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Life has no meaning other than our own pleasure and suffering

HomeForumsEmotional MasteryLife has no meaning other than our own pleasure and suffering

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  • #67585
    Matt
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    This is a detailed explanation that explains some more things that are not included in my other explanations and is something very important for you to read in order to try and convince you. It has some of the same things, but also has different arguments and also corrects some contradictions and/or logical fallicies that might have been presented in my other explanations. Also, even Stephen Hawking himself says that philosophy is dead and that science is all there is. My belief is known as “Scientism” (as well as “Materialism” and “Naturalism”) which state that life has no meaning and has no good or bad meaning and that everything in life is “neutral” (neither good or bad) and is just a bunch of meaningless atoms and particles. However, this only applies to all things in life besides our own pleasure, pain, and despair as I’m going to explain here (which are the only good and bad things in of themselves independent of all other neutral things in life). They are even independent of neutral ideas (thoughts) such as ideas others might state such as that life is not about pleasure and seeking only it for yourself will bring consequences to you and everyone else and will even bring you and others the opposite of pleasure. So my version of those beliefs quoted above is that everything in this universe besides pleasure, pain, and despair are meaningless (neither good or bad) while pleasure is the only good thing and that pain and despair are the only bad things despite the fact that these things are also the functioning of atoms and particles. This is because pleasure in of itself always feels good no matter what and no matter what meaning you attribute to your pleasure while pain and despair will always feel bad in of themselves no matter what and no matter what meaning you attribute to your pain and despair. They can also never feel like neutral (neither good or bad) sensations such as touch, smell, etc. So they stand alone as the only good and bad things themselves in life separate from everything else and separate from the atoms and particles of other things in life that cannot define our pleasure as being neutral or bad or our pain and despair as being neutral or good. Therefore, good is pleasure, bad is pain and despair, and neutral (neither good or bad) is everything else in life besides our own pleasure, pain, and despair. Also, what I mean by pleasure is all good feelings including love. I do not mean only a limited spectrum of good feelings when referring to pleasure. All feelings of pleasure are equal and none is inferior to the other. They can only be lesser in comparison if they are lesser in terms of the activity of the parts of our brain that elicit these states of pleasure. To conclude this introduction, I would like to say that I am a hedonist. Hedonism is the belief that pleasure is the only good thing in life. However, my version of hedonism is a bit different in that only your own pleasure is good from your perspective while the pleasure of others is only good from their own perspectives and that you are free to harm others.

    I would like to say that for you to be offended, irritated, or angry about the fact that my personal issue is presented in a long scientific explanatory (or maybe perhaps philosophical) form or that you are angry, irritated, or offended by what I’m saying here for some other reason, then that would mean that you are not a full compassionate person in that you do not have full compassion towards my issues and wish to help me out. Imagine if there was a person who was very depressed and said “I am very depressed because I feel that one is inferior and worthless and that one’s life is inferior and worthless without his/her pleasure and I wish to talk about my issues here regardless of how long what is that I have to say,” would you then make this person feel even more depressed and rejected by scorning upon him/her and being offended by what he/she has to say? Or would you instead not scorn upon this person and try and help him/her out? Therefore, I will freely speak my mind regardless if it offends you or not. (NOTE: This whole issue with being offended is not directed towards people who are nice and wish to help me out such as my parents and/or mental health professionals or even some other people because I know that they would be kind to me in trying to help me out with this issue and won’t be offended at all by what it is I’m saying here).

    You are free to harm and take advantage of others as long as it brings you the most pleasure in life because you are only in your own brain and you are not in the minds of others and you cannot feel their pleasure, pain, or despair. Therefore, it is only your own pleasure in life that makes you a good person and makes your life good and worth living. So this is why you can harm others and you would still be a good person (since pleasure is the only thing that defines “good”). The pain, despair, and pleasure of others is neither good nor bad from your perspective since you are only in your own mind and it is only your own pain and despair that is bad and it is only your own pleasure that is good. So even if you felt bad in harming others and giving them pain and despair, it would still only be your own experienced pain and despair from that situation that would be bad from your perspective. Now I need to say something very important here which is that I am a compassionate and caring person and would never harm or take advantage of others despite my personal beliefs here. There is a difference between a person’s belief as opposed to who they are as a person. Just because a person has a belief that is perceived as bad from other people does not also make this person a bad person as well. From the perspective of who I am as a person, the suffering of others would certainly matter to me and I would feel bad in causing others harm. But from the perspective of my “scientific” beliefs (which are perspectives separate from who I am as a person), the suffering of others would actually not matter from this perspective and that since I feel that it would matter from my own perspective, then I would be delusional. I have scientific reasons to back up what I’m saying here. If, let’s pretend, that you were an empathetic person, but had a belief similar to mine that you believed has science to back it up, would you then not talk about it with others here just like how I am doing here? And would that make you less of a compassionate and empathetic person for having talked about it and for also having this belief as well? No, it wouldn’t!

