Scientific evidence for hedonism

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Omniverse
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Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Omniverse » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:32 am

Since my other explanations for my philosophy are way too long, then I will create a summary here. This is my #1 best summary. I explain a way we might discover evidence for it later on. I think my worldview would be called "hedonism." It is a very common worldview where people just want to be happy, have fun, enjoy their lives, etc. It is a worldview that completely leaves out the notion of depressed/anhedonic lives as being any real source of alternative value and worth in a person's life. This means that if a person loses his/her good moods/feelings, then he/she is out of luck and just has to wait until he/she recovers them in order to bring back the good value, worth, joy, happiness, and beauty in his/her life.

However, I extend on this philosophy with my own theory that attempts to validate its "sad but true" outlook. So, I will begin. Our good moods/feelings (states of well being induced by the various feel-good neurotransmitters/chemicals in the brain) are the only experiences that offer us a real perceptual quality of good value, worth, joy, inspiration, happiness, love, and beauty in our lives. It would be no different than how sight is the only experience that can offer us the ability to visualize (see) objects. This is because sight and visualization are the same thing. If you become blind and lose your sight, then you lose your visualization. No outlook, realization, belief, or thought alone can give you your visualization back. It is only once you recover from your blindness that you can see again.

Likewise, a person without his/her good moods/feelings can acknowledge the abstract values that certain situations, works of art, etc. hold and he/she can still believe and think to his/herself that his/her life still has good value/worth to him/her, but that is not the same thing as actually perceiving those values. It would be like having the experience of thinking and acknowledging that 1+1=2 in your head as opposed to the experience of perceiving love, joy, and good value in your life. As you can see here, perceived values in our lives become nothing more than mechanistic perceptual experiences without our good moods/feelings regardless of what we were to believe or think otherwise.

This mechanistic perceptual experience obviously does not meet the human standard. It is simply no way to live at all. That is why there is no way I am going to live a life of depression or anhedonia for any extended length of time. I am doing fine now and no longer have misery and depression in my life. But in the event that it happens to me again, then I would have to find a way to recover within the reasonable time frame of 1-2 years. I can very well live my life the best I can and whatnot while in this depressed/anhedonic state, but this perceptual experience does not meet the human standard. Situations might very well still be good to me and worthwhile to me, but this perceptual experience obviously possesses no quality for my life.

Now, I don't believe in God and the afterlife. I am actually undecided when it comes to the existence of God, the afterlife, and the paranormal. But let me give you a Christian analogy to make everything in my writing seem clear to you in case everything I am saying here either seems like nonsensical gibberish or if it all seems flawed. A person can very well acknowledge and believe that God and Jesus are the most magnificent and loving beings. But without the spirit of Jesus/the Holy Ghost within him/her, then this person is just a soulless biological machine. His/her perceptual experience of God's/Jesus' magnificence and love is nothing more than that of a biological machine. Therefore, his/her perceptual experience only meets a soulless biological machine's standard. It does not meet the standard of the Divine.

This person would need to be filled with the Divine Awareness of the Holy Ghost in order to actually perceive God's magnificence and love for what it truly is. This perceptual experience would be that of God and would meet the standard of the Divine. In that same sense, you could consider our good moods/feelings to also be the Divine Awareness that allows us to truly perceive good value, worth, joy, beauty, and happiness in our lives. Without this Divine Awareness, then our perceptual experience of those terms is nothing more than that of a biological machine. It does not meet the human standard of any perceptual quality of those terms.

This means that you, I, and everyone else can only live our lives as nothing more than biological machines since our good moods/feelings are the higher component to our human experience that we need in our lives. So, our good moods/feelings would actually be the divine spiritual light to our lives that fills us up and allows us to become aware of all the good value/worth in our lives. Likewise, our bad moods/feelings would be a descended form of awareness that allows us to become aware of hellish and horrible experiences as well as bad value in our lives. An experience that is neither a good or bad mood/feeling is nothing more than that of a biological machine.

