Note to Reader:
I wish to share my philosophy, which is based upon my personal experience/struggles. Many people might disagree with it, but I wish to share it anyway. In this post, I discuss my personal struggles later on, and what conclusion they've led me to. Now, this post is a bit long, and I want you to read from the very beginning, onward. I don't want you skipping over any material.
If you're unwilling to read this entire post, then I'm just asking you read what you're willing to read. Hopefully, you're willing to read some amount of material per day, or every other day, until you've finished this post. If so, then remember where you last left off reading. But, you might be someone who's only willing to read some material for one day, and never continue reading this post, or you might be someone who's willing to read this entire post in one day.
My Hedonistic Philosophy
When a person or thing matters to you, that's a state of mind, which I call a "matter state." If nothing mattered to anyone (that is, if everyone was apathetic), nothing would be good or bad. In other words, nothing would matter. So, matter states are the very source of goodness and badness for each individual. That means they make people and things good or bad (mattersome) in the eyes of each individual. A given person or thing is subjectively good or bad, which means what's good in one person's eyes might be bad in another person's eyes. Here's a quote by William Shakespeare that illustrates the point I'm trying to convey: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Now, I wish to focus on one part of this quote for a brief moment, and it's this part: "There is nothing either good or bad." According to my philosophy, matter states themselves are good or bad, while everything else is neither good nor bad. Matter states that are the source of goodness are always the good states, and matter states that are the source of badness are always the bad states. Now, as for the "but thinking makes it so" part of the quote, it's matter states, and not our judgments alone, that make everything else good or bad. So, if someone apathetically judged something as good, that wouldn't make it good. In order for it to be good, it must matter to him. With that being said, I'm now going to continue discussing matter states.
Matter states are always states of wanting, liking, or disliking (states of pleasure or displeasure). For example, if you were proud of something, that means you liked it, which means it pleasantly mattered to you (pleased you). If you loved someone or something, that's a pleasant matter state (liking). If you were excited to see a new movie, then that's a pleasant matter state (a state of wanting). If you were angry or miserable about something, that means it bothered you (displeased you/unpleasantly mattered to you), which means you disliked it. Now, matter states can be shallow or profound, and intense or not intense. I'm going to give an example of the shallow and profound matter states.
If a fancy item mattered to you, but didn't matter to you as profoundly/deeply as being there to support your family because that item was trivial in your eyes, then the item shallowly mattered to you, and supporting your family profoundly mattered to you. Also, if you like something more profoundly than something else, then you like it better, and, if you dislike something more profoundly than something else, then you dislike it worse. As you can see, "more profound" means "better" or "worse." Better means: "Closer to being the best thing (the greatest good)," and worse means: "Closer to being the worst thing (the greatest bad)."
So, the better you like something, the more good it becomes in your eyes, and, the worse you dislike something, the more bad it becomes in your eyes. As for wanting, here's an example. The more profoundly you're excited to see a new movie, the better/more good seeing that movie becomes in your eyes. Matter states that are more profound are the source of greater goodness or badness, which always makes them the better or worse states to be in. So, if someone's profoundly amazed by something, and another person's shallowly amazed by it, then the profoundly amazed person is having the greater goodness in his life (in his mental universe/mind).
That thing is better in his mind than that other person's mind. He's perceiving it as better, which means it's better in his eyes. Thus, he's in the better state, and is having the better experience. I could also say he's having the better pleasure. If someone's profoundly depressed about the loss of one of his family members, and another person's shallowly depressed, then the profoundly depressed person is in the worse state. But, what about someone who's apathetic? Well, he'd be living a hollow existence, since there'd be nothing good or bad in his life. Apathy is the complete absence of matter states, and we need matter states to color our world in goodness and badness.
