19 Answers

  1. The subtitle question is simple, and Yuri answered it perfectly. If we consider these ideas as extremes of the same scale, then the “middle way” is appropriate, which was tested, understood and then explained by Gautama Buddha.

    There is ethical hedonism, a doctrine that places the pursuit of pleasure as the highest standard of what we should do. Simply put, pleasure and pain avoidance are the goal of life.

    But there is also psychological hedonism – this teaching describes what we actually do, people always pursue their own pleasure and satisfaction, no matter what they do.

    An interesting and rarely reported point: ethical hedonism is completely meaningless to put forward and promote if psychological hedonism is false. That is, if people are already engaged in the pursuit of a personal high without any hints due to the structure of their nature, then there is no need to make a philosophical doctrine out of it at all.

    In short, ethical hedonism is incoherent as a doctrine. And in addition, if you look at it, this is a rather vile and dehumanizing teaching. While the inherent human and not only automatic gravity to what brings comfort and pleasure, this is a psychological fact.

    A couple of examples will make it clear what I mean: Mozart, as we understand it, created brilliant music and enjoyed it. But he wasn't just doing it for fun. Mother Teresa helped the poor and also enjoyed it.

    But this pleasure is significantly different from the pleasure that alcoholics, drug addicts or libertines get when indulging in their pleasures.

  2. I do not think that hedonism and asceticism should be considered as equal categories. Therefore, it will be difficult to choose one of the two philosophical concepts.

    Let's get to the bottom of it:

    We cannot consider hedonism and asceticism as two opposite types of thinking and worldview. Hedonism is a certain life strategy, a system of values of a person and his way of life. The person seeks to get the most out of the world of pleasure and positive, pleasant impressions.

    Asceticism is the shallow foundation of life.

    Rather, it represents a means (because it literally translates as “exercise”). Asceticism is used in a number of life plans and strategies, in ideological bases. By the way, not bypassed asceticism and hedonism.

    Linking categories

    I would not talk about choosing between asceticism and hedonism, also because asceticism can be a means of hedonism. For example, a person may enjoy creating contrasts (hedonistically giving up certain things in life in order to feel their sharpness and taste again).

    However, most often asceticism is used to achieve a number of other goals and solve other problems.

    The opposite of asceticism is not hedonism, but elementary promiscuity, lack of limits. A person does not see boundaries, does not know how to control himself, is aggressive, and is unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

    If something goes out of his plan, hysteria begins and literally childish demands to solve the problem instantly. In this path, anyone will make an obvious decision.

  3. Hedonism and asceticism are not opposites, they are in different weight categories, so to speak.

    Hedonism is a life strategy, a whole worldview.

    Asceticism is a means [ασκεσις literally means exercise]. This tool is used in different life strategies, in different worldviews, including hedonism.

    Yes, asceticism can be a means of achieving pleasure. For example, the pleasure of contrast [one of the main types of pleasure]. Or hard-to-reach pleasures that can only be experienced through non-trivial efforts and after rigorous [ascetic] training.

    Although, of course, more often asceticism is used to achieve other goals.

    And the opposite of asceticism is promiscuity. This is when you are unable to control yourself, you can not control yourself, you can not get together, give everything to you immediately and on a platter, and if not, then powerless hysteria, etc. Here the choice, I think, is obvious.

  4. You mentioned the word “extreme” in your question, and here the answer is immediately ” why choose extreme?”

    Still, asceticism in the modern world in a developed society will look strange and slightly ridiculous. KFC's choice between a Michelin-starred restaurant and a KFC is not exactly ascetic either.

    Hedonism, again, in the conditions of modern society is also dangerous. If you rely only on pleasure , it can lead to terrible consequences (this means following only your “want”), and after all, manufacturers are basically aimed at maximizing the “satisfaction of a need”, which, perhaps, does not exist at all. So you can get a wonderful addiction, which you can't get rid of later, or you can get rid of it with great difficulty.

