Quantcast

Scientific proof of hedonism

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
My 4 Scientific Arguments Proving Hedonism
Hedonism is the belief that feelings of pleasure are the only true good things in life, feelings of suffering are the only true bad things in life, while everything else in life is neutral (neither truly good or bad). Hedonism has actually now been proven as a scientific fact with these 4 factual arguments I am now going to present to you. These 4 arguments are scientific facts and prove hedonism as true. Go and look up these arguments such as in an online article for yourself sometime. They are actually arguments that I have personally thought of and came up with. But the reason why they are scientific facts is because they are solely based on scientific facts we already know such as the fact that the brain has different functions, depression is also a response that discourages our survival, etc.

Many people say that we can find a sense of joy, pleasure, or even suffering in our lives even if we had no feelings of pleasure, joy, or suffering. But this is false and I am now going to prove how that version of pleasure, joy, and suffering these people speak of are not true (not genuine). The true version of those things can only come from our actual feelings of those things. I am also going to prove how those said feelings are the only true good and bad things in life. These feelings are the only things that can define us as human beings and our lives as being either good or bad and nothing else can define our good or bad value as human beings.

So here are the 4 arguments I am now going to present to you:

The Brain Functioning Argument

I am now going to explain how feelings of pleasure are the only true good things in life and how the version of happiness and pleasure that comes from everything else in life besides our feelings of pleasure are not the genuine form of happiness and pleasure at all.

If, let's pretend, that you had no thoughts or intelligence whatsoever. You also have no feelings at all whether they be feelings of pleasure or suffering. All your sensations such as sight, smell, etc. would then be nothing more than just sensations. There is no pleasure or happiness at all to them. They are just simple messages to the brain. Different functions of the brain are responsible for different things. The area of the brain responsible for sight or hearing in of themselves do not experience any feelings of pleasure or suffering. Feelings of pleasure and suffering come from different areas of our brains. Feelings of love, joy, or any other type of pleasurable feelings come from the limbic system. They come from specific regions of the brain.

The areas of our brains responsible for thinking and perception do not experience any pleasure or suffering in of themselves since they are a different function of our brains. Any form of pleasure, suffering, or happiness that is claimed to come from our thinking and perceptions alone without our actual feelings of pleasure or suffering, that is nothing more than just a thought. It is nothing more than just a simple message (like a word or a phrase) of pleasure or suffering. There is no genuine experience of pleasure or suffering from our thoughts and perceptions alone without our actual feelings of pleasure or suffering. All we are experiencing here is nothing more than just the simple message (perception) of pleasure or suffering.

That perception in of itself does not yield any genuine pleasure or suffering. To say that it does would be no different than saying that, since we can still perceive sound waves from our sight alone when we are deaf (such as if we were to look at sound waves coming from an audio device), then that means we can actually hear the sound through our sight alone without our actual hearing. So as you can see here, this would be false. It wouldn't be us hearing from the perception of those sound waves through our sight. Or, in this case, it wouldn't be us experiencing pleasure from our perception of what pleasure is through our thoughts and such alone. Instead, it would just all be the simple message of what sound and pleasure are and not the actual genuine experience of it.

So as you can see here, people are only fooling themselves into thinking that there is a form of genuine pleasure, happiness, or suffering that comes from our thoughts and everything else in life without our actual feelings of pleasure and suffering. Any form of peace, joy, love, happiness, suffering, misery, etc. that is said to come from our perceptions alone without the actual feelings of them are nothing more than just thoughts and that is it. In other words, we would not be expressing love to someone without our actual feelings of love. They would just be nothing more than expressions of the idea of what love is. That being, love can only be a feeling and nothing else. All those expressions that are claimed to be love without the feelings of love are what we would instead refer to as simple acts of help and aid and nothing more. I, myself, have lost all my feelings of love as well since anhedonia is something that completely shuts down the reward system in the brain.

In conclusion, even if we somehow could experience pleasure or suffering from our thoughts, perceptions, and everything else, then that could only be if we had our actual feelings of pleasure and suffering to do so. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to experience any form of pleasure or suffering without our actual feelings of pleasure or suffering.

The Evolutionary Argument

There are 3 pleasure states: negative (hopelessness), neutral (anhedonia), and positive (feeling pleasure). The negative state of pleasure (depression), depression is also a natural response by evolution to discourage our survival aside from it being something such as a chemical imbalance or the result of a brain abnormality. It warns us when something is going wrong in our lives which is the reason why we become depressed when something bad happens in our lives such as the loss of a loved one, etc. When we are encouraged for survival, that would be defined as having genuine good perceptions in life such as to want to live and make the best of our lives, help others, etc. This encouragement can only be defined through our pleasure since it is only our feelings that genuinely encourage and discourage our survival. They are the only things that genuinely make us perceive our lives as either being good and worth living or as bad and not worth living at all. But if you are in a state of anhedonia (absence of pleasure), then this should also tell you that your life is not worth living at all either since how we normally function as human beings would be through relying on our perception of good to make our lives good and worth living. That neutral perception should then send a depressive signal to your brain and then make you and your life bad and of truly even less worth now. As I said before, in a state of anhedonia, our good and bad perceptions are not genuine and is just our mind's irrational way of fooling ourselves into thinking that we are having genuine good and bad perceptions without having any pleasure or suffering in our lives at the moment.

I said that our encouragement for survival in life can only be defined by having genuine good perceptions. Therefore, since depression discourages our survival, then this means that we cannot genuinely perceive us and our lives as being good and worth living while in a state of significant depression since depression shuts down our good perceptions. Therefore, depression shuts down our good perceptions in a negative sense in that we would have bad perceptions, anhedonia simply neutralizes our perceptions in which we neither genuinely perceive our lives as being good or bad without pleasure and suffering, and pleasure is what defines our genuine good perceptions in life.

When a person is depressed, he/she might say to his/herself in a depressive mood (tonality) that his/her life is still good and worth living. He/she might very well continue on to pursue his/her dreams and goals in life even while still feeling depressed. But those good perceptions are all decoys without our pleasure as I've said before. The person's depression has shut down his/her genuine good perceptions in life. But he/she is now doing nothing more than just simply saying to his/herself that his/her life is still good and worth living anyway and just forcing his/herself to live life anyway. So now this person is just simply being fooled by words and phrases alone when there is no genuine good perception at all from those words and phrases while he/she is in a state of depression.

On one side of the spectrum you have people who are so severely depressed that they don't want to do anything who find no good value in their lives. They can hardly function and can hardly want to do things in their lives at all. These types of people are so severe that they can never bring themselves to make the best of their lives and such. These types of people need electric shock treatment. But on the other side of the spectrum you have people who are so happy and excited in life that they are doing all sorts of great things in life. So based on that, you can clearly see how our level of pleasure defines our level of good perception in life. But even if it were somehow a proven fact that you and your life are truly good even in a state of depression/anhedonia, then what good is that going to do for you? What is the use of you and your life being good if you are not even allowed to genuinely perceive it as being good?