Given all of this, I conclude that other people are only fooling and deluding themselves due to their conditioning, upbringing, etc. in thinking that a life without good moods/feelings still has perceived good value and worth. My personal experience has led me to this conviction which was a very profound experience in my life. One might easily say that I have no evidence for this and this is all just my opinion. But there could be a way to discover this evidence providing that there really is evidence for it. It would be through neuroscience. I think we know through neuroscience why pain is painful and why heat feels hot to us. We can gain insight into these qualities of experience through neuroscientific technology. Therefore, the same thing would have to be done for the quality of experience that our good moods/feelings possess.

We would have to use neuroscientific technology to find out if the quality of experience that our good moods/feelings possess truly is a quality that gives our lives a real perceptual experience of good value/worth. From there, we would have to look at other perceptual experiences (i.e. our outlooks and mindsets) which so many people are led to believe is truly the only thing that determines whether we perceive our lives to be of good value/worth to us or not. We would have to find out if these experiences possess nothing more than a mechanistic quality or if they really do possess the higher, humanistic quality that would truly give our lives a higher, humanistic perceptual quality of good value/worth in our lives. If neuroscience discovers evidence for my idea, then we would come to realize that our mental well being (good moods/feelings) are truly the only thing that matters.

As long as you are happy and enjoying your life, then that is all that matters. When I say that's all that matters, then I must feel good from that to make it matter to me. The more of a profound and intense good feeling experience you have, the greater perceptual quality of good value/worth you will have in your life. But if you have only a small degree of these good moods/feelings, then you will have a slim degree of perceptual good value/worth. But just because dire situations would hold no value to us without our good moods/feelings, we would still make these choices anyway knowing that they would save our lives and the lives of others. It would be a mechanistic standard of living, but if it is only for a brief moment that would save your life and the lives of others, then it is still on the recommendation list. Actually, it is our bad moods/feelings such as fear, sadness, and misery which would make situations bad and a hellish experience to us. But an experience that is neither a good nor bad mood/feeling cannot give our lives any perception of any good value or bad value.

So, with all of this being said, evolution did not give us the ability to perceive situations as being good and bad to us in the absence of pain (feeling bad) and pleasure (feeling good). Many people and many organisms live their lives and help others of their kind in the absence of their good and bad moods/feelings. However, that is only a mechanistic standard of living that has been wired into us through evolution and it is a mechanistic standard of perceptual good value/worth. It is only through pain and pleasure that we are brought to a higher form of awareness (experience). I would call my definition the evolutionary definition of good and bad since it is evolution that dictates the perceptual value in our lives through pain and pleasure and not us as human beings who do.

To conclude this packet, people would say that there are other forms of ecstasy (good moods/feelings) that one could achieve besides the ones I have described earlier which were states of well being induced by the feel good chemicals. For example, one would say that through meditation and detaching yourself from the hedonistic version of good moods/feelings I've described that one can achieve a higher and enlightened version of a good mood/feeling. However, these other good moods/feelings do not exist. They are, again, nothing more than a mechanistic standard of a good mood/feeling and not any real good mood/feeling that meets the human standard. Therefore, people are only wanting to shove away the real good moods/feelings as though they are something trivial.

People want control over their lives and wish to dictate whatever value, happiness, and good mood/feeling they want to have in their lives. But life doesn't always work out like this. We don't always get what we want in life. Life is unfortunate and, sadly, some things really do have dominance over our lives. It's no different than a situation where you are dying of thirst and you had an empty glass. Redefining the emptiness inside that glass as water will not give you the actual quality of water you would need to save your life. This is the analogy I give for those types of people who think that defining what gives their personal lives value, joy, happiness, beauty, and worth somehow makes it a real perceptual quality in their lives.
Last edited by Omniverse on Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:53 am

Moved to the appropriate subforum.
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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:48 pm

Omniverse wrote:Our good moods/feelings (states of well being induced by the various feel-good neurotransmitters/chemicals in the brain) are the only experiences that offer us a real perceptual quality of good value, worth, joy, inspiration, happiness, love, and beauty in our lives.
I already disagree. You can be in a situation that requires struggle, sacrifice, and hard work, which is not enjoyable at the time, but is for a worthy goal that you know will bring value, joy, happiness, etc. That situation, in and of itself, is not enjoyable, but it still brings you repeated transient feelings of well-being because of the end goal. Examples: pregnancy, buying a home, studying a new and difficult concept, painting a room, learning a new skill, ending an untenable relationship, etc.

