in fact can be bought and sold and unavailable for laboratory study, and thus stem cell research on the gene of happiness has become an essential object for scientific investigation.
The gene of happiness is located deep within a complex matrix of genomic structures integrating aspects of chemical-electric variability traits that sidles over occasionally with other transient happiness catalyzing agents to form a 'storm' of happiness. The congruence of internal happiness to external social structures may concatenate aspects of happiness with positive happiness feedback loops defeatable solely by National Public radio in support of the destruction of the United States and the individual pursuit of happiness as we know it. If happiness cannot be bough and sold then globalist corporatism will have difficulty in controlling the population of drones and N.P.R. sycophancy will suffer a setback. That conundrum beats a heavy dirge for the doom of desire to control public happiness implicitly motivating the happiness of megalomaniacs in the 21st century. Classic considerations of utilitarian concepts of happiness for the greatest number being the greatest good are entirely reversible through chemical rectification of the concept of what happiness is. The drug industry may believe it is a drug, personally I suspect that it may be a sort of kelp in the ocean with a rare vitamin quality.
In neo-classical economics market value and economic imperialism ascribe absolute values to material things and services that can be quantified in the process degrading anything that cannot be priced such as the Earth, or the atmosphere, forests, freedom and so forth-things of such value that they haven't got a price are considered to be given natural resources best exploited to death as quickly as possible before someone else takes the profit potential such as in the North Atlantic Cod fishery.
Politicians must be able to comprehend pre-analytic psychological macro-economic paradigms that evaluate environmental or empirical criteria of worth before entering in to discussions of economic growth that assumes in the abstract that expansion is necessarily a good thing, or that economic expansion has a perpetual motion machine of natural resources to draw upon when in fact the world's resources are finite.
Renewable resources that are exterminated destroys the net inheritance of all future generations, while depletion of finite resources destroys something just of finite value-the monetary ability to own or exploit resources may buy happiness for the ignorant, and science may confirm the temporal happiness of some receivers of money with real purchase value-yet what money or an equivalent commodity of exchange is (such as shells or gold) develops within a larger paradigm of what money can buy. Happiness is a psychic value while money is a representative of material values generally, and happiness is able to transcend the material quantifiable parameters that money can buy generally.
Many scientists accept paradigms of human phenomenal existence such that a nihilistic condition of meaninglessness prevails in the question of the value of non-material intellectual or psychic thought. Happiness in such a context would not have a meaningful position-instead it would be relegated to the relationship between a couple of molecules traveling between synapses and sundry neurological relations. The questions of what comprises happiness would also be regarding as meaningless phenomena within a biophysical system-the propositions and answers of a philosophical and theological nature regrading the perceived universe of experience would be denied-the idea of comprehending the universe in other than a material way would be extirpated within the scientific parameter and hence objective criteria for happiness would be destroyed too. Some things could be invented to provide happiness for those making money from science however...
Naval vessels could have remotely piloted robotic hunter-seeker 'tuna' swimming underwater as perimeter guards to attack small fast cigarette boats buzzing larger naval vessels, and scientists might find a way to use skin stem cells transformations to make new egg and sperm and liberate dead rich people to procreate new progeny through the cultivation of their dead cells. The powerful could unearth dead people like Babe Ruth and grow sports stars better even than steroids can produce today for home run record holders...such prospects might make the materially oriented very happy.