    Also, many people obtain pain and despair from witnessing the pain and despair of others and then claim that there is no way for the suffering of those other people to possibly be neutral from their own perspectives since these people obviously find the suffering of those others to be painful and depressing themselves. Therefore, they claim that the suffering of others really is something bad from their own perspectives. First off, as for feeling pain and despair from witnessing the pain and despair of others, it’s only your own pain and despair that is bad. What goes on in the brain is that neutral (neither good or bad) stimuli from your perspective (such as you observing the suffering of others) is perceived as something not neutral (something as bad) which then sends a message to the brain that allows you to experience despair and possibly pain. Just because something is perceived as bad does not make it bad from your own perspective or from anyone else’s for that matter. Again, only your own pain and despair itself is bad since our thoughts and other things themselves are not our pain and despair itself (they are not bad). And, of course, the pain and despair that those other people are experiencing is only bad from their own perspectives regardless of how you or even them perceive it through thoughts alone. The same concept applies for only your own pleasure being good from your perspective. Now why is it that I say that everything in life besides our own pleasure, pain, and despair is nothing but neutral (meaningless and neither good or bad) stimuli? It would be because of what I’ve just already stated in my introduction which would be because of materialism, naturalism, as well as scientism.

    If you are going to say something such as that we can feel the pleasure and suffering of others with a statement such as that “Yes, we can. They are called mirror neurons. Your brain makes you feel the feelings of others to some degree,” this would be false because it would only still be your own mirror neurons and your own reaction and experience. The only way for your experience to be of someone else’s is if you were to somehow switch minds in which you would now be in this person’s mind and that they would be in yours. Also, there are many many different types of feelings of pleasure in addition to the main ones such as motivation, love, etc. because there are even many different types of feelings of motivation, love, etc. So even if you were to feel motivated from knowing that someone else is experiencing motivation, it would still only be your own feeling of motivation that you would be experiencing while the person would be experiencing his/her own feeling of motivation.

    As for the pain, pleasure, and despair of others either being good or bad from your perspective, that would just be nothing more than a thought (your own created meaning). Thoughts can tell us that things are good and bad. But only in the sense that they are still nothing more than neutral words, sounds, images, etc. Also, it doesn’t matter whether your pleasure causes you harm or others harm, it still stands alone by itself separate from everything else in life as objectively good in of itself.

    Also, since all atoms and particles are separate from the atoms and particles of our pleasure, then to say that harming someone in order to give you pleasure makes your pleasure bad, this would be false because the combined atoms and particles of the person suffering and other things do not have the same properties of the combined atoms and particles as a whole that make up our pleasure. It would be no different than saying that, since the combined atoms and particles of a piece of metal possess a certain function and properties (which, in this case, we would call “bad”), then that also makes the combined atoms and particles of other materials the same as well (that this also makes them “bad”) which is false. Concepts such as good and bad (aside from our experience of pleasure, pain, and despair), these are the subjective thoughts themselves that create these concepts in the brain and are the functioning of the neurons and other things themselves responsible for the creation of these concepts in the brain that do have scientific properties. And, of course, they are also experiences in of themselves that are objectively good and bad and also have scientific properties (which would be the functioning of the neurons and other things that give us pleasure, pain, and despair).

    If you are asking how concepts such as value, worth, and beauty can be the functioning of the neurons and other particles that come up with these concepts that can be measured in the future, what I would have to say to that would be that God, in terms of actually being someone or something existing in reality, does not exist at all. But God, in terms of a concept (a thought) does exist as the functioning of our neurons and other particles that have created this concept. But as of now, there might be no way to measure the activity and such of those particles and neurons (which would be measuring the amount of this concept that this person has). But in the future we might which would mean that we would be able to measure the amount of concepts such as how much value, worth, and beauty someone has.

    Now if we were to have no knowledge or thoughts and we were to experience pleasure, our pleasure would still feel good to us despite us not attributing any value to it which means that pleasure in of itself is always objectively good. Same thing for pain and despair being objectively bad. So our thoughts, values, and everything else in life besides pain, despair, and pleasure are all neutral since they do not tell us that anything is “good” or “bad” (they are not the “good” and “bad” messages in the brain). Thoughts can tell us that things are good or bad. But only in the sense that these thoughts are all nothing but neutral.

    Things such as materialism and naturalism state that everything in life is just a bunch of atoms and particles that are meaningless (neither good or bad). This would only hold true for things besides pain, pleasure, and despair. Pain, pleasure, and despair are objectively good and bad in of themselves despite the fact that they are also the functioning of atoms and particles. If you are going to ask how can pleasure, pain, and despair be objectively good or bad when they are nothing but a bunch of atoms, molecules, etc.? The answer to that would be that they just are. It is a scientific fact that the different functioning of atoms and such yields different things and different materials. Therefore, the functioning of the atoms and particles in our brains have yielded experiences that are purely good and bad in of themselves (which are pleasure, despair, and pain). If you are going to ask how can pleasure always be good and pain/despair always be bad when they are nothing but a bunch of atoms, molecules, etc.? The answer to that would be that they just are. It is a scientific fact that the different functioning of atoms and particles yields different things and different materials. Therefore, the functioning of the atoms and particles in our brains have yielded experiences that are purely good and bad in of themselves (which are pleasure, despair, and pain). To ask how can those things always be good or bad would be no different than looking at a piece of metal and asking “How can this piece of metal always be metal in the first place since it is nothing but the functioning of atoms, molecules, etc.?” The answer to that would, again, be that it just is. In the exact same sense of how the atoms and particles in our brains yields consciousness, since pleasure is a part of our conscious because our conscious is all areas of our brain that give us experiences, then pleasure being “good” refers to “consciousness” (that “good” and “bad” are our consciousness). So how we would find the amount of “good” in a person’s brain would be to measure their amount of conscious activity that allows them to experience pleasure (the conscious activity of the pleasure centers of his/her brain). Same thing with bad. Though with a feeling such as hopelessness, it would be different because what yields the experience of hopelessness would be the shutting down of the activity of the atoms and particles that give us the experience of pleasure.

