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The Meaning of Life is "To Love."

Milo

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I figured out using the following rational that loving is the meaning to life for humans.

There is no objective meaning to life
Therefore nothing really matters
Therefore it is the most logical to get the most enjoyment out of life as possible

We experience happiness as a combination of certain chemicals (synthetic or not)
-Dopamine (Eating sugar, sexual arousal)
-Mu Opiods (Orgasm)
-Oxytocin (Love, bonding, friendship)
-Serotonin (arguable, it is popularly believed that seritonin makes you happier, but it may be just correlation where with the increased onset of pain, serotonin increases and therefore your serotonin sensitivity goes down and that is actually what makes you feel good since serotonin actually causes pain (since serotonin is the venom that hornets or bees (don't remember which) inject into you when they sting you).
-The absence of cortisol
Long-term happiness would logically be the best option
Dopamine is short lived and your dopamine receptors decrease when overstimulated.
Mu Opiods occur during orgasm or could be obtained synthetically
Oxytocin receptors increase with more stimulation which explains why we fall in love and why relationships based on sex do not usually work out.
Serotonin is not so clear, but it is either feel pain to decrease sensitivity to it or feel pain to get it to reduce pain (responsible for runner's high/feeling you get after a good exercise).
Logically we would like to optimize the oxytocin receptors by increasing our oxytocin, moderating our dopamine, and the serotonin factor is basically just an option, although I can tie exercise into optimizing other hormones (which should not be disregarded by all means just because I haven't stated them).
So here is the heirarchy:
1. Oxytocin
2. Moderate Dopamine
3. The Serotonin Factor
4. Opiates

I'm not too informed about opiates, but I imagine they do not have too much of an effect in the long run.

So, I suppose i would be more correct to say that love should be the most important things in people's lives since you could combine these factors and others to make your life experience better.

My way of carrying out this plan would be the following

-Look at the world without judgement and accept everyone for who they are (including yourself)
-Optimize your oxytocin by loving someone for exactly who they are. That means to always stick up for them, do things with them, and get through problems together to build your relationship. Cuddling or any other form of intimate touching also boosts this chemical tremendously.
-Moderate your dopamine by not eating so much sugar (I'm on an all meat, dairy, vegitable diet) and not overdoing sex/masturbation.
-Exercise 3-4 times a week or more, but make sure you are working out to feel good and don't do it because you have to. This can either increase stress for you or decrease depending on your motive.
-Don't worry about life too much. Just take things as they are. Respect people. Don't hold grudges because you're only hurting yourself. If someone lies to you, realize that they are the ones living a hard life already and try to help them if it makes you feel better. Either way, being mad or angry or afraid are all negative emotions that only cause harm to you. Don't repress them, but just realize things for what they really are because being extremely unbiased will allow you to fully understand things which makes you realize that it is illogical to feel these things in most situations.

That's it. Take it or leave it. Argue. Whatever you want.
 

Affinity

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I came to the exact conclusion on my last mushroom trip. True story.
 

MissQuote

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I wonder if overstimulated dopamine receptors have anything to do with that certain measure of pain sometimes sought by people when things have been seeming stagnant and dull.
 

Milo

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I came to the exact conclusion on my last mushroom trip. True story.
Yeah, I was pretty baked last night. I also figured out a lot of Calc 3. Haha.

I dispute this.
How so?

I wonder if overstimulated dopamine receptors have anything to do with that certain measure of pain sometimes sought by people when things have been seeming stagnant and dull.
Masochism? Perhaps. I would be more inclined that it has to do with the serotonin factor that I described though.
 

Cognisant

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Adaire's point was that your logic could just as easily be:

There is no objective meaning to life
Therefore nothing really matters
Therefore we should all kill ourselves

Which is obviously not logical at all.

But yeah yeah I get it, mechanistic bias, follow your function.
Or I could stick some tubes & sensors into my skull and electronically regulate my brian chemistry so I'm always happy all the time.

Or, again, I could just kill myself.
The more you get into the nuts and bolts of the more you'll realize happiness is an illusion, the mind doesn't exist to be happy.
 

Moocow

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Dopamine appears to be largely responsible for conditioning and associations, considering its reward-seeking effects. Exercise feels good because the mind uses endogenous opiates, endorphins, to counteract the pain of the damage and wear on your muscle tissue.

I'm not a big fan of trying to uncover some social-conscious, moral, or ethical truths through patchy and oversimplified guesswork on neurochemistry. The model of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and so on that is sold to us doesn't include the thousands of other types of receptors, neurotransmitters, and even the thousands of functions carried out by a single type of receptor or neurotransmitter.

Furthermore, the mixing of abstract constructs like love and meaning with biochemistry is kind of absurd, not just for the above mentioned reason but also because they are far too separate in the same way you can't understand the way a video game is coded by talking about the plot and gaming strategies. You'll also be hard pressed to figure out the plot of a game by examining nothing but the code.