Now our perceptions do define how we feel. But it's our feelings that make those said perceptions genuinely good or bad only from the perspective of those feelings alone and not from the perspective of those perceptions (thoughts) alone which are all neutral in of themselves as I've said before. So it's just how we feel independent of our thoughts that genuinely makes us and our lives good or bad. I also realize that there is one other emotion which would be empathy. There are also 3 states of empathy as well: negative (in which you feel bad such as you feeling sorry for hurting someone else), neutral (no empathy in which one might also just simply help others out anyway through just thoughts and such alone), and positive (which would be a feeling of pleasure in which you feel good for helping someone else). Here again, the negative state defines us and our lives as being bad and genuinely defines our perceptions as bad, the neutral defines us and our lives as being neither good or bad and our perceptions as being neither good or bad without our pleasure, and the positive state is what genuinely defines us and our lives as being genuinely good and defines our perceptions as being genuinely good.

In conclusion, I am making these arguments to try and help find better cures and treatments for anhedonia and depression. If people would realize that pleasure and suffering are the only true good and bad things in life, then they would be much more inclined to find better treatments and a cure. Too many people are just accepting of suffering due to them thinking that they are still good people even with much suffering and/or an absence of pleasure in their lives. But I wish to change this mindset so that people would then truly realize once and for all the pleasure and suffering really are the only true good and bad things in life. Not only am I trying to find better treatments and cures for depression and anhedonia, but also for suffering in general. My hedonistic values would also encourage others to find better treatments and cures for suffering in general as well. This would also even include mortality since living in an eternal blissful life of no suffering is the one and only greatest life there is and is the one and only thing that would make you the greatest person.

The Heroin Addict Argument

When people take heroin, they get a pleasure high off of it. But let's pretend that a heroin addict's pleasure centers and all other areas of the brain responsible for the experience of pleasure were all somehow removed, then if this person were to take the heroin, then he/she would not be able to get any pleasure high off of it. There is no way a heroin addict can get a pleasure high off his/her thoughts and perceptions alone without his/her actual ability to experience pleasure. Even his/her thoughts (idea) that he/she is still living a happy, pleasurable, and joyful life without his/her actual feelings of those things, those thoughts would not yield any pleasure high at all. Pleasure can only be defined as the types of feeling highs a heroin addict obtains since that is what they are. When a person experiences a feeling of pleasure from something such as composing or playing videogames, then that is a high. Or if a person were to experience a feeling of pleasure such as peace or content, then that is a high. It's just simply a high that is at a lower intensity level.

Therefore, since none of these highs exist through our thoughts, perceptions, including everything else in life without our actual feelings of pleasure, then there is no experience of pleasure whatsoever from our thoughts/perceptions alone without our actual feelings of pleasure. If the heroin addict in my given example took the heroin, then he/she might very well get a sort of high from his/her thoughts/perceptions of pleasure alone without his/her actual feelings of pleasure. But it would be a different form of high. It would be no different than the type of high you feel when your mind is racing with a bunch of intense thoughts. But without our feelings of pleasure, then even if the said thought that was raced in your mind was a thought of your life being good and you having genuine pleasure in your life, then the experience from that racing thought would not be an experience of pleasure at all. Rather, it would simply just be an experience of your mind racing with a thought of pleasure and not the actual pleasure itself or any other form of pleasure for that matter since pleasure can only be a feeling. We cannot feel from our thoughts/perceptions alone including everything else in life without our actual feelings.

The Conscious Experience Argument

What we have going on here are two separate things. We have the thought of pleasure and we have the conscious experience. The thought (idea) of pleasure is just a thought. But the conscious experience of that thought would not be any form of pleasure at all. It would not be a feeling of pleasure without our actual feelings of pleasure as I just said before and am saying here again to make myself absolutely clear in this given point as well. It would be no different if you were blind and you had the thought (idea) of seeing and that you somehow have sight through these thoughts alone. The thought of sight is just a thought and the conscious experience of that thought wouldn't be sight at all. It would just simply be the perception of what sight is. All our thoughts (perceptions) are different. But they are all the same conscious experience in that they are just simply thoughts and can't be any other sensation, feeling, or emotion. So we can have the thought that "Our lives are truly good and worth living even without our feelings of pleasure and this has given me a genuine sense of pleasure in my life" or we can have the thought that "Me and my life are utterly worthless and inferior without my feelings of pleasure and this has given me a sense of suffering." Without our actual feelings of pleasure or suffering, then those two thoughts in those quotes would be no different from each other because they are all the same conscious experience. They may be different conscious experiences in the sense that one thought is different than the other. But they are all the same conscious experience in the sense that they are all just thoughts.

It would be no different than if you experienced different feelings of pleasure. They may be different conscious experiences in the sense that they are obviously different feelings of pleasure. But they are all the same conscious experience in the sense that they all feel pleasant. So what you have here is the main conscious experience (all feelings of pleasure feeling pleasant) and the different conscious experiences that are derived from that (all the different feelings of pleasure). The main conscious experience is what defines all the other experiences that are derived from it. Therefore, since the main conscious experience of our thoughts is "thinking," then it doesn't matter what thought we have. All our thoughts would be just thoughts. We can't say that a thought of pleasure or suffering is actually pleasure or suffering. We would instead refer to them as being the "thinking" version of what pleasure and suffering are and not the actual genuine experience of pleasure and suffering.

Let me ask you this, if you had no feelings of pleasure or suffering and you had the thought in your mind that "I am having pleasure in my life" or that "I am having suffering in my life," then in what way is that thought bringing you pleasure or suffering. You are not having any feelings of pleasure or suffering. So why should those thoughts matter? You cannot have pleasure or suffering from those thoughts alone without your feelings of pleasure or suffering just as you cannot have sight or hearing from those thoughts alone without your ability to see or hear as I've just said before. This is because all our different thoughts can only be defined one way and that would be through the main conscious experience. That being, they are just simply the "thinking" function of our brains and are all nothing more than just thoughts.

Even our thoughts (moral values) of good and bad are not truly good or bad at all since they cannot define the main conscious experience as good or bad. So any good or bad thought/personal created meaning we have in our lives that we think truly makes us and our lives good or bad without our actual feelings of pleasure or suffering, then that wouldn't make us and our lives truly good or bad at all. We can neither define anything else in life as truly good or bad either besides our feelings of pleasure or suffering.

This is because the version of good and bad that comes from objects, other people, etc., that version cannot make us and our lives truly good or bad since it is our personal thoughts derived from those said things that define our own perceptions in life. Our own perceptions define our personal lives since it is our own minds that do so. If, let's pretend, that some other person or said object was somehow truly good or bad in our lives, then those things alone cannot make us and our lives truly good or bad since it is our thoughts that define our lives. Therefore, since our thoughts are not truly good or bad, then those truly good or bad people and objects cannot define our personal lives as being truly good or bad.

