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Happy People Are Better And Superior


MattMVS7

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Some people would get bored or go insane living a life of pure pleasure with no suffering. But that all depends on who you are as a person. If you are someone who finds value in suffering, then it would be likely that you would get bored or go insane living a life of pure pleasure with no suffering. But if you are someone like me who instead feels empowered and immense value towards living a life of pure pleasure with no suffering, then these types of people will never get bored or go insane or find their lives to be of less value if they lived such a life of pure pleasure with no suffering.

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My anhedonia was caused by stress when I had severe panic disorder and felt that I could no longer handle the panic. My mind shut down the panic as though a natural defense mechanism to prevent the panic right then and there. I have had this severe chronic anhedonia ever since.

But other than that, if I lived a life of pure pleasure and no suffering, then I would never get bored, I would find my life to be of great value, and would feel very empowered because that is just who I am as a person. Again, only those people who find value in suffering would get bored or go insane.

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I like pleasure. Everyone does. I would like pleasure right now. To some degree, we all seek it all the time. No one says "Well, it's Thursday. Time to suffer." Pain and suffering just happen. It's a part of life. All life. In these events, as difficult as they may be, we can find strength and power we never knew we had.

I'm still not sure what you mean, Matt, by "superior" vs. "inferior." Based on what you are saying they seem to be pointless descriptors to determine who has more or less of one specific thing. In that case, who cares? I'll take my inferiority and go about my merry way.

A human life is more than the search for pleasure. It is pleasure, pain, sadness, glee, messed up, humorous, difficult, satisfying, and ****ing crappy. (Pardon my language.) What I admire...what I find true value in is courage to live through those moments. I have seen courage in so many people on this forum to open up to complete strangers. We think the anonymity is why we are ok with sharing, but the first step to do so is an amazingly courageous effort down the path of recovery. These are the people who give me strength and courage to do the same and that is the most valuable commodity they could ever give me.

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Now let me rephrase my first paragraph (as well as explain some more things) to get my point across. First off, I am a compassionate and caring person and I would have compassion and such towards depressed people despite knowing that they are inferior biological robots. I feel that not only are others robots, but I am also a robot in a sense as well and I wish to discuss this with people who are supportive and such who might be able to try and convince me otherwise to at least try and make me feel less angry/depressed about myself and such.

Who you are as a person is nothing compared to your feelings of love and pleasure because they are the greatest gifts to you in life and are the greatest aspects of you as a human being. They make you better than everyone else who either doesn't have as much love or pleasure as you do or who have little to no love or pleasure due to depression or anhedonia (emotional numbness) which is a symptom of depression.

Since feelings of love and pleasure feel like the greatest things to me in life and that nothing else in life compares (other than the feelings of love and pleasure that others possess), this is what makes these feelings the greatest things in life and is what makes everything else in life virtually nothing in comparison. These feelings may be nothing more than science and brain chemistry which makes them not all that special and great in terms of science. But there is a big difference between how nonspecial and ungreat these feelings are in terms of science and how special and great they are to us based on our own personal experience of these feelings. But if your own personal experience in life somehow tells you that these feelings are not that great or not even great at all for that matter and that other things in life have greater value, then you obviously have not experienced these feelings nearly as profound or meaningful as I have to know that they are the greatest things in life Since your experience of these feelings is not nearly as profound or meaningful as mine, that would make you a lesser being who would be some steps down from my status as a superior human being and would make you some steps towards being an inferior biological robot. But, of course, I am the inferior biological robot now since I can no longer have any such pleasurable experiences whatsoever due to my depression and severe chronic anhedonia. But, of course, you should still have value towards the pleasure that is lost in people with depression or anhedonia. I would still have compassion and such towards these people despite knowing that they are inferior biological robots.

Now the only life worth living and the only thing that would be closest to making you a better person if you had depression or anhedonia (in addition to having half the title of "emotionally sensitive" by having value towards the pleasure of others by living to bring others pleasure) would be having the full complete title by not accepting your loss of pleasure and living your life trying to regain your lost pleasure through therapy, medication, or other things.

Your thoughts, knowledge, attitude, and personality are what is basically nothing more than science and brain chemistry and are nothing special and great. They are nothing more than any other part of the brain responsible for biological "robotic" functions (such as parts of the brain responsible for movement, breathing, etc.). But pleasure is your emotional well-being here and is the only greatest aspect of you as a human being because all other aspects of you as a human being are "robotic" in comparison to pleasure. Since pleasure feels "good," that is what makes it "full of life" (better) in comparison despite the fact that these other functions of you are biological functions of a living organism. Since pleasure feels good, that is what makes it the best thing about you as a person. But since all other functioning of you as a human being does not feel good, that is what makes it nothing in comparison to pleasure.

Some people would say that being a better person can only come from your attitude and personality in life as well as your actions. But based on my arguments here, these things have virtually nothing to do with you being a better person as these things are virtually nothing in comparison to love and pleasure. Therefore, love and pleasure are the only things that make you a better person. Technically, who you are as a person would be all things combined (your thoughts, knowledge, attitude, personality, and even pleasure, etc.). So in this sense, pleasure would just be a sensation and not who you are as a person. But even so, this sensation is better than all other things about you as a person combined and would make a part of you (again, your pleasure) better than people who have less of it. Some people would also say that without pain and suffering, then there can be no pleasure. But this would be false. A baby can be born into this world without having yet experienced pain or suffering and immediately feel happiness and love being in the arms of a mother. This baby would be able to then experience full happiness and love in life having no future pain or suffering as well. The only way for him/her to experience less pleasure in life is for him/her to develop a sense of value towards having struggles and suffering in life and then having less value towards living a life of pure pleasure with no struggles and suffering as a result. That, or just being bored living such a nice happy life which are both things that would never happen to me since I find great value living a perfect happy life.

Some would also say that without intelligence, then there can be no awareness of pleasure. Although this would be true because if you were a ****** with no knowledge and such, then you wouldn't be able to even know that any pleasure you experience has any great meaning. But according to my arguments, intelligence and such is nothing compared to pleasure and having mindless pleasure would still be the best thing even in this situation. But despite the fact that intelligence is nothing more than biological robotic functioning, it still has value only in the sense of bringing you and others pleasure in life and keeping you and others alive to experience more pleasure. If intelligence is just used for other things in life other than the sake of pleasure or is not used as a plan to obtain more pleasure, then it has no value.