    It is impossible to choose between two phenomena in the modern world. Because the choice in favor of one or the other will be neither hedonism nor asceticism in the full sense of the word, and the adapted version of these phenomena will be just a balance between the real need and the simple want.

    Psychologists say that it is harmful to limit yourself in everything. If we live a normal life, then creating artificial restrictions will have a bad effect on our health. Starting out solely for happiness will also lead to a lot of problems, including in relationships with loved ones. As the saying goes, our freedoms are limited where the other's begin. And what will happen if hedonism concerns the freedoms of this other is unclear.

    So the pure manifestation of these trends, alas, is impossible, but the balance and the right ratio, perhaps, is a real opportunity to preserve physical and psychological health.

  5. The choice will be made for asceticism, as it has been practiced by wise people since ancient times. Recall Marcus Aurelius: the emperor who preferred stoicism over hedonism; behaved with restraint with his subjects, did not seek greed and kitsch, and aroused the respect of others. With asceticism, a person needs the necessary minimum, which will already be able to make him happy, hedonism can turn into an endless race for happiness, which will contribute to the destruction of the psyche and homeostasis. As the Apostle Paul said: all things are permissible to me, but not all things are useful.

  6. The question is stupid, as the anonymous author himself admits. But I would correct this stupidity, or rather redirect it from philosophical paths to quite ordinary, so to speak, vital ones. It would be foolish to answer this stupid question by shaking philosophical instruments in the air, significantly inflating epistemological cheeks along with epistemological cheeks. Let's leave this fascinating task to the philosophical associate professors in their dreary departments. Let them swell up, fill up with historical and philosophical slush. Something else is important to us.

    Obviously, we always choose between want and must. In every decision we make, there is a glimpse of this vital gulf between the animal and, let's say, the non – animal. After all, a person is higher than angels and gods, he is free to choose for himself what to become, what to become, who to serve: the Sodom ideal or the Madonna. That's what they would have said in the century before last. That's what they said, actually. Today, I would say that the person should be narrowed down. But I won't tell you. I won't say so, but otherwise. Not a person should be narrowed, but a person-an anonymous author of the question, me or someone else can-narrow himself. You need to narrow yourself down to the eye of a needle. Here in this self-deprecation for me there is an answer to the question of this curious anonymous letter.

  7. Hedonism, as I understand it for myself, is the maximization of positive (pleasant) feelings during life. At the extreme, hedonism can be defined the same way, but in the current moment. If you eat enough drugs, it will be pleasant only now, and if you make a career, sacrificing pleasure, it can be good for a long time later. The problem is that you can't accurately predict the consequences of your actions. You can sacrifice for the future for a long time, and then get hit by a tram. Choosing a life strategy is an insidious thing.

  8. Well, it's not good to rush to extremes, you need to stick to the golden mean, but if the question is in the choice. I'm all for hedonism. I basically despise austerity, the benefits of it are very exaggerated. The fact is that self-restraint for the purpose of self-development does not work well enough, because self-restraint instantly becomes an end in itself, or rather, you spend so much effort on austerity that you think that you are doing something incredible, but in reality, you are not doing anything. I say this from the point of view of a person who has tried a lot of self-restrictions, up to a temporary refusal of food and water, enough for 6 full days. I saw it as an incredible feat and a challenge to myself, but in reality, I simply did not eat or drink for several days. Simply put, I haven't grown up to asceticism yet, maybe in the future, so for now, I choose hedonism.

  9. An ascetic is a person who has chosen the path of abstinence and a strict lifestyle, which implies restrictions in obtaining pleasure and using material goods.
    A hedonist is a person who is able to take everything from life, while he can give part of the pleasures to others, his main goal is to constantly get a feeling of high and a state of eternal happiness.
    We are, in a sense, all ascetics, because we are forced to live content with a little)) It is impossible to take everything from life, so only a fool can think, having turned his life into a pursuit of pleasure))
    It's time to think about selfishness – is it good for them to be-selfish – or not?)) Can an egoist be an ascetic or a hedonist? What do you think?