Since the true version of good and bad cannot come from our thoughts as I've just said before and nor can it come from any of our other senses since they all have a different main conscious experience that can neither be defined as good or bad, then good can only be defined as feelings of pleasure while bad can only be defined as feelings of suffering. So we would instead refer to them as feelings of good and feelings of bad. Feelings of pleasure and suffering can only be defined as the good and bad things based on my evolutionary argument.

So the true version of good and bad can only be the feeling version. The thought version is different and isn't truly good or bad. Therefore, we wouldn't refer to feelings of pleasure and suffering as being feelings of pleasure and suffering. Pleasure and suffering would have to be defined in place of our thoughts (moral values) of good and bad while good and bad would have to be defined in place of our feelings of pleasure and suffering.

To conclude this argument, something that is neither good or bad is what we would refer to as "neutral." Therefore, our thoughts and all other sensations besides our feelings of pleasure and suffering, they are all neutral. So the main conscious experience would be defined as neutral without our actual feelings of pleasure and suffering. Without our feelings, then they would all be neutral "thinking," neutral "hearing," neutral "imaging," etc. Everything else in life are all also neutral as well. Here again, we might be able to feel good or bad from our thoughts or even from our hearing and other sensations in of themselves. But that can only be providing if we have our actual feelings of pleasure and suffering (feelings of good and bad) to do so.

In conclusion, these are my 4 arguments supporting hedonism and how feelings of pleasure and suffering are the only true good and bad things in life and are the only things that can define us and our lives as good or bad while everything else in life is all neutral (neither truly good or bad).
 
Last edited:

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
2,355
Reaction score
2,634
These 4 arguments are scientific facts and prove hedonism as true. Go and look up these arguments such as in an online article for yourself sometime. They are actually arguments that I have personally thought of and came up with.

Do you by any chance teach at Midwestern University?
 

clip.clop

I'm a doctor too.
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
30
I'll admit, it smacked of hedonism when I took glee in stopping reading your post due to the very poor quality of the writing and my selfish desire to not be irritated by poor writing.

But, that's clever on your part. Now anyone who would disagree with you can simply be written off, correct? What's that called again?

296e04c498c6c1d82a398301e5f68a9df94a966fd4876aefc3770745f9d48b73.jpg




P.S. Anyone who would argue that hedonism doesn't exist in the first place is sadly naive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
I'll admit, it smacked of hedonism when I took glee in stopping reading your post due to the very poor quality of the writing and my selfish desire to not be irritated by poor writing.

But, that's clever on your part. Now anyone who would disagree with you can simply be written off, correct? What's that called again?

296e04c498c6c1d82a398301e5f68a9df94a966fd4876aefc3770745f9d48b73.jpg




P.S. Anyone who would argue that hedonism doesn't exist in the first place is sadly naive.

You are free to read and talk about it if you like. But I thought I got my point across just fine with my writing and that there was nothing wrong with my writing.
 

NeuroMaster316

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
158
Reaction score
79
Perhaps we can change the title to something more appropriate like "Philosophic argument for hedonism."
This.
You didn't present an iota of scientific arguments. This is purely philosophical, and telling people to search for articles online in this giant wall of text is a bit lazy, you could have referenced anything at all with a dash of science in it to argue your point. No offense, just citing my thoughts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

suelan1006

New Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
This.
You didn't present an iota of scientific arguments. This is purely philosophical, and telling people to search for articles online in this giant wall of text is a bit lazy, you could have referenced anything at all with a dash of science in it to argue your point. No offense, just citing my thoughts.

Not just lazy, also narcissistic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

smalltownpsych

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
4,402
Reaction score
3,912
These are scientific arguments because they are based on scientific facts. That is flawed logic so at least this point of your philosophizing falls apart and I didn't read much further. My question is what is your point?
 

Fan_of_Meehl

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
1,347
Reaction score
2,265
Surely Dr. Plato and Prof. Socrates have a dialogue or two covering this topic

(hard to get observational data when you're stuck down in that Cave in chains and staring at shadows play across the wall...)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Ollie123

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
5,248
Reaction score
2,652
I think you confused "science" with "not science."

That said, I've had students turn in things that were much worse.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

smalltownpsych

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
4,402
Reaction score
3,912
Aren't you merely restating the pleasure principle as already described by Freud? Or it could be said that you are just describing simple neurobiological feedback mechanisms of the limbic system that lead to either an increase in behavior or a decrease in that behavior. Reinforcement and punishment. I really don't know what is new about your point. Oh well, it was a slow Monday so I'm headed for home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

clip.clop

I'm a doctor too.
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
30
You are free to read and talk about it if you like. But I thought I got my point across just fine with my writing and that there was nothing wrong with my writing.
I disagree. Granted, I, too, have had students turn in writing that was much worse. I've also had (undergraduate) students turn in much better writing.

I can read a lot of stuff that I know I disagree with from the get-go. I don't have a problem with reading material about which I'm inherently skeptical. The main reason I stopped reading was that your writing was poor to the degree that it was cumbersome to read. You should not require the reader to re-read sentences 2-3 times or more so that they can fully understand what you're trying to say. To be frank, your sentence and paragraph structure was quite clumsy at times, and you're either missing a lot of basics or just writing incorrectly at many points.

Further, you use words like "prove" and "fact" without merit, and try to posit scientific arguments and the like without any sort of back-up. You appear to be attempting to write a scientific commentary of sorts, and in reality it's just a glorified blog post. Confusing the two engenders bad writing from the very beginning.

You may think I'm being nitpicky and/or a dick just for the sake of it, but really what I'm telling you is that if you really want people to read what you have to say and take you seriously, you have to hone your writing skills, especially if you're not going to cite sources. You cannot expect people to take you seriously or assume what you say has merit if you write it sloppily and without regard for grammar and structure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
I disagree. Granted, I, too, have had students turn in writing that was much worse. I've also had (undergraduate) students turn in much better writing.

I can read a lot of stuff that I know I disagree with from the get-go. I don't have a problem with reading material about which I'm inherently skeptical. The main reason I stopped reading was that your writing was poor to the degree that it was cumbersome to read. You should not require the reader to re-read sentences 2-3 times or more so that they can fully understand what you're trying to say. To be frank, your sentence and paragraph structure was quite clumsy at times, and you're either missing a lot of basics or just writing incorrectly at many points.

Further, you use words like "prove" and "fact" without merit, and try to posit scientific arguments and the like without any sort of back-up. You appear to be attempting to write a scientific commentary of sorts, and in reality it's just a glorified blog post. Confusing the two engenders bad writing from the very beginning.

You may think I'm being nitpicky and/or a dick just for the sake of it, but really what I'm telling you is that if you really want people to read what you have to say and take you seriously, you have to hone your writing skills, especially if you're not going to cite sources. You cannot expect people to take you seriously or assume what you say has merit if you write it sloppily and without regard for grammar and structure.

So maybe this would be better off if I showed it to an expert neurologist/scientist who is also someone personal who would bother reading and taking the things I'm writing seriously? If I just showed this to online public people, then they wouldn't take the things I'm saying seriously because they are not personal people like my family.