If I never had depression or anhedonia in my entire life and I never knew just how awful losing pleasure would feel, then I think I would not have valued pleasure to such an extreme as to even call Hitler himself great for having it. I would instead view him as a subhuman monster for ******* all those innocent people. But now that I have lost my pleasure, I realize just how great and absolutely necessary pleasure is for me in life and that it makes even the most wicked people great and absolutely nothing can take away from that greatness (other than them losing their own pleasure). It makes even the most wicked people great and makes even the most innocent people inferior biological robots if these innocent people didn't have it regardless of how caring and innocent these people are and what great things they do in life. Even if I were to fully recover my ability to experience pleasure, I would still never forget the immense value that pleasure has and I would still view Hitler as a great person for having it.

Finally, pleasure, in terms of evolution, is something we experience to let us know that things are good in life and that our lives are worth living. But if you had no pleasure and somehow found your life worth living anyway, then you would be delusional and your life would still be worthless because pleasure is the only thing that encourages our survival in life. To somehow think your life is worth living through knowledge, thoughts, attitude, and personality alone is delusional and does not comport with our evolutionary design.

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Matt, all this is your opinion. Based on what you said, being superior is pointless. It's a title and nothing more.

I have a difficult time calling pleasure meaningful or profound. Joy, on the other hand, can be. My sons being born is the most profoundly joyful experience I will ever have.

Pleasure just is. It has nothing to do with emotional well being. You can have emotional well being and not feel pleasure at every given moment as pleasure comes and goes.

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I understand that you are trying to work through some of your own stuff, and I am very sorry that you seem to be stuck in this place that is lacking pleasure and feeling a sense of very low self-worth.

*******************************************MAY BE TRIGGERING*************************************

What I find really disturbing about your posts, though, is that you seem to be taking this idea that pleasure is the ultimate thing in life (which I'm wondering might just be your own personal goal or desire) and projecting it onto the rest of us. So much so that you are saying that those who are NOT experiencing it are "inferior" and the equivalent to robots. Oh, and that if we

had no pleasure and somehow found your life worth living anyway, then you would be delusional and your life would still be worthless

I don't think anybody else has said it, so I will. I find this extremely offensive. I also find it a really dangerous thing to be saying to people in this forum. Some people don't have the capacity to feel pleasure. Some of us have to find reason to go on living despite that inability to feel pleasure. If we decide or accept that we are delusional and our lives are worthless, then we might as well just go **** ourselves.

All just my opinion, of course.

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I don't want to steer this thread in a questionable direction, but the repeated use of Hitler as an example doesn't make as much sense as you want it to. The man didn't exist in a vacuum, he was part of a complex system with a LOT of genocidal and homicidal maniacs involved, and "pleasure from *******" is an extreme simplification of all the atrocities of WWII Germany

A sadistic serial killer like Richard Ramirez would illustrate your "feeling pleasure is hierarchically superior to being a biological robot" argument much more clearly. IMO. Just throwing that out there.

Anyway, if I had to choose between never feeling pleasure and being a robot, or being a sadistic ******er, I'd choose robot. So, if you're a robot then it's OK.

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I will say it again your making objective statements out of your own subjective values,and projecting onto other people.I have also read the hitler was depressed,had drug addictions and had a awful childhood I don't understand why your using him as an example?

Edited by scienceguy
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What I find really disturbing about your posts, though, is that you seem to be taking this idea that pleasure is the ultimate thing in life (which I'm wondering might just be your own personal goal or desire) and projecting it onto the rest of us.

...

I don't think anybody else has said it, so I will. I find this extremely offensive. I also find it a really dangerous thing to be saying to people in this forum. Some people don't have the capacity to feel pleasure. Some of us have to find reason to go on living despite that inability to feel pleasure. If we decide or accept that we are delusional and our lives are worthless, then we might as well just go **** ourselves.

I have a difficult time calling pleasure meaningful or profound. Joy, on the other hand, can be. My sons being born is the most profoundly joyful experience I will ever have.

Pleasure just is. It has nothing to do with emotional well being. You can have emotional well being and not feel pleasure at every given moment as pleasure comes and goes.

I think Matt is referring to "pleasure" broadly, as in any feeling that elicits that biological signal to which we interpret as such. This would include joy, happiness, satisfaction, bliss, euphoria, or whatever else you want to call it because it is all reduced to "pleasure".

I don't think that someone can be emotionally well without experiencing some source of pleasure consistently enough, whether that be through social interaction, occupation, hobbies, material goods, or even the simple things like tasting something sweet or having an orgasm. I do think, however, that someone can be very disturbed and experience pleasure frequently (and those are the people that we'd rather not encounter).

Edited by afflicted
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Matt,

It sounds like you're struggling to find meaning and purpose, which is extremely common amongst people experiencing depression and related conditions.

As I began to read your post, I thought you were being tongue in cheek with the literal belief of biological robots, merely brain chemistry, and superiority based essentially on pleasurable experience.

I don't want to be argumentative, but you haven't put forth rational support for these assertions - you've merely assumed them.

You seem to have a purely naturalistic and deterministic worldview - or at least you're trying to. I do not think this can make sense of the phenomenological dimensions of life we experience. If we were nothing but matter and motion (even electricity and energy ultimately being a form of matter), then it would really be a truly bizarre thing indeed that we could be aware of our existence, let alone contemplate and desire meaning. Love would have no meaning whatsoever and neither would anything else as the preconditions for the possibility for a rational universe would not exist. Everything would just be what it is, there would not be any intelligibility and literally nothing would make sense. There are many reasons to believe in something more than the purely material, but one of them (for me) is the existence of truly extant, invariant, invisible entities of logic and reason, which cannot be mere social conventions imagined in our minds – else we could determine truth (and dispatch with the law of non-contradiction) by a show of hands.

You've used a lot of very imprecise language above, using words like 'pleasure', 'love' 'superior' etc.

I completely understand questioning the whether one has sufficient reason or motive to keep going on (versus nihilism) in the face of great pain. But do realize that logically, in order to feel pain and suffering, you must necessarily also be able to feel some pleasure and enjoyment. It may seem like none, but it is not actually a nullity. Without some contrast, there could be no meaning whatever in the phrase 'feeling pain.' The ability to feel pain presupposes a concomitant ability to feel enjoyment, pleasure, and even some happiness some of the time. It is simply a logical truism. I posit there are still things you enjoy nowadays even if you are much less aware or if they seem much less frequent or intense (and this is what depression does). There are still things you like to eat, probably enjoy on TV or the internet, conversations with people (such as perhaps on this site even), books, thinking about things, etc.

