I am looking for a hedonistic debate

I never said this earlier and I have only presented myself in such a way that I was doing nothing more than posting information and such, but I am saying it here now which is that I am looking to have a debate with someone regarding my arguments which support hedonism (the idea that pleasure is the only true good thing in life). Now before you even think of coming up with any arguments refuting hedonism, I have already considered all possible refutations to hedonism others might come up with and I have refuted those refutations with arguments of my own. So it is important that you not only read all of my arguments, but also my refutations to the replies others have made to me since all of that is very likely to have already addressed and refuted your own personal arguments.

Therefore, I am going to present my arguments and the replies of others and my refutations to their replies. But it is on a separate forum since it is so long and I am instead just going to give you the link to that forum with all of the replies from others:

forums.studentdoctor.net/threads … m.1128348/

If you lose interest in this debate, then you are free to opt out of this debate with me anytime. Just make sure that when you do so, that you do not disrespect me by mocking me or having scorn towards me because that would be not having full respect and full compassion towards me as a person.

I realize that my explanations supporting hedonism were very long. They are so long that people don’t even bother with them. Therefore, here is a summary I have finally come up with that also explains some more things as well:

Here is another important point as well:

I already told you… people have different equilibriums of what they enjoy that are mutually exclusive to the enjoyment of others, and we have to temper this with higher and more mature attitudes about pleasure to get along with each other. The main problem with our world, is that people basically have been and are hedonists at heart, without tempering themselves, this isn’t just about delayed gratification either, it’s about tempering yourself for things you might enjoy more, meaning that you would enjoy less than optimal for your equilibrium for a deeper sense of community. It’s a process of maturity not to be a hedonist in the context of what we have, which is a very sick society.

I have already refuted this as well and I am now going to explain how I’ve refuted it. You would be right in saying that the act of pleasure seeking can bring us less pleasure and can bring us and others suffering. But what I’m saying here is that all our thoughts and such are all neutral conscious experiences without our feelings of pleasure and that there is actually no good profound experience in our lives without our feelings of pleasure. Sure, if you lived a life without pleasure, then it would be a good idea to try and recover your pleasure the right way through therapy and medication rather than going out and harming people. But the fact still remains that you perceiving that as a good idea without your feelings of pleasure, then there is no actual good profound experience from that since all our thoughts are all the “thinking” experience as I’ve explained in those arguments.

May I mock the idea that you are asking for a debate while at the same time claiming that you have refuted all arguments that could possibly be presented in a debate? :banana-dance:

There could be the possibility that there are new arguments from others that I haven’t refuted though.

You didn’t say that. :wink:

I don’t think this is a refutation, you simply tell people who enjoy life greatly by harming others and not being harmed so far as they can tell, that they should take medications and go through therapy. Why would they do that? Women love to be married, and they live to be hit on by men, but both of these things cause tremendous damage to the species, and because women all love it and men are all trying to get laid, everyone derives pleasure from doing the wrong thing, and it is destroying our species, but nobody cares because they’re having too much fun at the expense of future generations, or even others in their own generation. Perhaps, as a Buddhist would say, RIGHT pleasure is what we seek, not simply pleasure. You don’t seem to make this distinction, and in certain scenarios there is no right pleasure to be derived.

Again, I realize that the act of pleasure seeking is destroying us and that we should instead seek pleasure in different ways. But what I’m saying here is that a person with anhedonia cannot have any pleasure, joy, happiness, motivation, inspiration, etc. at all since those things can only be defined through science. They can only be defined as specific functions of the brain which would be the function of our brains that experience feelings of pleasure, joy, happiness, motivation, etc. To say that there is a different form of pleasure we can have in our lives without our actual feelings of pleasure would be no different than saying that we can have a different version of hearing or sight through our thoughts alone without our actual hearing or sight.

The version of good I’m talking about here would be the version that gives us a sense of joy, inspiration, motivation, etc. We cannot be motivated, inspired, or have joy at all without our feelings of pleasure since those things are scientific and come from a certain region of our brains. That region being the areas of our brains that experience the feelings of motivation, inspiration, and joy. All our thoughts are not any form of joy, motivation, and inspiration without our feelings. They are all just the “thinking” function of our brains. They are just the thoughts of motivation, inspiration, joy, etc. and not the actual experience of those things without our actual feelings of them. If we had no pleasure, then it would be nothing more than us choosing our thoughts and actions and it wouldn’t be any form of joy, inspiration, or motivation at all. Therefore, since this is the case, then we cannot have that version of good I just mentioned in our lives. We cannot experience it without our actual feelings of pleasure.