For public people to not take my writing seriously I can completely understand. But anyone personal would be an insult. It would be no different than if someone was depressed and had a personal life issue. You then wrote about your personal life issue and showed it to someone personal to you. But that person then dismissed your writing and situation simply because it was poorly written.
 

smalltownpsych

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
4,402
Reaction score
3,912
So maybe this would be better off if I showed it to an expert neurologist/scientist who is also someone personal who would bother reading and taking the things I'm writing seriously? If I just showed this to online public people, then they wouldn't take the things I'm saying seriously because they are not personal people like my family.

For public people to not take my writing seriously I can completely understand. But anyone personal would be an insult. It would be no different than if someone was depressed and had a personal life issue. You then wrote about your personal life issue and showed it to someone personal to you. But that person then dismissed your writing and situation simply because it was poorly written.
Your writing is unclear is what the poster was saying. Not that he wasn't taking it seriously. Of course, with that avatar it's hard to take clip.clop seriously. :p
One key aspect of psychology is the importance we place on scientific evidence. We tend to see philosophical arguments as a starting point to generate hypotheses and then we test them. If they hold up to rigorous testing, then we say that we have evidence. A psychologist would not say scientific proof because none of the psychological constructs we work with lend themselves to that type of conclusion. So some of the problem here is with semantics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Your writing is unclear is what the poster was saying. Not that he wasn't taking it seriously. Of course, with that avatar it's hard to take clip.clop seriously. :p
One key aspect of psychology is the importance we place on scientific evidence. We tend to see philosophical arguments as a starting point to generate hypotheses and then we test them. If they hold up to rigorous testing, then we say that we have evidence. A psychologist would not say scientific proof because none of the psychological constructs we work with lend themselves to that type of conclusion. So some of the problem here is with semantics.

Actually, let me admit something here. I struggle with depression and anhedonia (absence of pleasure). I feel that pleasure is the only good thing there is in life and I have come up with my own arguments supporting why. So are you telling me that I have to go and study up on how to talk/write in order for people to even understand my personal issues here? Imagine how insulting it would be if someone was depressed and wished to talk about his/her issues. But when he/she starts to talk about them, other people do not understand them. Instead, these people then just go up to that person and say to him/her: "We don't understand what you are trying to say. Just go study up on some things. Only then will we talk."
 

smalltownpsych

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
4,402
Reaction score
3,912
Actually, let me admit something here. I struggle with depression and anhedonia (absence of pleasure). I feel that pleasure is the only good thing there is in life and I have come up with my own arguments supporting why. So are you telling me that I have to go and study up on how to talk/write in order for people to even understand my personal issues here? Imagine how insulting it would be if someone was depressed and wished to talk about his/her issues. But when he/she starts to talk about them, other people do not understand them. Instead, these people then just go up to that person and say to him/her: "We don't understand what you are trying to say. Just go study up on some things. Only then will we talk."
I thought that since this was a student forum that I should give the advice I would normally give to a student of psychology. If you are looking for something besides advice on being a student with a goal of becoming a professional psychologist, then I am not sure if this is the right place for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

psycscientist

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
729
Reaction score
159
Actually, let me admit something here. I struggle with depression and anhedonia (absence of pleasure). I feel that pleasure is the only good thing there is in life and I have come up with my own arguments supporting why. So are you telling me that I have to go and study up on how to talk/write in order for people to even understand my personal issues here? Imagine how insulting it would be if someone was depressed and wished to talk about his/her issues. But when he/she starts to talk about them, other people do not understand them. Instead, these people then just go up to that person and say to him/her: "We don't understand what you are trying to say. Just go study up on some things. Only then will we talk."

Unfortunately, this forum is not the place to discuss your personal issues or to receive medical/psychological advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
I feel that pleasure is the only good thing there is in life and I have come up with my own arguments supporting why.

The blind pursuit of pleasure is viewed my many to be one of the underlying causes of many modern days ills (greed, pathological narcissism, wars of aggression, socioeconomic inequity, addiction, crime, etc). Food for thought....
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Fan_of_Meehl

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
1,347
Reaction score
2,265
What's the Ph in PhD for again?

Right...but it's a bit of an anachronism. Back when the Ph.D. thing originated, 'philosophy' pretty much covered what was, at their time, the natural sciences. Also, folks get their Ph.D.'s in certain fields, say, organic chemistry, that I would not characterize as being overly 'philosophical' (in terms of our current usage of the term) in nature. I was pretty into philosophy in high school and undergrad and one of the big turn-on's for me regarding psychology is what distinguished it from pure philosophy--namely, that psychologists (as opposed to philosophers) weren't content with merely argue back and forth about the nature of things, they actually designed experiments and gathered data that would help decide the issue. That's what makes psychology as an enterprise (when it is done well) scientific in nature. I think that philosophy does have a place in psychology (particularly the 'philosophy of science' proper that deals with framing/testing hypotheses, how we know what we know (epistemological concerns), the nature of scientific description vs. explanation, operationism, etc.) but the philosophizing without following up with the act of empirically testing propositions belongs to the field of philosophy, not psychology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
2,355
Reaction score
2,634
Actually, let me admit something here. I struggle with depression and anhedonia (absence of pleasure). I feel that pleasure is the only good thing there is in life and I have come up with my own arguments supporting why. So are you telling me that I have to go and study up on how to talk/write in order for people to even understand my personal issues here? Imagine how insulting it would be if someone was depressed and wished to talk about his/her issues. But when he/she starts to talk about them, other people do not understand them."

What gave you the impression that this forum was the appropriate place to talk about your mental health issues? I'm sorry, but it's not. As far as I can tell, you are trying very hard to generalize from your own experience, which is neither scientific nor therapeutic. And lest you think no one here is sympathetic to your distress, please know that this is simply not the forum for it; it would be unethical for any of us to give therapeutic advice here.

I hope you are receiving appropriate support for your depression. Here are some other resources to consider:
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: http://www.dbsalliance.org/
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: http://www.adaa.org/
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Now could you please point out and explain to me how those arguments are nonsense? I know you said that they have no basis in science or reality for that matter. However, I wish to know why they don't and how specifically what I'm saying is false. I just wish to learn here which is why I am asking. I don't wish to spend years and years studying up on science and such to personally know how I am wrong since that is not who I am. I am not someone who spends all that time studying up on science and such. I have other goals and dreams in life. Therefore, this is the reason why I am asking you here to point out specifically what is wrong with those arguments and for you to specifically explain why they are wrong in detail.

Not only would I learn why they are wrong, but I would now learn once and for all that there are really other good things in life besides pleasure. Knowing that would make me feel less enraged and depressed in life. I would feel that there are really other good characteristics about me as a person and in my life despite my absence of pleasure. Knowing this will serve to make me feel less angry and depressed. But in the meantime, as long as no one is going to bother explaining into detail how those other arguments are wrong by pointing out things in those arguments and debating against those points in detail, then I will be personally convinced that my arguments still stand and I would still be convinced that pleasure is the only truly good thing in life.

