Hedonism – NOTE

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Hedonism is any theory that gives pleasure a central role. The simplest form of hedonism in ethics is “whatever causes pleasure is right”. Even that simple version immediately runs into trouble. Pleasure for whom? Average pleasure? Is that the median or the mean? How can you make interpersonal comparisons of pleasure, anyway? Or even cross-time comparisons for the same person? Is that pleasure in the short term, or the long term? Another summary of hedonism, “Pleasure is the highest good” avoids some of these complexities, at the cost of not having clear, practical consequences.

Epicureanism is the best-known form of ancient hedonism. Epicurus identified pleasure with tranquility, and emphasized the “reduce desire” aspects over the “find lots of hot babes” aspects.

The Utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill is sometimes classified as a type of hedonism, since it judges the rightness of actions from the happiness that they lead to, and happiness is identified with pleasure. This is not a selfless hedonism; whereas Epicurus recommends doing whatever makes you happiest, Mill would have you do whatever makeseveryone happiest.

Some of Sigmund Freud‘s theories of human motivation have been called psychological hedonism; his “life instinct” is essentially the observation that people pursue pleasure. But he introduces extra complexities with various other mechanisms, such as the “death instinct”.

Christian Hedonism is a term for a theological movement promoted by several prominent church leaders of past and present; the tenets of which are that humans were created by God with the purpose of lavishly enjoying God through knowing, worshipping, and serving Him. Thus, this philosophy recommends passionately pursuing the face of God, and the delight of His heart, as the ultimate in human fulfillment.

Hedonism is also the name of two infamous all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica that are for adults only and permit nudism at some of the pools and beaches. They are named Hedonism II (in Negril) and Hedonism III (in Runaway Bay). A 384-page travel book, “The Naked Truth About Hedonism II” explains why Hedonism II has the highest repeat guest rate of any Caribbean resort, what antics to expect there, and how to make the most of a trip.

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External links

“The Naked Truth About Hedonism II”: http://www.wordcrafting.com/