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Yes, I forgot to mention, it was around 4 in the morning when I translated that piece before going to bed.
It's Mikhail Artsybashev, who is most famous for his novel 'Sanin' which I haven't read, maybe yet. I've only red his 'Ward of Incurables', since it was very short and with intriguing morbid title)) I liked it, so then I found his notes, which are perfect because they're non-fiction, pure philosophic musings which I appreciate the most.
Have to thank Karl for discovering this writer. He was never very well-known, in fact, he was censored, even blamed for the epidemic of suicides.
Another piece from his notes: "And so humanity is faced with this damn question about its mission, for the sake of which a man could live and suffer, consoling himself with the fulfilling of the will of the Sender. If a mission exists, a goal, a meaning - then life is worth living and enduring till the end. If not, if the goal is beyond human understanding, if a man is but a screw in a machine and after his death is simply to be melted into another detail of that machine, then it's not worth worrying, not worth keeping life on Earth, and it's better to shoot yourself in the forehead and blow up this planet."
Very pleased to see the discussion going on here while I'm away taking care of stuff and junk and such
@theMeme, I wouldn't argue people are motivated solely by pleasure/pain in the narrow, almost biological understanding. If hedonism is supposed to be understood as only bodily comfort and pleasures, pertaining to only our 5 senses - then no, perhaps only other animals are motivated by that alone. But I see human motivations as merely the extentions of hedonism onto our developed mind. We also have mental, psychological pleasures. Such being the sense of self-worth. Pride. I would argue the pursuit of such aims as 'personal growth', endurance, stoicism, asketism, altruism as chasing the pleasure of feeling oneself worthy, special. I see the main theme here: nobody is trying to be in the negative state unless it also leads to a positive gain. Pain, negative experience can only have an instrumental value, as a tool of achieving something, but it can not have an intrinsic value as in valuable experience for its own sake, in and of itself. While the positive sensation, a positive experience can have both. For example, if there is no ultimate purpose, and we can create a sentient being that will be alive for a day. We can create it to suffer or we can create it to experience bliss. Which one should we choose? Doesn't matter for the Universe what that thing will exerience, serves no purpose whatsoever. Quite obviously, suffering could not be considered equally preferable to bliss. Bliss can have a value for the one experiencing it. Suffering can not be a "+" for the one experiencing it, unless it has a positive outcome for someone, somewhere. Otherwise it's sensless shit. Nobody can want this for themselves unless they see some secondary gain from having to go thru it, on its own it has no value. So in a way we all try to achieve a gain of sorts, always, wherever we go and whatever we do. Wouldn't it be idiotic otherwise? That somebody would say, 'I'm not after pleasure/pain, I just want to be born and suffer for no point whatsoever'. If somebody is choosing or desn;t mind suffering they're after something, something that at least mentally, psychologically, in their mind will feel good. Mental pleasure is just as real and so I don't think we've gone too far from hedonism.
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I've watched a documentary about this murder once. 48 hours probably. So she helped the separation of church and state in US, eh? Ongoing battle for you guys with your school prayers and 'one nation under god' and such...
Feel free to choose any older post related to your question and comment there, for example, any entry in the atheism | religion category.
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Hi and welcome!
I get the impression that you made the sort of case that rejects alternatives like Preferentism in favor of hedonism.
I wasn't trying to say we should subscribe to hedonism. I was rather speculating that we have basis hedonistic motivations underneath so many seemingly 'higher' aspirations. When somebody gets a kick out of fasting and praying - that, probably, won't be seen by most as chasing pleasure, but at the core of it very well may be a narcissistic kind of pleasure, and in a way, in the broad sense of the word, even masochistic acts can fall under pleasure-seeking behavior. I'm not talking prescriptive ethics here at all. Just questioning that there is 'so much more to human motivation than pleasure seeking'. There's more perhaps, but not that much.
About the prescriptive ethics - don't even ask me that, I'm on vacation from this particular question lol.
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But yeah, normative ethics = a blast! Hopefully that's just a temporary vacation...
Right, sure... I've been working with my hands more this last week, and been finding it quite pleasing. So ... hedonism, again :)
It's quite possible that I'll be back to exercising my brain muscles more intensely soon in an attempt of being one of these people again:
Meanwhile, you'll probably find some good company among the commenters who could have been writing their own blogs very easily))