Does Hedonism make the world a better place?


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In another topic we stumbled upon a interesting dicussion (at least in my opinion) and I would like to make a start discussing it further.

 

If we would consider that religion:
can bring people together
to improve themselves
and their communities.

 

Those are three worthwhile goals. But are there secular ways to achieve these goals?  

 

Are there non-religious philosophies that could make the world a better place?

Let's start with hedonism. I am a firm believer in that (pun intended)... 

 

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3 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

In another topic we stumbled upon a interesting dicussion (at least in my opinion) and I would like to make a start discussing it further.

 

If we would consider that religion:
can bring people together
to improve themselves
and their communities.

 

Those are three worthwhile goals. But are there secular ways to achieve these goals?  

 

Are there non-religious philosophies that could make the world a better place?

Let's start with hedonism. I am a firm believer in that (pun intended)... 

 

 

I think we should begin by understanding what you mean by Hedonism  "Living for pleasure?"

 

It's a good start.  People who enjoy their lives -- food, sex, art, music, etc. -- are going to live longer and be more healthy, than people who don't.

 

It's a good start, but it's not enough.  Living only for pleasure is an unbalanced life, which will not lead to pleasure. 

 

I think Buddha had it right when he called for the Middle Path of Moderation.

  • Enjoy your food.  Don't be a glutton.
  • Get enough sleep.  Don't sleep too much.
  • Look after others.  Meet your own needs.
  • Don't work yourself to death.  Don't be lazy.
  • etc.

This is the life of moderation and balance.  Pleasure is important.  It is not all important.  IMO

 

:mellow:

 

 

  • Like 2
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On 1/27/2021 at 3:42 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

I think we should begin by understanding what you mean by Hedonism  "Living for pleasure?"

 

It's a good start.  People who enjoy their lives -- food, sex, art, music, etc. -- are going to live longer and be more healthy, than people who don't.

 

It's a good start, but it's not enough.  Living only for pleasure is an unbalanced life, which will not lead to pleasure. 

 

I think Buddha had it right when he called for the Middle Path of Moderation.

  • Enjoy your food.  Don't be a glutton.
  • Get enough sleep.  Don't sleep too much.
  • Look after others.  Meet your own needs.
  • Don't work yourself to death.  Don't be lazy.
  • etc.

This is the life of moderation and balance.  Pleasure is important.  It is not all important.  IMO

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

Well, I would like the definition of "the pursuit / seeking of pleasure" more. There's a distinction.

 

And to be honest your addition is not so much an addition in the philosophy itself as much as it is a distinction in how well someone is able to pursue a: "train of thought". If someone is shortsighted then he'd probably just keep on eating - for instance - while if someone actually thinks one step further than he'd probably come to the conclusion that might not be very pleasurable at all.

 

And if we look at the ancient Greek philosopher there's also Aristotle who proposed the "golden mean" (using more or less the same examples)... but even the ancient Hedonist were well versed in athletics (which they obviously found enjoyable) as well as debating... (although I must admit that the term diabetic is also a Greek one and the affliction was also described in those times...).

 

I believe (pun intended) that if most people were educated/raised well enough that Hedonism would bring a better world: we'd be pursuing our own happiness but also understand that to be happy we need a healthy body and a healthy environment... 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Well, I would like the definition of "the pursuit / seeking of pleasure" more. There's a distinction.

 

And to be honest your addition is not so much an addition in the philosophy itself as much as it is a distinction in how well someone is able to pursue a: "train of thought". If someone is shortsighted then he'd probably just keep on eating - for instance - while if someone actually thinks one step further than he'd probably come to the conclusion that might not be very pleasurable at all.

 

And if we look at the ancient Greek philosopher there's also Aristotle who proposed the "golden mean" (using more or less the same examples)... but even the ancient Hedonist were well versed in athletics (which they obviously found enjoyable) as well as debating... (although I must admit that the term diabetic is also a Greek one and the affliction was also described in those times...).

 

I believe (pun intended) that if most people were educated/raised well enough that Hedonism would bring a better world: we'd be pursuing our own happiness but also understand that to be happy we need a healthy body and a healthy environment... 

 

 

 

 

You make good points.  We are on the same page if not the same line.