Again not to be argumentative, but you have no basis or evidence to be able to know or say that either your pleasure or pain is different, better or worse than others' (certainly not others' here). It just isn't supported by anything. I am not questioning that you may have had some extreme highs and lows (as many, many, many here have or they wouldn't be here).

Take heart. The mind is not a static thing. Neither is mood or feeling or even depression even when the latter seems like it is for so long for so many of us. One day at a time.

Ultimately what is worth living for is up to each of us. Discussing what these are for you for others is a conversation I am glad to have.

I am glad you are here. We need you.

Thanks for your post.

-g

Edited by gandolfication
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Matt,

I wanted to amend one thing.

I don't want to sound insensitive about the anhedonia.

I often feel like that, and think probably many here do, but to actually have that - I can only offer my deepest empathy.

There are treatments for depression (and other more complex mental conditions such as MS, Alzheimer’s, etc.) like deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and others that are showing great promise in general. Perhaps some of these will offer reason to hope for improvement for you too.

My understanding of anhedonia (and I do not mean to pontificate or seem like I know what this is like) is that the modern understanding--rather than thinking there is a total absence of pleasurable experiences, focuses more on the need to consider different aspects of enjoyable behavior, such as motivation or desire to engage in an activity ("motivational anhedonia"), as compared to the level of enjoyment of the activity itself ("consummatory anhedonia").

My only point here, is that you still seem to have some motive power to do and in some sense want to do and not do things. I suppose the 'desire' to have and to feel pleasure would presuppose some capacity for knowing/experiencing some spectrum of feeling.

Not making light of the condition - hopefully this allows some ground for hope and optimism.

One thing I am absolutely certain of - is that you are not inferior becuase you are suffering with the inability to experience pleasure. You may feel that way, but it is. a. feeling. Feelings are not facts.

What a truly extraordinary thing to have that sort of a daunting challenge, and still in all, to be getting by in this world. I am humbled to think about it, and from what remarkably reservoir of resilience you draw the strength from even if you feel quite the opposite. It strikes me as demonstrated by your continued perseverance.

And I hope you know that others of us out here are glad you're here.

Edited by gandolfication
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Matt,

I wanted to amend one thing.

I don't want to sound insensitive about the anhedonia.

I often feel like that, and think probably many here do, but to actually have that - I can only offer my deepest empathy.

There are treatments for depression (and other more complex mental conditions such as MS, Alzheimer’s, etc.) like deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and others that are showing great promise in general. Perhaps some of these will offer reason to hope for improvement for you too.

My understanding of anhedonia (and I do not mean to pontificate or seem like I know what this is like) is that the modern understanding--rather than thinking there is a total absence of pleasurable experiences, focuses more on the need to consider different aspects of enjoyable behavior, such as motivation or desire to engage in an activity ("motivational anhedonia"), as compared to the level of enjoyment of the activity itself ("consummatory anhedonia").

My only point here, is that you still seem to have some motive power to do and in some sense want to do and not do things. I suppose the 'desire' to have and to feel pleasure would presuppose some capacity for knowing/experiencing some spectrum of feeling.

Not making light of the condition - hopefully this allows some ground for hope and optimism.

One thing I am absolutely certain of - is that you are not inferior becuase you are suffering with the inability to experience pleasure. You may feel that way, but it is. a. feeling. Feelings are not facts.

What a truly extraordinary thing to have that sort of a daunting challenge, and still in all, to be getting by in this world. I am humbled to think about it, and from what remarkably reservoir of resilience you draw the strength from even if you feel quite the opposite. It strikes me as demonstrated by your continued perseverance.

And I hope you know that others of us out here are glad you're here.

Thank you very much for your support. But I am an atheist and don't believe anything like that we can't rationalize the universe and that there are supernatural things or any such superstition. But now I am going to explain some more things:

Without your title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" whatsoever, it would only be your feelings of love and pleasure themselves that would be great. But who you are as a person would be completely inferior and, in my eyes, would be someone who has completely lost his/her humanity in terms of being an emotionally sensitive human being and I would no longer view you as a human being. You would be likely to be someone who would both offend me and others by telling us that feelings of love and pleasure are not that great or not great at all and that there are other things in life of greater value. For this very reason, you would instead be a cold and cruel emotionally insensitive machine for not having value towards these feelings and instead having value towards other things in life. It would be likely that you would have no compassion or anything towards these feelings that are lost in people with anhedonia and depression.
I would no longer consider you a human being even if you were someone who suffered from depression or anhedonia and decided to let go and accept a lifelong loss of pleasure and moved on in life. You would only be the truly better person in my eyes if you had the full title of "emotionally sensitive" who instead decided to not accept a lifelong los of pleasure and told others to not accept theirs and decided to live your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapy, medication, and other things.
Some might say that the great meanings I have applied to feelings of love and pleasure through my experience of these feelings are false meanings and that things like intelligence have the true greater meaning in life. But there is no scientific proof of that. Also, we all find our own personal things in life that have the true great meaning. So for someone who only values other things in life like intelligence and has little to no value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this person would be, in my eyes, a cold and inferior biological robot. But who I would be in this person's eyes would be an inferior pleasure-seeking fool. I don't care what it is you have to say such as that intelligence can be used for far more greater things in life and that this is what you personally think gives intelligence the greater value and meaning, my personal experience of love and pleasure says to me that these feelings are the greatest things in life. To me, intelligence that is not used in gaining more pleasure or as a plan to obtain more pleasure has no value to me because such intelligence and such a way of pursuing intelligence as the greater thing in life is "robotic" and is something a highly intelligent robot from the future would do (not an emotionally sensitive human being like me). I would never abandon my value towards my feelings and those of others in any way. The only intelligence I will pursue in life would be something that would keep my full title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" by both making it likely to help me recover my ability to experience pleasure as well as bring others pleasure. This intelligence would be what is gained from therapies and other things to help recover from depression and anhedonia. This intelligence I have acquired would also help bring others pleasure and help them recover from depression and anhedonia as well.
Now if you are going to say something such as that feelings of love and pleasure come from having value towards other things in life in the first place and that we can't experience these feelings through having value towards these feelings alone and that this is why only other things in life have the greater value, this would be false. I value my own feelings of love and pleasure greatly and experience even more feelings of love and pleasure knowing that these are the greatest feelings to me and that I am able to experience them in life.
Now some would also say that your personality, thoughts, attitude, knowledge, and even pleasure are all one thing and cannot be separated. For example, you cannot have a personality without thoughts, knowledge, etc. So these people might then say that all these things have the same value since they're all the same thing and that I should not be able to compare intelligence and pleasure and say that pleasure is superior. If this is true, then what I whould really be saying instead is that the state of mind I am in due to my depression and anhedonia is inferior and "robotic" compared to the state of mind I would be in if I was happy and didn't have depression or anhedonia. This "inferior robotic" state of mind I am in would still be inferior and robotic regardless of how much I use it in doing great things in my life, helping others, and other things.
Now aside from that, other things such as pursuing your dreams in life (besides your dream to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapies and other things), this has no value and is "robotic" as well. You whould instead give up on these dreams and instead be the superior human being by focusing on regaining your pleasure first. But if pursuing your dreams is the most effective way to help recover your ability to experience pleasure, then you should pursue your dreams. But if it isn't, then you should just give up on them for now and instead attend to the most effective ways that could bring back your ability to experience pleasure. Only when your ability to experience love and pleasure is fully recovered should you then go back to pursuing these types of dreams. But if you can never fully recover your lost love and pleasure, then at least you have spent your entire life by being the superior human being who has tried to recover these things.
So in other words, anything in life that can't bring me the greatest things to me (which are love and pleasure), then these things have no meaning to me (even who I am as a person since not even that can bring me any feelings of love or pleasure now). Since I have lost my ability to love and feel pleasure, then nothing in life has any value, worth, or meaning to me (even things that used to bring me feelings of love and pleasure). However, the only thing that does is the feelings of others and lving my life trying to regain my lost feelings of love and pleasure. I don't care about science or gaining intelligence in life because these things don't make me feel pleasure nor will they help me recover my ability to experience pleasure. I don't even care about pursuing my dreams in life because not even doing that brings me any pleasure.
There are people who are great figures (composers and such) in history through their suffering and despair. But these same people could of been just as great (and even better) through living nice happy lives of no suffering and despair under the right circumstances. My dream in life was to be a good composer through my pure pleasure alone with a life of little to no suffering and despair (no depression or anhedonia). The fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who has immense value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this is what makes me a great person and composer since I can tap deep into my feelings of love and pleasure in coming up with pieces of music that are far greater and more powerful than what the average lesser being who has no such value towards these feelings could only come up with which would be compositions that are likely to be nowhere near as emotionally great as my compositions. It's not only my emotionally sensitive personality that would make me the better composer, but also my feelings of love and pleasure themselves since these feelings (once tapped into through my emotionally sensitive personality), can create great compositions (combined with my used knowledge of music theory and such). These compositions would be far greater than if I was someone with no feelings of love and pleasure due to my depression and anhedonia.
So if the greatest composers had no depression and had their full emotions to tap into, they would be able to create greater compositions. So this is why their despair made them lesser people and lesser composers. Depression is not an emotion at all to tap into or embrace. Inner nothingness is not a "power" or an aspect to embrace at all and does not make you a better person for having embraced and used it for great things in life and in helping others. It is a lack of power that only serves to make you a lesser person. Now if you are going to say something such as that embracing your inner nothingness makes you feel empowered and such and that this is what makes your inner nothingness great, that doesn't make it great. Your pleasure is what allowed you to feel empowered and such in the first place. Therefore, it is just pleasure that makes you great.
Depression and anhedonia are, therefore, the taking away of your feelings since depression and anhedonia are processes in the brain that turns off pleasure and such in the brain and makes you less mentally and physically functional as opposed to having these full feelings which would enhance your mental emotional composing capabilities and such. Feelings of sadness and anger are feelings to tap into since they are the activating of emotional parts of the brain (though they are utterly inferior emotions compared to feelings of love and pleasure since they are emotions that only serve to make you feel bad and that feelings of love and pleasure can be used to do just as much great things in life and in helping others as opposed to feelings of sadness and anger). But depression (hopelessness) and anhedonia (emotional numbness) are the taking away of emotional activity in the brain.
So even other great historical figures besides composers could of done great things in their lives and helped others just as good (and even better) if they lived nice happy lives of no suffering and despair because that would make them much more mentally and physically functional in life and they could of used this high functioning to do even more amount of great things in life and in helping even more people. Again, I would have compassion and such towards these people despite knowing they are the lesser beings and I am not trying to offend them. I am a person who speaks the truth regardless of how offensive it is and I am, therefore, just telling the truth here like it is. Some people might scorn upon me and view me as a bad person for having these beliefs, but that's not so. Your beliefs don't determine whether you are a good or bad person. It is who you are as a person that determines this. Since I am compassionate and caring and would never be someone who would laugh in the faces of those who are lesser beings, that makes me a good person.
As for me, I will not express my suffering through my music because doing that would only make me feel worse and also because I would have become the lesser person in the world of composing for not being able to channel and express my feelings of pleasure that I wanted to do so badly and instead being an inferior biological robot who creates music through no emotions or through depression. Even if it is for the sake of helping others, I would still be nothing but an inferior biological robot anyway both as a person and as a composer. I am putting my dream of being a composer on hold for now since my only goal in becoming a composer was to channel and express my feelings of love and pleasure alone throug composing since suffering and despair is pointless and inferior to me. Only when these feelings are fully recovered will I ever go back to being a composer because I would then have these feelings to channel and express.
Now the fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who can come up with great compositions through my emotionally sensitive personality combined with me living a nice happy life free of suffering and despair is the ultimate combination that would make me the great person and composer. I would of composed epic pieces of music as an expression of this ultimate combination. If I have composed epic masterpieces through these things, my message to the world through my music would be that my pleasure is what made me the great person and great composer and that living a nice happy life of little to no suffering and espair is what truly makes you the great person and a great artist/composer combined with being an emotionally sensitive human being. Suffering and despair is truly pointless and only serves to make you a lesser person since you can achieve great things in life through living nice happy lives just as good as (and even better) than people who do through their lives of suffering and despair.
I would say this message to the world as well as that despair (depression and anhedonia) makes you an inferior biological robot regardless of who you are as a person, how much you help others, and what great things you do in life. Because of this, all of the great figures in history who suffered despair were the lesser beings because they and others are delusional in thinking that their suffering and despair made them great. Unlike them, I am not delusional and realize that it would instead be my happiness and a life free of suffering and despair that would make me great and would be my own greatness in life.
I mentioned before that the only life worth living without pleasure would be living your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure. So you might be thinking that if this is the case, then why can't you find other things in life worth living for besides pleasure? As I said before, we are designed by evolution to find our lives to be good and worth living only through pleasure alone because pleasure is the only thing that encourages this (which would be our encouraged survival in life). So the only closest thing to a life worth living through thoughts and such alone without pleasure would be focusing on regaining the very thing that makes your life worth living in the first place. All other things in life besides pleasure don't make our lives worth living and to think so is delusional and is not how evolution designed us. Even focusing on the pleasure of others and bringing them pleasure does not make our lives worth living without our own pleasure to make it worth living for in the first place (in terms of evolution).
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I also wish to tell the critical truth here which is that we who suffer from depression and anhedonia are inferior and that our lives are worthless. Why do I wish to tell you this? It would be because people need to realize that there is no good value whatsoever in suffering and despair and that it is critical that we find more effective treatments and cures. Suffering and despair only makes you a lesser person regardless of what great things you have achieved in life through your suffering and despair. So it is critical that people are aware of everything I'm saying here so that we no longer become delusional in thinking our lives are somehow worth living without pleasure and that we are somehow better people through our suffering and despair. Instead, we should not accept this as a way of life and instead do something about it and try to find better treatments and cures. Without our full ability to experience pleasure in life, then this one and only life we will ever have is being wasted away and most people are completely unaware of this and have the delusion that their lives are somehow worth living anyway without their pleasure. Unless you do something to try and fully regain the most important thing about you in life (which is your pleasure), you all will forever be inferior human beings with worthless lives!


