Sunday, February 17, 2013

In Praise Of Pleasure

What can we make of our modern lifestyles that seem so hedonistic when compared to our ancestors? Some say that the abundance of resources we have is a noteworthy sign of our progress and evolution from the meager means by which most people used to get by on. I'd certainly say that having access to a wide range of healthy foods that allows us to reach our potential is sign of progress. Hedonism therefore becomes the excess of what one doesn't need but wants. 

I'm not at all stoic, and although I generally believe that everything should be done in moderation, I don't think that there is anything wrong with having excess and enjoying it. Life should be pleasurable. We should do what we enjoy and not feel guilty about enjoying it. The only reasonable yield to our pleasurable pursuits is if and when it prevents others from pursuing their pleasure. When I reflect back on the memorable times I've had that were pleasurable - drinking, smoking, fornicating & partying - I really only wish that I had more of it - but only to such a degree that the excess wouldn't hurt me in the long run. 

If this is the only life we have, we better make it pleasurable because it's always better to have a pleasurable life, than a miserable one. So I say indulge and be merry, but think ahead of the long-term consequences of your actions. And remember, a moral life can also be a pleasurable life. Pleasure can be obtained through a variety of mediums and doesn't at all have to be found only in the excesses of food, drink and sex. 

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