That being said, I think most people will agree with your concluding sentiments. There are better ways to rationalize them though if that is what you must do. I'm not sure I agree with the following:

Milo said:
-Exercise 3-4 times a week or more, but make sure you are working out to feel good and don't do it because you have to. This can either increase stress for you or decrease depending on your motive.
Because there is a such thing as exercise addiction. We learn that exercise is just an all-benevolent practice with no limits, the more the better, and that it solves all problems. Again, the feel-good chemicals are endorphins which have some relation to dopamine and self-rewarding. There's a such condition as unhealthy addiction to exercise, and some people will resolve stress by exercising more instead of confronting a real, solvable problem. Too much exercise actually puts the body in a "starvation state" of sorts and can become detrimental.

Milo said:
-Don't worry about life too much.
Stress and worrying are healthy parts of the human body that serve a really important purpose. I think anyone who believes they can go through life without them is deceiving themselves and will find that good old principle, the contingency of opposites, can bite back hard. Eventually your logic will have to mean not stressing about stress as well, which is probably an important part of developing our tolerance to inevitable adversity rather than pretending it's no big deal.
 

Moocow

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I think it would help your line of thinking though, to study all of the mechanisms in the brain that exist purely to connect us to the larger scheme of human existence. Actually, the whole brain is wired up to act like a component in a big machine and much of our individual happiness seems to depend on finding our compatibility within it.
 

Milo

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Adaire's point was that your logic could just as easily be:

There is no objective meaning to life
Therefore nothing really matters
Therefore we should all kill ourselves

Which is obviously not logical at all.

But yeah yeah I get it, mechanistic bias, follow your function.
Or I could stick some tubes & sensors into my skull and electronically regulate my brian chemistry so I'm always happy all the time.

Or, again, I could just kill myself.
The more you get into the nuts and bolts of the more you'll realize happiness is an illusion, the mind doesn't exist to be happy.
Good feelings are inherently good, and bad feelings are inherently bad. That should have been inferred. And, yeah, if you can figure out a way to feel good all the time in the long run, then do it. This is a consequentialist philosophy, so killing yourself goes against it.
 

snafupants

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Good feelings are inherently good, and bad feelings are inherently bad. That should have been inferred. And, yeah, if you can figure out a way to feel good all the time in the long run, then do it. This is a consequentialist philosophy, so killing yourself goes against it.
@Milo

Deontological libertarianism for the win!
 

Minuend

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Good feelings are inherently good, and bad feelings are inherently bad. That should have been inferred. And, yeah, if you can figure out a way to feel good all the time in the long run, then do it. This is a consequentialist philosophy, so killing yourself goes against it.
What about the feeling of pain that alerts you when your body is damaged?

What makes good feelings inherently good and bad feelings inherently bad?
 

Milo

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That being said, I think most people will agree with your concluding sentiments. There are better ways to rationalize them though if that is what you must do. I'm not sure I agree with the following:


Because there is a such thing as exercise addiction. We learn that exercise is just an all-benevolent practice with no limits, the more the better, and that it solves all problems. Again, the feel-good chemicals are endorphins which have some relation to dopamine and self-rewarding. There's a such condition as unhealthy addiction to exercise, and some people will resolve stress by exercising more instead of confronting a real, solvable problem. Too much exercise actually puts the body in a "starvation state" of sorts and can become detrimental.
That is why I said you should only do it to make you feel good. I did not specify what sort of exercise or the intensity.

Stress and worrying are healthy parts of the human body that serve a really important purpose. I think anyone who believes they can go through life without them is deceiving themselves and will find that good old principle, the contingency of opposites, can bite back hard. Eventually your logic will have to mean not stressing about stress as well, which is probably an important part of developing our tolerance to inevitable adversity rather than pretending it's no big deal.
I only said to eliminate all unnecessary stress by rationally ruling out which stresses aren't helping them. Worry is irrational. Just deal with the problem without making a big fuss about it. Worry is all in your head and worsens your overall performance.

Think about it, we are wired to survive and pass on our genes, so our main functions should be to get food, mate, and bond. As a social species, we are able to bond with others. Touch increases oxycontin which increases oxytocin receptors in the long run in that specific neural pathway that is associated with that person, and makes you feel good when you activate that same pathway with more oxytocin, so you are bound to be happiest when you comply with what nature intended.

Getting rid of negative feelings is also good since it only harms you. You have to understand this in the exact same context as me to really get it I suppose. I will try to define the specifics by answering more questions.

