Hedonism Essay

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Hedonism is defined as an action that brings pleasure. Someone who does only those things that bring them pleasure or believes that pleasure is the most important thing is said to be a hedonist. Being a hedonist is thought to be a negative thing, but why? Shouldn’t we all strive to do things that bring us pleasure? Why would we do anything that would bring us pain or displeasure? Think of the time you were down to your last $10 for the week and barely getting by. You pass a homeless woman on the street with inadequate clothes for the weather and who is asking for food. You give her your last $10 even though you may run out of gas by the end of the week and have trouble getting to work. You believe in a God and have good morals so you know…show more content…
A folk hedonist is someone who is traditionally seen as only seeking pleasure in everything they do and doesn’t take into account the effects their actions have on themselves or others. A folk hedonist would typically experience regular binges of drugs and alcohol along with multiple sexual encounters with multiple partners. A less typical folk hedonist but still one which would result in negative outcomes would be someone who doesn’t exercise, see a MD regularly and eats anything and everything without regards to their health. These actions can directly result in negative outcomes for themselves but indirectly for their families as well. Someone who neglects their health could die at an early age or suffer from a disease or cancer that leaves them debilitated leaving the family to deal with all the responsibilities or grow up without a…show more content…
Bentham devised The Greatest Happiness Principle that states “that actions are immoral if they are not the action that appears to maximise the happiness of all the people likely to be affected; only the action that appears to maximise the happiness of all the people likely to be affected is the morally right action.” Bentham used his happiness principle to help decide how legal matters would go and created the Hedonic Calculus which was a way to calculate the amount of pleasure that would be derived from an action. There were multiple factors that were taken into account when using the Hedonic calculus but generally which ever decision yielded the greatest amount of pleasure for the greatest number of people would be the decision
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