Omniverse wrote:Likewise, a person without his/her good moods/feelings can acknowledge the abstract values that certain situations, works of art, etc. hold and he/she can still believe and think to his/herself that his/her life still has good value/worth to him/her, but that is not the same thing as actually perceiving those values.
Yes, actually, it is. Believing that you're happy and thinking that you're happy are the same as perceiving that you're happy. Further, you can bootstrap yourself into happiness: Changing your facial position from frowning or neutral to smiling causes your brain to release endorphins, dopamine, and seratonin, which changes your mood.

Omniverse wrote:As you can see here, perceived values in our lives become nothing more than mechanistic perceptual experiences without our good moods/feelings regardless of what we were to believe or think otherwise.
That word doesn't mean what you think it means. "Mechanistic" means "determined solely by physical processes." Since you've stated that our good moods, as induced by neurotransmitters, as the only experiences that matter, you're now contradicting yourself. Your initial argument is that mechanistic moods are the only thing that matters, that what we believe does not. The phrase "mechanical perceptual experiences" is nonsensical. No one thinks, "Hey, I perceive my brain releasing dopamine; I must be happy. I should probably smile."

Omniverse wrote:Situations might very well still be good to me and worthwhile to me, but this perceptual experience obviously possesses no quality for my life.
Talk to your psychologist about emotion regulation. This statement clearly shows that you're seriously depressed and quite unable to experience happiness. Which means you're also unable to theorize about it.

Omniverse wrote:Given all of this, I conclude that other people are only fooling and deluding themselves due to their conditioning, upbringing, etc. in thinking that a life without good moods/feelings still has perceived good value and worth.
Given that you're obviously unable to experience happiness yourself, you're also unable to reason how others are able to experience it. Your conclusion is not a logical one, but an emotional one.

Omniverse wrote:I think we know through neuroscience why pain is painful and why heat feels hot to us. We can gain insight into these qualities of experience through neuroscientific technology. Therefore, the same thing would have to be done for the quality of experience that our good moods/feelings possess.
No. Neuroscience does not prove why pain is painful and heat feels hot; it only shows the mechanics of how pain and heat are perceived. Neuroscience also cannot show the level of pain I experience, because it's my subjective perception. Pain that I describe on a scale of one to ten as "five" might be described by you as "nine."

By the same token, neuroscience would not explain why coffee makes me happy while making someone else miserable; it would only show my neurochemical reactions to the biochemicals in coffee as compared to someone else's, and possibly be able to make a conclusion based on our differing physiologies and tolerances for coffee's biochemicals. But neuroscience would not be able to explain why I prefer a strong, dark roast lightly doctored with cream and sugar, while someone else insists on a cup of cream and sugar lightly doctored with coffee.

Omniverse wrote:As long as you are happy and enjoying your life, then that is all that matters.
Which contradicts your initial hypothesis! You said perceived values don't matter! Now, you're saying it's all that matters! Your hypothesis needs a LOT of work.

Omniverse wrote:So, with all of this being said, evolution did not give us the ability to perceive situations as being good and bad to us in the absence of pain (feeling bad) and pleasure (feeling good).
Of course it did! If I see a man approaching me holding a knife, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "bad." If I'm at a restaurant, and I've ordered lobster risotto, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "good." If my bills are due, and I'm $100 short, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "bad." I could give you hundreds of examples of this. You're omitting the ability to reason about a situation. We are evolved beings; we don't rely on mere instinct to judge a situation.

