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Hedonism ;the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
What are your general thoughts on the issue?

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zorialoki 8 Apr 30

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The highest good in my view is to help each other and so better our society,hedonism is selfish and will create many worse off so you can wallow in self pleasure.


It's a false, but perhaps an attractive idea to some people. The purpose of life is to survive and to thrive for every species, and for humans part of that thriving involves doing unto others and cooperating in order and peace MOST of the time to ensure our survival. If a high percentage of humanity did nothing but please themselves, that would not be good long term obviously. I have no problem with people treating themselves and celebrating life to the full sometimes of course. I think we need diversity and challenges in our lives to feel alive. 🙂


It's a false, but perhaps an attractive idea to some people. The purpose of life is to survive and to thrive for every species, and for humans part of that thriving involves doing unto others and cooperating in order and peace MOST of the time to ensure our survival. If a high percentage of humanity did nothing but please themselves, that would not be good long term obviously. I have no problem with people treating themselves and celebrating life to the full sometimes of course. I think we need diversity and challenges in our lives to feel alive. 🙂


I've just this one life to live...


“Fulfillment of human desire” was one of the tenets of the Buddhism I practiced.

HOWEVER having the wisdom to cultivate healthy desires was equally as important.

Happiness (fulfillment) gotten at the undesired expense of others was not considered acceptable, “true” happiness.

Still, it was in the pursuit of human desire that one is to achieve such true or higher happiness.

The desire for this true happiness is the ultimate goal, or human desire...

Ungod Level 6 Apr 30, 2018

The theory of Hedonism isn't the problem. What causes issues is when humans attempt to apply it. Beware of becoming Ayn Rand.


Spent my entire life taking care of others (younger brothers, drunken wife-beating first hubby, narcisstic user philandering second hubby.) Finally Woke The Hell up at age 66!
Stand back!


I wish that there was an option for mildly interested in hedonism.

Tara2 Level 4 Apr 30, 2018

sorry, i didn't think of that one


I am a hedonist and always have been.

I enjoy my life and seek pleasure in the simple things. I strive to do no harm, but as a petrol head, realise that there has to be a balance. So I offset my carbon footprint with better choices elsewhere.

I love my work - I'm fortunate to have made choices which allow me to enjoy a stress free job which pays enough for me to live on. I can't do everything I want as it doesn't pay enough, but that is the trade off.

Hedonism need not be selfish, and indeed, should not be selfish.

I believe that everybody should be free to do what they want, when they want, with whoever they want. BUT. And this is a big but - If the person or people affected are not free to make the same choice, then don't do it. We are social animals, so to make things work we need to work together. I also find a simple pleasure in being nice to others, regardless of how rude they are to me (self-righteousness can feel really good!)

If you are doing things you have to (study/work) to make you unhappy, then you are getting something desperately wrong.


I’ve been studying Epicurus and his is a hedonistic philosophy. But it promotes a balance where “enlightenment” is achived for a moment when stress, “evil,” is removed.


Our silly moralistic views make hedonism into something ugly. If people can have fun and enjoy our very short lives then why not? Why make a big deal out of it?


If it feels good do it, as long as you hurt no one else in the process. You get handed enough pain in life. There is certainly nothing wrong with finding some pleasure to create balance. ?

What if hurting people is what makes you feel good? What does hedonism say about that scenario?

@TheMiddleWay What part of not hurting people did you not understand? ?

@TheMiddleWay If a person is sadistic by nature they have more issues than any theology will ever help

Hedonism makes no claim about not hurting people though. It's only claim is "if it feels good, do it".

Would I be correct then that you don't abide by hedonism?


Hedonism is not theology though. You posed the question, I'm merely following it to it's logical conclusion

@zorialoki They should look around for someone who desires to be whipped...they are seeking enjoyment in Their own way, right?

@zorialoki what does theology supposed to do to help I thought part of theology push to study about an imaginary friend or friends or something that you don't see

@TheMiddleWay - Sometimes an “ism” is not a way or philosophy with typical “rights and wrongs”.

Atheism is not a philosophy but a DESCRIPTION of philosophy.

Hedonism is a pursuit, if I understand things correctly. The pursuit of pleasure.

Whether or not that causes another’s pain is not an issue.

@Sticks48, @TheMiddleWay You can also find someone who likes to be hurt!

Dysfunctional couples seem to often do this - one quirk fits another’s need.

Some people like to control, some like to be controlled, for example.

But most of us look down on controlling or being controlled in a relationship as something quite unacceptable!

@Ungod l think you are one of those people who likes to hear themselves type. ☺

@Sticks48 You’re a snob...