Do you not see the clear and simple reason as to why it is I feel depressed and enraged having this anhedonia and just why it is I perceive pleasure as the only true good thing in life? It is because there is no profound good experience for me and my life without my profound feelings of pleasure. Sure, I can have profound moments in my life such as being with my family and other good innocent people. However, there is actually no profound experience (sensation) from that. The only sensation here would just be thoughts, images, sounds, etc. with no profound conscious experience whatsoever from any of those things. So what that means here is that, even though there could very well be good moments in my life despite my absence of pleasure and I can recognize those moments as being good, the fact of the matter is that they are all nothing more than just me simply recognizing those moments as good. This recognition is nothing more than just neutral thoughts with no profound good experience whatsoever from them. So it is like I am nothing more than just some logical human machine observing, analyzing, and recognizing facts of life as being good and such, but am unable to experience anything good from those moments.

Also, the phrase "let's pretend" can be used as something scientific. For example, if you said "Let's pretend that a lion was chasing you, then your fight or flight system would kick in and you would have intense fear that would encourage you to run away," then that quoted message is something scientific. The conclusion that was reached based on that pretend situation was that your fight/flight system would kick in and you would run away. That conclusion is scientific and this conclusion has been based on simple scientific facts we already know. Therefore, this also applies for those other arguments of mine. I have given pretend situations and then have come to conclusions which are also based on basic scientific facts we already know. Therefore, I do not need to study up on science any more than I already have. Those conclusions I have reached are obvious scientific facts.

It's just that the concept of pleasure being the only good thing in life seems ridiculous to you. The seeming ridiculousness of this concept is what blinds you to perceiving the truth of my arguments. They are obvious scientific facts, but you are unable to perceive them as such due to you thinking they are ridiculous. As a result, you do not take the time to see how they are true and you do not take your time to even bother with them. I may be incoherent and I may be presenting my arguments in such a sloppy way, but the scientific facts are all there in the arguments themselves even without the links to scientific articles or anything else. It would be no different than if I brought up that quoted statement "Let's pretend that a lion was chasing you, then your fight or flight system would kick in and you would have intense fear that would encourage you to run away" and proceeded to talk about it in my writing without any links to article and such. That quoted statement in of itself is an obvious scientific fact and for you to ask me to present some evidence for my claims would be no different than asking for evidence of that quoted message. That quoted message in of itself is an obvious scientific fact that even the most basic intellects should know as the truth just as people should easily realize that what I'm saying is also true. It's just that what I'm saying seems too ridiculous that you are blinded to its truth. Not only that, but you and many people were taught otherwise. So of course it is all going to seem like ridiculous nonsense at first. Only until further examination and analysis would the truth of my arguments become more clear to you.

I do not have an intelligent person to talk to about this. I explain to these people in great detail how pleasure is the only good thing in life and none of these people can help me. They cannot help refute my arguments and convince me how there really are other good things in life besides pleasure. They either just blow all my arguments off and regard them as nonsense, or they just simply tell me that there are other good things in life besides pleasure without ever having refuted my arguments. Therefore, since you are an intelligent person, then this is the reason why I do not want you to just simply blow off my arguments and regard them as nonsense like you are doing now. I don't care what reasons you have that justify your actions in doing so. You should still consider my arguments and look more deep into them. You should see where I am getting at in how pleasure really is the only good thing in life.

Also, I am not the type of person such as a deluded religious person or a deluded schizophrenic who absolutely cannot be convinced by the facts of reality. I can be convinced. It's just that, at the current moment, I don't see how my arguments are wrong. I am the type of person to always be convinced by the facts of reality. But that can only be providing if all the points I made in those other arguments have been refuted in detail. They cannot just be simply blown off as nonsense. That won't convince me that they are wrong. They have to be refuted in detail. I realize you have refuted my evolutionary argument in detail and that has convinced me that I was wrong. However, that would only be when the evolutionary argument is presented alone by itself. When I have all those other arguments with it, then that actually upholds my evolutionary argument as still standing true and simply blowing it off as nonsense is not going to convince me otherwise. You have to address those other arguments and refute them in detail like I said before.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
Now could you please point out and explain to me how those arguments are nonsense? I know you said that they have no basis in science or reality for that matter. However, I wish to know why they don't and how specifically what I'm saying is false. I just wish to learn here which is why I am asking. I don't wish to spend years and years studying up on science and such to personally know how I am wrong since that is not who I am. I am not someone who spends all that time studying up on science and such. I have other goals and dreams in life. Therefore, this is the reason why I am asking you here to point out specifically what is wrong with those arguments and for you to specifically explain why they are wrong in detail.

Not only would I learn why they are wrong, but I would now learn once and for all that there are really other good things in life besides pleasure. Knowing that would make me feel less enraged and depressed in life. I would feel that there are really other good characteristics about me as a person and in my life despite my absence of pleasure. Knowing this will serve to make me feel less angry and depressed. But in the meantime, as long as no one is going to bother explaining into detail how those other arguments are wrong by pointing out things in those arguments and debating against those points in detail, then I will be personally convinced that my arguments still stand and I would still be convinced that pleasure is the only truly good thing in life.

Do you not see the clear and simple reason as to why it is I feel depressed and enraged having this anhedonia and just why it is I perceive pleasure as the only true good thing in life? It is because there is no profound good experience for me and my life without my profound feelings of pleasure. Sure, I can have profound moments in my life such as being with my family and other good innocent people. However, there is actually no profound experience (sensation) from that. The only sensation here would just be thoughts, images, sounds, etc. with no profound conscious experience whatsoever from any of those things. So what that means here is that, even though there could very well be good moments in my life despite my absence of pleasure and I can recognize those moments as being good, the fact of the matter is that they are all nothing more than just me simply recognizing those moments as good. This recognition is nothing more than just neutral thoughts with no profound good experience whatsoever from them. So it is like I am nothing more than just some logical human machine observing, analyzing, and recognizing facts of life as being good and such, but am unable to experience anything good from those moments.

Also, the phrase "let's pretend" can be used as something scientific. For example, if you said "Let's pretend that a lion was chasing you, then your fight or flight system would kick in and you would have intense fear that would encourage you to run away," then that quoted message is something scientific. The conclusion that was reached based on that pretend situation was that your fight/flight system would kick in and you would run away. That conclusion is scientific and this conclusion has been based on simple scientific facts we already know. Therefore, this also applies for those other arguments of mine. I have given pretend situations and then have come to conclusions which are also based on basic scientific facts we already know. Therefore, I do not need to study up on science any more than I already have. Those conclusions I have reached are obvious scientific facts.