Omniverse wrote:This is the analogy I give for those types of people who think that defining what gives their personal lives value, joy, happiness, beauty, and worth somehow makes it a real quality in their lives.
*facepalm* Every single person on the face of the Earth defines what gives their personal lives value, joy, happiness, beauty, and worth. Everyone's definition is different. And everyone's happiness is real to them. There is no possible way for you to judge someone else's happiness based on your personal criteria. The belief that everyone thinks the way you think is an immature belief, not borne out by fact.

Would it make me happy to murder people and eat them? Absolutely not! But it apparently made Jeffrey Dahmer happy.

Does listening to this make me happy?
https://youtu.be/2SZpGa6Fkss
Totally! It's clever, upbeat, and performed really well. Puts a smile on my face right from the start. You can't be depressed and listen to ragtime piano simultaneously.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Omniverse » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:18 pm

Nikki Nyx wrote:
Omniverse wrote:Our good moods/feelings (states of well being induced by the various feel-good neurotransmitters/chemicals in the brain) are the only experiences that offer us a real perceptual quality of good value, worth, joy, inspiration, happiness, love, and beauty in our lives.
I already disagree. You can be in a situation that requires struggle, sacrifice, and hard work, which is not enjoyable at the time, but is for a worthy goal that you know will bring value, joy, happiness, etc. That situation, in and of itself, is not enjoyable, but it still brings you repeated transient feelings of well-being because of the end goal. Examples: pregnancy, buying a home, studying a new and difficult concept, painting a room, learning a new skill, ending an untenable relationship, etc.

Omniverse wrote:Likewise, a person without his/her good moods/feelings can acknowledge the abstract values that certain situations, works of art, etc. hold and he/she can still believe and think to his/herself that his/her life still has good value/worth to him/her, but that is not the same thing as actually perceiving those values.
Yes, actually, it is. Believing that you're happy and thinking that you're happy are the same as perceiving that you're happy. Further, you can bootstrap yourself into happiness: Changing your facial position from frowning or neutral to smiling causes your brain to release endorphins, dopamine, and seratonin, which changes your mood.

Omniverse wrote:As you can see here, perceived values in our lives become nothing more than mechanistic perceptual experiences without our good moods/feelings regardless of what we were to believe or think otherwise.
That word doesn't mean what you think it means. "Mechanistic" means "determined solely by physical processes." Since you've stated that our good moods, as induced by neurotransmitters, as the only experiences that matter, you're now contradicting yourself. Your initial argument is that mechanistic moods are the only thing that matters, that what we believe does not. The phrase "mechanical perceptual experiences" is nonsensical. No one thinks, "Hey, I perceive my brain releasing dopamine; I must be happy. I should probably smile."

Omniverse wrote:Situations might very well still be good to me and worthwhile to me, but this perceptual experience obviously possesses no quality for my life.
Talk to your psychologist about emotion regulation. This statement clearly shows that you're seriously depressed and quite unable to experience happiness. Which means you're also unable to theorize about it.

Omniverse wrote:Given all of this, I conclude that other people are only fooling and deluding themselves due to their conditioning, upbringing, etc. in thinking that a life without good moods/feelings still has perceived good value and worth.
Given that you're obviously unable to experience happiness yourself, you're also unable to reason how others are able to experience it. Your conclusion is not a logical one, but an emotional one.

Omniverse wrote:I think we know through neuroscience why pain is painful and why heat feels hot to us. We can gain insight into these qualities of experience through neuroscientific technology. Therefore, the same thing would have to be done for the quality of experience that our good moods/feelings possess.
No. Neuroscience does not prove why pain is painful and heat feels hot; it only shows the mechanics of how pain and heat are perceived. Neuroscience also cannot show the level of pain I experience, because it's my subjective perception. Pain that I describe on a scale of one to ten as "five" might be described by you as "nine."

