IF hedonism is the avoidance of pain, rather than the pursuit of pleasure, then are those who avoid conflict cowards, hedonists or both?

Is Hedonism=Cowardice?

What would you?
Seek beauty — happiness –,
or truth
or avoid pain?

OR seek it,
thinking you would find the path to the temple of pain cathartic?

Or seek naught but live your life as you will or it comes?


6 responses to “OR

  1. I’ve often come across the word hedonism, only never looked it up. Now that you mentioned it, I took sometime to understand it.

    It describes hedonism as, the doctrine that happiness is the highest good. I’m still trying to understand what sort of happiness is the highest good. If doing something that makes a person u love happy, that which makes you sad, is that where the highest good comes in? In which case, we cannot avoid pain..?

    But at the same time, it makes you more happy, because you made the person you love happy..

    It also says, pursuit of pleasure..
    when is pleasure ever sought…? when is pain ever sought?

    I think one can never avoid pain. It is just not possible. I mean, if it was.. then we couldve figured out life and live happily ever after.. Only in the pain can we differentiate and appreciate the happiness, to pursue it..
    In avoidance of pain.. it would only lead to a life of hypocrisy and guilt.. in which case, one need to learn to avoid guilt too.

  2. Let me see if I can explain: There are two schools of hedonism.

    One that believes in the pursuit of pleasure, and since the pleasure of the flesh was (apparently) the most immediate, this meant overindulgence in everything.

    The second school’s main proponent was Diogenes (I love this chap!) – the philosopher who, when Plato described man as a featherless biped, presented Plato with a plucked chicken – who made it is business to poke holes into people’s ego. This school believes in minimalism – somehow reminds me of buddhism.
    It was an offshoot of (I think; at least it is related to) Cicero’s thought that no one seeks pain, and having found it, enjoys it.

    It is related to Epicurism, the branch led by the fellow who said that the only excuse for suffering any pain at all was to avoid more pain later on. So basically, if you take pain to make a loved one happy, it is because you believe that it would cause you more pain to see the loved one unhappy — or that not doing your duty would make you more unhappy, whichever applies — in the end, because you feel that not doing what you are doing, and which is causing you pain, would eventually cause you more pain.

    According to him, it is not possible to completely avoid pain without avoiding entaglements, but one can seek to minimize it, long term. Seems remarkably like Indian philosophy to me.

  3. Pain is unavoidable. There is avoiding the risk of pain, but that usually carries the pricetag of missing out on something you really want or need. That’s not saying you purposely run into a whip and a chair, but from what I know and see, Pain is inevitable. It’s all in what you are willing to handle.

    The only question really is that are you willing to keep moving forward in spite of it? Like I said, I’m not condoning jumping into pain, but everything in life guarantees it on some level.


  4. Hedonism is not necessarily cowardice. Takes guts to blow away loads of money with no care for the future (Dmitri in Brother’s Karamazhov).

    Avoidance of pain can’t possibly be a motive to live. Reminds me a bit of Nietzsche and his ‘will to power’. We don’t just exist and survive, if possible we dominate what surrounds us. Avoidance of pain would be so passive no?

    I think we all seek pain to a certain degree, even if only as a means to something else.

  5. As one B. Russell, in his infinite wisdom, (did not) put it so eloquently: Dooood, chill maadu.

  6. sadism and masochism can be termed as hedonistic. hedonism can include the pursuit of pain that way i guess.

    i don’t know if the pursuit of pain nullifies cowardice. not that i condemn cowardice since everyone is a coward in one or another.

    i posted the same comment for your previous post. got confused by the layout!

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