Perhaps… there is synethesia though and sensory remapping so that’s probably not the best analogy. Pleasure, for one is not one emotion, it is experienced through a whole range of emotions, there are many different ways of experiencing pleasure. Often, if you REALLY think about it, pleasure and pain are pretty close together, for example if you think about the feeling of a sexual organ being stimulated you usually think pleasure, but something like an orgasm is on this fine line between pleasure and pain, you can’t take too much of it. People with anhedonia can contribute positively, though granted, if they’ve experienced pleasure before, they would want to recapture it at times, I mean if pleasure was all we really sought, we’d just all train half the population as brain surgeouns and hook all 7 billion of us up to electrodes that stimulated the pleasure centers of the brain and we’d all die of dehydration within 14 days. But people are obviously interested in something intangible, because we actually have this capacity, they want to survive in some way that transcends pleasure.

As for people who derive pain from pleasure or pleasure from pain, the pleasure itself is not painful and the pain itself is not pleasurable. If you feel pain from experiencing pleasure, then it is only the feelings of pain that feel painful while the pleasure still remains as feeling pleasant. Same thing applies for feeling pleasure from pain. Also, I realize that we are evolved to seek other things besides pleasure. But that still doesn’t change the fact that none of those other things are good experiences for us in life without our actual feelings of pleasure. So it would be the right idea to hook us up all to pleasure machines as long as it meant us surviving to experience pleasure constantly and not experiencing suffering from it and dying.

Yeah… you kinda missed the point of this. When you are hooked up to those machines, you experience pleasure up until death, there is no suffering once you’re on it. Now how many people do you think would go for that knowing all the facts? Someone says to them… Once you’re in this machine, you’ll be so happy, you won’t even feel the urge to drink water and you will die in bliss within 14 days of being hooked up to it." Not many people. And the reason is, because we have some drive that transcends pleasure.

That drive would be just neutral thoughts without our feelings and we are only fooling ourselves into thinking that it is a form of drive or that it is something of good value and that it is greater than pleasure. You might say it is a form of drive and that it is good since it would make us not choose that way of life, but the fact still remains that without our feelings, then it would be nothing more than us simply choosing our thoughts and actions and nothing more and it wouldn’t be a good experience for us at all without our feelings of pleasure.

It is the wanting to want and not what is wanted that is the underlying principle of hedonism, so hedonism is not just the material pursuit of pleasure for the aesthete or the crude. There is intellectual hedonistic pleasure even in refuting hedonism. Philosophers who indulge in any philosophy are hedonists of the mind; like fiends we love the feeling of being right (the power), and we want to be right, so we want that wanting too. We do philosophy with all the same kinds of motivations and innuendos that are behind our material pursuits of pleasure.

Not pleasure for pleasure sake, but the feeling of being unhindered, of being in, and having control. This is why a masochist can be said to experience the feeling of pleasure. It is not the stimulation of the physical that gives him pleasure (because it hurts!), but the fact that he can make himself hurt and endure it, that gives him the feeling of power and control.

The extreme ascetic too; his indulgence is expressed by his denial of any physical pleasure to the point of ridiculousness, if I may say so.

But even so, that still doesn’t change the fact that pleasure is the only good experience in life and is all that should be desired in life.

For me, I am afraid that you would have to define very precisely what you mean when you say “pleasure” and “good”. A definition is an unambiguous explanation of exactly what a concept is and isn’t. If you merely define “good” as anything pleasurable and “pleasure” as anything good, there is no debate to be had.

Well… actually I don’t think you really addressed my point, that humans have a drive which transcends pleasure. You simply said the drive was neutral (it’s not neutral for them) and then said because it’s not pleasure it’s not good… a circular argument.

Hence the circular argument I pointed to in the previous post.

This is actually not a circular argument. Re-read through all my arguments and replies in that given link and it will become more clear to you how pleasure really is the only good experience there is in life.

Let’s assume you can actually make this argument. I can usually sum up arguments in a paragraph, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to present them. You still haven’t addressed my argument for a higher (non-neutral) drive than pleasure. And you still haven’t addressed the argument that withholding pleasure may not be optimal for your theory (in the case of mutually exclusive pleasures), but allows for something else more valuable than pleasure. What I’m getting at with both these arguments, is that there is something intangible, that people have a non-neutral drive for, that is greater than pleasure and that doesn’t make them masochists. Perhaps we can clarify in this thread what this is and make it tangible, or perhaps not.

Avoiding the answer? The definitions should be as easy to state as your effort to differ them.