By the same token, neuroscience would not explain why coffee makes me happy while making someone else miserable; it would only show my neurochemical reactions to the biochemicals in coffee as compared to someone else's, and possibly be able to make a conclusion based on our differing physiologies and tolerances for coffee's biochemicals. But neuroscience would not be able to explain why I prefer a strong, dark roast lightly doctored with cream and sugar, while someone else insists on a cup of cream and sugar lightly doctored with coffee.

Omniverse wrote:As long as you are happy and enjoying your life, then that is all that matters.
Which contradicts your initial hypothesis! You said perceived values don't matter! Now, you're saying it's all that matters! Your hypothesis needs a LOT of work.

Omniverse wrote:So, with all of this being said, evolution did not give us the ability to perceive situations as being good and bad to us in the absence of pain (feeling bad) and pleasure (feeling good).
Of course it did! If I see a man approaching me holding a knife, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "bad." If I'm at a restaurant, and I've ordered lobster risotto, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "good." If my bills are due, and I'm $100 short, I feel neither pain nor pleasure, yet I perceive the situation as "bad." I could give you hundreds of examples of this. You're omitting the ability to reason about a situation. We are evolved beings; we don't rely on mere instinct to judge a situation.

Omniverse wrote:This is the analogy I give for those types of people who think that defining what gives their personal lives value, joy, happiness, beauty, and worth somehow makes it a real quality in their lives.
*facepalm* Every single person on the face of the Earth defines what gives their personal lives value, joy, happiness, beauty, and worth. Everyone's definition is different. And everyone's happiness is real to them. There is no possible way for you to judge someone else's happiness based on your personal criteria. The belief that everyone thinks the way you think is an immature belief, not borne out by fact.

Would it make me happy to murder people and eat them? Absolutely not! But it apparently made Jeffrey Dahmer happy.

Does listening to this make me happy?
https://youtu.be/2SZpGa6Fkss
Totally! It's clever, upbeat, and performed really well. Puts a smile on my face right from the start. You can't be depressed and listen to ragtime piano simultaneously.


First off, when I said that feeling good is all that matters in life, then I would have to feel good from that in order to perceive the value in that. Second, I don't believe in God and the afterlife. I am actually undecided when it comes to the existence of God, the afterlife, and the paranormal. But let me give you a Christian analogy to make everything in my writing seem clear to you in case everything I am saying here either seems like nonsensical gibberish or if it all seems flawed. A person can very well acknowledge and believe that God and Jesus are the most magnificent and loving beings. But without the spirit of Jesus/the Holy Ghost within him/her, then this person is just a soulless biological machine. His/her perceptual experience of God's/Jesus' magnificence and love is nothing more than that of a biological machine. Therefore, his/her perceptual experience only meets a soulless biological machine's standard. It does not meet the standard of the Divine.

This person would need to be filled with the Divine Awareness of the Holy Ghost in order to actually perceive God's magnificence and love for what it truly is. This perceptual experience would be that of God and would meet the standard of the Divine. In that same sense, you could consider our good moods/feelings to also be the Divine Awareness that allows us to truly perceive good value, worth, joy, beauty, and happiness in our lives. Without this Divine Awareness, then our perceptual experience of those terms is nothing more than that of a biological machine. It does not meet the Divine standard (if you are a spiritual believer) or the human standard (if you are a non spiritual believer) of any perceptual quality of those terms.

This means that you, I, and everyone else can only live our lives as nothing more than biological machines since our good moods/feelings are the higher component to our human experience that we need in our lives. So, our good moods/feelings would not just be feelings. They would actually be the divine spiritual light (if you are a spiritual believer) or the higher component (if you are a non spiritual believer) to our lives that fills us up and allows us to become aware of all the good value/worth in our lives. Likewise, our bad moods/feelings would be a descended form of awareness that allows us to become aware of hellish and horrible experiences as well as bad value in our lives. An experience that is neither a good or bad mood/feeling is nothing more than that of a biological machine.
Last edited by Omniverse on Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:24 pm

1. You don't need to quote my entire post every time...just quote the portions to which you're directly responding, like I do. Otherwise, you're just taking up a lot of space for no reason, and there's no relation between your response and my comments. Quote the relevant portion, then comment...repeat.

