Hedonism vs Contributing to society

               As young adults we are caught between living for pleasure and contributing to society. These two goals are often mutually exclusive. My being a responsible working adult seems to always be getting in the way of my having pleasure.

             Why do I have to contribute to society? Why cant i just live for pleasure? Some people make you feel guilty for that. I explain to them that my life goal is to maximize pleasure and minimize suffering aka hedonsim. Hedonism has a bad connotation. Hedonism just agrues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. Pleasure is the ultimate goal of any species. It should be anyway. It is the point of all this. What is the point of progression in civilization if it isn’t progressing our pleasure?

            My parents dont get it. They come from a culture where you lived a subsistence level lifestyle. Pleasures were minimal and work was always available. Life was hard. They feel guilty about having abundant amounts of fun. They try to make me feel guilty for it also. Medical school is their brand of contributing to society and making them look good.  If I could find a way to be happy being a slacker that works a minimum wage job then i would do that. Society can find some one else to contribute to it. Just as long as i pay my taxes I am good. I don’t have to be a Ben Carson.

          We have been programmed to view pleasure as dirty. Especially “excessive” amounts of it. People tell you to “grow up” or “act responsible”. If i could live my whole live just having fun i would. If school was not a necessity to make a decent living would people still do it? If they could live for pleasure and skip the college, grad school and work part?

        Most of the time I am for hedonism. Then i remember how empty I would feel if I never left my mark on the world. Would I feel empty?? I don’t know. Most people don’t know either.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonism                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism

6 Replies to “Hedonism vs Contributing to society”

  1. Nice article. I often think about the same things. Personally, I am all for seeking pleasure whenever possible and I feel this part of human nature has been repressed over many years. I would gladly not work at all than have to spend my time doing mundane things.However, too often I feel like pleasure is not enough.
    As you say, to leave one’s mark on the world. Maybe this is what kids are for – I dont know as I dont have any. But I’d like to leave a mark in another way, but I havent found it yet.

  2. Hey thanks for the comment! I agree with you. I feel like most parents hold the view that their kids are how they are going to leave a mark on the world. Its a second chance syndrome. “If i was not a doctor my kids will be”. This sets up a lot of problems if the parents vision of leaving a mark does not coincide with the kid’s vision.
    Maybe its narcissistic for us to think that we have to leave a mark. As if out of the billions of people that have lived we are destined to be so exceptional that we can leave a lasting mark. Or maybe we should just be satisfied leaving a mark on the people in our lives (friends and family). Idk…lol

  3. Yooo i love that Ted Talks. It was amazing thanks for showing it to me. One of my favorite Ted Talks now. I wish i had seen this when i graduated high school lol. The speaker was funny too.

  4. I can relate to this article a lot. Some parents seem to value the needs of the group wayyy more than the needs of the individual. My solution: If i’m miserable I won’t be able to contribute to society efficiently, so stop making me do stuff that makes me miserable.

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