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View Poll Results: Psychologically, are we all hedonists?

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  • Yes

    14 73.68%
  • No

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  1. #1
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Default Is psychological hedonism true?

    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)

  2. #2
    Senior Member lowtech redneck'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)
    Its kind of like the question of free will; most people hope there is something more than what basic scientific theory allows. I would posit, however, that more utility can be had (both individually and on the societal level) if people are habituated to derive pleasure through thoughts and actions (altruism, work ethic, etc.) that a self-conscious embrace of ethical hedonism would make extremely difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. Even a self-conscious embrace of utilitarianism (what may be considered an enlightened form of ethical hedonism) can make such habituation difficult, leading most-often to short-sighted rationalizations (John Stuart Mill addresses these points in his writings, and many philosophers and/or political scientists consider his innovations to be deviations from true utilitarianism).

    Most of my philosophical musings end in irony.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    definetly. people who say that it isnt just dont realize it. making others happy is really making yourself happy by reflecting happiness from others to yourself.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  4. #4
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    Yes, I can agree with both forms of hedonism. Happiness, gratification is the ultimate goal behind every action. However, there is also a distinction whether the intentional outcome is indeed pleasure for themselves and everybody around them or the pursuit for pleasure includes solely the individual in question without any regard to others around them. People find pleasure in doing things that harm others as well.

  5. #5
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    I think Pleasure =/= Happiness.
    If someone suffers to help someone else it wouldn't really count as giving in to your desires whereas one may have the desire not to help someone but help them out of sheer kindness.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    People find pleasure in doing things that harm others as well.
    That tendency has a specific term attached to it; the "Pleasures of Malevolence" I suspect standard utilitarianism offers insufficient psychological motivation for most people to repress that aspect of themselves, even if they intellectually realize that its in their long-term best interests, unless negative social sanction is the consequence. Even then, shaming without the element of internalized guilt just isn't a very effective deterrent for many people.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    I think Pleasure =/= Happiness.
    If someone suffers to help someone else it wouldn't really count as giving in to your desires whereas one may have the desire not to help someone but help them out of sheer kindness.
    It can easily be argued that "kindness" is an aspect of ethical hedonism; people are habituated to derive self-satisfaction (i.e. pleasure) through altruism, and to feel crippling guilt (i.e. pain) through the selfish neglect of other's in need. Again, I don't think embracing ethical hedonism facilitates this, but the philosophical paradigm can easily explain it.

  8. #8
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    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)
    This calls into question the issue of short-term vs. long-term thinking. Hedonism is often associated with short-term thinking, of choosing momentary pleasures. Making plans to create stable, enduring happy outcomes for self and others often results in different sorts of choices. Long-term hedonistic thinking is a fair description of what I attempt in life.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  9. #9
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Its kind of like the question of free will; most people hope there is something more than what basic scientific theory allows. I would posit, however, that more utility can be had (both individually and on the societal level) if people are habituated to derive pleasure through thoughts and actions (altruism, work ethic, etc.) that a self-conscious embrace of ethical hedonism would make extremely difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. Even a self-conscious embrace of utilitarianism (what may be considered an enlightened form of ethical hedonism) can make such habituation difficult, leading most-often to short-sighted rationalizations (John Stuart Mill addresses these points in his writings, and many philosophers and/or political scientists consider his innovations to be deviations from true utilitarianism).

    Most of my philosophical musings end in irony.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    This calls into question the issue of short-term vs. long-term thinking. Hedonism is often associated with short-term thinking, of choosing momentary pleasures. Making plans to create stable, enduring happy outcomes for self and others often results in different sorts of choices. Long-term hedonistic thinking is a fair description of what I attempt in life.
    Yeah that's what I'm trying to strive for as well. It should be called smart hedonism.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tibby's Avatar
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    It'd make sense. :P

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