Jason Da Silva on the Hedonistic Imperative
I largely agree with DeepThinker.
Having been through a terminal cancer diagnosis, and having chosen to give up all the foods that tasted “good” to me, and stop drinking alcohol, because that was what the available evidence suggested delivered the greatest probability of survival, I am clear that pleasure (hedonism) is “simply” (though there isn’t much about it that is simple – it is very complex) an evolutionary system that serves as a general purpose reward system, used by many other systems and subsystems.
It has amazed me how many people would rather die than apply intention to overriding those systems.
I am clear that many of those systems are not appropriate to survival in the contexts we now find ourselves in.
It seems there are three major types of systemic influence on our existence – causal systems, chaotic system, and choice with infinite variation possible in the mix of those dimensions in any instant.
Life and liberty are my highest values. All dimensions!
And there is a notion that is real – pain is required – suffering is optional.
One can deal with a lot of pain if one accepts the signal for what it is (an indication of a malfunctioning system) and doesn’t resist it, or give it any more meaning or significance than that.
Doing that I have traveled long distances with much pain, without any drugs, when the dictates of survival required it.
And I am not any fan of pain – I much prefer pleasure, and I prefer life and freedom even more.
And I am clear that freedom means working within what reality allows. Some boundaries are more flexible than others, and more flexible at some times than at others, they can be very context sensitive.