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Arpee

Hedonism: Whatever makes you happy do it!

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Doesn't this seem like the most natural way of living? Whatever makes you happy, to just do it?

According to our bodies:

Pleasure = Good

Pain = Bad

Shouldn't this apply to everything, our body AND or thoughts and actions?

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Doesn't this seem like the most natural way of living? Whatever makes you happy, to just do it?

According to our bodies:

Pleasure = Good

Pain = Bad

Shouldn't this apply to everything, our body AND or thoughts and actions?

I think it probably would be the best way of living, with a secondary clause: as long as it doesn't intentionally harm people. After all some murderers and rapists do what they do for pleasure so such a clause is necessary for it to be workable.

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I think it probably would be the best way of living, with a secondary clause: as long as it doesn't intentionally harm people. After all some murderers and rapists do what they do for pleasure so such a clause is necessary for it to be workable.

That's pretty much how I live my life. You know, minus the whole harming people bit.

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Posted (edited)

Doesn't this seem like the most natural way of living? Whatever makes you happy, to just do it?

According to our bodies:

Pleasure = Good

Pain = Bad

Shouldn't this apply to everything, our body AND or thoughts and actions?

Well people are dying from dieases because they do that. I have some health issues that have come about partly by how I eat, taste good, pleasure but bad for me. Also in the sexual arena there is lots that can be harmful to both parties, rape is an example as well as sexual abuse, or those who use others for sexual pleasure through the white slavery market. Then there is addiction to different substances that reak havoc in life, all because pain is being avoided at all cost.

Perhaps you are talking about simple pleasures that lead to a deeper and better life, like Epicurius talked about, then I agree with you. A good question.

Epicurus conceived of pleasure in two ways. "Kinetic" pleasure is that pleasure felt while performing an activity, such as eating or drinking. "Katastematic" pleasure is that pleasure felt while being in a state. This is the pleasure of not being disturbed, of being free from pain. Both types of pleasure occur in the body and the soul. The absence of pain (katastematic pleasure) in the soul (ataraxia), though, is the highest good for Epicurus.

Epicurus has often been misunderstood as a "sensualist." Cicero, an avowed Stoic, seemed to think that kinetic pleasure was also an end for Epicurus (De Finibus II.3132). But this does not seem to be correct. While kinetic pleasures are desirable for Epicurus, they are not always to be pursued. In fact, it seems that they should be pursued only when they contribute to ataraxia (untroubledness). In some cases it might even be necessary to endure pain in order to preserve or contribute to ataraxia.

Read more: http://science.jrank.org/pages/9167/Epicureanism-Epicurus-on-Pleasure.html

peace

mark

Edited by markdohle

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Markdohle, thank you so much for bringing light into this. I knew there was SOMETHING I wasn't understanding...

So for Hedonism is not the same as Sensualism, and Epicurus defined pleasure as "absence of pain; i.e the natural state". So, for Epicurus, Pleasure is actually Peace (inner peace).

It's interesting how similar Stoicism and Hedonism is, if this is the case... What would be the real difference?

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Posted (edited)

Markdohle, thank you so much for bringing light into this. I knew there was SOMETHING I wasn't understanding...

So for Hedonism is not the same as Sensualism, and Epicurus defined pleasure as "absence of pain; i.e the natural state". So, for Epicurus, Pleasure is actually Peace (inner peace).

It's interesting how similar Stoicism and Hedonism is, if this is the case... What would be the real difference?

The Stoics believed in a world soul or God, though more pantheistic in nature, not personal. Also in learning to control the destructive emotions leading away from determenism. Epicurius was an atomic materialist, no God just random chance. I like Epicurius and the Stoics, both are well worth reading and mediatating on. If Epicurious was better understood I think our culture would be quite a bit different my friend. Both theist and non-theist can benefit by reading these wise men from the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism

Peace

Mark

Edited by markdohle

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Well people are dying from dieases because they do that. I have some health issues that have come about partly by how I eat, taste good, pleasure but bad for me. Also in the sexual arena there is lots that can be harmful to both parties, rape is an example as well as sexual abuse, or those who use others for sexual pleasure through the white slavery market. Then there is addiction to different substances that reak havoc in life, all because pain is being avoided at all cost.

Perhaps you are talking about simple pleasures that lead to a deeper and better life, like Epicurius talked about, then I agree with you. A good question.

Good points you raise and I feel that i must add that you must temper any lifestyle with knowledge or you are running sever risks.