The pleasant matter states color our world in goodness, which makes them the good states, and the unpleasant ones color our world in badness, which makes them the bad states. Without matter states, we're like blind people, living in a colorless world. So, we need color states and matter states in order for things to have color and matter in our lives/in our minds. Now, in regards to colors, it's a fact they only exist in our minds. That's because they're produced by the brain, which means they don't exist in the external world. The same thing applies to sound. In the external world, there are sound waves, but no sound. Sound is produced by the brain. So, colors and sounds are mental states.
Goodness and badness also only exist in our minds, which means they're mental states. So, there are mental states that are good or bad (that matter), which would be the matter states. As for apathy, it's a neutral state (a state that's neither good nor bad). Since goodness and badness are better and worse than neutrality, that means it's better to be in a good state than a state of apathy, and it's worse to be in a bad state than a state of apathy. Since neutrality is better than badness, that means it's better to be apathetic than in a bad state. But, even though apathy is better, it's not a good state. Being dead/unconscious is also a neutral state, which means it's better than the bad states.
So, if someone was suffering much badness (much misery, rage, disgust, etc.), then he's better off dead than living like that. The worse his bad states are, the better off he's dead. Even though it's better, I wouldn't recommend he kills himself, though. I recommend he gets the help he needs to eliminate those bad states, and restore his good ones. By killing himself, he'd be missing out on all the good states he could've had. Also, if he kills himself, his body would be dead, but he might actually not be dead. He might be a soul that lives on, and those bad states he tried to eliminate through suicide might linger on in his ghost form.
With that being said, I'm now going to go back to the topic of the shallow and profound matter states. Let's pretend you were in a good or bad state. Not only would a higher level of profoundness make that state better or worse, but a higher level of intensity. But, higher profoundness yields greater goodness or badness than higher intensity. For example, being in a pleasant matter state that's very profound and very low in intensity would be better than being in a pleasant matter state that's very shallow and very intense. Now, the best state would be a pleasant matter state that's the most profound and intense in the world.
This state is the best bliss, which can also be called "the best pleasure," and it would make any given moment the best in one's life, whether it's a moment with his family, a moment of victory, etc. So, it would give him the best experience. The worst state is the opposite of the best bliss, and it can be called "the worst suffering." It would give an individual the worst experience. The best bliss and worst suffering are not only the best and worst states of mind, but the best and worst states of being. For example, if you were the most happy, amazed, or sexually aroused person in the world, then you were in the most happy, amazed, or sexually aroused state of being, which would be the best state of being.
Also, since the best bliss and worst suffering are the best and worst things for everyone, then the goal is to avoid the worst suffering, and have the best bliss. The ultimate goal is to have the best, everlasting bliss. If heaven (the afterlife) exists, then we can achieve this ultimate goal because heaven is a place of no suffering, no boredom, and souls have the best, everlasting bliss. There's many forms of this bliss in heaven. For example, there's the best amazement, unconditional love, entertainment, sexual ecstasy, tranquility, etc. But, since we're here on Earth and not in heaven, then we must rely on powerful drugs to achieve the best bliss or, at least, states of bliss that are close to being the best. Drugs only offer temporary bliss, though.
But, there might be technology in the future that will allow us to achieve the best, everlasting bliss. Now, if heaven exists, then it makes me wonder why we're here on Earth, where the good states are fleeting, and there's much inevitable suffering. I've had much suffering (bad states) that I couldn't will away. These states were caused by subconscious worries I couldn't will away either. During my worrisome times, I couldn't have any good states because it's a fact that being worried causes much bad states, and will render you unable to achieve good states. As I continued to recover, the bad states faded, along with the nightmares, and the good states returned. But, suffering like this was no way to live for me.
I've concluded, based upon my personal experience, that all this suffering was completely unnecessary, that life's all about being most blissful, and not being bothered by anyone or anything. If you're in a state of being bothered by someone or something (in other words, if you're in a bad state), then that's no way to live, no matter what. Also, it's always much better to be blissful than to be bothered. That means it's much better to be a blissful psychopath who harms others than an angry person who fights to protect others. Many people would think it's better to be the angry person. But, it wouldn't be better.