Furthermore, the mixing of abstract constructs like love and meaning with biochemistry is kind of absurd, not just for the above mentioned reason but also because they are far too separate in the same way you can't understand the way a video game is coded by talking about the plot and gaming strategies. You'll also be hard pressed to figure out the plot of a game by examining nothing but the code.
I am telling you what the plot and gaming strategy should logically be based on the coding. You have this analogy backwards.
 

Milo

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What about the feeling of pain that alerts you when your body is damaged?

What makes good feelings inherently good and bad feelings inherently bad?
Like I said, it is a consequentialist theory, so it all applies in the long run. So when you feel pain, get away from it as soon as possible so that you feel better sooner than later. That means doing what is the most suitable to heal yourself as soon as possible and reducing the damage during the time when the injury is taking place.

Good=Good and Bad=Bad right? And since there are no objectives, only your subjective is what matters (in the long run) meaning that good feelings=good and bad feelings=bad.
 

snafupants

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Like I said, it is a consequentialist theory, so it all applies in the long run. So when you feel pain, get away from it as soon as possible so that you feel better sooner than later. That means doing what is the most suitable to heal yourself as soon as possible and reducing the damage during the time when the injury is taking place.

Good=Good and Bad=Bad right? And since there are no objectives, only your subjective is what matters (in the long run) meaning that good feelings=good and bad feelings=bad.


@Milo

All right but suppose one disagrees about this whole consequentialist premise?

This ideology appears bereft of sacrifice and helping other people. Seems egotistical.

Even assuming perfect assimilation of this theory on a societal level, it wouldn't work.
 

Minuend

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What if I feel good when I put others down or when I'm violent?

If I like feeling something negative, like pain, is it good or bad?
 

Milo

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[/COLOR]

@Milo

All right but suppose one disagrees about this whole consequentialist premise?

This ideology appears bereft of sacrifice and helping other people. Seems egotistical.

Even assuming perfect assimilation of this theory on a societal level, it wouldn't work.
It is a selfish philosophy, but when you are out to love people and appreciate everyone for who they are, you get rid of your judgement and reduce many negative thoughts. So it is also not "bereft of sacrifice" in a sense. It is on your own terms though. Other people would view you as very nice and would probably treat you with the same respect.

What if I feel good when I put others down or when I'm violent?

If I like feeling something negative, like pain, is it good or bad?
Then you are doing it right.

If you like it, you are judging it as good, then it is good if it doesn't decrease the total good you will feel in the long run. You have to add all the good and subtract all the bad to get the net good.
 

Moocow

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That is why I said you should only do it to make you feel good. I did not specify what sort of exercise or the intensity.
Yes, and I said that doing it to make you feel good isn't really a strong reason. I think a better reason would be to maintain your functioning and competence and let any good feelings come as encouragement. Do you see the distinction I'm making? You've outlined a worldview of pleasure seeking in one form or another, while I'm of the opinion that there is a subtle but important difference between that and living without the expectation or explicit goal to feel a certain way. Seeking feelings for their own sake seems to undermine their inherent purposes. If you try to do that you just end up with more hollow, rationalized hedonism.

And feelings are fleeting anyways... like any other biological tool we have, all are fleeting and outlasted by the greater accomplishments for which they're used. But what to expend all of this, all of yourself, upon, is a much more difficult choice.

Milo said:
I only said to eliminate all unnecessary stress by rationally ruling out which stresses aren't helping them. Worry is irrational. Just deal with the problem without making a big fuss about it. Worry is all in your head and worsens your overall performance.

Think about it, we are wired to survive and pass on our genes, so our main functions should be to get food, mate, and bond. As a social species, we are able to bond with others. Touch increases oxycontin which increases oxytocin receptors in the long run in that specific neural pathway that is associated with that person, and makes you feel good when you activate that same pathway with more oxytocin, so you are bound to be happiest when you comply with what nature intended.

Getting rid of negative feelings is also good since it only harms you. You have to understand this in the exact same context as me to really get it I suppose. I will try to define the specifics by answering more questions.
If only eliminating unproductive worries and anxieties were as simple as rationalizing them away, life could be so much easier.

Milo said:
I am telling you what the plot and gaming strategy should logically be based on the coding. You have this analogy backwards.
Yes, that was also addressed in the sentence immediately following the one you've replied to here. Maybe it isn't a good analogy if you aren't familiar with programming languages either.

To be clarify, it would be ridiculous to tell someone to "move your cursor over the hitbox on the model's head and initiate the OnAttack1() function using the key you've bound, probably the left mouse button, to result in the maximum damage points and increment your playerMoney value upon execution of StartRound()" if you want to give them advice on getting headshots in counterstrike. It's the wrong kind of explanation.

Trying to explain a good lifestyle using neurochemical terms is just convoluted and pretentious. I mean, if this sort of thing interests you, you'd be better off studying it for a career, which would solve my aforementioned suggestion of compatibility and purpose. But, extracting these kinds of practical ideas is something that requires expertise and even then a professional neuroscientist would be reluctant to try.
There are enough failures of commercial attempts to do so within pharmaceuticals to make my point.
 