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My husband seems to live his life like this with no regard to how it affects me or our marriage. So no, I don't think it's always the best course of action.

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I think it probably would be the best way of living, with a secondary clause: as long as it doesn't intentionally harm people. After all some murderers and rapists do what they do for pleasure so such a clause is necessary for it to be workable.

So as long as the harm to society or other individuals is unintentional, then it is alright to be a hedonist?

If my hedonism unintentionally killed someone else (say I had too many drinks at the bar and subsequently killed a person in a crash on my way home), then I shouldn't change my hedonistic lifestyle because I didn't mean for it to happen? Interesting...

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My husband seems to live his life like this with no regard to how it affects me or our marriage. So no, I don't think it's always the best course of action.

Hedonists often don't realize that their overconsumption and self-centered behavior is subject to the law of diminishing returns.

The hedonist overdoes pleasurable activities so much that their psyche becomes immune the pleasure that said activities used to bring. Just like a serial killer who started out as a simple voyeur or peeping tom, then escalated their behavior to real violence to get a bigger rush. A hedonist always needs a new high because they don't have the self control or sense to moderate their impulses.

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There is a certain irreducible complexity to life, and Arpee seems to want to simplify things beyond that. It is called the Human Condition, and it is a mixed bag. How could it be otherwise ?

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So as long as the harm to society or other individuals is unintentional, then it is alright to be a hedonist?

If my hedonism unintentionally killed someone else (say I had too many drinks at the bar and subsequently killed a person in a crash on my way home), then I shouldn't change my hedonistic lifestyle because I didn't mean for it to happen? Interesting...

That's not what I mean at all.

People still need to have a degree of responsibility and common sense. ie it's ok to have a few too many drinks if you're not going to be driving.

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Hedonists often don't realize that their overconsumption and self-centered behavior is subject to the law of diminishing returns.

The hedonist overdoes pleasurable activities so much that their psyche becomes immune the pleasure that said activities used to bring. Just like a serial killer who started out as a simple voyeur or peeping tom, then escalated their behavior to real violence to get a bigger rush. A hedonist always needs a new high because they don't have the self control or sense to moderate their impulses.

I wish I could get him to see it like that. Thank you for your insight into that, I don't know why but it's a relief to hear someone say that, lol.

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Steven Pinker alludes to this in his book "The Better Angels of Our Nature". He points to a sharp increase in violent crime (including sexual violence) during the 1960s. A phenomenon that was consistent across all 'western' nations. That this coincided with a cultural change amongst many that promoted a "if it feels good, do it" attitude, is not insignificant.

Worth a read if you've got the time.

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Posted (edited)

Steven Pinker alludes to this in his book "The Better Angels of Our Nature". He points to a sharp increase in violent crime (including sexual violence) during the 1960s. A phenomenon that was consistent across all 'western' nations. That this coincided with a cultural change amongst many that promoted a "if it feels good, do it" attitude, is not insignificant.

Worth a read if you've got the time.

Here are some interesting quotes:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

― Thomas Jefferson

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Hedonists often don't realize that their overconsumption and self-centered behavior is subject to the law of diminishing returns.

The hedonist overdoes pleasurable activities so much that their psyche becomes immune the pleasure that said activities used to bring. Just like a serial killer who started out as a simple voyeur or peeping tom, then escalated their behavior to real violence to get a bigger rush. A hedonist always needs a new high because they don't have the self control or sense to moderate their impulses.

Where are you getting this information from? Hedonists actually take pleasure in even the simplest things in life. It's when you stop focusing on the pleasure of the small things that things become "blase".

I wish I could get him to see it like that. Thank you for your insight into that, I don't know why but it's a relief to hear someone say that, lol.

You probably feel relief that this person is agreeing with you, maybe.

People are so focused on changing others. They want to manipulate people and LIFE into what THEY want it to be instead of understanding that they are doing the impossible.

Even if you can scare some people into letting you control them, you still can get every single person under your control, and if you do, eventually people we thirst for their NATURAL freedom and happiness once again and the calling will get stronger and stronger.

Edited by Arpee

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Arpee, check your dictionary for the difference between a "libertarian", and a "libertine", I think you may be tending to the latter.

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Arpee, check your dictionary for the difference between a "libertarian", and a "libertine", I think you may be tending to the latter.

Oh there definitely is morality. The moral is this: "Be Happy".