Now there are forms of struggle in life that are beneficial such as becoming physically fit through hard training in the military (which would be the "no pain, no gain" mentality). But there are struggles in life that are truly pointless. Based on my writing here, depression and anhedonia is one of these pointless struggles. Also, you might be thinking that the suffering and despair that the greatest people in history went through allowed them to push and strive more and that this is what made them great. But, once again, you can push yourself and strive just as good (and even better) through living a nice happy life of no suffering and despair under the right circumstances. We are not designed by evolution to push and strive through feelings of depression (hopelessness) or anhedonia (emotional numbness) with just thoughts and such alone without our pleasure. For this very reason, this is another reason why the greatest people in history could of been more great since pleasure (motivation and many others) is what encourages our survival of pushing and striving in life. Depression and anhedonia is something that only discourages our survival in life by shutting us down. I certainly know for a fact that me living a nice happy life would allow me to push and strive much more in life and become something far greater in life than if I was someone who suffered from depression and anhedonia who chose to even push myself and strive despite my depression and anhedonia.

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Matt,



There's so much more to a person's quality and value than their health.



It's fair to say one who isn't suffering from a mental illness has superior health, but that's a lot different than saying they're a straight up better human being.



-



We can't pick and choose emotions. It's one package. It's normal to feel pain, but there's healthy and unhealthy levels of it. What distinguishes healthy and unhealthy, is the balance between positive and negative consequences of that pain.



If pain inhibits you, and remains unresolved, that's when you've a problem that ought be addressed.



Regardless of what life deals, one can learn from it and make good of it. Of course, some circumstances are far less ideal than others, but nobody chooses the hand we're dealt.



Why do people suffer from depression?



Not because they choose to. Rather, because that's what life dealt them. We don't have miracle cures, so we take it day by day to overcome it, or minimize the negative repercussions.



I think it's fair to say people widely agree that depression isn't desired and if we could cure it, we would. So I don't think it's necessary to tell us that depression is a problem.



-



As for worthlessness,



It's up to the individual to define value and meaning in their life.



If someone is depressed, they may still be able to have meaningful relationships with other people, express themselves creatively, use their own experiences to help others, experience the world and learn about the nature of reality and one's own identity.



All things that can be considered worthy, valuable and meaningful.



Also, one can value themselves not by how proficient or useful they are to others, but by the qualities inherent in being a human being - such as intelligence, compassion, creativity, humor etc.



I don't think it's fair to call someone worthless because they're suffering from an illness/disability. If someone gets the flu, are they worthless? If someone gets cancer, are they worthless? If someone loses their sense of hearing, are they worthless?



On all these counts, I'd answer no. They are valuable, beautiful and interesting human beings. Inherently deserving of respect and compassion. Not to be disregarded and criticized.



That's my take.


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I'm not sure there is any point people responding here. I don't mean that in a bad way and rather just a practical way. If it gives someone pleasure to debate it then go ahead but from a recovery and depression point of view I don't see Matt as being open to letting other ideas in a present. A lot of people have had a lot of insightful things to say and there hasn't been any chink through which these have been considered. Maybe at some point that will change but at present I wonder if all the debate just intensifies his stance.

Personally all the judgement isn't good for me so I am bowing out. I am not taking it personally and on one level it doesn't touch me but on another it doesn't add to what I want around me and I don't like it. I find the people here and all that struggle and have great bravery fighting their difficulties to be inspirational and impressive.

Good luck to you and I hope you make a happy life for yourself. Pretty sure that will be impossible via this route but who knows. We each have our own path to tread.

Edited by Fizzle
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As for worthlessness,

It's up to the individual to define value and meaning in their life.

If someone is depressed, they may still be able to have meaningful relationships with other people, express themselves creatively, use their own experiences to help others, experience the world and learn about the nature of reality and one's own identity.

All things that can be considered worthy, valuable and meaningful.

Also, one can value themselves not by how proficient or useful they are to others, but by the qualities inherent in being a human being - such as intelligence, compassion, creativity, humor etc.

I don't think it's fair to call someone worthless because they're suffering from an illness/disability. If someone gets the flu, are they worthless? If someone gets cancer, are they worthless? If someone loses their sense of hearing, are they worthless?

On all these counts, I'd answer no. They are valuable, beautiful and interesting human beings. Inherently deserving of respect and compassion. Not to be disregarded and criticized.

That's my take.

If these people have other physical or mental disabilities besides a loss of pleasure, then they are not inferior human beings with worthless lives. But you said that our lives can be worth living without our pleasure by giving our lives the personal worth and meaning that we want. This would be false and delusional because the scientific fact is that we are not designed by evolution to find our lives worth living without pleasure. Pleasure is what makes our lives worth living since it is what encourages our survival in life (making us want to live our lives). To somehow give our own lives worth and meaning without pleasure is something that defies science and our evolutionary design and would, therefore, be false and delusional since there is nothing beyond science or our evolutionary design.