Milo

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Yes, and I said that doing it to make you feel good isn't really a strong reason. I think a better reason would be to maintain your functioning and competence and let any good feelings come as encouragement. Do you see the distinction I'm making? You've outlined a worldview of pleasure seeking in one form or another, while I'm of the opinion that there is a subtle but important difference between that and living without the expectation or explicit goal to feel a certain way. Seeking feelings for their own sake seems to undermine their inherent purposes. If you try to do that you just end up with more hollow, rationalized hedonism.

And feelings are fleeting anyways... like any other biological tool we have, all are fleeting and outlasted by the greater accomplishments for which they're used. But what to expend all of this, all of yourself, upon, is a much more difficult choice.


If only eliminating unproductive worries and anxieties were as simple as rationalizing them away, life could be so much easier.


Yes, that was also addressed in the sentence immediately following the one you've replied to here. Maybe it isn't a good analogy if you aren't familiar with programming languages either.

To be clarify, it would be ridiculous to tell someone to "move your cursor over the hitbox on the model's head and initiate the OnAttack1() function using the key you've bound, probably the left mouse button, to result in the maximum damage points and increment your playerMoney value upon execution of StartRound()" if you want to give them advice on getting headshots in counterstrike. It's the wrong kind of explanation.

Trying to explain a good lifestyle using neurochemical terms is just convoluted and pretentious. I mean, if this sort of thing interests you, you'd be better off studying it for a career, which would solve my aforementioned suggestion of compatibility and purpose. But, extracting these kinds of practical ideas is something that requires expertise and even then a professional neuroscientist would be reluctant to try.
It seems like you have sort of dismissed the premise that there are no objective purposes in life. You keep referring to a purpose or reason when there really is none. I have just arbitrarily made one up specifically for humans according to our subjective of good and bad and that is that feeling good is what should most logically be done in the long run.
 

MissQuote

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I don't see how a recommendation of exercising 3 to 4 times a week should suggest or imply anything that denotes giving a warning about addiction to exercise.

The initial suggestion was an all around sensible idea, regardless of the rest of the ideas the topic discusses.
 

Adaire

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Think about it, we are wired to survive and pass on our genes, so our main functions should be to get food, mate, and bond. As a social species, we are able to bond with others. Touch increases oxycontin which increases oxytocin receptors in the long run in that specific neural pathway that is associated with that person, and makes you feel good when you activate that same pathway with more oxytocin, so you are bound to be happiest when you comply with what nature intended.

Hahahaha. No.

If you look at the things that make people happy, you'll find most tend to be variations of super-stimuli; which by definition are not what nature intended. Of course... you should realize that nature has no intentions. Then genes that copy themselves are simply the genes that survive. That is all.

Humans exceed at hacking their biological systems. Take your values of 'happiness' and 'good' to their logical conclusions. Connect an electrode to you brain's pleasure center and press the activation button until your finger bleeds, wearing to the bone, and you eventually starve to death.

You're now happier than all of us could ever possibly be. Congratulations.

applicable link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stimulation_reward
 

Moocow

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It seems like you have sort of dismissed the premise that there are no objective purposes in life. You keep referring to a purpose or reason when there really is none. I have just arbitrarily made one up specifically for humans according to our subjective of good and bad and that is that feeling good is what should most logically be done in the long run.
..and in doing so, disregarded the more complex needs humans have to find compatibility and use within a larger framework, by which they can escape from this cyclical and ultimately stagnant, pleasure-centric perspective. The objectivity of the purpose is irrelevant. By our nature, I believe, happiness requires growth and change, which includes one's perspective on happiness.
You could argue that we still derive happiness or pleasure from what I'm suggesting, but at that point it can't be about the feelings any more than your daily drive to work is all about making gas explode.

I'm not sure if I'm being very clear at this point. Yes, everyone seeks happiness, but it defeats itself to be taken as the explicit goal.
 

Milo

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I don't see how a recommendation of exercising 3 to 4 times a week should suggest or imply anything that denotes giving a warning about addiction to exercise.

The initial suggestion was an all around sensible idea, regardless of the rest of the ideas the topic discusses.
Yeah, and it actually wasn't even a suggestion. That was just a part of what I do to comply with this theory. Have been doing this for a while now actually. Ha.
 

Milo

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Hahahaha. No.

If you look at the things that make people happy, you'll find most tend to be variations of super-stimuli; which by definition are not what nature intended. Of course... you should realize that nature has no intentions. Then genes that copy themselves are simply the genes that survive. That is all.
True and false. The super-stimuli may or may not be unhealthy, but it is your job in this theory to figure out what is the best choice in the long run.