    Although pain and pleasure might be one function as a whole because some might say that we cannot separate our pain, thoughts, knowledge, etc. from our pleasure because all functioning of our brains is all one thing as a whole. So if that’s the case, then what I should be saying here is that the state of mind we would be in without our ability to experience pleasure would be a neutral state of mind as opposed to being in a state of mind in which we have pleasure (which would be a good state of mind) or in a state of mind in which we have pain and/or despair (which would be a bad state of mind). This neutral state of mind I just stated would still be neutral (neither good or bad) regardless of how much we use that neutral state of mind in helping others and doing great things in our lives and it would make everything neutral from our perspectives no matter what and no matter how much we viewed things in life as being good anyway. Why? Because, as I’ve stated before, I believe in things like materialism and naturalism which state that everything is meaningless function of atoms, molecules, etc. that is neither good or bad. However, the experience of pleasure and suffering are the only good and bad things as I’ve been explaining despite the fact that these things are also the functioning of atoms, molecules, etc.
    But if you were in both a state of mind in which you had pleasure (a good state of mind) as well as pain (a bad state of mind), you might then be asking would you then be a good or bad person? The answer to that would be that the pleasure and pain would cancel each other out in terms of good and bad. So if you had an equal amount of pleasure and pain going on at the same time, you would actually be in a neutral state of mind. But if you had more pleasure than the amount of pain you are also experiencing at the same time, then you would be in a good state of mind (just not as good as if you didn’t have the pain to begin with). Same thing applies if you had more pain than pleasure in which you would be in a bad state of mind.

    Now there is a difference between being a lesser person and being a person who is less good. Your conscious is what makes you “you,” so to lose a part of your conscious would make you a lesser person than who you were before with more conscious brain functioning and in comparison to those who do have more conscious brain functioning. So since pleasure is a part of your conscious experience, losing that would make you a lesser person. As for measuring how good of a person you are, we would measure that by measuring the amount of pleasure you are experiencing at the moment. Moments where you have little pleasure are where you are not a very good person in comparison to who you were with more pleasure and in comparison to others who do have more pleasure while moments of greater pleasure would make you more of a good person. As for the difference between being a lesser person and being a less good person, being a lesser person comes from also losing other conscious functioning in addition to your pleasure while being less of a good person can only come from losing your pleasure (since pleasure is the only thing that defines “good”). Also, consciousness does not just simply refer to knowledge, thoughts, memory, etc. It is all functioning in our brains that are experienced. Therefore, this would include pleasure since pleasure is also an experience. Also, the conscious of many people does make up for other losses in other parts of the conscious. However, there are exceptions in which there are people whose conscious does not make up for these losses. Therefore, these types of people would forever be the lesser and/or less good people.

    Now if you are going to say something such as that “I’m not sure that’s a scientific claim. For a start, an arguably more scientific definition of a person is as homo sapiens. I think either a person is a member of the species or not. I’d also have to say that I think there’s a lot of difficulties with the concept of consciousness and even greater difficulties trying to use it as a conceptual tool in thinking about things like human rights,” then what I would have to say to that would be that what would define a person as a homo sapiens in the first place would be his/her conscious as well because you cannot take out the mind and just say that the body itself is a complete homo sapiens. And even if this person’s conscious didn’t define him/her as a homo sapiens, then we can look at a specific grouping of atoms/particles that defines him/her as a homo sapiens and find a similar grouping of atoms/particles in this person’s conscious that are exactly the same and say that this specific grouping of atoms/particles in this person’s conscious defines him/her as a homo sapiens.

    Now how much something matters to you and how much value, worth, and beauty it has to you (how good it is to you) all solely depends on your own level of pleasure in life. If you have no pleasure, then life itself as well as everything and everyone will have no value, worth, and beauty whatsoever to you and will not matter to you at all no matter what you think otherwise. If you have little pleasure, then things will only matter little to you. But if you have a lot of pleasure, then things will matter greatly to you and the things and actions that give you the most pleasure would matter the most to you (again, even if it is harming or taking advantage of others). Actually, as I stated before, none of these things matter anyway and all these things besides pleasure and suffering are all neutral. That is, providing that thoughts/meanings and pleasure are two separate things. But if they are actually one thing only when it comes to experiencing pleasure (that our thoughts/meanings actually become the pleasure itself only when we experience pleasure), then these thoughts/meanings would be good (would matter) to us. So if you are then going to ask if that’s the case, then why can’t our pleasure be neutral or bad since neutral and bad thoughts can also become our pleasure? The answer to that would be that, in this case, there is no separation between pleasure and our neutral or “bad” thoughts (bad thoughts also being neutral anyway).