 

Your comments bring to mind some thoughts in the American Constitution.  The right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."    It doesn't define what being happy means.  It doesn't say that we are entitled to be happy.  Only that we are allowed to pursue happiness."

 

:bye:

 

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On 1/28/2021 at 8:06 AM, RevBogovac said:

 

Well, I would like the definition of "the pursuit / seeking of pleasure" more. There's a distinction.

 

And to be honest your addition is not so much an addition in the philosophy itself as much as it is a distinction in how well someone is able to pursue a: "train of thought". If someone is shortsighted then he'd probably just keep on eating - for instance - while if someone actually thinks one step further than he'd probably come to the conclusion that might not be very pleasurable at all.

 

And if we look at the ancient Greek philosopher there's also Aristotle who proposed the "golden mean" (using more or less the same examples)... but even the ancient Hedonist were well versed in athletics (which they obviously found enjoyable) as well as debating... (although I must admit that the term diabetic is also a Greek one and the affliction was also described in those times...).

 

I believe (pun intended) that if most people were educated/raised well enough that Hedonism would bring a better world: we'd be pursuing our own happiness but also understand that to be happy we need a healthy body and a healthy environment... 

 

 

Ah, well, that "pursuit" can be an actual distraction to living life well lived, too. Pursuit can not be universally defined, either.

What one may seek, may intrude upon another's pursuit of happiness. How to reconcile? Moderation, I think.

I lean more to what Jonathan said. Living in moderation as outlined in his bullet points. 

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On 1/28/2021 at 6:27 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

You make good points.  We are on the same page if not the same line.

 

Your comments bring to mind some thoughts in the American Constitution.  The right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."    It doesn't define what being happy means.  It doesn't say that we are entitled to be happy.  Only that we are allowed to pursue happiness."

 

:bye:

 

 

On 1/29/2021 at 7:19 PM, Key said:

Ah, well, that "pursuit" can be an actual distraction to living life well lived, too. Pursuit can not be universally defined, either.

What one may seek, may intrude upon another's pursuit of happiness. How to reconcile? Moderation, I think.

I lean more to what Jonathan said. Living in moderation as outlined in his bullet points. 

 

 

Isn't the journey more important than the goal...? But yes, my liberty ends where yours starts...

 

 

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4 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

 

Isn't the journey more important than the goal...? But yes, my liberty ends where yours starts...

 

 

 

 

It's a poor journey that has no goals at all.

 

Meditation -- being in the moment -- requires the goal of meditation.

 

Being open to whatever the day may bring, requires the goal of being open.

 

Destinations can be fluid.  Destinations can change.  Without an opening destination, the journey won't begin.

 

:mellow:

 

:bye:

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

It's a poor journey that has no goals at all.

 

Meditation -- being in the moment -- requires the goal of meditation.

 

Being open to whatever the day may bring, requires the goal of being open.

 

Destinations can be fluid.  Destinations can change.  Without an opening destination, the journey won't begin.

 

:mellow:

 

:bye:

 

Sure, as the cat said: if you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter what road you take...

 

So the goal would be to pursue pleasure. But the journey asks more from you than only, blindly, seeking you own pleasure...

 

Does it, for instance, provide you pleasure if you step all over other people just to fulfil your own needs...?

 

 

Edited by RevBogovac
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1 hour ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Sure, as the cat said: if you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter what road you take...

 

So the goal would be to pursue pleasure. But the journey asks more from you than only, blindly, seeking you own pleasure...

 

Does it, for instance, provide you pleasure if you step all over other people just to fulfil your own needs...?

 

 

 

 

I think this takes us back to the Middle Path of Moderation.

  • Don't live only for others.
  • Don't live only for self.

 

:mellow:

  • Like 1
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3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I think this takes us back to the Middle Path of Moderation.

  • Don't live only for others.
  • Don't live only for self.

 

:mellow:

Precisely!

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15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I think this takes us back to the Middle Path of Moderation.

  • Don't live only for others.
  • Don't live only for self.

 

:mellow:

 

 

Yes. And a true hedonist acknowledges that... to truly proceed on the path towards maximising pleasure one needs to constantly keep the common good in mind (except for psycho-/sociopaths, but that's another issue)... That brings us to utilitarianism.