Whatever survives just happens to be doing the things that allow it to survive which naturally selects those who are fittest. That is why it is called natural selection and survival of the fittest. Meaning that after many generations, the organisms that have evolved or adapted to their environment the best have the better chance of survival. Of course there are those lucky species, but after a few thousand or more years they will be weeded out.

Humans exceed at hacking their biological systems. Take your values of 'happiness' and 'good' to their logical conclusions. Connect an electrode to you brain's pleasure center and press the activation button until your finger bleeds, wearing to the bone, and you eventually starve to death.

You're now happier than all of us could ever possibly be. Congratulations.

applicable link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stimulation_reward
Yeah, it's clear you don't fully understand the concept. I'll remind you that it is consequentialist once again. That means it is all in the long run so you must survive longer in order to get more enjoyment out of life. I do not necessarily mean happiness, more like a good feeling and happiness is one of those good feelings.

..and in doing so, disregarded the more complex needs humans have to find compatibility and use within a larger framework, by which they can escape from this cyclical and ultimately stagnant, pleasure-centric perspective. The objectivity of the purpose is irrelevant. By our nature, I believe, happiness requires growth and change, which includes one's perspective on happiness.
You could argue that we still derive happiness or pleasure from what I'm suggesting, but at that point it can't be about the feelings any more than your daily drive to work is all about making gas explode.

I'm not sure if I'm being very clear at this point. Yes, everyone seeks happiness, but it defeats itself to be taken as the explicit goal.
It's not necessarily "happiness" but overall enjoyment or "good feelings." When you are driving to burn gas then why don't you just do it faster by just blowing it up in a barrel? I have given ways of getting this, so it is not the main focus. The most efficient purpose was "to love" which allows for the highest efficiency of enjoyment since the oxytocin receptor is only one that multiplies with more stimulation.
 

snafupants

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@Milo

As an interesting aside, Herbert Spencer actually coined the phrase survival of the fittest. :D

Darwin didn't adopt the phrase until years after On the Origin of Species was first published.
 

Adaire

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Get an IV.

You're not a consequentialist. You're just fickle.
You claim your subjective goal is maximized happiness, even though it has no logical basis. Well, really commit to it then, take it to the logical extension! Your best case scenario would have you as an immortal vegetable utterly transfixed by your own pleasure and euphoria. Of course you don't like that idea now. It's disgusting and pathetic to you. You simply have other conflicting values. Happiness is not all that matters to you. I don't understand why hindering yourself with arbitrary biological natures and processes somehow makes this goal anymore appealing or satisfactory.

Would you really have stayed in the Garden of Eden?
 

kantor1003

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I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with hedonism even though there are certain issues that needs to be addressed.

IV? Well, if our position is that people tend to pursue pleasure and avoid pain (not an unreasonable observation by any means), and that, further, we should try to maximize pleasure, while limiting pain, it doesn't necessarily follow that we should go to heroin as Adaire suggests. In the long run, does heroin maximize pleasure? I think heroin is a far too crappy of a drug to manage that. Instead, let us just suppose that we were given the choice to hook up to a machine that made every hour of every day pleasurable, why shouldn't I connect myself to it (assuming that the human nervous system is able to constantly experience pleasure)?

"You claim your subjective goal is maximized happiness, even though it has no logical basis. "
No logical basis? What do you even mean? Isn't everything we do an attempt to make our lives better (pleasure), either in the exact moment we do a particular act, or for a future point in time? (and even if it isn't, how is it unreasonable to assume we do?)
Why do we study, or go to work? Why do you read, eat chocolate, or watch a movie? When was the last time you intentionally went out of your way to hurt yourself?
 

Adaire

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IV... intravenous.... so he didn't starve. >.>
I was never talking about heroin.

There is nothing 'wrong' or logical with hedonism.
It's just really boring.

Anyway for this to continue we need to narrow definitions.
It's too nebulous.
 

Adaire

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Say you could rewrite your body to find anything pleasurable;
that you could consciously chose what would make you happy.
How would you redesign yourself?


Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am not. It doesn't matter to me. I don't live to be happy. Honestly, that's sounds like a trite and ironically sad reason to live. Not to mention that complete happiness requires either ignorance or psychopathy. Happiness is merely a motivator; not the end-all to human existence.
 

kantor1003

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There is nothing 'wrong' or logical with hedonism.
It's just really boring.

Anyway for this to continue we need to narrow definitions.
It's too nebulous.
Yes, it bores you, and you don't want that, do you? (I would equate "boredom" with "pain" in this context, or with "bad" if you will.)

