ETHICS - Hedonist Ethics

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Hedonist Ethics


Hedonist Ethics - John William Waterhouse - Floura

(PD) John William Waterhouse - Flora

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2009-2020 - updated August 23, 2020



"Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil." - Plato

A brief definition of Hedonist Ethics: "A classification within western philosophy that believes that pleasure is the only value, and is therefore the measure and standard of ethics, morality, right, and wrong."

As lightly explained in the Metaethics article, the emotional sensations of happiness and pleasure are the end-products of a mind that has subconsciously summed an analysis, and the conclusion is then consciously perceived as the emotion of happiness and/or pleasure. If all men's subconscious reasonings were fully accurate in their knowledge and manner of analysis, then perhaps the end-product of pleasure might be evidence of rightness, but man does not always reason correctly, and man most commonly uses faulty information to base his reasonings upon, which renders all but the most rare of conclusions to be invalid, which in turns invalidates Hedonism's claim that happiness can be a standard to judge behavior.

The idea, of happiness and pleasure being a measure of morality, is generally limited to western philosophy. Many men have promoted the Hedonistic belief in pleasure, from Socrates and Aristotle, to Jeremy Bentham and John Mill, and on to others in the present day. Perhaps the distinguishing difference between western philosophy, eastern philosophy, and various religions is that western philosophy tends to present happiness as the goal, whereas other philosophies such as Zen Buddhism and spiritual Christianity view happiness and bliss as end-products of proper behavior. There did exist, of course, various individuals within all philosophies and religions who taught opposite ideals, but generally, the product of each philosophy gives evidence of by what method of reasoning was applied within each philosophy. As western philosophy might claim that a person's happiness is measured as rightness, eastern philosophies might claim that happiness is the result of rightness, or in other words, western philosophy appears to claim "be happy, and you will be behaving correctly because happiness is in itself correct behavior," whereas eastern philosophy may state "behave correctly, and you will be happy because the correct behavior produces happiness."

An error within western philosophy's Hedonistic Ethics is that the topic is approached while under the belief that men share similar sensations of emotions. The sensation of disbelief in gods by an atheist is a sensation structured upon specific intellectual components that are summed to create the belief, but never can the atheist's sensation of belief be of a similar sensation as what a theist experiences within his manner of belief, which necessitates that no man's measure of happiness can rule over another man's measure of happiness, which in turn necessitates that happiness itself can never be a standard to measure ethics, morals, right, or wrong.




It is a form of disgrace for a man, who without experience in a topic, to claim that his interpretation of the topic might be valid. Within the laws of Nature, the very laws that created Creation, there exists the law that nothing can come into existence, nor remain existing, without the thing being composed of three or more components. Happiness exists as an end-product of three or more components, and since it should be obvious to all conscious minds that no two individuals can share identical thoughts and life experiences, then, therefore, no two men can share an identical form of happiness, and if no two men can share identical forms of happiness, then never can Hedonist Ethics be a viable philosophy.

For the man who has exited his arm-chair, and who has invested his life into the learning of the various philosophies and manners of life experiences, that man is aware of the components that combine to create specific states of sensations of belief and of happiness, and never can a rational man of experienced understanding believe that the pleasure of one man can become the standard for another man. Only the slothful man who has no firsthand experience, no knowledge of the topic, no understanding of the topic, no willpower to learn of the topic, and too little intellectual capacity to analyze the topic, will he claim that the shallowness of his personal interpretation of life has sufficient depth to define and to declare what all men should accept as being ethical, moral, right, and wrong. Hedonist Ethics is as a creation of slothfulness.

There does exist a psychological release within atheism that creates a form of happiness and pleasure, but there also exist countless other variations of happiness and pleasure that the atheist can never learn of. The bliss within Zen's satori is unique of itself and of the individual, as are the various states of piety and righteousness within religions. If happiness were the goal in life as many atheists have claimed, including John Mill, then spiritual Christianity might become the desired manner of achieving the greatest intensity of happiness, but due to the atheist being ignorant of the rule of three, as well as the laws of Nature, then the atheist cannot fathom how it might be possible for a man to experience such rapturous joy and pleasure within a religion, but still, it is not the religion that creates happiness, but rather it is the man becoming the favored qualities of the religion. One's inward qualities create the happiness, and if happiness should be the goal, then the goal should be approached through striving to achieve quality in one's self, which is not a goal known to Hedonist ethics.




Update August 23, 2020: As an expansion of the above, if an individual were to selfishly only aim for self-pleasure, then that individual would not give sizable weight to anyone else's pleasure, including the individual's family and offspring. Within most every measure the individual would be inferior, destructive, and cause suffering for everyone around him.

The flappers desired pleasure, the beatniks desired pleasure, the hippies desired pleasure, the 'back to Nature' crowd desired pleasure, the yuppies desired pleasure, and now their children are on the streets rioting for pleasure. Today's riots and terrorism do not merely harm all living beings today, but will also harm all future generations. The rioters have now permanently damaged their children's lives, and the negative effects will be carried through future generations. Selfishness is an act of low intelligence.

John Mill may have been given the title of a child prodigy, but if he did indeed believe that pleasure is the standard of value, then his intelligence was of no higher value than that of the fiction author's Ayn Rand who also believed "Now in what manner does a human being discover the concept of "value"? By what means does he first become aware of the issue of "good or evil" in its simplest form? By means of the physical sensations of pleasure or pain."

'...behavior it custom perform him cheerful, respectful, him place respect/honor, love, him place parents pursue, die according-to pursue lifetime, pursue die according-to pursue exist/survive filial piety him arrive {indeed-also}' (draft portion of Zhong Yong #19). The so-called 'pleasure' of Aristotle's, Plato's, Bentham's, Mill's, and Rand's is that of tiny people. To honor and respect ancestors and descendants enables a different polarity of pleasure, a creative and harmonious polarity that appears to have never existed within western philosophies, and most certainly does not exist within the educated children rioting in the streets.