 

 

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2 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

Yes. And a true hedonist acknowledges that... to truly proceed on the path towards maximising pleasure one needs to constantly keep the common good in mind (except for psycho-/sociopaths, but that's another issue)... That brings us to utilitarianism.

 

 

 

 

Does pleasure or happiness equal goodness?          :bye:

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4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

Does pleasure or happiness equal goodness?          :bye:

 

For most people it doesn't make a difference because it both "feels good"... doesn't it?

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23 minutes ago, RevBogovac said:

 

For most people it doesn't make a difference because it both "feels good"... doesn't it?

 

 

I'm not most people.  Distinctions matter. 

 

A vampire might find the blood of his victims tastes good.  In this case, there is no virtue in the enjoyment of food.  

 

Feeding a hungry friend brings happiness, without being enjoyable.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I'm not most people.  Distinctions matter. 

 

A vampire might find the blood of his victims tastes good.  In this case, there is no virtue in the enjoyment of food.  

 

Feeding a hungry friend brings happiness, without being enjoyable.

 

:mellow:

 

Everybody thinks he's "special", but on closer examination we are all (again: except socio-/psychopats) very similar. There are no vampires (or let's agree it's useless to discuss them; call me an apatheist...).

 

And I disagree; (the happy feeling you get from) feeding a hungry friend is also enjoyable. It's basically a big motivation of a lot of policemen, firefighters and medical personnel... 

 

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2 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Everybody thinks he's "special", but on closer examination we are all (again: except socio-/psychopats) very similar. There are no vampires (or let's agree it's useless to discuss them; call me an apatheist...).

 

And I disagree; (the happy feeling you get from) feeding a hungry friend is also enjoyable. It's basically a big motivation of a lot of policemen, firefighters and medical personnel... 

 

 

 

I regard the vampire as symbolism.  Someone who feeds off the hard work,  money and emotions of others.  Their life's blood.  It's all symbolism.  The conman, grifter, real estate king,  who lied and and used deception to become President -- Donald Trump -- is the perfect example of a modern vampire.  Next to Trump, Dracula was a pathetic mosquito.  

 

I think you have misunderstood the word -- Apatheist.  It is a fusion of two words.  Apathy and Theism.  The Apatheist is only apathetic regarding Theism.  Not in regard to things that actually matter.

 

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

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Mankind are individuals and also our very survival is based on being part of a community. We need the joining with others for protection, health socialisation; and production of the things we need. Therefore being happy is also required to be with others for that happiness and for it to be sustained their happiness too.

A community that works for each other is more secure than one that does not. Therefore I propose happiness to be social as well as individual.

Edited by Pete
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3 hours ago, Pete said:

Mankind are individuals and also our very survival is based on being part of a community. We need the joining with others for protection, health socialisation; and production of the things we need. Therefore being happy is also required to be with others for that happiness and for it to be sustained their happiness too.

A community that works for each other is more secure than one that does not. Therefore I propose happiness to be social as well as individual.

 

 

Yes.          :clap:           :cheers:

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On 2/3/2021 at 2:56 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I regard the vampire as symbolism.  Someone who feeds off the hard work,  money and emotions of others.  Their life's blood.  It's all symbolism.  The conman, grifter, real estate king,  who lied and and used deception to become President -- Donald Trump -- is the perfect example of a modern vampire.  Next to Trump, Dracula was a pathetic mosquito.  

 

I think you have misunderstood the word -- Apatheist.  It is a fusion of two words.  Apathy and Theism.  The Apatheist is only apathetic regarding Theism.  Not in regard to things that actually matter.

 

 

:mellow:

 

I would like to ask you to reconsider; if we take "Vlad the impaler" for "Dracula" then I don't know if your comparison stands... 🙃

 

Anyway; the "pun" was intended but maybe lost in translation. We're drifting off topic anyway. Let's heat back...

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23 hours ago, Pete said:

Mankind are individuals and also our very survival is based on being part of a community. We need the joining with others for protection, health socialisation; and production of the things we need. Therefore being happy is also required to be with others for that happiness and for it to be sustained their happiness too.

A community that works for each other is more secure than one that does not. Therefore I propose happiness to be social as well as individual.

 

 

I certainly agree with this view; the more whole individual will certainly acknowledge the interdependency of one owns pleasure with that of the group...

 

 

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