Nah, it's tedious to define terms, especially terms like "good", "bad" and "pleasure, "pain". If that isn't boring, I don't know. They are context dependent and analyzing any of them in isolation would be pretty irrelevant as far as this thread is concerned I think.
 

snafupants

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Say you could rewrite your body to find anything pleasurable.
That you could consciously chose what would make you happy.
How would you redesign yourself?


I am not motivated by happiness. Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am not.
It doesn't matter to me.
I don't live to be happy. Honestly, that's sounds like a trite and ironically sad reason to live. Not to mention that complete happiness requires either ignorance or psychopathy.
I tell this to folks and they disbelieve me. :slashnew:

Pain and pleasure are merely positive and negative reinforcers for species benefiting enterprise. Dopamine positively reinforces sex and food, and most people know when to remove their hand from an active stovetop.

Since pleasure is ephemeral and calculated in such a manner, I view the hunting of pleasure as ultimately fruitless and pernicious to the individual.
 

Milo

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Get an IV.

You're not a consequentialist. You're just fickle.
You claim your subjective goal is maximized happiness, even though it has no logical basis. Well, really commit to it then, take it to the logical extension! Your best case scenario would have you as an immortal vegetable utterly transfixed by your own pleasure and euphoria. Of course you don't like that idea now. It's disgusting and pathetic to you. You simply have other conflicting values. Happiness is not all that matters to you. I don't understand why hindering yourself with arbitrary biological natures and processes somehow makes this goal anymore appealing or satisfactory.

Would you really have stayed in the Garden of Eden?
Fickle? What is your basis for my fickleness? Love, eat right, exercise, do whatever works for you to gain as much enjoyment from life as you can. How do you know how I judge things? I am extremely unbiased in pretty much everything. You assume I think being transfixed on pleasure is disgusting and pathetic? Nope. You are completely wrong. I do not even judge such things as good or bad since it is way too trivial for me. Why do you think that I would think such things are pathetic? I know what matters to me, and that is my loved ones and my own health, and it is all selfish love.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with hedonism even though there are certain issues that needs to be addressed.

IV? Well, if our position is that people tend to pursue pleasure and avoid pain (not an unreasonable observation by any means), and that, further, we should try to maximize pleasure, while limiting pain, it doesn't necessarily follow that we should go to heroin as Adaire suggests. In the long run, does heroin maximize pleasure? I think heroin is a far too crappy of a drug to manage that. Instead, let us just suppose that we were given the choice to hook up to a machine that made every hour of every day pleasurable, why shouldn't I connect myself to it (assuming that the human nervous system is able to constantly experience pleasure)?

"You claim your subjective goal is maximized happiness, even though it has no logical basis. "
No logical basis? What do you even mean? Isn't everything we do an attempt to make our lives better (pleasure), either in the exact moment we do a particular act, or for a future point in time? (and even if it isn't, how is it unreasonable to assume we do?)
Why do we study, or go to work? Why do you read, eat chocolate, or watch a movie? When was the last time you intentionally
went out of your way to hurt yourself?
Thank you. Great examples.
 

Milo

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Say you could rewrite your body to find anything pleasurable.
That you could consciously chose what would make you happy.
How would you redesign yourself?


I am not motivated by happiness. Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am not. It doesn't matter to me. I don't live to be happy. Honestly, that's sounds like a trite and ironically sad reason to live. Not to mention that complete happiness requires either ignorance or psychopathy. Happiness is merely a motivator to do things; not the end-all to human existence.
Is it psychopathic to love? To care about others? To fight for what you think is right? To eat healthy? I don't know where you get the conclusion that happiness requires ignorance or psychopathy. What even do you mean by "complete happiness"? When I am spending time with the people I love, I feel as happy as can be.

EDIT: And I would logically rewire myself to enjoy everything that allows me to stay alive longer in order to enjoy more.
 

kantor1003

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Say you could rewrite your body to find anything pleasurable.
That you could consciously chose what would make you happy.
How would you redesign yourself?
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I understand your question. If I could rewrite my body to find anything pleasurable it doesn't matter how I redesign myself(?).
Happiness is merely a motivator to do things; not the end-all to human existence.
I wouldn't say "merely" a motivator if it's the source for all human endeavors - a striving towards happiness/pleasure/the good etc.
 

Adaire

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Is it psychopathic to love? To care about others? To fight for what you think is right? To eat healthy? I don't know where you get the conclusion that happiness requires ignorance or psychopathy. What even do you mean by "complete happiness"? When I am spending time with the people I love, I feel as happy as can be.