@Ungod You're a bore, l would rather be a snob.


I think this is a sophomoric belief system. The philosophical notion that whether something is right or wrong should be governed by proper execution of language, and it should not be mistranslated into self-destructive notions such as hedonism.

I do not see hedonism as either destructive nor the runaway train you are claiming it to be

@zorialoki Interesting. I would like to know what thoughts on hedonism you have, then.

@zorialoki - It’s just the pursuit of pleasure...


There is Yearly Hedo resort spot / Meetup, but we haven't been able to go yet. On the bucket list.

I have always wanted to go there also

I’ll be sure to HEDON over to the next one...


My health and energy isn't up for the stresses of hedonism.
I see little value in living like a selfish pig or like a Spartan monk.
What is it with such extremes anyway, is it so hard to just be normalish?

What may be normal for one person may not be normal to others.

What about being “normal” prevents the pursuit of pleasure (hedonism)?

If it's normal for you then it isn’t hedonistic. So your point is lost on me.


We all enjoy our creature comforts and it seems the more we age we don't get older we 'age' ) the worse that becomes. However, we also don't question the cost of that Hedonism which is high. Food choices is a hedonistic, sensuous pleasure which can be very high if we eat meats. Climate control for our homes is also often based on Hedonism. The list goes on. For me it is a balancing act. Be informed and find ways to compromise.

Compromise is always a good choice

Can’t you get pleasure from healthy foods or creating a healthy climate in the home?

@Ungod Of course but I view hedonism as somewhat negative.

@JackPedigo - Getting pleasure from healthy food is “somewhat negative”???

@JackPedigo, @zorialoki - I’d say compromise is SOMETIMES a good choice!

@Ungod Depends on what one defines as "healthy". Meat eaters think vegetarians can't be healthy unless they have abundant animal protein. This is another complicated issue many of us want to make simple.


I am and have always been a Hedonist. I strive in all that I do to do/cause no harm.


I agree it is A good and proper aim, just not THE aim.
There are lots of things that do not derive pleasure yet must be done, such as studying or physical labor.
Engaging in pure hedonism is also very one sided such that if we view sex as the higher good and proper aim of human life, then rape is morally justified under a hedonist worldview

I don't think any ideology justifies rape or murder regardless of a persons viewpoint. By operating on your theory you are assuming that people would lose any direction of moral compass and total chaos would ensue.

Rape is not hedonism for the raped...


But at present we aren't discussing any or all, merely the tenets of hedonism. And yes, I am assuming that if we abide by a strictly hedonist philosophy, chaos would ensue for the reasons stated above


This is why hedonism is a failed philosophy, when my pleasure is not your pleasure yet the philosophy advocates I follow my pleasure since I can't be held responsible for your pleasure (as I understand hedonism that is; I admit I'm not extremely well read on it)

@TheMiddleWay I think it has the permission we're supposed to have the permission of both parties or of all parties but if it's something that hurts people that would be wrong I'm going to have to talk to my imaginary friend about that!! I'm just kidding

@TheMiddleWay - I don’t know if hedonism is a philosophy or just a particular direction one moves in. A pursuit.
People call atheism a philosophy but it isn’t.

I also don’t know what the success or failure of such a view would be.

But it’s easy enough to claim that “true” hedonism means something like pleasure pursued and attained, but not at the expense of others.

Many pleasures are at the expense of others, like wealth is often gained at the expense of the poverty of others, yet wealth in and of itself doesn’t at all have to be a bad thing.

“True” hedonism (or wealth) described as being something gained without causing undesirable harm to others, doesn’t seem like a bad thing...


I'm commenting on the question as posed is on the stated definition of hedonism above. I'm not commenting on any other definition or view of what hedonism is since I'm not well read up on it.

Thus based purely off the definition presented in the question, the pursuit of pleasure by one person can lead to that person justifying morally ambiguous behavior, like rape or murder, merely by claiming that it is justified under a hedonist philosophy that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good I can acheive.


If there is only one coin left and we both desire it to satisfy our pleasure, then what?

Even if we look at hedonism as applying to the collective, we see that given that the collectives desires cannot be satisfied simultaneously in a world of limited resources, then hedonism is an untenable philosophy.

"But it’s easy enough to claim that “true” hedonism means something like pleasure pursued and attained, but not at the expense of others"

The stated definition above says nothing about the expense of others nor "true" vs. "false" hedonism. It only says that my seeking my pleasure is the highest goal of me as a human.

As such, if I have one coin that I plan on spending on a candy bar and you need that coin for any other reason, hedonism dictates that I should always buy the candy bar since I'm pursuing my pleasure and my desires and it's not my responsibility to pursue your pleasures or your desires for you.