    I stated before that pleasure feels good which is an objective scientific fact and I stated that the reason for that is because different functioning of atoms, molecules, etc. yields different things and also yields our experience of pleasure which always feels good in of itself. So to say that our pleasure can be bad or neutral would be no different than saying that a piece of metal (or in this case, pleasure) can be a different type of material entirely (that pleasure can be something different such as something good or bad) just because a majority of atoms/other particles that make up this piece of metal (the atoms/other particles that make up our pleasure in our brains) has some inherit characteristics of other types of material (or in this case, the characteristics of the functioning of atoms/other particles responsible for our “bad” and neutral thoughts). Therefore, pleasure can never be something different and will always be good in of itself no matter what while all thoughts/meanings and everything else in life besides pleasure and suffering are all neutral.

    Now you mattering to others and them having value and worth towards you and viewing you as a beautiful person does NOT give you or your life value, worth, and beauty because, once again, you will be and forever will be in your own mind and it will only be your own pleasure that gives you these things. Other people cannot somehow magically “project” their mindset and their value, worth, and beauty towards you onto you.

    I am now going to post another convincing argument here which is that good and bad can only be defined in terms of evolution. Pleasure is what encourages our survival and this is the only thing that makes pleasure good. Bad feelings such as fear may also encourage our survival in the sense of escaping from danger, but it’s still bad because it is evolution’s “warning.” So “warning” (things such as pain and despair) in terms of evolution is the only thing that is bad while “encouraged survival” in the sense of us being encouraged in benefiting our species is the only thing that is good. Knowledge and thoughts alone may be used to make us do great things in life, help others, and benefit our survival, but these knowledge and thoughts are not the same as our “encouraged survival” (which is our pleasure). Thoughts and knowledge do not “encourage” us. They only merely make us do things in the sense of being neutral and our lives being neutral from our perspectives without our pleasure. Again, all things separate from our pleasure (such as the survival and benefiting of others) does not matter from our perspectives and is not good at all. Only our pleasure is good.

    As for things such as rats pleasuring themselves to death through electrocutions, it’s not the survival and benefiting of us that is good or bad (if they are things aside from our own pleasure and suffering). It’s only our encouragement to benefit our survival (pleasure) that is the only thing defined as good in terms of evolution (even if it is used in not benefiting our survival and even harming ourselves and others). Again, knowledge and thoughts alone do not “encourage” us. And the idea of obtaining more pain from experiencing pleasure is just a thought that is neutral. So the idea of the rats not surviving is neither good or bad nor the idea of them experiencing suffering and pleasure is anything good or bad either. Only the suffering itself that the rats were experiencing was bad and it is only the pleasure itself that the rats experienced that was good.

    As for from whose point of view would it be considered that their pleasure was actually good and that their suffering was bad? It would only be from their own perspectives. You might then be saying that this doesn’t make it objective, but this is false. Feelings of pleasure are objectively good in of themselves for everyone while feelings of pain and despair are objectively bad for everyone regardless of our own personal thoughts (our own created meanings) regarding these feelings being good or bad for us because our thoughts are completely independent of them actually feeling objectively good and bad in of themselves. Or you could look at it from the perspective of science itself. For example, the scientific fact that the Earth revolves around the sun is not something subjective. We can have different created meanings regarding that such as that this is good or bad, but that still doesn’t change the scientific fact that the Earth revolves around the sun. So only our thoughts are subjective while the feelings themselves are objective.

    Now if you think there is a difference between something being objectively good and bad (our pleasure and suffering) in terms of the perspective of science as opposed to them being good and bad from our perspectives, there is not. Both say that the feelings of pleasure and suffering are the objectively good and bad things only from our own perspectives (which would be our own pleasure and suffering) while the pleasure and suffering of others from our own perspectives is still neither good or bad (neutral). If you are going to say something such as that this still makes our own feelings subjectively good or bad, I will then ask you what would be the difference between saying that it’s a scientific fact that our minds are what they are and how they work despite the fact that they are subjective organs with different wiring and neuronal activities? Same thing with our feelings of pleasure and suffering since they are what they are (which would be good and bad) despite the fact that our thoughts and the activity in our brains are subjective. So this would be objective in the sense that our brains are what they are and is how they work in terms of science and it would also be subjective in the sense that the activity and wiring of our brains is different for each individual. Same thing applies for pleasure and suffering being the only good and bad things in life. It’s subjective only in the sense that the activity of the neurons and other particles that elicit states of pleasure and suffering are different for everyone (yielding different levels and forms of “good” and “bad”). But it is objective in the sense that pleasure and suffering are the only good and bad things. So pleasure and suffering being the only good and bad things in life is both objective in one scientific sense and is also subjective in another scientific sense at the same time.

    Now you may notice that I am using a lot of words such as “if” and “were” which are not scientific nor are they scientific facts. However, we can say the words “if” and “were” and it can still be a scientific fact. For example, the phrase “If someone were to have depression,” we can ignore the words “if” and “were” since the depression itself is a scientific fact that happens to people (which would be all the combined scientific phenomenon that occurs during depression such as a loss of pleasure activity and other things and we would then add up all those things and call that ‘depression’). The only non-fact that these words refer to in that quoted statement is the imagined situation of actually having the depression. Same thing with my argument. The things I’m saying in that argument are the scientific facts while all the words such as “if” and “were” only refer to the imagined version of that situation.

