The drive towards a blissful afterlife

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soucelyzac
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The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by soucelyzac » April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am

Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eteral bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be consired meta-hedonists?

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by Eduk » April 27th, 2018, 3:27 pm

I think hedonism refers to a particular kind of pleasure. Counter intuitively it often refers to self destructive pleasures, which shouldn't really count. That at least seems to be the modern usage, I suspect classically it might have meant something else?
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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by LuckyR » April 28th, 2018, 2:34 am

soucelyzac wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am
Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eteral bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be consired meta-hedonists?
Basically you are trying to equate gratification and delayed gratification. They’re commonly felt to be opposite ends of the same spectrum.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by soucelyzac » May 4th, 2018, 4:34 pm

LuckyR wrote:
April 28th, 2018, 2:34 am
soucelyzac wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am
Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eteral bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be consired meta-hedonists?
Basically you are trying to equate gratification and delayed gratification. They’re commonly felt to be opposite ends of the same spectrum.
Even if it isn't instant gratification, it shouldn't matter, since I specified evaluative/ethical hedonism. Evaluative hedonism differ from "classical" hedonism by this exact criteria: maximum overall pleasure.

Therefore, in this context, it is logical to postulate that an individual maximizing pleasure by "going" to heaven and avoiding hell is in fact an evaluative hedonism.

Evaluative hedonism:"At its simplest, ethical hedonism is the claim that all and only pleasure has positive importance and all and only pain or displeasure has negative importance. This importance is to be understood non-instrumentally, that is, independently of the importance of anything that pleasure or displeasure might cause or prevent. From ethical hedonism, it follows that if our relationships, achievements, knowledge, character states, and so on, have any non-instrumental importance, this is just a matter of any pleasure or displeasure that is in their natures. Otherwise, they have only instrumental importance through the pleasure they cause or displeasure they diminish. At least from the simple forms of ethical hedonism, it also follows that pleasure is good whenever it is had, even in matters that are themselves worthless or worse." (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hedonism/)

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by LuckyR » May 4th, 2018, 6:17 pm

soucelyzac wrote:
May 4th, 2018, 4:34 pm
LuckyR wrote:
April 28th, 2018, 2:34 am


Basically you are trying to equate gratification and delayed gratification. They’re commonly felt to be opposite ends of the same spectrum.
Even if it isn't instant gratification, it shouldn't matter, since I specified evaluative/ethical hedonism. Evaluative hedonism differ from "classical" hedonism by this exact criteria: maximum overall pleasure.

Therefore, in this context, it is logical to postulate that an individual maximizing pleasure by "going" to heaven and avoiding hell is in fact an evaluative hedonism.

Evaluative hedonism:"At its simplest, ethical hedonism is the claim that all and only pleasure has positive importance and all and only pain or displeasure has negative importance. This importance is to be understood non-instrumentally, that is, independently of the importance of anything that pleasure or displeasure might cause or prevent. From ethical hedonism, it follows that if our relationships, achievements, knowledge, character states, and so on, have any non-instrumental importance, this is just a matter of any pleasure or displeasure that is in their natures. Otherwise, they have only instrumental importance through the pleasure they cause or displeasure they diminish. At least from the simple forms of ethical hedonism, it also follows that pleasure is good whenever it is had, even in matters that are themselves worthless or worse." (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hedonism/)
No, it totally matters.

For example, if A seeks whichever choice gives him instant pleasure, he will have a lot of cheap thrills. Of course he will pay the price down the line when painful bad things happen to him, but in the bubble he lives in, he could conclude that these "consequences" of his actions happened TO him (from the Universe) they aren't his "choice", yet any outside observer would note that they are, in fact the result of his shortsighted choices and thus his pleasurable choices were also choices for longer range pain (thus breaking his Hedonistic goal). Therefore since every choice has pros and cons, pleasure and pain, the classic Hedonist definition is illogical.

While B plans for delayed gratification, let's say eternal pleasure in Heaven. So he makes painful choices here on earth. By your equating A and B's styles, he could be a Hedonist too. But by that logic everyone is a Hedonist, since as mentioned every choice has good and bad, ie there is no risk-free path. The whole system of categorization breaks down.
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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by soucelyzac » June 14th, 2018, 12:41 pm

I think you misunderstood my point, I stated that it didn't matter since, in the OP, it is specified that I'm talking about evaluative hedonism. I don't understand why you think I'm conflating instant and delayed gratification. Nothing in my original post implies this...

I literally included a definition of what I meant by evaluative hedonism, but you do not seem to be adressing my argument.

If an individual acts according to the prescriptions of his faith solely for the reward, is he an evaluative hedonist?

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by LuckyR » June 15th, 2018, 1:54 am

soucelyzac wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 12:41 pm
I think you misunderstood my point, I stated that it didn't matter since, in the OP, it is specified that I'm talking about evaluative hedonism. I don't understand why you think I'm conflating instant and delayed gratification. Nothing in my original post implies this...

I literally included a definition of what I meant by evaluative hedonism, but you do not seem to be adressing my argument.