It's just that the concept of pleasure being the only good thing in life seems ridiculous to you. The seeming ridiculousness of this concept is what blinds you to perceiving the truth of my arguments. They are obvious scientific facts, but you are unable to perceive them as such due to you thinking they are ridiculous. As a result, you do not take the time to see how they are true and you do not take your time to even bother with them. I may be incoherent and I may be presenting my arguments in such a sloppy way, but the scientific facts are all there in the arguments themselves even without the links to scientific articles or anything else. It would be no different than if I brought up that quoted statement "Let's pretend that a lion was chasing you, then your fight or flight system would kick in and you would have intense fear that would encourage you to run away" and proceeded to talk about it in my writing without any links to article and such. That quoted statement in of itself is an obvious scientific fact and for you to ask me to present some evidence for my claims would be no different than asking for evidence of that quoted message. That quoted message in of itself is an obvious scientific fact that even the most basic intellects should know as the truth just as people should easily realize that what I'm saying is also true. It's just that what I'm saying seems too ridiculous that you are blinded to its truth. Not only that, but you and many people were taught otherwise. So of course it is all going to seem like ridiculous nonsense at first. Only until further examination and analysis would the truth of my arguments become more clear to you.

I do not have an intelligent person to talk to about this. I explain to these people in great detail how pleasure is the only good thing in life and none of these people can help me. They cannot help refute my arguments and convince me how there really are other good things in life besides pleasure. They either just blow all my arguments off and regard them as nonsense, or they just simply tell me that there are other good things in life besides pleasure without ever having refuted my arguments. Therefore, since you are an intelligent person, then this is the reason why I do not want you to just simply blow off my arguments and regard them as nonsense like you are doing now. I don't care what reasons you have that justify your actions in doing so. You should still consider my arguments and look more deep into them. You should see where I am getting at in how pleasure really is the only good thing in life.

Also, I am not the type of person such as a deluded religious person or a deluded schizophrenic who absolutely cannot be convinced by the facts of reality. I can be convinced. It's just that, at the current moment, I don't see how my arguments are wrong. I am the type of person to always be convinced by the facts of reality. But that can only be providing if all the points I made in those other arguments have been refuted in detail. They cannot just be simply blown off as nonsense. That won't convince me that they are wrong. They have to be refuted in detail. I realize you have refuted my evolutionary argument in detail and that has convinced me that I was wrong. However, that would only be when the evolutionary argument is presented alone by itself. When I have all those other arguments with it, then that actually upholds my evolutionary argument as still standing true and simply blowing it off as nonsense is not going to convince me otherwise. You have to address those other arguments and refute them in detail like I said before.

For goodness sake son, learn to condense your thoughts/writing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
For goodness sake son, learn to condense your thoughts/writing.

I cannot. All of those points I made are very important points and there would be no way for me to summarize all of them in just one given paragraph.
 

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
Now could you please point out and explain to me how those arguments are nonsense? ..... You have to address those other arguments and refute them in detail like I said before.

tl;dr.

No one HAS to address your arguments, or refute them in detail. If they aren't particularly well formed arguments, there is no incentive to engage with you. You complain that people expect you to express yourself well for them to wish to engage with you. Sorry. That is the nature of the quality of discussion that you want to have.

I could pick apart your arguments for several reasons, but the simplest and most obvious is that it is self-referential to the point of solipsism.

That is to say, your premises are flawed, founded in assertion rather than reality. You treat certain statements as givens, when really, they are your opinions, not universal truths. You are basically saying, "This is true, because it is true. If it were not true, then it wouldn't be true anymore, but it is true, so it is." That is called a tautology, and it is very shaky logic. You haven't proven anything, or even made a good case for anything. You've just said that you believe something, and so that it is how it is.

You have a problem, and it isn't just a logic problem. You state that you are anhedonic. There are many things that could be contributing to that state. You should pursue real life help from a psychiatrist, or at least your primary care provider, to see if there is some medical reason for your feelings and/or treatment that could be helpful to you.

You should also consider doing things which reliably foster positive feelings. Not just getting things, which is where a lot of people go to try to feel happiness or pleasure. The best things I have found are creativity and serving others. Making things, whether art or food or planning events, always raises my spirits and gives me a sense of deep pleasure. And doing kindnesses for others, habitually, is one of the greatest sources of lasting pleasure in my life. I recommend these in large doses.

You might also check out a book called "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Or just watch his TED talk, here:


He talks about the "Secret to Happiness." It is a pretty clever idea that you might just like. And his name is really cool. (Me High, Chick Sent Me High... yes, yes, she did.)
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
So if it is truly the case that no one here is going to bother picking apart my arguments and refuting them in detail due to my sloppy, incoherent, and long-winded presentation of them, then I would have to take them elsewhere such as to someone who is both highly intelligent and someone personal who would bother taking the time in doing so with me.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
So if it is truly the case that no one here is going to bother picking apart my arguments and refuting them in detail due to my sloppy, incoherent, and long-winded presentation of them, then I would have to take them elsewhere such as to someone who is both highly intelligent and someone personal who would bother taking the time in doing so with me.

I think that would be a good idea.

By the way, I did offer counter to your argument that hedonism is the panacea for all of life's ills.
 

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
So if it is truly the case that no one here is going to bother picking apart my arguments and refuting them in detail due to my sloppy, incoherent, and long-winded presentation of them, then I would have to take them elsewhere such as to someone who is both highly intelligent and someone personal who would bother taking the time in doing so with me.

Bravo! You get it!

Incidentally, I did give serious attention to responding to you. You might take what I offered into consideration. But if all you do is seek out real help in person, rather than in a forum unsuited to your needs, then I will take that as a win, even if you heard nothing else I said.
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Thank you. But if we can instead debate here with brief statements rather than entire long-winded arguments, then we could do that. Or not. That is your decision. Therefore, I will bring up the brief statement here which is that my arguments are based on obvious scientific facts we already know. That being, we have the main conscious experience (such as all feelings of pleasure feeling pleasant) and we then have all the different experiences that are derived from that which would be all the different feelings of pleasure. Therefore, all feelings of pleasure are the same in the sense that they all feel pleasant. But they are all different in the sense that they are obviously different feelings of pleasure. However, despite the fact that all feelings of pleasure feel different, they all adhere to the main conscious experience which defines them as all being the same since they all feel pleasant. Therefore, there is no form of pleasure, joy, happiness, inspiration, etc. that comes from our thoughts and such alone without our actual feelings of pleasure. This is because the main conscious experience of our thoughts is just "thinking." Therefore, all our thoughts can never be any experience of pleasure whatsoever without our actual feelings of pleasure. Instead, they would all be just the "thinking" version of pleasure and not any experience of pleasure whatsoever. So the only experience here would be just the thought of pleasure and not the actual experience of any pleasure. Therefore, I cannot have any experience of joy, happiness, pleasure, etc. without my actual feelings of pleasure. Many people say that there is a form of pleasure, joy, happiness, etc. that can come from our thoughts and everything else in life without our actual feelings of pleasure. But this is false and this is my refutation to that claim. Then, from there, I argue how pleasure is the only good thing there is in life with different arguments and such. I go on to say how the version of good that comes from us being motivated, encouraged, and inspired in life can only come from our feelings of pleasure and how our lives would be nothing of this good value at all without our feelings of pleasure.
 
Last edited:

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
"All x must involve y. Some people say that there is some x that doesn't involve y. But that isn't true because all x involve y. "

See, you are setting up a premise that can't be argued with because it is true by your definition, which may or may not actually be true.