" Let’s switch it up and talk about anarchy,"
Start a thread on anarchy and maybe I'll join you there.
This thread is about hedonism as per the OP.

@TheMiddleWay - You can take pleasure in giving the coin to someone else.

It is a higher, even more enjoyable feeling to give pleasure to someone else.
Parents realize this. Children don’t.
But if you’ve dealt with children, you know there is the first level when they want everything for themselves, and that brings them pleasure.

Later on they are taught to share and enjoy that pleasure of friendship.
They hopefully grow further and learn the pleasure of giving to and doing for others...

Parents hopefully learn that there is greater pleasure in denying their own instant gratification for the pleasure and gratification of their children.
Later they gain the pleasures of having a happy family and children who will HOPEFULLY care for them in old age...

You’re free to greedily snatch up everything you can for yourself. There’s definetly pleasure in that.

But like in making love, it’s actually a pleasurable thing to please someone else.

Novices don’t realize this and they indeed get pleasure by selfishly seeking and fulfilling their own desire.
More advanced lovers realize the importance of pleasing their partner.
They both then get even more pleasure than both novices.

Like so many things in life, hedonism has more than the one dimension of self pleasure and instant gratification.

What you are talking about is sheer greed.

"You can take pleasure in giving the coin to someone else."
That's altruism, not hedonism.
You can see this by taking stock of whose pleasure is more important: the altruist will state that the pleasure of not using the coin on the self is higher than the pleasure of using the coin for themselves; the hedonist will state that the pleasure of using the coin for themselves is higher than the pleasure of using the coin on others.
In other words, I don't think you'll find many hedonists that were considered altruistic nor many altruists that were considered hedonists.

"What you are talking about is sheer greed."
I agree. I think another way of looking at what I'm saying is that hedonism naturally leads to greed.

@TheMiddleWay - There are a LOT of hedonistic philosophies. Since the Greeks at least.
I can only suggest you look into them.

Mankind has been philosophizing about hedonism for millinea. There are many branches and they fully address the concerns you are putting forth.
You’re not the first person on earth to think of these gs!

Hedonism is not mere greed. But, you are setting up a strawman by defining hedonism as greed, and then going on about the evils of greed.

Human life and philosophy is not so one-dimensional...


It's not a strawman if the words are synonymous with each other

"Hedonism is a synonym for greed. Sometimes you can use "Hedonism" instead a noun "Greed"."

"Greed is a synonym for hedonism. Sometimes you can use "Greed" instead a noun "Hedonism"."


"There are many branches and they fully address the concerns you are putting forth."
Cyranism maintains that altruism is pleasurable yet reject knowledge as pleasureable.
Epicurians put forth that sex and rich foods are not pleasurable and only the simple life is pleasurable.
Yangism emphasized that only the self matters in matters of pleasure
Christianism promoted that serving god is the highest pleasure.

So depending on which branch of hedonism you follow, you will reject knowledge, reject sex, derive pleasure only through worship of god, or be a narcissist.

None of these seem good options which is why hedonism is not viewed in a positive light in modern culture as it is a flawed philosophy since pursuing pleasure as the highest aim of human life is unbalanced, unachievable, and unsustainable.

First LEARN what hedonism is, then we can have a discussion...

I've learned what hedonism is and agree with the four article below, ranging from Plato to Mora, that find it a failed strategy.
Please present the evidence of YOUR learning.

" If hedonistic theories identified pleasure and pain as merely two important elements, instead of the only important elements of what they are describing, then they would not be nearly as unpopular as they all are. "

"The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, refers to the practical difficulties encountered in the pursuit of pleasure. Unfortunately for the hedonist, constant pleasure-seeking may not yield the most actual pleasure or happiness in the long run—or even in the short run, when consciously pursuing pleasure interferes with experiencing it."

Plato's Critique of Hedonism in the "Philebus

A Critique of the Idea of Happiness and a Refutation of Hedonism

@TheMiddleWay - I don’t need to present anything to you. Just learn.

Just because you agree with something, that doesn’t mean you know enough about it...

Nor does telling someone "just learn it" mean you know enough about it either. 😉
So people viewing this thread will see my evidence against hedonism and no evidence from you for it.

I'm perfectly okay with that and trust you are as well..

@TheMiddleWay You are certainly free to interpret hedonism anyway you like.

Just learn what others have to say about hedonism, instead of just seeking out those who agree with you.



Alumni of Hedosism III, Negril, Jamaica

I had heard of hedonism II, was not aware they were up to III

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