2. I'm an atheist, so your analogy is meaningless to me. I don't see any difference between "believing in God and Jesus" and "having the Holy Spirit within." Both are irrational delusions.

3. This:
Omniverse wrote:...when I said that feeling good is all that matters in life, then I would have to feel good from that in order to perceive the value in that.
...makes no sense.

4. Either your hypothesis is irrational, or you're not explaining it adequately. This discussion would be much easier if you actually responded to the points I made by quoting each one and commenting on it. Instead, you're ignoring the points I made and just repeatedly explaining your hypothesis using the same words to which I objected. Not helpful.

5. At the end of the day, we are biological machines. It behooves us to read the manual before going off half-cocked. Emotions are not "divine spiritual light." They are caused by hormones and neurochemicals, some of which can be manipulated to produce certain emotions, like deliberately smiling to force your brain to release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Is this an artificial happiness? How can it be, when your brain is reacting in exactly the same way as it would if something stimulated you to smile naturally?

6. You appear to believe that human emotions are a simplistic three-phase state of mind: good, neutral, and bad. In reality, human emotions are complex and multi-layered. At times, they inspire us to reason. Other times, they cause us to abrogate reason. We're capable of feeling an ostensibly positive emotion simultaneously with an ostensibly negative emotion, like being angry with someone you love, or frustrated and determined at the same time, or apprehensive yet eager. You're trying to distill an infinitely complicated range of experiences into a theory that consists of an either-or proposition.

7. It's still unclear whether you favor the mechanistic process by which emotions are produced, or each person's subjective perceptions of their emotions. Nor is it clear what you expect of neuroscience.

8. It is clear, however, that you're drawing conclusions based on either ignorance of or misunderstandings about evolution, neuroscience, and patterns of thought.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Omniverse » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:39 pm

All I'm saying here is that a mechanistic standard of perceptual good value/worth simply means a perceptual experience of good value/worth that possesses no quality in a person's life. That is what I mean when I say that we would be nothing more than biological machines without our good moods/feelings and that we would have no higher, humanistic quality of perceptual good value/worth in our lives. I am saying that it is only our good moods/feelings that give us this higher, humanistic perceptual quality of good value/worth. I would still recommend going with my Christian analogy anyway since it makes my point clear. It is an analogy that even applies to a naturalistic universe where there is no God, supernatural, or afterlife.

Let me give you a logical argument that makes my point:

1.) Perceiving something to be of good value, worth, joy, beauty, inspiration, love, a heavenly experience, and happiness to you can only be an experience for you that has a good quality. In short, having good value and worth, along with joy, beauty, and happiness in your life is always a good quality of experience (state of mind) no matter how you look at it. Even if you thought that a bad quality of experience was something good to you, then that would presuppose a good quality of experience.

2.) Perceiving something to be of bad value, torment, suffering, a hellish experience, and misery to you can only be an experience for you that has a bad quality. In short, having bad value, along with suffering, misery, and torment in your life is always a bad quality of experience (state of mind) no matter how you look at it. Even if you thought that a good quality of experience was something bad to you, then even that would presuppose a bad quality of experience.

3.) Perceiving something to be of neither good value, worth, bad value, joy, beauty, happiness, suffering, torment, or misery to you can only be an experience for you that has no quality. In short, having neither good value, worth, nor bad value, along with having no suffering, a hellish experience, a heavenly experience, misery, torment, happiness, or beauty in your life is always a neutral quality of experience (state of mind) no matter how you look at it. Even if you thought that a neutral quality of experience was something good or bad to you, then even that would presuppose a good or bad quality of experience.

4.) The quality of experience we have (i.e. good, bad, or neutral) is not a matter of value judgment. This is because qualities are distinct from value judgments. If you judged and believed that an orange was an apple, then that would not change the qualities that this orange has and somehow make it into an apple. Likewise, physical pain possessing a painful quality of experience is not a matter of value judgment either. Physical pain being a painful experience is what makes it physical pain in the first place just as how the qualities of an orange are what make it an orange.

