Hedonism and Its Beliefs
Cal Poly Pomona
Hedonism, an intrinsic value, means to find pleasure. It relates to what is good for us, how to behave, and what should be motivating us to act the way we do. In addition, I will talk about the difference between intrinsic value and instrumental value. They are two entirely different things. Evil pleasures are when an individual is doing something harmful to someone else, while enjoying the whole process. I will discuss more about evil pleasures in the following paragraphs. Lastly, there are two kinds of pleasures. They are physical pleasures and attitudinal pleasures. Physical pleasures are when you do something physical and enjoy it. Attitudinal pleasure has nothing to do with being physical, like going to a victory party.
Title of Paper
There are many differences between intrinsic value and instrumental value. “Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate.” (Deci &Ryan, 2000). Intrinsic value is something that is valuable in the object itself. Instrumental value is a value that something has because of its helpful function to help us accomplish something. There is a difference in both, but they are still both highly important. There are a few intrinsic values that I take to be valuable in each way. For example, one of them would be health. I value health because I would rather be healthy than being sick. No one that I know would want to be sick and cannot do anything. Being sick is not fun. Another example would be wisdom or knowledge. I value this because having some knowledge is better than not knowing anything. Knowledge is the most valuable and important thing to me because everything in this world depends on it. Lastly, I value happiness because to me, if you are not happy, you would never have a happy, cheerful life. Furthermore, an example of instrumental value that I value very much is my washing machine because of its function to wash my clothes. However, if there was a cheaper placed to wash clothes, I think I would most likely sell my washer machine and wash my clothes elsewhere. Another example would be money because it makes me feel safe. Without money, we would not be able to purchase important things and necessities for our daily life. Without its important function, we would have nothing.
Level one heading
Hedonism means to find pleasure. It comes from a Greek word called hedone, which means pleasure. The hedonist claims that happiness is an intrinsic value because every object would be valuable only if it makes us happy. The only thing that reduces our quality of life would be unhappiness. I find it very true and agree with what the hedonist claims. In the book, it also states that there are two fundamental kinds of pleasure and that happiness is an attitudinal pleasure. For the instrumental value, “the hedonist claims that if you get a vaccination and it fails to protect you from the disease, then it generates no benefits and nothing is valuable about it” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p. ). The reason they instrumentally good is because it needs to benefit the people who are taking the vaccination. Furthermore, the book talks about evil pleasures. I have heard a lot of this where people would do harmful things to others and enjoy it. Evil pleasures are when someone is doing awful things and enjoys doing it. It is awful for hedonism because if the person is happy from doing the evil deeds, then it is not the same as happiness that comes from doing kind, thoughtful things. I do not believe that the evil pleasures would truly make the person happy. Although they may be enjoying it, I doubt they are experiencing real happiness. According to the power point, it talks about “making a world a better place” (Utilitarianism, p. 9). It’s like if you are fair to one person, then it should be fair for everyone else. That also does not mean if you treat everyone equally, others would think that they are treated equally.
The Two Pleasures
In the book, the hedonists claim that there are two different kinds of pleasures. Those two types of pleasures are physical pleasures and attitudinal pleasures, also known as enjoyment. Physical pleasures are something that makes you happy at that very moment. It may or may not last long either, and it is said to be something entirely different from happiness. For example, the book states “the first kind is the sort we experience when we taste a delicious fall apple or when we let the jets from a hot tub dissolve the tension in our backs” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p. 24). Another example would be eating a delicious dinner such as steak and mash potatoes. The second pleasure is attitudinal pleasure. “As the hedonist understands it, happiness is attitudinal pleasure: the positive attitude of enjoyment” (Shafer-Landau, 2010, p. 24). An example of an attitudinal pleasure would be like enjoying a concert or enjoying a football victory. An attitudinal pleasure does not involve any physical touch. In addition, the hedonist claims that attitudinal pleasure is more important than physical pleasure because “hedonism must be understood as the view that enjoyment, rather than physical pleasure, is the key to a good life.” (pp. 24-25). I think the hedonist believes that attitudinal pleasure would lead to a better life because one must enjoy themselves to be happy. “Enjoyment is not a feeling. It is an attitude. Like so many attitudes, it takes propositional entities as its objects.” (Feldman, 2002). In my opinion, I agree with the claim because I think it is important to enjoy oneself, which is why I also agree that attitudinal pleasure is important in our life. For me, I enjoy myself by celebrating someone’s birthday or going to a concert of my favorite band. All these would lead to happiness and enjoyment, which is highly important in our life.
In conclusion, hedonism is to find and pursuit of pleasure. A hedonist has many believes and claims that they believe in. They talk about the differences between intrinsic value and instrumental value. Intrinsic value is something that is valuable in itself, while an instrumental value is something that is valuable for its function and the way it works. In addition, they talk about different pleasures. The pleasures they mention are physical pleasures and attitudinal pleasures. They are both different things. A physical pleasure is when you enjoy something, such as getting an expensive massage, while an attitudinal pleasure is when it does not involve any physical touch to make you happy. Furthermore, the hedonists claim that evil pleasures are evil acts that someone does and enjoys it. It is awful for hedonism. Overall, the book discusses the different pleasures and meanings of hedonism in the first two chapters. It goes into more details about it, and I hope to learn more.