    Also, if the definition of the word “good” means “that which is desired,” then pleasure is the only thing that can achieve this because our thoughts and such alone are not “desires” (despite the fact that they may be thoughts of desiring something in life). They are just used for problem-solving and benefiting our survival. They are not desires. Pleasure is desire since it urges (encourages) us to benefit our survival in life although it may actually be detrimental at times. But if somehow pain and despair are desires, then they would still be bad because they are the “warning” version of desires. “Warning” being what is bad in terms of evolution while the opposite of “warning” would be what is good in terms of evolution (which would be pleasure). Thoughts would obviously be neither good or bad in terms of evolution since, again, they are not desires since they are not the urges that encourage us to survive either in “warning” version or in the “good” version.

    Now if you are going to say something such as that “I can think of so many exceptions that it would be difficult to list them all. But the one that comes to mind the most would be giving birth. Very painful I have been told. And according to you then, giving birth is detrimental to the survival of the species,” what I would have to say about that would be that the pain in of itself is a warning (something that is “bad”). It only encourages our survival in the sense that something is wrong (bad) in our lives. So the pain of the mother giving birth is a warning that a certain situation is bad (such as the tearing of the muscle tissue as the baby is in the process of being born). Therefore, since the opposite of that which would be having gotten out of that situation and now being in a happy situation in life free of suffering and despair, this would mean that our lives are good. So the baby now being born and the mother being happy with no pain and despair at the moment is the good situation. So even obtaining pleasure from harming others would be objectively good (although this situation would be good even though it is not benefiting his/her and others survival). But as I said before, the actual situations themselves are neutral while it’s only your own pleasure and suffering that is objectively good and bad. But if you are going to say something such as that pleasure does not encourage our survival and that it is just simply a by-product of evolution (hence the reason why obtaining pleasure can be detrimental to yourself and others), this would be false. Pleasure is something that encourages our survival, but can be misused in terms of benefiting our survival.

    Now I know that many people here would say that even our own feelings are arbitrary. But I ask you. If you were to go through the worst experience of pain and/or despair that a human being could ever possibly experience while having no thoughts and knowledge (no attributed values to your experience of pain and/or despair), are you saying that these things would not feel bad at all to you and that they would just feel like nothing more than “sensations” (such as touch, smell, etc.)? Same question applies for having the best experience of pleasure that a human being could ever possibly experience. Now if you are going to say something such as that these feelings feel differently for different people (such as that pain and despair can actually feel good), so what you are saying is that depression (hopelessness) can actually feel good to someone (despite the fact that it is the shutting down of the pleasure activity in the brain)? Isn’t it only pleasure that allows us to feel good and, therefore, people who claim that pain feels good to them would actually be lying and that it is only the pleasure itself obtained from the pain that feels good? Also, hopelessness can never feel good and always feels bad. If you claim that it somehow does feel good, then that would mean that you would be having moments of pleasure separate from your experience of hopelessness since you cannot experience both hopelessness and pleasure at the same time. Meaning, that since hopelessness is the shutting down of our pleasure activity and is not a good experience in of itself, that pleasure is the only thing that feels good. But the fact that you can experience physical pain and pleasure at the same time means that the physical pain and the pleasure are two different experiences going on at once and that only the pleasure in of itself is good while only the pain in of itself is bad.

    If that premise I just stated in my previous paragraph (that all my arguments here are based off of) can be refuted with scientific facts, then that would, in fact, completely convince me that my beliefs are wrong. In other words, present me the scientific facts that state that our own feelings are arbitrary, that there is no way that pleasure always feels good in of itself for everybody (that pleasure can actually feel neutral or bad) and that pain and despair also being the same in this sense as well in that they can actually feel neutral or good for some people and that these things feeling good is somehow actually not the pleasure itself obtained from these things that is the only thing that feels good. And that, even during the worst possible experiences of pain and despair, that it is actually the pain and despair itself that can feel neutral (that it can feel like nothing more than a sensation such as touch and smell) or that it can feel good for some people while the best experience of pleasure a human being can possibly experience can actually feel neutral or bad for some people. If this premise can somehow be defeated with scientific facts, then all of my remaining arguments will tumble down along with it and I will accept as well as be convinced that I am wrong. But if it can’t, then all of my arguments will stand as convincing despite the fact that others are somehow not convinced of them.

    It’s easy to think that, without any proof to prove what it is I’m saying as true, that this should immediately deem my arguments as unconvincing (both for myself and others) and that even I should not just blindly believe what I’m saying. However, providing that there is no proof either to refute my premise, we can also agree here that the beliefs that others hold (which are the opposite of my beliefs), that their viewpoints are invalidated as well and that they have no reason to believe their viewpoints either or that their viewpoints should be convincing to anyone else.

    Now even despite the fact that there is no current science to prove my arguments and that I have not used the scientific method in proving them as either true or false yet, I will ask you to just look at my premise as it is now. Therefore, just from reading it alone (including my other arguments), does it at least have merit to possibly be true and that it is something worth testing (if possible) through science as a result?

