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View Poll Results: Psychologically, are we all hedonists?

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  • Yes

    14 73.68%
  • No

    5 26.32%
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  1. #11
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    I can see how ethical hedonism could promote reckless self-indulgence, but how so with utilitarianism and "the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people"? Especially on a societal and political level, utilitarian ethical reasoning seems to have occurred all the time throughout history and has been behind much of the progression of civilization.
    Its not that utilitarianism is bad (quite the opposite-I personally find Jeremy Bentham to be an admirable figure, and the unorthodox John Stuart Mill is one of my heroes), its just that (for most people) its insufficient as a motivator and moral compass for the purposes of bringing about its ostensible societal goals, largely because its too sterile and nihilistic for most people's comfort. Furthermore, standard utilitarianism is too undefined (how do you measure utility for the purposes of bringing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, what standards do you employ to determine which forms of utility takes precedence when conflicts arise,etc.), thereby leading to much of the same short-sighted rationalizations in practice as individualized ethical hedonism.

  2. #12
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    I think in general, animal behavior does have a tendency to gravitate towards pleasure rather than pain. Although, some animals (including humans) probably view pain as pleasure (masochists). It depends on our socialization process- whatever we find rewarding.

    In terms of ethical hedonism? As long as we respect other people's rights, then I think we're in good hands. Btw, ethical hedonism can also include wishing happiness for others as well, right?

  3. #13
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Psychological hedonism is the theory that all human choice is motivated by a desire for pleasure (or an aversion to pain).

    Do you think this is a correct description of how humans work?

    And if psychological hedonism is true, should we also accept ethical hedonism? (Ethical hedonism is the view that happiness or pleasure is the ultimate good)
    Well, emotionally, yes.

    But logic can influence one's perception of which choices will lead to pleasure/pain. For instance, you may feel emotionally that killing someone who pissed you off would feel good. But logic would alter your perception by telling you:

    1. The guy is stronger than you, and would probably kill you instead.
    2. You'd get punished for it by the justice system.
    3. Even if you won, it only make you look like an unforgiving jerk to other people.

    Suddenly, you see that forgiving them leads to pleasure and killing them leads to pain.

  4. #14
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Psychological hedonism is the theory that all human choice is motivated by a desire for pleasure (or an aversion to pain).

    Do you think this is a correct description of how humans work?

    And if psychological hedonism is true, should we also accept ethical hedonism? (Ethical hedonism is the view that happiness or pleasure is the ultimate good)
    It is correct in the sense that we do the things we want to do. For whatever reason. Not exactly groundbreaking as an idea, though. By definition, things we want are pleasurable, things we do not want are painful.

    The problem with ethical hedonism is that it doesn't recognize the concept of a higher good, ie. one that supercedes the desires of any one individual.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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