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Hedonism as a "Religion" and Its Backdraws (Also, Philosocom's Directory on Hedonism)

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Hedonism, AKA, the belief that the attainment of pleasure should be above all, is one that lacks something very important for the preservation of human civilization and its order: the consideration of other people's feelings, especially those who wish to either help or serve us. Hedonism is therefore problematic as a philosophy because it presents us with no other alternative to consider the existence of others, other than the fact that they can either give us pleasure, unease, or nothing at all.

This is what I also call the "fast food attitude": we mostly disregard the condition of those who make our food, all in the name of having a good, tasty meal. So what if the delivery boy almost collided with a tree? So what if the workers at the fast food chain were too nervous they forgot a certain ingredient in your pizza or hamburger? In the end, for the hedonist, it is the product that counts, and not others, along with whether or not that product gives us the pleasure we seek.

This is also true, very brutally I must say, in online video games. It's a hobby that is filled with toxic communities that won't hesitate to tell you to kill yourself if you did not play the way they wanted you to, because if you did, you would give them fun. The reality of such experiences is that the dignity of your fellow players is far more unimportant than the hedonist's zealotry towards having a good time with the game they play. In the end of this article I'd like to share an example of what I'm trying to convey, but be warned, for it's very loud; that is how angry people can be when they are not having fun.

In general, it seems that the pursuit of fun has become some sort of a "religion" for many people. Unlike our many ancestors, the value of joy has been put at a far higher priority than in any other time. Even when we work, we have much sources of pleasure that did not exist any time before the industrial and digital revolutions.

It is no surprise, therefore, that some of us have become fun-seekers rather than depth-seekers or wealth-seekers. The possible reason for that being, that there's much to enjoy from, more than ever before, and with our constant seeking of new and newer sources and content of fun, we basically feed a global entertainment industry, that lives and prospers over our lack of satisfaction with what we already have.

That, by itself isn't a bad thing, but it is still doesn't answer the following question: why should one care about other people, if they do not bring one they fun they so desire? This "religion" could create a future where only the most entertaining shall prosper, while those who bore most would be cast aside. I guess you can call it a Hedocracy — a regime where only the most entertaining reign supreme.

You can also say that such "hedocracies" already exist, especially in younger audiences. As we lose patience, our attention span decreases as well, leading to the social and even financial prosperity of many content creators; people who know exactly what duration their content should be, what it should contain to keep the viewers away from other competitors and so on. This is why, logically, we could say that books are becoming more and more something that belongs to the past, as it is replaced by virtual content one can access without the need to pay or to go to the nearest library.

Anyways, I have to mention that the shorter people's attention spans will be, the less successful sites such as this would be. That is because of the sad truth that, short-term spikes of joy are for most far more desired than a long-time reading whose worth will only come at the end of the piece. Perhaps we won't need to write anymore, as the interest in reading will significantly decrease over the consumption of videos, embedded by large words and background music made to catch your attention.

Should we fail in giving the future generations a reason to enjoy extensive reading, than articles such as this, along with countless books, will be cast aside for content made to entertain more than to teach, educate or make you contemplate. Of course, there are still those who read a lot, but when you are to ask a person of the far future, should they watch a video than reading an article, the probable reply might be the latter, for its much more entertaining (usually) than mere reading. Videos, after all, have music in them, and save us the effort required for reading, for all we need to do is to listen — even when we can also do other activities while listening or watching said video.

Because of all of these reasons, the mere pursuit of pleasure is often insufficient in justifying the existence or the worth of other things in our lives, which are more often than not, important by themselves. Thanks to this change of perspective, those who can afford themselves the time and the education, can find themselves a job which they can genuinely enjoy from.

Furthermore, thanks to the help of liberty and secularism, some people at least don't have to fight against their families once they become adults, in the matters of profession, education, marriage, and bringing up a family. "Live and let live" is a very important saying nowadays, but it still does not answer this: if I can live however I want and you can do so too, where is the cooperation? Where is the need to care about each other?

With this great apathy to other people, there could be a great danger to our own morality, as if we're becoming "tribal" again; a step backwards in our sense of identity. In many countries, theoretically, being a fellow citizen of the same nation doesn't matter as much as it used to be when many people rebelled against imperialism and colonialism in favor of forming their own national identity as one, sovereign people. Look at your fellow countryman or countrywoman: what do you feel towards them, just for having the same nationality as you? See what I mean?

If we wish, therefore, to preserve human empathy and compassion, we must realize that fun, even if greatly rewarding, is insufficient for the preservation of a "humane" humanity. What kind of a humankind? One that actually cares for you when you are in distress; one that will assist you out of compassion, with little or no reward in return; one that will ask your children at school "what's wrong", and your younger children "why do they cry"? Hedonism by essence is against the feelings of unease and discomfort, and thus does not justify these feelings even if they are but a concern to your fellow human beings.

Hedonism, therefore, while it can lead to a life of good wellbeing, couldn't care less for the good wellbeing of others. It's one of the reasons I disabled commenting on Quora, where I've been writing since 2017.

At least from a personal testimony, many people would prefer to "eat you alive" than considering the fact that you are an imperfect human being, like them. The constant ignoring of my condition, led me to conclude that my wellbeing is more important than their lack of "fun" while reading my stuff. Wouldn't you do the same if you were as sensitive as me? What distinguishes me and the hedonist, however, is my desire to contribute and not be totally invested in unproductive joy — hence why I resume writing.

I know I promised a video earlier, but after looking for a good example, I found they were all incredibly loud and vulgar for this site; all because, again, the pursuit of joy.

...But I decided to provide a URL link regardless for one of them. I'm not responsible for whether or not you'll click it.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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