If you were the blissful psychopath, you'd be in a better state (bliss is better than anger, according to my philosophy). So, that means it's better to be the blissful psychopath. Also, it's better to be a blissful artist than a miserable, suicidal, artistic genius who inspires humanity through his struggles by creating masterpieces, and it's better to live totally paralyzed and blissful than to be unparalyzed, unhappy, and very contributive to humanity. But, what about a situation where someone's having a moment of unhappiness, and he can have short term bliss on one condition, which would be that having this bliss would result in long term misery?
Well, if he chooses to have that bliss, then having it would be better than having that moment of unhappiness. But, I recommend he avoid having that bliss, given the long term misery. Also, if having short term misery would result in long term bliss, then I recommend someone has that misery. But, that misery would still be bad, though. Just because it would result in long term bliss doesn't make it good. If someone chooses to have that misery, then having it would be no way to live, even if he's bringing others bliss. But, since it's short term misery, it won't last long, and he'll soon have the long term bliss. With that being said, I'm going to go back to the topic of my personal experience.
As I said earlier, my suffering has led me to the conclusion that life's all about being most blissful (since the best bliss is the best thing), and that unpleasant matter states are always bad. This is the truth my personal experience has guided me to. If people allow their personal experience to guide them, they should arrive at the same truth. But, many people don't do so. They instead believe this lie that the best bliss isn't the best thing, and that unpleasant matter states are good. For example, they'd believe it's good to be a miserable, suicidal, genius artist who inspires humanity through his struggles, and they'd believe it's better to be that suffering artist than a blissful artist.
This delusion serves to blind people to the actual truth. The suffering artist would also be blinded. Another delusion humanity has is believing this idea that matter states are states of reason, and not emotional states. My personal experience has guided me to the truth that reason alone can't be a matter state. I'm going to explain why it can't. But, first, allow me to explain emotions. Emotions (matter states) are feelings of happiness, sadness, pride, amazement, etc. An obvious example of an emotion would be the feeling of fear you'd get from being in a life-threatening situation. Emotions are perceptions and perspectives.
For example, if you feel happy about something, that means you're happy, which means you have a happy perspective, which means you're perceiving that thing as good (mattersome). Emotions can also be called "moods," they set a happy, sad, etc. mental atmosphere for us, and said atmosphere is a place for our minds. So, a happy atmosphere is a happy place for us. The best bliss and worst suffering would be the best and worst atmospheres (the best and worst places for us). Also, our emotions determine what type of existence we're living. So, being in a very miserable mood means living a very bad, miserable existence. Having the best bliss or worst suffering means living the best or worst existence.
Now that I've discussed emotions, I'm going to discuss reason (our mindset/thinking). Reason alone can't be a matter state because it can't be a state of pleasure or displeasure. So, if someone was emotionless (unable to have emotions), and he had the mindset of a certain hobby mattering to him, then that mindset alone couldn't make it matter to him. It would be like how the mindset alone of being hungry, thirsty, sleepy, or nauseous won't work. For example, if someone was insomniac (unable to feel sleepy), and he had the mindset of being sleepy, then that mindset alone can't make him sleepy.
So, an emotionless person can't want, like, or dislike through reason alone, just as how an insomniac person can't be sleepy through reason alone. Matter states and sleepiness are feelings, and reason alone can't give us them. Even though sleepiness, hunger, thirst, etc. are feelings, they're obviously not moods, while happiness, sadness, etc. are moods. Now, in regards to what I just said earlier, which was that emotionless people are apathetic, robots are emotionless, which means they're apathetic. They can't be happy, sad, etc. But, they can still get work done anyway. Insects are emotionless as well, and they still do things, such as helping others of their kind.