  10. Nothing, because in these words there are letter combinations izm. Which we are forced in every possible way to find in it a high, pleasure and other mental states, through physical influences. In short, cheat yourself and it will be completely free. For example, drinking and eating, smoking, taking a bath, a steam room, turning it into a cult-culture, for nature and naturally into a religion of behavior and went on driving in a circle and at first, repeating the forgotten old into the new.

  11. A reasonable combination of both. As you know, everything is good in moderation, and going to extremes is always bad. Look for a middle ground and don't go wrong.

  12. Tapas-the term of the Vedic system of knowledge, translated means: warming up, heating up, straining the will, asceticism. Tapas is one of the cosmological foundations.

    “The Great Legend of the Rulers”, book XII “The Book of Pacification”, part “The basis of Liberation”, ch. 217:


    Tapas permeate the threefold world, shining with inner essence.

    1. The sun and moon shine like tapas in the sky.

    Light of tapas – knowledge;…”.

    Chapter 232:

    “22. …

    Achievement (tapas) is the good of beings; peace and self-control are its roots.”

    Chapter 297:

    “14. … ;

    He opens the way to heaven for the self-controlled, who has conquered the senses.

    1. Tapas was once created by the Lord of creatures … ;

    … “.

    “23. There is nothing in the three worlds that is unattainable for an ascetic who performs mortification of the flesh,

    The loss of goods is the fruit of those who do not perfect mortification of the flesh.”

    “26. …;

    ..if you happen to lose your happiness, a man should perform severe tapas.”

    Translated from Sanskrit by Academician Boris Leonidovich Smirnov.

  13. Hello! You have a really very interesting question,I'm glad that you want
    to know the opinion of others.
    I would choose the golden mean.because I try to live by the principles of a very wise book.

    I would not choose hedonism,because it is based on living for your own pleasure.and in the wise book it is written: what you need,, to take care not only of your own interests, but also of the interests of others,,.
    Asceticism.I would not choose ,because this is what the book also says: “there is nothing better for a person than to eat and drink and let his soul enjoy the good fruits of his labor.”
    After all, if you think about what our planet and all the beauty on it was created for, if not for our enjoyment.

  14. I read the comments… So much water!!!

    By the way, Water is always looking for a hole, and Man is always looking for pleasure – only some seek pleasure in hedonism, others in asceticism.

    In 2 words: Hedonism – passion in consumption, Asceticism is a passion in minimalism. But if asceticism develops the ability to enjoy any little things, hedonism is the opposite-a feeling of insatiability develops, you want more and more, as a result of which addiction develops, and this is not very good and harmful for any person.

  15. I would definitely choose asceticism, because I love freedom very much.

    Hedonism, in its essence, ultimately “binds” our sense of happiness to things, and asceticism breaks these very “bindings”.

  16. Of course, it's hedonism!!! When you can afford it, you're a happy person. Unfortunately, I have an ascetic lifestyle. I don't live up to it,I don't finish it. I don't know what a pleasant vacation is.I'm a breakaway horse.I work hard,but I don't have any money ,it's a beggarly, creeping life.

  17. As far as I understand it, the essence of hedonism is getting pleasure from life, the essence of asceticism is restraint.
    There is no contradiction between them.
    The opposite of asceticism is rather insatiability.
    But insatiability is not equal to hedonism. If you can't get enough, this is a controversial pleasure.
    It turns out that you don't have to choose. Combine them.)

  18. So far, there have been answers from people who can afford either one or the other. I, due to my advanced age, can only lean against hedonism by licking my lips, but I can afford ice cream…And the thought of clothes or a performance is only upsetting.

  19. despite the current fashion for “minimalism”, I'm still close to hedonism. I like delicious food, beautiful clothes, high-quality cosmetics, new experiences and travel.

    and asceticism is like a cover for lazy people. who justify their unwillingness to work by saying that they are “minimalists” and they don't need anything.

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