In that same sense, the type of experience we have also dictates whether that experience has a good quality, bad quality, or no quality. As you can see here, it is all about the experiences we have and not about the terms we give to these experiences. It is the experiences that define the terms; not vice versa. We do not define what type of experience we have (i.e. painful, joyful, beautiful, hellish, etc.). Let me give you an example.

If someone was dying of thirst and he/she had an empty glass, then defining the emptiness inside that glass as being water would be nothing more than a term. It would not give this person the actual quality of water to save his/her life. Experience is everything to life. Without it, then we would either be dead or unconscious. A person's experience is very precious and should not be left out of the picture just as how the idea that this person needed an actual quality of water to save his/her life should not be left out of the picture.

5.) Our good moods/feelings (which I define as only being states of well being induced by our brain chemicals/neurotransmitters) are the only experiences that possess the good quality, our bad moods/feelings are the only experiences that possess the bad quality, and a non feeling experience can only possess no quality.

Therefore,

Conclusion: Our good moods/feelings are the only things that can give our lives a real perceptual quality of good value, worth, joy, beauty, a heavenly experience, and happiness, our bad moods/feelings are the only things that can give our lives a perceptual quality of bad value, suffering, misery, agony, a hellish experience, and torment, while it is only experiencing neither our good or bad moods/feelings that can bring our lives a perceptual quality of no value, worth, joy, beauty, suffering, heavenly experience, hellish experience, happiness, love, or misery.

People with a brain defect, brain damage, or low feel-good neurotransmitters that take away their good moods/feelings due to either drug use, depression, and/or anhedonia are only having positive thoughts that their lives still have good value, worth, joy, beauty, and happiness to them without their good moods/feelings. But their quality of experience possesses no good quality to give any real perception of good value, worth, joy, beauty, and happiness to their lives. In other words, they would not be able to actually see the good value, worth, joy, beauty, and happiness in themselves, others around them, and in their lives.

You might as well consider the value and joy to be nothing more than terms (words/phrases) in a depressed/anhedonic person's life. Depressed/anhedonic people are only fooling and deluding themselves through these positive terms as well as through positive gestures, acts, and tones of voice in thinking their lives have real good value and worth to them. But, again, their actual experience possesses no good quality. They might have a little bit of good moods/feelings to some small degree, but that would only offer them a small quality of perceptual good value/worth perceived in their lives.

Additional delusional factors include conditioning, strength of character, and empathy towards other human beings which would certainly delude an individual into thinking that helping out others, making the best of life, etc. during miserable times would give real good value, worth, and joy to a person's life with no need for any good moods/feelings.

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Nikki Nyx
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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:17 am

Again, you're simply repeating yourself using the same words to which I objected. The phrase "a mechanistic standard of perceptual good value/worth" is semantically meaningless. I've already commented that "mechanistic" means "determined solely by physical processes." OTOH, "perceptual" is entirely subjective, as it's based on one's interpretation. Therefore, there can be no "mechanistic standard" of "perceptual" anything. I don't think you're reading my comments.

Next, with or without emotions, we are biological machines.

Moving on, you have another vocabulary oxymoron. You refer to a "humanistic perceptual quality of good," then use a Christian analogy. Humanism and Christianity are diametrically opposed philosophies, so you can't use one to illustrate principles of the other. It's a poor analogy that fails to elucidate your point.

This:
Omniverse wrote:The quality of experience we have (i.e. good, bad, or neutral) is not a matter of value judgment. This is because qualities are distinct from value judgments.
...is dead wrong. A value judgment is a subjective assessment of quality based on personal biases, standards, priorities, and goals. And these two examples:
Omniverse wrote:If you judged and believed that an orange was an apple, then that would not change the qualities that this orange has and somehow make it into an apple. Likewise, physical pain possessing a painful quality of experience is not a matter of value judgment either. Physical pain being a painful experience is what makes it physical pain in the first place just as how the qualities of an orange are what make it an orange.
...aren't remotely analogous. An orange is an object separate from the self; physical pain is a sensory experience perceived by the self. The two cannot be compared by any metric. And I most certainly can make a value judgment about the quality of the pain I'm experiencing!