There are people born without emotions (I think it's a condition called "alexithymia"), and they still perform acts and expressions. If it was impossible for them to do anything, they'd be dead because they wouldn't eat, sleep, drink, etc. Also, there were moments where I was completely emotionless (had complete apathy), and moments where I was just emotionless towards certain tasks (had partial apathy). For example, there were moments where I was unable to be in the mood to do chores. Therefore, I had no desire to do them, which means they couldn't matter to me in a wanting sense. Since I felt no liking or disliking towards them, that also means they didn't matter to me in a liking or disliking sense.
So, I was apathetic towards them, but still did them anyway. During my moments of partial and complete apathy (lack of emotion), reason alone couldn't be a matter state for me, and I don't recall a single moment where reason alone was. That's been my personal experience, and here's a quote by Hume (a famous philosopher) that's in agreement with my personal experience: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. (A Treatise of Human Nature, T 2.3.3 p. 415)." This quote is saying reason alone is incapable of being a matter state.
For example, when Hume says "passions," he means "desires" (wants), and he says reason alone can't be a state of wanting. But, reason does play a role in making things matter to us because our mindset causes us to feel (have) certain emotions. But, there are many things that disable or significantly reduce the intensity of certain emotions, and these things are: mental illnesses, not getting enough sleep, being mentally fatigue, being worried, etc. During my worrisome times, I had no desire to pursue my dream of composing music that will astonish the audience. That desire was disabled.
So, I gave up pursuing my composing dream. Why shouldn't I have given up? It couldn't matter to me in a wanting sense. So, I might as well have given up and waited for that desire to be restored. As I continued to recover, that desire returned, along with all my other good states, and that's when I pursued my composing dream again. Now, in regards to Hume's quote, here's an article that debates that quote. I'm not expecting you to read the article, but will share it anyway, in case you want to read it:
Now that I've presented the article, I'm going to discuss one last thing. I'm 33 years old right now, my birthday is 9/1/1988, and it's 10/28/2021 at the time of writing this post. As for my philosophy, it's a form of hedonism. Hedonism is a philosophy that advocates seeking pleasure and avoiding displeasure, and states that having an absence of pleasure is no way to live. It's a problematic philosophy because pleasure is fleeting for many people. For example, there are very unhappy people who have few moments of pleasure. Now, I've been a hedonist my entire life, and my suffering has only served to strengthen/reinforce my hedonistic worldview. I don't agree with non-hedonism.
Until a life that's lacking pleasant matter states works for me, I'll always remain a hedonist. But, such a life has never been compatible with me. For example, being miserable was still no way to live for me, regardless of what deeds I've done for others. To be honest, I think I'll always remain a hedonist. But, if reincarnation exists, then I might be a non-hedonist in the next life. Perhaps I was a non-hedonist in a previous life. Here are a few more things I wish to say about my philosophy. There'll be those who'll disagree with it because, when it comes to any given philosophy or religion, there'll be people who agree or disagree. I think I'll always disagree with non-hedonism.
If anyone tries to convert me to a non-hedonistic philosophy, that would be like me trying to convert someone to my philosophy, when he/she disagrees with it. It's a futile endeavor because it's not going to work. The fact is, we all have our own philosophies or religions, and it's sometimes the case they can never be changed, no matter how hard we, or anyone else, tries to change them. But, we can, at least, share and discuss them. As for religion, some people don't have a religious view, and they might never convert to one.
But, they're free to share their non-religious stance and have a discussion with religious or non-religious people. Now, here's one more thing I wish to say about my philosophy, which is that my philosophy says that, even if the achieving the best bliss had harmful consequences, the best bliss would still be the best thing. Also, even if achieving the worst suffering had many benefits, the worst suffering would still be the worst thing. But, there are people who don't desire the best, and desire the worst.
That means there'd be someone who wishes to seek the worst suffering because seeking it is good in his eyes. But, regardless of how good seeking it is in his eyes, it wouldn't make sense if he treats it as good because it's the worst thing. The same thing applies to someone who wishes to avoid the best bliss. It wouldn't make sense if he treats the best bliss as bad. With that being said, I'm finished. If people have any questions or objections pertaining to any of the material in this post, I'll address them in another post.