Showing posts from September, 2020

The Conflict Between Hedonism and Altruism

The humanist worldview has two core value assumptions. Hedonism: Pain is negative value and pleasure is positive value. In other words, feeling good is intrinsically good, and feeling bad is intrinsically bad. Other things are only good or bad insofar as they cause pleasure or pain. Altruism: We have a moral duty to act for the good of others, not just for our own good. Hurting others is morally bad. Helping others is morally good. This is the sole moral good, and all other moral goods derive from it. Hedonism defines what is subjectively good and bad for an individual. Altruism defines what is objectively good and bad. These assumptions are almost never explicitly stated, but they are the implicit basis for culturally accepted value judgments. They are tacitly accepted by most people in the modern West. There is a conflict between these two assumptions. Hedonism situates value in the feelings of pain and pleasure. Feelings are subjective. They are tied to a perspective. They

Morality and Bad Faith

Morality includes two big lies. One is that the interests of the collective are the interests of the individual. The other is that the interests of the collective are the interests of the cosmos. The reality is that individuals have their own interests, collectives have their own interests, and the cosmos has no interests. Collective interests can be understood as solutions to problems of cooperation, such as the prisoner’s dilemma and the tragedy of the commons. Life is competitive, and so each individual has an incentive to harm others and take resources from others. However, individuals can also benefit from cooperation. Within a collective, it could be that most people would benefit from a general prohibition on certain types of competition, such as murder, rape and theft. While the individual might benefit from committing such acts, he would also be harmed by others committing those acts against him. Thus, the individual is willing to trade his freedom to murder, rape and steal f