EDIT: And I would logically rewire myself to enjoy everything that allows me to stay alive longer in order to enjoy more.
Enjoyment is more important to you than love according to you op. I've not addressed anything else. To be perfectly happy you have to ignore the suffering of others or be impervious to it. Ignorance or Psychopathy.
 

kantor1003

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@snafupants
"Since pleasure is ephemeral and calculated in such a manner, I view the hunting of pleasure as ultimately fruitless and pernicious to the individual."
Intellectually, one can quite easily become aware of the apparent fruitlessness of seeking pleasure - at least pleasure as you depicted it. However, pursuing pleasure is also the reason why you write, or study literature, I can only presume. It doesn't have to be limited to "pleasures of the flesh" - one can derive pleasure from solving difficult problems, or battling with abstract concepts of philosophy as well.
 

snafupants

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@snafupants
"Since pleasure is ephemeral and calculated in such a manner, I view the hunting of pleasure as ultimately fruitless and pernicious to the individual."
Intellectually, one can quite easily become aware of the apparent fruitlessness of seeking pleasure - at least pleasure as you depicted it. However, pursuing pleasure is also the reason why you write, or study literature, I can only presume. It doesn't have to be limited to "pleasures of the flesh" - one can derive pleasure from solving difficult problems, or battling with abstract concepts of philosophy as well.
@kantor1003

I knew someone would say that - pleasures of the flesh, as you aptly frame the issue, was what I meant earlier when I said "in such a manner," which alluded to Nature's brand of positive and negative reinforcement of species benefiting enterprise. Reading and writing do not directly serve Nature's ends: they serve mine. :D
 

Milo

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Enjoyment is more important to you than love according to you op. I've not addressed anything else. To be perfectly happy you have to ignore the suffering of others or be impervious to it. Ignorance or Psychopathy.
Enjoyment is the product of love and all the other feelings. Love is just the most efficient way to get more enjoyment. Why would I even concern myself with the suffering of others whom I don't even know and have no idea if they are suffering or not? If I love that person and know they are suffering in some way, it would please me to help them out.
 

snafupants

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@Milo

Enjoyment is more important to you than love according to you op. I've not addressed anything else. To be perfectly happy you have to ignore the suffering of others or be impervious to it. Ignorance or Psychopathy.
You might not realize or acknowledge it, Milo, but that's totally correct. The OP comes across as a hedonist's cookbook with only glib and passing references to (self?) love.

There is no objective meaning to life
Therefore nothing really matters
Therefore it is the most logical to get the most enjoyment out of life as possible
This tastes like a stew with elements of solipsism, nihilism, and rationalized hedonism.

The logic (therefore, therefore) makes many simplifications. For example, simply because there's a poverty of objective meaning, this does not signify that everything shares a commensurate ontological value of worthlessness.

Blowing up a church is not on par with giving to charity. Positions otherwise suggest nihilism.

I would postulate that other people matter, by the way. Although your rickety syllogism reminds me of Bohemian Rhapsody more than sound logic, the position that "nothing really matters" smacks of nihilism par excellence.
 

kantor1003

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I happen to think that seeking pleasure for oneself often coincides with bringing pleasure to others, and even if that isn't the case, one (seeking pleasure) doesn't, at least, exclude the other (bringing pleasure).

"Reading and writing do not directly serve Nature's ends: they serve mine."
And what is this end you're speaking of? :)
 

snafupants

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I happen to think that seeking pleasure for oneself often coincides with bringing pleasure to others.

"Reading and writing do not directly serve Nature's ends: they serve mine."
And what is this end you're speaking of? :)
@kantor1003

Suppose I sequester myself in a library for sixty years. Further suppose that I have zero contact with the outside world during this period of voluntary cloistering. I'm happy with this setup throughout the sixty years and I fail to see another soul. How does that serve Nature's ends? Also, bringing pleasure to others doesn't necessarily relate to Nature's ends, right? As long as I eat, sleep, and fuck what does Nature care where or if I attain happiness?
 

kantor1003

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@snafupants It serve your ends, can't we leave nature out of it? I'm sure she's happy as long as you are :) I'm wondering about the reason for you isolating yourself in a library, embracing asceticism, reading Donald Duck, or whatever may have you. If it's pleasure in some form (I made it purposely difficult for myself when mentioning asceticism:D but I think, or rather, hope, that we already have that cleared up with the "pleasures of the flesh" distinction), then the observation still stands - humans aim to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Are we in disagreement there?
 

Milo

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@Milo



You might not realize or acknowledge it, Milo, but that's totally correct. The OP comes across as a hedonist's cookbook with only glib and passing references to (self?) love.

What is wrong with that?


This tastes like a stew with elements of solipsism, nihilism, and rationalized hedonism.

The logic (therefore, therefore) makes many simplifications. For example, simply because there's a poverty of objective meaning, this does not signify that everything shares a commensurate ontological value of worthlessness.
That's exactly my point. You must find the value in the subjective which means you should live a life with as much enjoyment as possible. Why not? Would you rather live a shitty life where you are always in pain and worrying about everyone at your own expense with no reward at all from it?

Blowing up a church is not on par with giving to charity. Positions otherwise suggest nihilism.