    Now it’s in our evolutionary design (at least for many people anyway) to have value towards other things in life and to view them as something greater than our own pleasure which would mean that, the reason why I am unable to convince anybody is that there is no way for me to get through the wiring and design of their minds. I, on the other hand, think for myself and question these flawed value belief systems these other people have and am able to see past theirs and my own evolutionary design and wiring of our brains.
    Technically, I think it would be the personal lives of others and their personal life experiences that lead them into having these value belief systems. For example, a person might say that a certain someone was very special to him/her from his/her perspective and that this other person’s pleasure and suffering does matter from his/her perspective. He/she might even go as far as saying that he/she is actually able to experience the pleasure and suffering of this other person. But this would clearly be false in terms of science and in terms of everything I’ve been explaining here. And since this person’s life experiences is something ingrained in this person’s mind which is something that cannot be convinced otherwise, then this is the reason why my arguments are convincing no one (despite the fact that they should be convincing and that they have merit of being true).

    Now if you are going to say something to go against my beliefs here such as that “Life is more than reapplying dopamine chemicals. Life is about transcending from your emotional experience into a universal experience. As long as we forget the truth that we are simply a bubble within the Universe’s universal sea, as long as we get caught up in our bubble’s reflection, we will never live truly within this Universal sea because of relativity. The moment you kill off your need to create your own personal relation to this Universe and give yourself to this Universe to become one with it, is when you start “living” it as you should. We are born into this world on “theta waves” – when we grow and expand we reach “gamma waves” – when we hold ourselves back we only experience “theta” and “delta”. Therefore, pleasure is a red frequency based on “theta waves” – the human experience was emerged from this Universe before stars were born in the form of photo receptors so we could transcend just like the Universe by reaching “gamma waves” and the violet frequency.”

    What I would have to say to what was said above would be that you can be in this state of transcendence that was described above through pure pleasure alone. Pleasure can certainly make you feel all powerful in the sense of being one with this universe like what was described above and you would really be as such. Some people might say that viewing pleasure and seeking pleasure as the only good and greatest thing in life is inferior, primitive, and animalistic and that evolution has evolved us past such things with things like intelligence. They would, therefore, say that viewing intelligence as the great thing and seeking it instead as well as helping others and doing other great things in life is superior and makes you a “god” in a sense. But this would be false and it is only pleasure that makes you a god. You might claim that pleasure-seeking and viewing it as the only good thing in life is inferior since we have evolved past that. However, the fact that we have evolved does not mean anything (it only means something neutral that is neither good or bad). But if somehow my points of view about pleasure are unproven, then the closest thing science has to say as of now is that all values we create in life are subjective. So, speaking in terms of now where both my arguments and the opposing ones of others are unproven, they are both subjective and hold true only in our own subjective lives and there is nothing objective about them.

    Now I stated why pleasure can also “transcend” you and make you a “god.” Whereas, intelligence alone without pleasure are nothing more than knowledge, thoughts, memory, etc. that define a being that is similar to something like a biological robot and not a human being. Emotions are what separate us as human beings from robots (and separates us from highly intelligent and well-designed robots in the future that possess all functions of a brain aside from pleasure because, if they did have pleasure, then they would no longer be considered robots or biological robots. They would now be actual artificial life forms). Therefore, without our pleasure (which is one of our vital emotions), we would be less human and more towards being something like a biological robot. Also, I think many stereotype the type of person who only sees pleasure as the good and greatest thing in life as someone who does nothing with their life such as sitting on a couch watching television. This stereotype is false because there are people such as me who do great things in their lives and help others through pure pleasure alone such as tapping into and channeling our feelings of pleasure in creating musical compositions that can be just as good (and even better) than if we composed through our suffering/despair and/or intelligence alone.

    Once again, this can be achieved through the pleasure in dark, gothic, tragic, etc. things and we can come up with great compositions that portray those feelings described despite the fact that we, ourselves, are experiencing a different feeling (which would, again, be pleasure). You can achieve great things in life and help others just as good (and even better) through living a happier life of very little suffering and despair because our mind is something we can change by will. Therefore, we can be even more compassionate and empathetic at any given personal level just from changing our attitude alone even despite the fact of not having gone through suffering and/or despair to know how others feel having it. As for physical benefits such as from physical torture (training) in the military, that is something different and has the greater physical benefit. But mental torture such as depression has no greater benefit than living a nicer and happier life instead and is nothing but pointless misery. Actually, all greater mental benefits can even be achieved without having any suffering or despair in our lives. Meaning, that even the greatest people in history and the greatest composers could of been just as good and even better under the right circumstances through living much happier lives of very little suffering and despair. Depression (hopelessness) is not an emotion at all to embrace and tap into in order to create great emotionally powerful compositions. It is the shutting down of the pleasure activity in our brains as well as other emotions. So this is the reason why depression and/or a lack of pleasure only makes you a lesser composer and also holds you back from acheiving greater benefits and helping even more people in life under the right circumstances through living a life of pleasure and very little suffering and despair. But as I said before, all things in life and benefits we achieve in life (aside from our own pleasure and suffering), these things are all neutral anyway and are neither good or bad from both our perspective and everyone else’s.