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Matt,

the scientific fact is that we are not designed by evolution to find our lives worth living without pleasure.
Evolution doesn't have intent. It didn't design us with a purpose or goal.
It's just a byproduct of genes unable to replicate themselves perfectly.
Some evolutionary traits enabled survival, other didn't. Neither trait is right or wrong, relative to the universe or evolution.
There's no fundamental rule out there that life must pleasurable or painful. It simply is as it is, and we're left to react accordingly.
-
A parent may suffer extremely in order to help their child. The parent's life may consist primarily of suffering with little to no pleasure.
Yet the parent will find their life very meaningful, because they're giving a person they love deeply the opportunity to live a quality life.
Parenthood is one of the most meaningful aspects to many people's lives, and without a doubt the majority would agree their life isn't worthless due to it, in spite of pain.

Pleasure is what makes our lives worth living since it is what encourages our survival in life (making us want to live our lives).

I'd say purpose is what gives people's lives worth. Whether one's purpose is to feel lots of pleasure, make scientific discoveries, build technology, be really creative, become a parent, earn lots of money, help others etc.
Survival doesn't need to be the focus of a worthy life. Pleasure doesn't need to be the focus of a worthy life.
Science and evolution don't demand either.

Science can tell you what enables survival, but it won't tell you that you ought survive. Likewise, science can tell you what people generally find pleasurable, but it wont tell you that you ought dedicate your life to pleasure.

Edited by 2514
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Matt,

the scientific fact is that we are not designed by evolution to find our lives worth living without pleasure.
Evolution doesn't have intent. It didn't design us with a purpose or goal.
It's just a byproduct of genes unable to replicate themselves perfectly.
Some evolutionary traits enabled survival, other didn't. Neither trait is right or wrong, relative to the universe or evolution.
There's no fundamental rule out there that life must pleasurable or painful. It simply is as it is, and we're left to react accordingly.
-
A parent may suffer extremely in order to help their child. The parent's life may consist primarily of suffering with little to no pleasure.
Yet the parent will find their life very meaningful, because they're giving a person they love deeply the opportunity to live a quality life.
Parenthood is one of the most meaningful aspects to many people's lives, and without a doubt the majority would agree their life isn't worthless due to it, in spite of pain.

Pleasure is what makes our lives worth living since it is what encourages our survival in life (making us want to live our lives).

I'd say purpose is what gives people's lives worth. Whether one's purpose is to feel lots of pleasure, make scientific discoveries, build technology, be really creative, become a parent, earn lots of money, help others etc.
Survival doesn't need to be the focus of a worthy life. Pleasure doesn't need to be the focus of a worthy life.
Science and evolution don't demand either.

Science can tell you what enables survival, but it won't tell you that you ought survive. Likewise, science can tell you what people generally find pleasurable, but it wont tell you that you ought dedicate your life to pleasure.

Now panic is the brain's alarm response to warn us to escape from danger and that we should get out of this dangerous situation in order for us to survive. Therefore, pleasure would also be the same in the sense that it is also what tells us to survive in terms of doing good things in our lives that benefit our survival. Therefore, knowing this, doesn't science (our evolutionary design) tell us that we need to survive? Not only does pleasure encourage our survival, but it also encourages our survival in the sense that we need pleasure as a means of encouraged survival in life (a life of worth). For example, I would feel happy right now knowing that I am able to feel happy in life if it weren't for my depression and anhedonia right now and that I am allowed to experience the greatest things to me in life.

Edited by MattMVS7
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Doesn't science (our evolutionary design) tell us that we need to survive? Not only does pleasure encourage our survival, but it also encourages us that we need pleasure as a means of encouraged survival in life (a life of worth).

I don't think science tells us that we need to survive.

What science tells us is that we're well adjusted to survival, because of natural selection.

However, it's only expected that the living are well adjusted to survival. If we weren't, all the pressures of our environment would have killed us long ago.

But relative to the universe, and evolution, you're not intended to survive or die. We're just a natural consequence of prior conditions. Note: 99% of species that have ever lived are now extinct. So the environment has led to more extinction than survival.

-

I love life, and I want to survive. I created my own meaning in life, and live by that. It's only the living that produce meaning, because we're the only ones who are bias, or have any interest. Everything beyond the living, is neutral and indifferent.

The universe at large is indifferent to our existence and welfare. Evolution is indifferent to our existence and welfare. Neither are conscious beings with any value or intent, so they're neutral.

If the thing you value most in life is pleasure, so be it, but the universe/evolution doesn't care what you do, or where you end up, and they don't have any apparent goal or objective for us.

Just like the sun that enables our existence. The sun doesn't care what we do, it just keeps on shining.

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Doesn't science (our evolutionary design) tell us that we need to survive? Not only does pleasure encourage our survival, but it also encourages us that we need pleasure as a means of encouraged survival in life (a life of worth).

I don't think science tells us that we need to survive.

What science tells us is that we're well adjusted to survival, because of natural selection.

However, it's only expected that the living are well adjusted to survival. If we weren't, all the pressures of our environment would have killed us long ago.

But relative to the universe, and evolution, you're not intended to survive or die. We're just a natural consequence of prior conditions. Note: 99% of species that have ever lived are now extinct. So the environment has led to more extinction than survival.

-

I love life, and I want to survive. I created my own meaning in life, and live by that. It's only the living that produce meaning, because we're the only ones who are bias, or have any interest. Everything beyond the living, is neutral and indifferent.

The universe at large is indifferent to our existence and welfare. Evolution is indifferent to our existence and welfare. Neither are conscious beings with any value or intent, so they're neutral.

If the thing you value most in life is pleasure, so be it, but the universe/evolution doesn't care what you do, or where you end up, and they don't have any apparent goal or objective for us.

Just like the sun that enables our existence. The sun doesn't care what we do, it just keeps on shining.

