Are you a hedonist? The question is harder for me to answer about myself than I thought and it (somewhat) bothers me.

Here's a basic Wikipedia article for definition purposes:

Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.[1] In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).

Christians would say it is "of satan" lol

For me, it poses a problem of selfishness. Is hedonism equivalent to selfishness? Or even psychopathy? How do you define "healthy hedonism" if there is such a thing?

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I would never wish for real pain to be my artistic inspiration. Inspiration takes many forms and lots of art/music comes from real suffering and sometimes it's mostly self-imposed or partially self-imposed suffering. Pop music and movie stars come to mind. If suffering ultimately gives one pleasure, it's not really suffering. When they take it too far and the suffering becomes real, the art or music usually suffers too.

That whole idea of self-imposed suffering is just so Catholic, so christ-like. I used to call my high school "our lady of pain and suffering". Those moron nuns thought there was no way to learn other than suffering. Everyone knows pain will find you without your own help. That is what the Epicurians are about, Learn, grow and minimize the amount of pain that finds you.

"self-imposed suffering"  - oh my God, why?  Is this true? 

"I would never wish for real pain to be my artistic inspiration."  - some of my best stuff has been the result of suffering.  There's nothing like emotional heft to grab the heart.  I'm creative with mixtapes - a funny way to be creative - but I've had people in tears, and it's all part of the enjoyment. 

Life can be f***ing hard, and I think it's necessary to have an appreciation of this in order to make your way.  I think suffering can be like the fire that hardens and purifies.  If you "keep your head up, and your love out" then maybe you can get through it. 

True happiness is impossible without suffering, I contend.  Without great suffering, the happiness is weak, vague and shallow. 

Belle - "So where's the balance,"  - is it really like this?  Just keep yourself out of trouble and make sure you do your work and look after the people you've got to look after.  Apart from that, you're free to enjoy yourself as much as you like. 

I don't see how following a form of hedonism would at all prevent said hedonist from also following other codes of life.  

To me, a hedonist means simply someone who does not feel guilty for seeking out lifes pleasures. This doesn't really mean hedonists will gorge themselves every day, as perhaps being obese and unhealthy is not pleasurable.  

"I don't see how following a form of hedonism would at all prevent said hedonist from also following other codes of life." - it doesn't have to, but let's face it, we all know it can do.  An obvious example is being too drunk to do this, that or the other. 

Right on, Dustin.

Only self-destructive hedonists ignore the educational value of hangovers.

They will either deal with their need to self-destruct or stop using the stuff that gave them hangovers.

I dropped whisky and took up vodka.

Gee, I did that sixty years ago.

I think the only time that hedonism is wrong is when it somehow gets in the way of doing the right thing morally.  This is the problem with attachments, and emotions, in general I feel.  One is not free to do "what needs to be done when it needs to be done".  And they can colour our thinking. 

Also, pleasure is necessary for a happy life.  But not sufficient. 

I am a hedonist, yes.  My philosophy is that everyone should seek as much pleasure as they can as long as they take due diligence to minimize harm to others.  Harming yourself is fine if it brings you pleasure. Harming someone else is also fine if it's known that they are receiving pleasure.  

I think it's sad Christians think that they need to 'restrict' their desires.  They go so far to think they are sinning when they eat 3 pieces of chocolate.  "Lord, oh Lord, please forgive my gluttony!  I just crave chocolate and I cannot help myself as I am a wretched sinner...!"

That's sad.  

it poses a problem of selfishness

How so? If hedonism aims to maximise net pleasure using the formula "pleasure minus pain", then surely selfishness either fits into that formula (as pain?) or is irrelevent.

You know the more the pleasure and enjoyment, the Less people think of worshiping or paying attention to religion.    So it has to be , anything with pleasure is a SIN.   Pleasure or Hell.  They will say to the congregation sitting in rolls on a bench.

I"m all for it, and I take great pleasure in making others happy.

Would anyone argue with me if I said that maximizing net pleasure for others, even if it's at your own expense, is simply the right thing to do?   And that since this system is simply better than hedonism, hedonism should be abandoned?  How can putting others first NOT be better?


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