[ExI] The Old Dope Peddler

udend05 at aol.com udend05 at aol.com
Fri Jun 25 09:34:54 UTC 2010

>Mortality reduction without reduction in the birth rate
leads to events like the Rwanda and Cambodia killings
So your suggestion is that we should not wish for something which
has led to all the life-saving technologies we currently enjoy on the
basis that the same wish might lead to the aberrations you mention?
Are you being serious here?
   Lucky we didn't think that a few years back:
'Don't go wishing for the first tool which will be the breakthrough 
in our lives and re-shape everything we know and can do because -
you never know - someone might bang their thumb with it.'

>This red pill will give you continuous orgasm.  Do you take it?

That's not really the point I was making. 'Orgasm' was intended to refute the
idea that our desires being fulfilled would lead to the end of our species,
by pointing to the circular nature of pleasure. (Think of the best orgasm you
ever had. Did you say, 'Ahhh, it doesn't get any better than this! So I won't bother
having those any more.') The pleasure centre of our brain
being stimulated is enough to leave us feeling rewarded, pleased, happy,
elated, orgasmic, whatever. Getting to a position whereby we could maintain
such 'hedonic' levels (to use the language of David Pearce) would be a desirable
thing if we assume that pleasure is desirable. Do we? I think that certainly
we would be prompted by that feedback system to go on further with our lives.
I don't, for example, believe the argument that pleasure itself, or levels of pleasure,
could become boring. (It doesn't make sense when you take the view that
pleasure is a pattern of chemicals in the brain.) Someone once suggested
to me that someone happy in this way wouldn't give a toss about a bus coming
towards them in the street - they'd be too happy to care! I replied that the
likelihood is surely rather that they would leap out of the way in order to
go on enjoying their happiness. Which is precisely why we go on seeking
and having orgasms. I for one can honestly say I have never had a boring
orgasm. We are inspired by pleasure.
   But let's not get bogged down in pleasure.
Don't forget that what I originally posted about was not pleasure
per se, but rather the emotional and psychological ability to lead
more effective lives. I'm not suggesting for one instant that I want to
be in a constant state of orgasm. (That said, I would definitely like
to be able to access orgasms more easily and have them last a
lot longer!) But I would like to see crippling emotional problems
and psychological issues reduced to a point where people can lead
better lives. If pleasure is a by-product of that, are we really going
to get our knickers in a twist about it?

   So in answer to your question: probably not - since I don't see
orgasm as being a useful benchmark of pleasure or psychological
efficacy - but not because I fear it becoming boring, but rather
because I fear I would never do the thousands of other things
I want to do!
Damian U.

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