My 4 Scientific Arguments Proving HedonismHedonism 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).