Now here is something else I wish for you to address as well:

There are people who are great figures (composers and such) in history through their suffering and despair. But these same people could of been just as great (and even better) through living nice happy lives of no suffering and despair under the right circumstances. My dream in life was to be a good composer through my pure pleasure alone with a life of little to no suffering and despair (no depression or anhedonia). The fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who has immense value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this is what makes me a great person and composer since I can tap deep into my feelings of love and pleasure in coming up with pieces of music that are far greater and more powerful than what the average lesser being who has no such value towards these feelings could only come up with which would be compositions that are likely to be nowhere near as emotionally great as my compositions. It's not only my emotionally sensitive personality that would make me the better composer, but also my feelings of love and pleasure themselves since these feelings (once tapped into through my emotionally sensitive personality), can create great compositions (combined with my used knowledge of music theory and such). These compositions would be far greater than if I was someone with no feelings of love and pleasure due to my depression and anhedonia.
So if the greatest composers had no depression and had their full emotions to tap into, they would be able to create even greater compositions. So this is why their despair made them lesser people and lesser composers. Depression is not an emotion at all to tap into or embrace. Inner nothingness is not a "power" or an aspect to embrace at all and does not make you a better person for having embraced and used it for great things in life and in helping others. It is a lack of power that only serves to make you a lesser person. Now if you are going to say something such as that embracing your inner nothingness makes you feel empowered and such and that this is what makes your inner nothingness great, that doesn't make it great. Your pleasure is what allowed you to feel empowered and such in the first place. Therefore, it is just pleasure that makes you great.
So even other great historical figures besides composers could of done great things in their lives and helped others just as good (and even better) if they lived nice happy lives of no suffering and despair because that would make them much more mentally and physically functional in life and they could of used this high functioning to do even more amount of great things in life and in helping even more people. But I am now giving up composing since I refuse to be the lesser person and the lesser composer. I refuse to be the inferior biological robot who composes music without emotions or through depression because music, to me, is all about emotions (in this case, pleasure).
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We can't say for sure if people from the past had a different life what they would do with it. We can't say that for sure for anyone really. Are you really a composer? You can't be sure if you would be a lesser composer unless you try it out. Even if you are a lesser composer it wouldn't make you a lesser person because most people aren't composers at all. It seems like there is something that would make you a better composer then a robot. Creativity? The ability to think outside the box?

I used to be a singer. Since I started getting panic attacks I don't listen to music at all anymore. I still feel emotions so I'm not sure what that's about.

Creativity and the ability to think outside the box are things that an inferior highly intelligent and well-designed biological robot in the future that has no ability to love or feel pleasure could achieve.

Edited by MattMVS7
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2514 and Teddy545,

I've found that you've both said some very profound things that have been good for me to be reminded of here. Thanks.

As one example from 2514...

"Science can tell you what enables survival, but it won't tell you that you ought survive. Likewise, science can tell you what people generally find pleasurable, but it wont tell you that you ought dedicate your life to pleasure."

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Matt,


That's a lot so I'm going to add a couple replies that hopefully show up here in-line.


I should state at the outset that I do rather like debating/discussing things like this because I often learn something (which for me is one of the things that makes life worth living) and sometimes also have the opportunity to encourage and be encouraged.


I am inferring that to some degree--even if greatly sublimated beneath pain and perhaps not even very consciously--you also do like/want/prefer/desire to debate this out. I hope it is useful for you. If I am wrong about that, you are welcome to let me know as I do not want to argue with you in an confrontational kind of sense.



Thank you very much for your support. But I am an atheist and don't believe anything like that we can't rationalize the universe and that there are supernatural things or any such superstition. But now I am going to explain some more things:


I don't think I mentioned god or the supernatural here. I'm glad to have that discussion - and equally glad you noticed the logical implication of a higher power - perhaps that would be better in the depression and religion forum or off line.



Without your title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" whatsoever, it would only be your feelings of love and pleasure themselves that would be great.

I don't know what this means. I don't claim or necessarily have any particular title. What I notice is that in your pain, you are making a number of related assertions without real reasons to support them. You've a priori determined that 'feelings of love and pleasure themselves' are the only things that can make a person 'great' and that 'greatness' is all that is valuable or should be desired. As a matter of general logic, I see no supporting reasons for either.

I do agree with 2514 above that we do choose and create our own meaning an purpose in life at least as it relates to attitudes feelings and beliefs - these are presuppositions that we all must necessarily make. (Parenthetically, I do also believe there is objective reality behind them that make this possible and also make reality ultimately a seamless web, but for now I'll leave this as a philosophical proposition).


But who you are as a person would be completely inferior and, in my eyes, would be someone who has completely lost his/her humanity in terms of being an emotionally sensitive human being and I would no longer view you as a human being.

Hm, that is unfortunate and I and glad that even amidst my pain and long bouts with nihilism, I see no reason to believe anything like this nor do I see consistency in the reasoning. I think it is just abject pain talking, which I can understand.


You would be likely to be someone who would both offend me and others by telling us that feelings of love and pleasure are not that great or not great at all and that there are other things in life of greater value. No, simply that there are other things, and that to reduce all of life to one single thing is...well...reductionist. Putting all eggs in one basket. Reducing the most spectacularly dense, layered and complex thing we know to a couple of words that describe one aspect of one experience. That's all.


For this very reason, you would instead be a cold and cruel emotionally insensitive machine for not having value towards these feelings and instead having value towards other things in life. It would be likely that you would have no compassion or anything towards these feelings that are lost in people with anhedonia and depression.


This is a long hypothetical you're attributing to me, again made up out of thin air as near as I can tell. As just one example, I think you are forgetting the multiplicity of ways that something like love can be expressed, particularly and especially via action, which strictly speaking, does not logically require any emotion.


I would no longer consider you a human being even if you were someone who suffered from depression or anhedonia and decided to let go and accept a lifelong loss of pleasure and moved on in life. You would only be the truly better person in my eyes if you had the full title of "emotionally sensitive" who instead decided to not accept a lifelong los of pleasure and told others to not accept theirs and decided to live your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapy, medication, and other things.


Well, that is your purely subjective and unsupported view. Its fine if you want to hold that as an opinion, but I'm just going to keep pointing out you've provided not facts or reason to support it. I'm not even sure what you mean when you use terms like 'better' person. That is such an imprecise (and important) term you keep using susceptible of so many different meanings. Good, and better in what way, with reference to what? (Parenthetically, I always wonder in a view of the universe that contains only matter and motion, ultimate randomness, and only ever Darwinian style survival of the fittest, would do good, bad, should and ought even mean? I understand how people still have a moral understanding and ability to be and do good, etc. - but I also realize it doesn't ultimately make rational sense that they can reconcile them. They're ultimately inconsistent. And the mere existence of empathy doesn't answer the question. Stuff would just happen. Might would make 'right' whatever 'right' could possibly mean, and really even a law of logic like non-contradiction would be purely arbitrary and conversations, thoughts, ineligibility itself would at best be nothing more than figments of our subjective mental chemicals reacting. You haven't answered this). I also wonder--with genuine curiosity--why we shouldn't have expected Darwinian evolution to produce creatures without emotions - pure analytic intelligence seems in general, much more advantageous to strength and survival. And perhaps the answer--as some psychologists and sociologists believe--the next phase of evolution will be dominance by a breed of sociopaths who do have sublimated emotions (I am doubtful of this despite that it seems clear they are more likely to rise to high levels of business, government, power, etc.)


