[extropy-chat] Pleasing Oneself
gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 1 19:33:55 UTC 2007
I have in the past discussed and debated hedonism as a philosophy. I
learned that the word means different things to different people. Some
people do not make the distinction I make between the experience of
'sensual pleasure' and the more ephemeral experience of 'happiness',
considering them more or less different manifestations of the same
category of experience. To me there is a clear distinction.
Coincidently I was thinking about this distinction just a few nights ago,
before this thread started. Like most people I love and seek pleasure but
I was asking myself why happiness nevertheless seems better than pleasure.
It occurred to me that the answer has something to do with *memory*.
I find it relatively easy to re-experience some sense of past happiness
via recall, but have difficulty conjuring up similar re-experiences of
past sensual pleasures. So, in this sense, happiness keeps on giving but
sensual pleasure does not.
These kinds of considerations have become more important to me as I've
grown older. In my youth I didn't care much about the distinction between
pleasure and happiness, but as I grow older I become steadily more
cognizant of my mortality. What things of value will I still have in my
possession in those final moments before I die? I will have some memories
of happiness, and not much else.
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