    Now there are very intelligent people who have created these value belief systems and have passed them on to others (hence the reason why, to this very day, so many people have these beliefs). However, I have reason to believe that these intelligent people are wrong and that it was also their own personal life experiences that came up with these flawed beliefs. But unfortunately, I have no scientific means or anything to demonstrate my premise and arguments as true or false. I am instead the person who comes up with ideas and would (if I could) give them to actual scientists who would be able to use scientific means of demonstrating them as true or false.
    In conclusion, I am going to present some answered quotes below that are very important and you should read them because they might answer any questions you have:

    Question: 1. Doing well and doing badly are opposite 2. Opposites can’t be compresent in the same thing (e.g. I can’t be both healthy and sick at the same time). 3. So doing well and doing badly can’t be compresent in the same thing. 4. An appetite (e.g. thirst) is painful. 5. Satisfying an appetite (e.g. drinking when thirsty) is pleasant. 6. When we satisfy an appetite we experience both pleasure and pain at the same time. 7. So pleasure and pain can be compresent in the same thing. 8. So feeling pleasure and feeling pain are not the same as doing well and doing badly.

    Answer: If you had a cold and were 80% from being over it, then wouldn’t that mean that you would be both 80% healthy and 20% sick? Therefore, couldn’t you be both healthy and sick at the same time? Also, if you had full pleasure in life, but experienced physical pain at the same time, then wouldn’t you be considered to be “emotionally well,” but also “not doing well” just in terms of your physical misery? But if you somehow wanted to combine the pleasure and pain by, for example, saying that if you have 100% pleasure and 30% pain, then that would mean that you are doing 70% well overall (since 100% minus 30% equals 70%).

    Now if being “well” is defined by having no pain, despair, and/or lack of pleasure whatsoever and having full pleasure in life (just like completely being over a cold), then as long as you have pain, despair, and/or lack of pleasure, then you are not doing well and you would still be defined as being “sick” (or still having a “cold”). But if you have full pleasure in life with no pain and/or despair, then you are doing well.

    Question: 1. In satisfying an appetite pleasure and pain cease simultaneously. 2. Good and bad things don’t cease simultaneously. 3. So pleasure and pain are different from what is good and bad.

    Answer: How so? If there was a war between good people and bad people and there was a time bomb placed in the battlefield that killed both all the good and bad people, then couldn’t we say that both good and bad things cease simultaneously? This argument can also hold for natural disasters since these things kill both good and bad things/people simultaneously all the time.

    Question: 1. Good people are good because of the presence of good things in them (and bad because of the presence of bad things). 2. In many situations, cowards experience pleasure and pain to the same degree as brave people. 3. In many situations, fools experience pleasure and pain to the same degree as intelligent people. 3. So if pleasure = the good, and pain = the bad, then the cowardly and stupid are as good as the intelligent and brave. 4. That implies that there is no real difference between good and bad people. They are equally good and bad—which is absurd.

    Answer: Based on everything I’ve said about pleasure in of itself being the only good thing in life and pain and despair only being the bad things in of themselves and everything else being neutral, then it is not absurd to say that, when a person is feeling depressed, that he/she has negative value and when he/she feels pleasure, that he/she has positive value.

    #67586
    Matt
    Participant

    One final very important point I would like to make is that I have depression as well as severe chronic anhedonia (emotional numbness) in which there are never any brief moments of pleasure whatsoever. Therefore, I feel that my life is worthless and that there is nothing good about me or my life without my own pleasure and this is why I wish to discuss this issue and my personal beliefs.

    #67588
    Matt
    Participant

    Also, some people might claim that pain feels good to them, but they would be lying. It is only the pleasure itself that is obtained from the pain that feels good to him/her while the pain stands alone by itself as feeling bad. Same thing applies if you were to somehow feel that your pleasure feels bad to you in that it would only be the pain and/or possibly despair that you obtained from your pleasure that would feel bad in of itself while the pleasure would still feel good in of itself. One very important point I would like to make is that the reason why everything I’m saying here is so long and that I can’t summarize it is because if I just bring up brief simple points, then many people would be able to argue against them. But if I were to instead go into a long and deep explanation that backs up my arguments and convinces others to the point where they can no longer come up with anything else to argue against my points of view, then it is likely that they might be convinced.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Matt.
    #67612
    Matt
    Participant

    Here is a summary:

    My belief is known as “Scientism” (as well as “Materialism” and “Naturalism”) which state that life has no meaning and has no good or bad meaning and that everything in life is “neutral” (neither good or bad) and is just a bunch of meaningless atoms and particles. However, this only applies to all things in life besides our own pleasure, pain, and despair as I’m going to explain here (which are the only good and bad things in of themselves independent of all other neutral things in life). They are even independent of neutral ideas (thoughts) such as ideas others might state such as that life is not about pleasure and seeking only it for yourself will bring consequences to you and everyone else and will even bring you and others the opposite of pleasure as well as much more suffering than pleasure for yourself and others. So my version of those beliefs quoted above is that everything in this universe besides pleasure, pain, and despair are meaningless (neither good or bad) while pleasure is the only good thing and that pain and despair are the only bad things despite the fact that these things are also the functioning of atoms and particles.

