Is hedonism the new religion ?

Isn’t this considered a dogma by many people nowadays ? Saying you don’t believe in hedonism is as much a taboo as being an atheist was in more religious times.

The purpose of hedonism is comparable to other religions, too. Religions were a tool for the upper class to keep the people from revolting. If you believe in life after death, it doesn’t matter much if your life sucks.

Capitalists are the upper class today, and they use hedonism to let people put their minds off of their depressing lives. In stead of comforting themselves with an afterlife they comfort themselves with the notion that at least they had pleasure in their lives.

Just as religion leads to ignorance, pleasure does so, too. In the mind of the hedonist, all other ways of life seem absurd. Pleasure is the new God.

No, look at the French during their social reform era, and there you will see hedonism at work. This is the time of Voltaire and Marquis De Sade, when the pornographic was the expected route to take, and completely socially acceptable. There were 30,000 prostitutes in Paris at the turn of the 1800’s, and there were 600,000 citizens. King Henry XV had his own brothels and a man to organize his almost-daily orgies. This man even had a title, Intendant de Menus-Plaisirs (Minister of Dainty Pleasures). Children taught by Jesuits were sodomized by the monks as a form of punishment…and this was allll accepted (key ideal, social acceptance). Hell, the motto of the upper class at the time was “plaisir a tout prix”…or “pleasure at any price”.

THAT, my friend, is hedonism.

We are merely moving from more stoical views to something more epicurean. It’s scaring people, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could be.

You make it sound like I’m some ignorant conservative that doesn’t want people to have pleasure. That is not the case at all. I’m just saying that there still exists an upper class and they take advantage of the people’s new found freedom. Pleasure isn’t bad, but ignorance is.

Well, that’s not my intention. I was stating that the pendulum is merely swinging in the other direction now. And hell, ask any true hippie, they’ll preach some rathe stoical views. This is way beyond conservatism vs. liberalism. Both are schools of control, restraint. You’re speaking of a third class, those that are unrestrained.

Hmm, did this third class become unrestrained out of ignorance or the other way round ?

Depends on who you talk to :sunglasses: .

I say living without restraint is rather pitiful behavior for mortals…would mean they were ignorant of their own demise.

However, it could also be argued that it is knowledge of one’s demise that ridicules restraint.

I enjoyed the bread and circuses appeal in the original post. It is refreshing to see that recognized. Pleasure may be the new opiate of the people, aside from religion and morality as Marx saw.

Rafajafar. I enjoyed your comments about the French. They were informative. Epicureus, however, did not espouse pleasure so much as the absence of pain, and even when he did, he advocated the simple pleasures, unlike the pleasures enjoyed by society today.

I see the epicureans to be the same as what our society preaches. Absense of pain appears to be the trend in our society more than excessive pleasure. Look at our medical industry… healthcare being one of the most influential industries in the United States today. The mobile industry is of great importance, too. How awesome is it to eliminate the need of being near a hard line when you can just convieniently talk wherever? The automobile industry, elminating the pain of death, eliminating back aches, eliminating boredom.

The food industry seems to be one of the few that continue to promote true hedonism. Even the tobacco companies have been reduced to offering a better choice than their own product.

Abstinence is being shunned on the news and in most places as being a terrible danger to our children…compare that with the 50’s-80’s.

Would you not agree that society is taking the stance of “eliminate pain” more than it is “pleasure at any cost”?

Your arguments are most persuasive. Do you attribute these changes to education, scientific advances, or a combination of different factors?

Healthcare is big due to the baby boomers also

If you’re saying that elimination of pain is at least in some respects equivalent to convenience, then i am prepared to agree with you, especially here in America. Convenience and Entertainment abound here. We represent only about 5% of the earth’s population, yet consume about 20%-25% of it’s resources.

There are some pleasures, which taken to an extreme can actually increase pain as well like drinking excessively. Epicurus surely did not advocate this, and yet a lot of modern people count drunkeness as a pleasure.

Man, I feel like I’m replying to four different people.

What do I attribute these changes to? Well, this one I’ll give to the generations. Each one has been lighter than the ones before it. It’s as though we hit somewhat of a peak of cynical values in the post-war 50’s, but there was a major resurgence in the near-apocalyptic 80’s. I’d just say that people right now are tired of keeping their legs crossed for so many years only to get divorced a year later (metaphorically speaking).