I would postulate that other people matter, by the way. Although your rickety syllogism reminds me of Bohemian Rhapsody more than sound logic, the position that "nothing really matters" smacks of nihilism par excellence.
Yes, I am a nihilist. Blowing up a church would subjectively harm me (can't speak for anyone else), so I wouldn't do it.

Do you guys fully understand it yet? If you do, then give a real-world counter example.
 

Puffy

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The 'self-entertainment' response to nihilism feels a little dubious to me. It seems too convenient for our culture. Consume. Consume. Stay happy, don't think about the war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_120_Days_of_Sodom

I've felt for a while this book has a lot to say about our times. I wonder why it's been banned so often. Not a very pleasant picture of authority (or pleasure seeking - what if power makes you happy? Should you abuse others for your own happiness if enjoyment is the rule?)

Why would I even concern myself with the suffering of others whom I don't even know and have no idea if they are suffering or not? If I love that person and know they are suffering in some way, it would please me to help them out.
So, The Duc de Blangis, The Bishop, The Président de Curval and Durcet look out for each other. Who looks out for the 46 victims?

edit: for context, the 4 characters represent the most powerful in the land, so there actions have no consequences from the law, so "I wouldn't do it because it would harm me" doesn't stand with this example.

Also, I don't know what Happiness is without the other 5 archetypal emotions: sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise (note how many of these are... not happiness.) To be permanently happy would be a land of no definition, just stasis. Not sure about attempts to limit potential expression, also feels dubious.
 

Milo

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@kantor1003

Suppose I sequester myself in a library for sixty years. Further suppose that I have zero contact with the outside world during this period of voluntary cloistering. I'm happy with this setup throughout the sixty years and I fail to see another soul. How does that serve Nature's ends? Also, bringing pleasure to others doesn't necessarily relate to Nature's ends, right? As long as I eat, sleep, and fuck what does Nature care where or if I attain happiness?
Have you ever been in love?
 

Milo

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The 'self-entertainment' response to nihilism feels a little dubious to me. It seems too convenient for our culture. Consume. Consume. Stay happy, don't think about the war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_120_Days_of_Sodom

I've felt for a while this book has a lot to say about our times. I wonder why it's been banned so often. Not a very pleasant picture of authority (or pleasure seeking - what if power makes you happy? Should you abuse others for your own happiness if enjoyment is the rule?)



So, The Duc de Blangis, The Bishop, The Président de Curval and Durcet look out for each other. Who looks out for the 46 victims?

Also, I don't know what Happiness is without the other 5 archetypal emotions: sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise (note how many of these are... not happiness.) To be permanently happy would be a land of no definition, just stasis. Not sure about attempts to limit potential expression, also feels dubious.
Since when is loving others consuming?

They look out for themselves and the people they care about. And it's enjoyment, not happiness. When I work out, I am not happy, but I am enjoying it.
 

snafupants

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What is wrong with that?




That's exactly my point. You must find the value in the subjective which means you should live a life with as much enjoyment as possible. Why not? Would you rather live a shitty life where you are always in pain and worrying about everyone at your own expense with no reward at all from it?



Yes, I am a nihilist. Blowing up a church would subjectively harm me (can't speak for anyone else), so I wouldn't do it.

Do you guys fully understand it yet? If you do, then give a real-world counter example.
The crux of the matter is thus: where is that enjoyment derived from? Is that enjoyment at someone else's expense? Does one have a duty to aid other people? To not harm other people?

OK, if your rationale for not blowing up a church is preserving yourself then I need to reconsider this conversation.

It's not that people fail to "fully understand" your premise; it's that forum goers feel the premise is selfish and philosophically jejune.
 

Milo

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Okay, then would you not say that it is the best feeling you have ever had. To love and be loved in return? It's not really about the sex. It is about the intellectual connection you have with your partner. You defend each other no matter what the circumstances and you want what is best for the other no matter what that means you must do.

You may think it is not selfish of you to love someone, but it is, and there is nothing wrong with that (since there is no such thing as right or wrong anyways in a moral objective sense).
 

addictedartist

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ahh hedonism my old friend,
you see the meaning of life is to love; others? Of coarse an Introverted forum, people cant understand that Milo made this thread because he loves you and gets enjoyment out of watching you squirm.
a botanist said that all plants are weeds. some of you are argueing that all a plant needs is sunlight while others are argueing that all a plant needs is water, all it needs is some good soil.then some of you are argueing that plants dont need anything because they will find a way on their own, and others are concerned there may simply be bad seeds however every flower blooms in its own good time
(I would love to go more in depth);but for now I must watch bob marley documentry with my dad , which will be to our mutual satisfaction and enjoyment, and may even amplify the love we have for one another:smoker::p
 
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