    This is because pleasure in of itself always feels good no matter what and no matter what meaning you attribute to your pleasure while pain and despair will always feel bad in of themselves no matter what and no matter what meaning you attribute to your pain and despair. Some people might claim that pain feels good to them, but they would be lying. It is only the pleasure itself that is obtained from the pain that feels good to him/her while the pain stands alone by itself as feeling bad. Same thing applies if you were to somehow feel that your pleasure feels bad to you in that it would only be the pain and/or possibly despair that you obtained from your pleasure that would feel bad in of itself while the pleasure would still feel good in of itself. Pleasure, pain, and despair can also never feel like neutral (neither good or bad) sensations such as touch, smell, etc. So they stand alone as the only good and bad things themselves in life separate from everything else and separate from the atoms and particles of other things in life that cannot define our pleasure as being neutral or bad or our pain and despair as being neutral or good. Therefore, good is pleasure, bad is pain and despair, and neutral (neither good or bad) is everything else in life besides our own pleasure, pain, and despair. But if you are going to say something such as that just because these feelings feel good and bad still means that they are just a bunch of meaningless atoms and particles, this would be false because there is no separation between these feelings feeling good and bad and them being a bunch of atoms and particles. Good and bad are the functioning of those atoms and particles that yield pleasure and suffering just like how the atoms and particles yield other materials and chemicals. Also, what I mean by pleasure is all good feelings including love. I do not mean only a limited spectrum of good feelings when referring to pleasure.

    #67653
    Jordan
    Participant

    I’m sorry, I just skipped to your summary after reading a few paragraphs and seeing how long the post is. Maybe later tonight I will go back and read the whole thing- for now I’ll just say a few things.

    What you mention of ‘pleasure’ is an external pleasure, not an internal one. This means you derive your own pleasure from some sort of environmental stimulus, and not created by your own brain. While the ideals of God, Good, Evil, etc are all subjective, the supreme goal of any intelligence is ‘compression.’ Compression is our ability to take any form of information and get the maximum insight from it. Put differently, compression is how efficiently we understand something. Internal pleasure is always gained from compression. This is precisely why we enjoy things like music, art, science and the like. When you learn something interesting it is interesting because we have the ability to understand it, and in turn give us insight into other matters. Information too complex or too simple gives no please because in the former we cannot comprehend and in the latter we have no use. If pleasure and pain were purely material, then why do you get pleasure from listening to music or learning something interesting? It does not serve to satisfy any base need (ex- food, sex, etc.) This why ‘external’ pleasures are empty. Sex feels good because it satisfies a need to reproduce, but it does not last because it does not serve to compress information. Compression is the higher pleasure and external is the lower pleasures. Similarly, those that donate time to helping humanity serve to satisfy this higher pleasure. By helping others we further empathize with them, and empathy (like art or science) is an internal means to compress.

    Materialism in general cannot justify qualia. Sure colors are vibrations of atoms at certain frequencies, but this is not the same thing as ‘experiencing’ red. The experience is the qualia because it is different than the object. Heat causes molecules to vibrate faster, but this faster vibration is not the same thing as the ‘experience’ of hot. This follows that the perceive is not the same thing as the person perceiving. Try this thought experiment: Think a thought, but simultaneously be aware that your thinking a thought. This is impossible, since you an only do one or the other. You cannot both think ‘red’ and try to be aware that you are thinking ‘red’. As soon as you pay attention to your thoughts they are gone. These two arguments, qualia and perceiving, allude to something beyond material. I am not saying there is something mystical or godlike, but there is definitely something else. Further, materialism requires you to believe in something outside of the sensory world. You can sense a rock, but do you know for sure that is a rock? How do you know that what you perceive is the same as what there is? This requires an assumption. Because of this assumption materialism is less parsimonious than idealism (the idea that the only thing there is is what we perceive). This is the cornerstone of spirituality.

    #125451
    Beetle
    Participant

    This is an old post and this is my first post. Thank you so much for this post, it resonates very deeply with me. I found it by accident but it speaks to me and is clearly meant for me to read right now.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Beetle.
    #420738
    Xain
    Participant

    I saw this and had to reply (I know this is old and I’m sorry) but Jordan is wrong. There is no difference between external and internal pleasure it’s just pleasure. It’s a function of the brain. Everything is a stimulus that creates the release of chemicals that reward us for doing things. It’s literally all chemical reactions, it’s why those with depression experience anhedonia. It has nothing to do with compression of whatever,  not to mention that isn’t the purpose of intelligence.

    pretty much all the research coming out now shows that the brain is responsible for everything, even “qualia” (which is debatable subject to begin with). Colorblindness is the brain. Also the brain creates color and sound. Sound is just pressure waves in the world but our brains convert that into sound. Light is just wavelengths of light but our brains create color. In short idealism can’t account for all this and has no data behind it. You only feel hot because you have a functioning nervous system, same with cold. Hot at cold are just the measurements of energy in a system. If you had a damaged nervous system then you wouldn’t feel these things.

    It’s also very possible to think of something and be aware that you are thinking about it. Not only do I do this every day but everyone else too. That’s literally how imagination works.

    so you are incorrect that idealism is more parsimonious (in fact there is a reason the philosophy dies out), materialism is more in line with the observations and evidence. Not that qualia suggests idealism anyway.

    it’s also worth noting that what you’re describing is solipsism not idealism, though solipsism is the inevitable conclusion of idealism. one hole in your reasoning is that if the only thing there is what we perceive then by definition you aren’t responding to anyone, these are just words on a screen. How do you know someone wrote them?

    Buddhism doesn’t care about either one though so it’s not the cornerstone of spirituality.

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