If an individual acts according to the prescriptions of his faith solely for the reward, is he an evaluative hedonist?
A typical hedonist is the definition of instant gratification. A pious churchgoer who is banking on eternal bliss in the afterlife is the textbook example of delayed gratification.
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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by Alias » June 19th, 2018, 3:24 pm

soucelyzac wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am
Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eteral bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be consired meta-hedonists?
Perhaps you should define "evaluative hedonism". The problem is, all three have some merit, and you can't just use one as an example of the basic drives of living organisms and set that one against the Christian notion of heaven.
The three basic types of philosophical hedonism are psychological hedonism, which holds that the tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain is an essential attribute of human nature; evaluative or ethical hedonism, which sets up certain ethical or moral ends as desirable because attaining them will result in happiness; and reflective, or normative hedonism, which seeks to define value in terms of pleasure.http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Hedonism
So, you would have to differentiate personal happiness (which can be very much more complex than mere pleasure) and attainable goals or the common good (which are even more complicated), from simple physical sensation. Then, for a reasonable comparison with the quest for eternal life, you would have to be clear on what kind of heaven and hell is being considered and what the qualifications - and costs - are for attaining them.
But, of course, such a comparison is moot anyway, since all hedonism is predicated on a materialist interpretation of the world: the assumption that there is no afterlife to which one can defer gratification, so there can be no meta-hedonism.

The idea of heaven was nothing more than a booby-prize for letting kings and bishops walk all over you.

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 19th, 2018, 3:56 pm

LuckyR wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 1:54 am
A pious churchgoer who is banking on eternal bliss in the afterlife is the textbook example of delayed gratification.
Textbook definition of self delusion.

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by Karpel Tunnel » June 19th, 2018, 5:58 pm

soucelyzac wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am
Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eteral bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be consired meta-hedonists?
If they frame their beliefs in that way, meaning they tend to divide reality that way, then perhaps. I don't think most theists frame in only or mainly in these terms.
And hey, if any of us thought those were the options, even if we were not hedonists, we'd probably seek and avoid the same way.

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by Karpel Tunnel » June 19th, 2018, 6:04 pm

In the brain we have a couple of quite different systems that create goals. There is the dopamine, pleasure system - which gets wrapped up in addictions and direct pleasures and the serotonin contentment system which is not addictive and not the kinds of rush pleasure generally associated with hedonism. Peace, deep connection, closeness, intimacy, relaxation, meaningfulness and so on. Also a sense of doing what one is meant to do, to be in flow.

We could lump this all under hedonism, but people who are guided by the serotonin system do not end up in addiction problems, tend to act according to aesthetic, social and ethical priorities and have no really to have health problems related to their goals, at least not per se.

I see heaven often described in something much closer to the serotonin model than the dopamine.

If you are promising 40 virgins and the like, it's a different story.

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by LuckyR » June 19th, 2018, 7:05 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 3:56 pm
LuckyR wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 1:54 am
A pious churchgoer who is banking on eternal bliss in the afterlife is the textbook example of delayed gratification.
Textbook definition of self delusion.
Or to use my wording: delayed to the point of the infinite.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by -1- » June 24th, 2018, 9:10 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 6:04 pm
In the brain we have a couple of quite different systems that create goals. There is the dopamine, pleasure system - which gets wrapped up in addictions and direct pleasures and the serotonin contentment system which is not addictive and not the kinds of rush pleasure generally associated with hedonism. Peace, deep connection, closeness, intimacy, relaxation, meaningfulness and so on. Also a sense of doing what one is meant to do, to be in flow.

We could lump this all under hedonism, but people who are guided by the serotonin system do not end up in addiction problems, tend to act according to aesthetic, social and ethical priorities and have no really to have health problems related to their goals, at least not per se.

I see heaven often described in something much closer to the serotonin model than the dopamine.

If you are promising 40 virgins and the like, it's a different story.
Serotonin and Dopamine systems may differ only in the aspect that you can state a dopamine high at will, but you can't state a serotonin high at will. Not in a short-term basis, anyway.

You get addicted to dopamine highs because you have an ability to make it happen by many ways: natural and artificial ways. You can't do the same with serotonin highs.

This is a difference in the mechanism of creation and application of the two drugs in and by the human system; there may be other mechanisms as well.
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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by -1- » June 24th, 2018, 9:13 pm

Eduk wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 3:27 pm
I think hedonism refers to a particular kind of pleasure. Counter intuitively it often refers to self destructive pleasures, which shouldn't really count. That at least seems to be the modern usage, I suspect classically it might have meant something else?
most, if not all, self-destructive pleasures are that only because we have the means to enjoy them to excesses.

In historical terms (not necessarily in classical terms) hedonistic pleasures were very much life-sustaining and species-sustaining pleasures.
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Re: The drive towards a blissful afterlife

Post by Greta » June 25th, 2018, 12:17 am

soucelyzac wrote:
April 27th, 2018, 10:37 am
Evaluative hedonism is the perpetual "quest" for pleasure. It is the belief that our "core" sources of motivation are seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. With that in mind, is it sound philosophically to say that people seeking eternal bliss and avoiding eternal torment could be considered meta-hedonists?
I would be inclined to call it regular hedonism as conceived by ancients like Epicurus. In brief, hedonism is basically "playing the long game", eschewing short term gains for better overall gains. I don't know of anything in Epicurean hedonism that limits one's endeavours to one lifespan in preferring longer term gains to the sating of short-term urges. It's just very long term strategising :)

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