Omniverse wrote:We do not define what type of experience we have (i.e. painful, joyful, beautiful, hellish, etc.).
Yes, we absolutely do.

Omniverse wrote:If someone was dying of thirst and he/she had an empty glass, then defining the emptiness inside that glass as being water would be nothing more than a term. It would not give this person the actual quality of water to save his/her life.
But attempting to redefine "empty glass" as "glass of water" is not defining an experience! It's futilely trying to change reality! Describing "dying of thirst" as "bloody horrible" is defining an experience.

Sorry, dude, but your hypothesis has all of the following issues:
• Using words to mean things other than their accepted definitions.
• Making use of faulty analogies.
• Including logical fallacies.
• Lacking knowledge of crucial subject matter, including neurology, philosophy, psychology, evolution, semantics, and epistemology (at the very least).
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

Omniverse
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Re: Scientific evidence for hedonism

Postby Omniverse » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:43 am

Nikki Nyx wrote:Again, you're simply repeating yourself using the same words to which I objected. The phrase "a mechanistic standard of perceptual good value/worth" is semantically meaningless. I've already commented that "mechanistic" means "determined solely by physical processes." OTOH, "perceptual" is entirely subjective, as it's based on one's interpretation. Therefore, there can be no "mechanistic standard" of "perceptual" anything. I don't think you're reading my comments.

Next, with or without emotions, we are biological machines.

Moving on, you have another vocabulary oxymoron. You refer to a "humanistic perceptual quality of good," then use a Christian analogy. Humanism and Christianity are diametrically opposed philosophies, so you can't use one to illustrate principles of the other. It's a poor analogy that fails to elucidate your point.

This:
Omniverse wrote:The quality of experience we have (i.e. good, bad, or neutral) is not a matter of value judgment. This is because qualities are distinct from value judgments.
...is dead wrong. A value judgment is a subjective assessment of quality based on personal biases, standards, priorities, and goals. And these two examples:
Omniverse wrote:If you judged and believed that an orange was an apple, then that would not change the qualities that this orange has and somehow make it into an apple. Likewise, physical pain possessing a painful quality of experience is not a matter of value judgment either. Physical pain being a painful experience is what makes it physical pain in the first place just as how the qualities of an orange are what make it an orange.
...aren't remotely analogous. An orange is an object separate from the self; physical pain is a sensory experience perceived by the self. The two cannot be compared by any metric. And I most certainly can make a value judgment about the quality of the pain I'm experiencing!

Omniverse wrote:We do not define what type of experience we have (i.e. painful, joyful, beautiful, hellish, etc.).
Yes, we absolutely do.

Omniverse wrote:If someone was dying of thirst and he/she had an empty glass, then defining the emptiness inside that glass as being water would be nothing more than a term. It would not give this person the actual quality of water to save his/her life.
But attempting to redefine "empty glass" as "glass of water" is not defining an experience! It's futilely trying to change reality! Describing "dying of thirst" as "bloody horrible" is defining an experience.

Sorry, dude, but your hypothesis has all of the following issues:
• Using words to mean things other than their accepted definitions.
• Making use of faulty analogies.
• Including logical fallacies.
• Lacking knowledge of crucial subject matter, including neurology, philosophy, psychology, evolution, semantics, and epistemology (at the very least).


Oh well. I tried my best to articulate my worldview. But it has all failed. However, I have one last attempt. It is my #1 best explanation. It is a private message I sent to you. Although, I could repost it here if you want as well. This time, it is an explanation coming from my own personal life experience rather than from faulty logical arguments. I think the analogy I give from the perspective of my personal life experience should make things clear to you now. I think my whole worldview should become clear and flawless to you.


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