I am a hedonist - and don't feel guilty about it and don't see why I should. But somehow it seems that most of us think that seeking pleasure is wrong and somehow feel guilty about it. 'Hedonism' is seen as being selfish - but why? What if someone got the maximum pleasure in helping others. Would we still think that was being selfish?
I am not saying anything that some philosopher hasn't said before, of course it goes without saying that I would not be able to express it with even one hundredth of the finesse. But somehow something strikes you whilst doing the simplest of things - in this case eating Haagan Daz' Belgian Chocolate ice cream ... my favorite.
Enjoying my ice cream and thinking that I had better start going to the gym again, I reflected upon the nature of pleasure...it seemed fitting and most appropriate to think of pleasure with the ice cream cup in my hand
We do so much for pleasure we endure pain to get to pleasure - think about those long hard hours at the gym, or studying for an exam to get an A+... the ultimate act of creation, a baby. Immense pleasure for which we are ready to go through maximum pain. Although here would be a contradiction of the hedonistic theory of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain - the pleasure far outweighs the pain - in both intensity and duration
Is it in our DNA to desire pleasure? A child is very very clear in his/her mind about this - laugh at things that feel good and cry the house down when feeling bad.
Is pleasure what makes us 'moral'?
When we feel that we have done something to harm someone unnecessarily, and if we start to feel bad about it, we want to repent and try to mend our ways. Why? Because we want the feeling of guilt niggling away at us to go away, we want to feel better about ourselves.
When men cheat on their wives or vice versa why do they confess? Because they 'respect' their partners? They wouldn't have bloody cheated on them if they did.
No because their guilt makes them feel rotten and the only way to make the feeling go away is to confess. Getting the burden of the shoulders so to speak.
Why do we love someone? Is it possible that the reason lies in the fact that they make us feel that we are special and better than others - they picked us over others so we must be better. And of course this realization leads to... guess what... pleasure .
Do we do 'good' deeds for the same reason? Think about it... the rush of happiness when we help someone or when we feel that we have made a difference to someone's life.
Doesn't that make the quest for pleasure a 'good' in itself?
And if we take it further couldn't it be possible, that we are afraid to go to hell [for those of us who believe in hell] because we know hell will be a darned painful place - very very far away from pleasure indeed!