All pleasure feels good, so there is no pleasurable thing which doesn't feel good. Okay, but how is that meaningful? Also, the words being used are somewhat imprecise, and the meanings shift. I think that is leading you to refute a claim that no one else is actually making.

I'm not sure that anyone is saying that happiness does not involve pleasant feelings. What I have heard argued is that happiness is not the same thing as pleasure. People who are saying that are not saying that there isn't a pleasing emotional state experienced as happiness, but rather that pursuit of happiness by directly pursuing pleasure is not a reliable path. You are arguing against a strawman that misses the point. The question is not whether there is an internal experience which is pleasant. That is self-evident and part of the definition of happiness. The question is whether pleasure-seeking is an effective means of its attainment.

So, eating good food and drinking good wine in surroundings which you like very much may cause considerable pleasurable sensations and emotions... but these are of a temporary nature. If one is deprived of these things, that pleasure goes away. It isn't to say that those things are done in vain, only that if one's definition of pleasure is so narrow/shallow, they will be depressed and disappointed when these things are absent. Or, even when they are present, should they fail to appreciate them or find a deeper meaning in them. This is why there are so many depressed and unhappy rich people.

Meanwhile, someone who is not directly seeking to satiate their appetites, but is instead working toward some goal... really, most any goal... but particularly ones which are creative or social... will experience pleasure as a by-product rather than an end in itself. And this kind of pleasure tends to endure despite deprivation. This is why you will find many very happy people who have nothing much at all in the way of material comforts.

This isn't to say that you must be poor to be happy, or that rich people will always end up miserable. It is that where you put your focus is what matters. If you chase pleasure, you will miss it. It sounds like maybe this is part of what is happening with you. If you disregard the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake, but instead pursue goals which you find meaningful, it will come to you. If you grasp at a butterfly, it will fly away from you. If you open you hand and sit still, it just may settle down. Ultimately, happiness is not ever the result of external situations, and is always the result of your interpretation of the situation.

I really hope that you find some helpful ideas in this. Do check out Flow. It was one of my first exposures to these ideas. And this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_hedonism
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
"All x must involve y. Some people say that there is some x that doesn't involve y. But that isn't true because all x involve y. "

See, you are setting up a premise that can't be argued with because it is true by your definition, which may or may not actually be true.

All pleasure feels good, so there is no pleasurable thing which doesn't feel good. Okay, but how is that meaningful? Also, the words being used are somewhat imprecise, and the meanings shift. I think that is leading you to refute a claim that no one else is actually making.

I'm not sure that anyone is saying that happiness does not involve pleasant feelings. What I have heard argued is that happiness is not the same thing as pleasure. People who are saying that are not saying that there isn't a pleasing emotional state experienced as happiness, but rather that pursuit of happiness by directly pursuing pleasure is not a reliable path. You are arguing against a strawman that misses the point. The question is not whether there is an internal experience which is pleasant. That is self-evident and part of the definition of happiness. The question is whether pleasure-seeking is an effective means of its attainment.

So, eating good food and drinking good wine in surroundings which you like very much may cause considerable pleasurable sensations and emotions... but these are of a temporary nature. If one is deprived of these things, that pleasure goes away. It isn't to say that those things are done in vain, only that if one's definition of pleasure is so narrow/shallow, they will be depressed and disappointed when these things are absent. Or, even when they are present, should they fail to appreciate them or find a deeper meaning in them. This is why there are so many depressed and unhappy rich people.

Meanwhile, someone who is not directly seeking to satiate their appetites, but is instead working toward some goal... really, most any goal... but particularly ones which are creative or social... will experience pleasure as a by-product rather than an end in itself. And this kind of pleasure tends to endure despite deprivation. This is why you will find many very happy people who have nothing much at all in the way of material comforts.

This isn't to say that you must be poor to be happy, or that rich people will always end up miserable. It is that where you put your focus is what matters. If you chase pleasure, you will miss it. It sounds like maybe this is part of what is happening with you. If you disregard the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake, but instead pursue goals which you find meaningful, it will come to you. If you grasp at a butterfly, it will fly away from you. If you open you hand and sit still, it just may settle down. Ultimately, happiness is not ever the result of external situations, and is always the result of your interpretation of the situation.

I really hope that you find some helpful ideas in this. Do check out Flow. It was one of my first exposures to these ideas. And this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_hedonism

There are people who are telling me that there is a form of happiness, joy, pleasure, etc. that I can experience without my actual feelings of pleasure. Buddhists as well as other people are saying this to me and I am just simply pointing out here how that's not true. Also, I do realize that the act of pleasure-seeking can very well be detrimental at times and isn't the most effective way of achieving pleasure. I am just letting you also know here that I live life to experience it and to not just do things and tasks like some bland human robot. All good experiences can only come from our feelings of pleasure. My goal was to also do something creative such as being a composer. But I have given up composing since only my feelings of pleasure would define me, my life, and my composing dream as something genuinely good.

But as for what you said, even if we could define happiness through our thoughts and such alone even without our feelings of pleasure, the fact still remains that all our thoughts are all the same in that they are all just thoughts. They may be different in that they are different words, perceptions, etc. But it all just comes down to them all being neutral conscious experiences. There is no profound good experience whatsoever from our thoughts and everything else alone without our actual feelings of pleasure.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
There is no profound good experience whatsoever from our thoughts and everything else alone without our actual feelings of pleasure.

I think the Cistercians monks down the road from me would politely disagree.
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
I think the Cistercians monks down the road from me would politely disagree.

Well then, I think they would be wrong. If they somehow think they are right even after reading everything in my writing, then they are going to have to convince me that I'm wrong. They are going to have to pick apart all my arguments and debate with them in detail.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
Well then, I think they would be wrong. If they somehow think they are right even after reading everything in my writing, then they are going to have to convince me that I'm wrong. They are going to have to pick apart all my arguments and debate with them in detail.

Monks don't have the internet. Monks take a vow of silence. Monks dont care if you think they are wrong.

So, good luck with that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
"All x must involve y. Some people say that there is some x that doesn't involve y. But that isn't true because all x involve y. "

See, you are setting up a premise that can't be argued with because it is true by your definition, which may or may not actually be true.

In addition to my previous post that I have just replied to you, I will also say one more thing about this here. I wish to somehow get this tested and proven as either being true or false so that we will know for sure whether what I am saying is true or false. But in the meantime, all I am asking is that you keep an open mind since what I'm saying could very well be true.
 

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
I still think that there is some confusion going on with words, and that there are different concepts getting filed under the same term.

On one hand, an emotional/visceral experience which you perceive to be pleasant is perceived as pleasant by you. That is true because it is true. Tautology.

On the other hand, some people have tried to tell you that there is a pleasure which is not like anything you perceive to be pleasure. Your definition of pleasure includes every source of that pleasant emotional/visceral experience, and so since you include all instances, there is no unrelated experience. By definition, anything that falls outside your defined totality of pleasure cannot meaningfully exist.