If you are allowing yourself to keep feeling bad instead of being happy, that is immoral because you are denying your true nature and that is why it hurts so bad to feel bad. When you are happy you are being true to yourself.

Maybe I should clarify a bit on the "action" aspect. It is probably best to take action WHILE being happy, rather than TRYING TO BECOME happy.

Actions from trying to become happy is more like desperation.

Actions from happiness are actions that is a reflection of your true nature.

So instead of doing what makes you happy, maybe the moral is be happy and take action.

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first of all people would have to actually understand what makes them happy rather than focusing merely on what they find pleasurable

most cannot distinguish between the two and in my opinion that is the biggest problem with the so called pursuit of happiness.

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You probably feel relief that this person is agreeing with you, maybe.

People are so focused on changing others. They want to manipulate people and LIFE into what THEY want it to be instead of understanding that they are doing the impossible.

Even if you can scare some people into letting you control them, you still can get every single person under your control, and if you do, eventually people we thirst for their NATURAL freedom and happiness once again and the calling will get stronger and stronger.

Maybe, and I may even agree with you if it wasn't for the fact that he wasn't like this before. Personally, I want the husband I used to have. Not the one that changed into a self-centered jerk, lol. He's known his actions have been destructive to our marriage and he's always had the choice to continue or not, knowing the consequences. If he's truly happier with his actions than with our marriage, it's his decision and there is nothing I can do to stop that.

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first of all people would have to actually understand what makes them happy rather than focusing merely on what they find pleasurable

most cannot distinguish between the two and in my opinion that is the biggest problem with the so called pursuit of happiness.

:tu: I couldn't agree more.

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Maybe, and I may even agree with you if it wasn't for the fact that he wasn't like this before. Personally, I want the husband I used to have. Not the one that changed into a self-centered jerk, lol. He's known his actions have been destructive to our marriage and he's always had the choice to continue or not, knowing the consequences. If he's truly happier with his actions than with our marriage, it's his decision and there is nothing I can do to stop that.

So he knows that it's hurting you and the marriage, and he continues to do it. Now, you know where his happiness truly lies and where his priorities are. You are right, if this is the choice he made, then that is nothing you can do to stop him.

However, you should really think about which action will bring you most happiness. According to Hedonism, if you are feeling trapped or unhappy with life, you are not living the life you were meant to live because happiness is who you truly are.

Follow your bliss.

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Posted (edited)

Where are you getting this information from? Hedonists actually take pleasure in even the simplest things in life. It's when you stop focusing on the pleasure of the small things that things become "blase".

When the hedonistic philosophy is taken to it's extremes it promotes individual interest over group interest. Sure, not everyone who is a hedonist will end of doing perverse or illegal things to achieve their "pleasure", but the philosophy itself promotes selfishness and compulsivity. There are plenty of instances where immediate gratification ends up causing significant pain or discomfort down the road.

Now, I suppose that a person could qualify as a hedonist without being impulsive. If a person wanted to minimize pain, then having a modicum of self control to avoid future discomfort would be helpful. However, it is still centered around the individual, not around the greater whole.

Edited by H.H. Holmes

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When the hedonistic philosophy is taken to it's extremes it promotes individual interest over group interest. Sure, not everyone who is a hedonist will end of doing perverse or illegal things to achieve their "pleasure", but the philosophy itself promotes selfishness and compulsivity. There are plenty of instances where immediate gratification ends up causing significant pain or discomfort down the road.

So, if you don't want to take the risk of pain down the road, then don't do it. That is also looking out for your happiness. It is all up to you, what makes YOU happy.

The philosophy does not promote anything but happiness. If it brings you happiness to sacrifice yourself for others, then that is also your choice.

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All very simplistic. Arpee, but doing only what pleases you won't pay the bills for most people.

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Posted (edited)

All very simplistic. Arpee, but doing only what pleases you won't pay the bills for most people.

I'm assuming that you're talking about jobs, that it doesn't please people to do their job but they want the money in order to pay the bills, right?

If this is the case, there are still things that you can do to be happy:

1) Get a job that will make you happier.

2) Think differently when at the work-place so as to feel happier while doing your job.

Worse case scenarios....

1) Suffering through your job in order to pay the bills. [This is unnecessary, 1 or 2 will DEFINITELY help you]

2) Don't pay the bills and when the services are terminated be happy anyway [Perhaps more difficult than 1 or 2]

It is up to YOU to choose the one which feel most pleasurable to you. There is ALWAYS a way to be happy in such circumstances...

Edited by Arpee

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