Healthcare IS big due to the baby boomers, but only in part. Really, it’s the nature of the business. People NEED healthcare. Healthcare providers pay doctors by their contract, doctors have little choice in who to sign with, so contracts with doctors became shittier and shittier. As a result, hospital bills rose to cover the bad percentage of claims returns doctors get, which people could no longer afford out of pocket, and as a further result, people are forced to deal with healthcare providers as well. It’s quite an extortion racket, really.

Yes, it’s only about convience for the majority. Convenience is not unbridled pleasure, such as hedonism. It’s just there to make life easier to handle. Which, I think, is what the original post meant. But it’s not hedonism, that’s somewhat of a slippery slope of terms.

And I don’t know the last time you got punched sober, but I can tell you, it hits you a lot softer when you’re punched drunk. As a heavy drinker, I can tell you, I nary have a painful memory drunk…only regrets when sober.

Rafajafar lamented:

I hear you brother. Different people here have different methodologies, sometimes Gadfly (formerly Magius), for example, tends to be what i call deconstructionist. He takes a post and breaks it into small pieces, chews it up and ruminates on it. And that works very well for him. My method is perspectival. I look at the problem from several different angles (because there is always a side of the world that you can’t see from where you’re at) and try to fit all of the pictures together. Sometimes this lends itself to be a bit choppy and anti-thematic, but occaisonally the philosophical Gods grant me amnesty and allow me to beautifully express exactly what i am trying to say.

I would say that convenience is more about the avoidance of pain than the pursuit of pleasure, and to that extent it is Epicurean. Epicureus relied on simple pleasures, not on those, like drinking, that caused pain. I relied on that for an example of his thought, the way i worded it it may have come out as a moralizing platitude. If so, i apologize for that. I drink, albeit usually not heavily or often. God invented Whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the World! :sunglasses:

Is hedonism to occupy the place formerly held by religion for the vast majority? Is hedonism to be the next circus, while the elite feed us bread? When you look at entertainment (formerly art), all the reality TV shows, the spectator sports, the way we vicariously live our lives through famous figures, the answer seems to me to be a resounding yes! But you say that people are merely feeling ‘lighter’. perhaps we have loosed the last morally binding threads, perhaps we shall float above ourselves and see ourselves for the very first time, but i doubt that that is the ambition of the hedonist.

the following of what is pleasureful has been around for eons…or so we’re told. i’m hoping that Cainism (the following of the first son Cain i.e. Cain & Abel) will make a surprising come around. i miss them.

Herman Hesse actually alluded to Cain being the better of the two in his fictional novel (perhaps novella) Demian. I found that humorous as well as intriguing.

“God invented Whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the World!”

And guiness! :unamused: ohh… think of a nice cold guiness flowing down the throat!

Great discussion.

"There were 30,000 prostitutes in Paris at the turn of the 1800’s, and there were 600,000 citizens. King Henry XV had his own brothels and a man to organize his almost-daily orgies. " ohh… i wish i was french.

That is what i find odd about history lessons. A teacher can tell everyone about these times of orgies, murders, chaos and revolution: looking back and never looking forward to see the same things.

Epicurean is a effeminate philosophy, i wonder have long it’ll last? Ideas anyone?

Pleasure is great (give me a great meal, some Scotch Whiskey or a Labatt’s beer along with a roll in the hay and i’m happy), but i’m not so sure it should be pursued as the greatest good. Why do you call Epicureanism effeminate Kesh?

Are you Irish Kesh?

Kesh is a place in Northern Ireland.

No shit! I didn’t know that! Either your geography is better than mine, Metavoid, or you looked that up in a search engine. Incidentally, your authoritarian/libertarian score of -9.33 is one of the few in the social sciences/ political compass thread that tends closer to Anarchism than mine. Do you read Bakunin or someone else?

Meta lives in the UK. Prolly didn’t have to look anything up. But I did…now I wanna go there. It’s all purty n stuff!!! And they call it a “village”! How quaint! And Awesome!

it’s important to point out that while kesh migh be in northern ireland, he may not be irish. he could have come from a british family. ireland, appearently, is not in britain – still unclear how this happened, perhaps the villages decided on this one. further, norther ireland is not really ireland. how this prevents a certain person from posting with an irish accent, i’m not sure, especially considering that all i wanted was to see an “ouch, aye” from time to time, and ending all posts with a “they’re stealing me lucky charms!” but anyways. :cry:stern look at metavoid