And somewhere up in the air is the question about whether there really are people who think that there is such a thing as unpleasant pleasure, or pleasure which is not experienced as pleasant, or whatever concept it is that you feel you are successfully refuting. If there are people who do think that, there is the possibility that they are not being very precise about their claims, either, which again makes this an argument not really worth having.

If you win your point, and get people to concede, what have you won? What is the practical application of your line of reasoning? Not that all must have some, but since you were set down this road by personal need and not pure intellectual curiosity, you were probably going somewhere with it.
 

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
I still think that there is some confusion going on with words, and that there are different concepts getting filed under the same term.

On one hand, an emotional/visceral experience which you perceive to be pleasant is perceived as pleasant by you. That is true because it is true. Tautology.

On the other hand, some people have tried to tell you that there is a pleasure which is not like anything you perceive to be pleasure. Your definition of pleasure includes every source of that pleasant emotional/visceral experience, and so since you include all instances, there is no unrelated experience. By definition, anything that falls outside your defined totality of pleasure cannot meaningfully exist.

And somewhere up in the air is the question about whether there really are people who think that there is such a thing as unpleasant pleasure, or pleasure which is not experienced as pleasant, or whatever concept it is that you feel you are successfully refuting. If there are people who do think that, there is the possibility that they are not being very precise about their claims, either, which again makes this an argument not really worth having.

If you win your point, and get people to concede, what have you won? What is the practical application of your line of reasoning? Not that all must have some, but since you were set down this road by personal need and not pure intellectual curiosity, you were probably going somewhere with it.

First off, even if you did experience pleasure and perceived it as unpleasant, then that perception would be nothing more than just a neutral thought. As for pleasure feeling unpleasant, it is only feelings of suffering that feel unpleasant. Therefore, if you somehow felt unpleasant from a feeling of pleasure, then that unpleasant feeling is something different. That unpleasant feeling would not be the pleasure. It would instead be a feeling of suffering. The pleasure, however, would still feel pleasant in of itself. As I said before with the different brain functions, feelings of pleasure and feelings of suffering are also the result of different brain regions. One brain region (in this case, suffering) cannot define the other brain region (in this case, pleasure). It would be no different than the fact that our hearing cannot define our sight as hearing. Therefore, our unpleasant feelings cannot define pleasure as unpleasant either.

As for the other things you have said, you can define pleasure as being just your thoughts and everything else in life besides the actual feelings themselves. However, that still doesn't change the fact that all our thoughts and everything else in life without our actual feelings are all still neutral conscious experiences. For example, since the main conscious experience (function) of all our thoughts is "thinking" as I've said before, then it doesn't matter what thought you have. You can have a good thought, a bad thought, or the thought of pleasure. But the fact of the matter is that the experience from those thoughts without our feelings is nothing more than just some neutral "thinking" experience. You can have a good thought, a bad thought, or the thought of pleasure in your life despite your absence of feelings. But there is no difference between any of those different thoughts in terms of their conscious experience. Well, actually, they would be different in the sense that they are obviously different thoughts. But in order for them to truly be different experiences, then they would have to have different main conscious experiences. Just like how if we have the thought of hearing, then in order for that thought to be a form of hearing, then that thought would actually have to be the hearing function of our brains. Therefore, in order for our thoughts of pleasure to be pleasure, then those thoughts would have to be the function of our brains that experience the actual feelings of pleasure.

Pleasure, hearing, sight, smell, etc. are all scientific terms and are not just moral terms that we personally define in life. We can anyway. But it would be no different than restating some scientific fact of life such as the Earth revolving around the sun and saying that it would actually us living on Mars and that we, along with Mars, are revolving around the sun.
 
Last edited:

psycscientist

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
729
Reaction score
159
The OP continues posting as a means of addressing personal mental health issues, which is not the purpose of the forum and can quickly devolve into medical advice giving. OP, it sounds like you would be best served finding a professional in real life to speak with about your concerns.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
The OP continues posting as a means of addressing personal mental health issues, which is not the purpose of the forum and can quickly devolve into medical advice giving. OP, it sounds like you would be best served finding a professional in real life to speak with about your concerns.

As far as this forum is concerned, this has nothing to do with my mental health issues anymore. I am now having a debate here which is what this forum is intended for. Especially since this is a forum for psychology and such and my arguments fit right into that. Therefore, go ahead and debate against the previous post I just made if you want to and any other of my posts here for that matter.
 

psycscientist

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
729
Reaction score
159
As far as this forum is concerned, this has nothing to do with my mental health issues anymore. I am now having a debate here which is what this forum is intended for. Especially since this is a forum for psychology and such and my arguments fit right into that. Therefore, go ahead and debate against the previous post I just made if you want to and any other of my posts here for that matter.

You mentioned earlier that you wanted someone to convince you that what you believe isn't true so that you would no longer feel depressed and enraged. That's not the purpose of this forum and that is why posters are not responding to you in the way you want. My recommendation to find a professional to talk to stands.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
You mentioned earlier that you wanted someone to convince you that what you believe isn't true so that you would no longer feel depressed and enraged. That's not the purpose of this forum and that is why posters are not responding to you in the way you want. My recommendation to find a professional to talk to stands.

But we can forget about that since we are no longer focused on my mental health issues anymore. The focus now is on this debate. Therefore, I will bring up one other point that I neglected to mention in my previous post:

People are saying that we can define pleasure in any way we want in life. But let's forget all the terms, values, and morals for a moment and just focus on the functioning of the brain alone since that is what really defines pleasure here. Just like how we can define hearing or sight as something different, that still doesn't change the fact that this new version of hearing or sight we personally created is not actual hearing or sight at all. Hearing and sight can only be defined through science just like how pleasure, joy, happiness, etc. can only be defined through science. That being, they can only be defined as specific functions of the brain.

Now you could create some new personal term of your own such as the word "volf" and you could say that this is a new form of pleasure and joy. You could then say that you have volf in your life even without your feelings of pleasure. But here again, we have to forget all the terminology and personal created meanings in our lives and just focus on how the brain works. This "volf" is not any new experience for you whatsoever without your feelings of pleasure and it doesn't change the fact that the experience of all our thoughts without our feelings are all just thoughts ("thinking") as I've said before since that is the main conscious experience of all our thoughts.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921
Honestly, I find this about the most boring intellectual/philosophical debate imaginable. This might also explain the lack of engagement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MattMVS7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Honestly, I find this about the most boring intellectual/philosophical debate imaginable. This might also explain the lack of engagement.

Having the very good value of you and your life on the line here and it having the possibility of being false since pleasure might be the only truly good thing in life, I think that is something of immense importance. A debate that questions the very morality of humanity itself I think qualifies as a very interesting and important debate.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
10,437
Reaction score
4,921

JSSaint

New Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Matt, although the field of psychology has never been great concerning ontological construct, without precise definitions of "pleasure" and "good" along with very clearly stated methods for measuring them, there is no science involved. And in this case, due to the hypothesis, a significantly exact association would have to be measured between pleasure and good in order to support the general notion of "proof" of equality.
 
Top