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How Does Nihilism Affect Hedonism? Essay

1628 words - 7 pages

How does Nihilism affect Hedonism?

Farid Guzman BKvt.3

Hedonism and Nihilism are two incredibly interesting philosophies, especially when studied in contrast to each other. Although by the simplest definitions they are opposites, they actually have a lot in common. In fact, it s entirely possible for one to occur as a result of the other. Both are very common in modern Western society, although for the most part extreme hedonists or nihilists are almost unheard of. Even thought we don’t normally pay attention to it, we all have Nihilistic and Hedonistic tendencies at various times throughout our lives.
Nihilism is the belief that nothing we do, own or believe is of any value. It is ...view middle of the document...

The explanation could go on for pages but to be brief it boils down to two points. First of all stupidity is not healthy for anybody. Seeing through superstition and illusion is a critical task because it prevents the individual from being exploited in life. Second, the religious, believing they hold a monopoly on truth, are compelled to force everyone else to believe the same things they do which means conflict is inevitable. Nihilism and religion cannot co-exist because the believers cannot allow it.
Like Nihilism, Hedonism also rejects the values of our society. Hedonism, however, is the believe that only pleasure is valuable. Hedonism can also be found in everyday society. Doing things “just for the heck of it” and splurging are classic examples of Hedonism in our society. And neither is particularly uncommon. Hedonism may seem selfish, but it is actually just the result of a system based more on fact and less on beliefs. There is no proof of God, or life after death, but pleasure is a “hands-on” reality, not just a belief, so hedonists embrace it. Perhaps in practice they'd be the same, but I'd argue that all philosophies and religions are essentially the same in practice. I don't think that anybody lives by their religion as much as I think. I think most people regardless of their religion try to be good people and be successful. While morals are subjective and relative to culture they are built into our brains on a low level, and i bet even the most hardcore nihilist who had smacked his mother would feel bad about it later. On the other hand I'd bet even the apostle Luke did a few things that had nothing to do with Jesus' message or preparing for the afterlife.
One could say that a society is a form of hedonism where the net pleasure produced outweighs the pains of living by a consensus of norms and produces better net pleasure than being a lone animal which doesnt live in co-operative antmosphere. This also produces a set of rules and norms which are real and have objective consequences .Sociological consequences. That is, if we are to have society, we have to treat people in such a way that the net pleasure tenet is not taken away by society. Otherwise each individual hedonist is at risk. Or that there is a net pleasure for the greatest many. Thus we have a utilitarian moral argument. I believe some things are intrinsically wrong, such as inflicting pain on others, as a really basic example. However, I don't think this is a purely a question of social morality - hurting others is wrong, even if you live in a cruel society where this is regarded as normal behaviour. So there really are things which are right and wrong in that sense.
Although the dark, empty image of Nihilism can actually lead to Hedonism. Some nihilists may be able to accept the fact that life has no purpose whatsoever, but many aren’t satisfied with the concept. Because they find no value in their environment, they become valuable to themselves, and this...

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