Some might say that the great meanings I have applied to feelings of love and pleasure through my experience of these feelings are false meanings and that things like intelligence have the true greater meaning in life. But there is no scientific proof of that.

There is no scientific proof of what you've been arguing for above either. Neither is science the be-all end-all proof of everything.

Science is fully dependent on logic and reason, rationality, and its more precise form, philosophy and metaphysics. Good atheists like Hume and Russell (much deeper thinkers than the modern atheists like Dawkins, Dan Barker and even the late Hitchens - the latter two who I genuinely love). We are in an age of scientism unfortunately, where people have forgotten several very key and important things. First, the same kind of evidence is not used to answer all questions.

I'll quote now from a passage from The Great Debate that makes this point briefly better than I could:


We might ask , "Is there a box of crackers in the pantry?" And we know how we would

go about answering that question. But that is a far, far cry from the way we go about

answering questions determining the reality of say, barometric pressure, quasars, gravitational

attraction, elasticity, radio activity, natural laws, names, grammar, numbers, the university

itself that you're now at, past events, categories, future contingencies, laws of thought,

political obligations, individual identity over time, causation, memories, dreams, or even love

or beauty. In such cases, one does not do anything like walk to the pantry and look inside for

the crackers. There are thousands of existence or factual questions, and they are not at all

answered in the same way in each case.



This is rather axiomatic, somewhat self-authenticating (as much as anything can be), but is also borne out by evidence over and over again.


The second point is that science relies totally on the principle--indeed the law--of inductive reasoning and the uniformity of nature. And as Hume knew well, and demonstrated, there is no reason to trust in induction or the uniformity of nature--certainly not into the future and certainly not past our tiny little half life of experience. And saying, 'well we just all know it is true' (although true), does not answer or explain the problem. At this point, I am not arguing for a god, deity or even higher power. I am merely laying groundwork for a transcendental argument (this is a somewhat technical but also firmly reliable test from philosophy that can and has demonstrated the irrationality of an atheist worldview, and fortunately for me, of nihilism as well).



Also, we all find our own personal things in life that have the true great meaning.

Yes, which 2514 and I have alluded to above, and yet in the larger sense they are all the same too - in that everyone in their own ways wants to be happy, healthy, have friends, some security, avoid pain, have hope for the future, etc.


So for someone who only values other things in life like intelligence and has little to no value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this person would be, in my eyes, a cold and inferior biological robot. But it is a false choice entirely. But who I would be in this person's eyes would be an inferior pleasure-seeking fool. I guess in your made up hypothetical person that does not exist, maybe. I don't care what it is you have to say such as that intelligence can be used for far more greater things in life and that this is what you personally think gives intelligence the greater value and meaning, my personal experience of love and pleasure says to me that these feelings are the greatest things in life. So by your own words, you are arguing general objective points from purely subjective experience. I'm not bashing that - it is a form of evidence. Just realize the risk of error when putting one perceived part of your own experience and thinking it is somehow more reliable than all of everyone's experience. To me, intelligence that is not used in gaining more pleasure or as a plan to obtain more pleasure has no value to me because such intelligence and such a way of pursuing intelligence as the greater thing in life is "robotic" and is something a highly intelligent robot from the future would do (not an emotionally sensitive human being like me). I think you've basically described hedonism. Hedonism is fun, but I don't think is anywhere close to an accurate depiction of how most people live, regardless of where they fall on the scale of feeling and having emotions. It is modified in a thousand nuanced and important ways. More importantly, do I understand correctly that you still understand yourself to be 'an emotionally sensitive human being?' If so, doesn't that presuppose some degree of feeling, even emotion? I'm just genuinely a little confused by the terminology.

I would never abandon my value towards my feelings and those of others in any way. The only intelligence I will pursue in life would be something that would keep my full title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" by both making it likely to help me recover my ability to experience pleasure as well as bring others pleasure. This intelligence would be what is gained from therapies and other things to help recover from depression and anhedonia. This intelligence I have acquired would also help bring others pleasure and help them recover from depression and anhedonia as well.

Ok. Good.


Now if you are going to say something such as that feelings of love and pleasure come from having value towards other things in life in the first place and that we can't experience these feelings through having value towards these feelings alone and that this is why only other things in life have the greater value, this would be false. I value my own feelings of love and pleasure greatly and experience even more feelings of love and pleasure knowing that these are the greatest feelings to me and that I am able to experience them in life.

I have no idea--I think love (and emotion)--are many-splendored (and nuanced) things, but we do definitely all want to feel love.


Now some would also say that your personality, thoughts, attitude, knowledge, and even pleasure are all one thing and cannot be separated. For example, you cannot have a personality without thoughts, knowledge, etc. So these people might then say that all these things have the same value since they're all the same thing and that I should not be able to compare intelligence and pleasure and say that pleasure is superior. If this is true, then what I whould really be saying instead is that the state of mind I am in due to my depression and anhedonia is inferior and "robotic" compared to the state of mind I would be in if I was happy and didn't have depression or anhedonia. This "inferior robotic" state of mind I am in would still be inferior and robotic regardless of how much I use it in doing great things in my life, helping others, and other things.


I don't know. I think it seems pretty clear and pretty well tested, that we as human beings are more than one thing. More than the sum of our parts. If someone is a pure naturalist, they can try to separate this, but very early on, they run into the problem of why they should care about any meaning, love, emotions or otherwise. Nihilism looks pretty spot on from that point of view.

I would add that ALL of us with our multivariate forms of severe depression have definitely felt robotic and inferior. But thankfully, we lean that these feelings are not facts. That in fact, as someone once said to me, and at the risk of saying something you already know [so apologies in advance!] it can sometimes help to realize that your worth, dignity and goodness are intrinsic to your being and not a matter of "having" or "acquiring" or "proving." In a technological age like this that is so dominated by machines, it can be easy to "reduce" a human being to their "function" or "usefulness." And it can become the common belief that only what is "useful" is any good. But this is an over-simplification of things and therefore both false and unfair. Instead of looking merely at "having" or "doing," one can look at "being." It is good that you exist. You, in your very being, bring something unique, irreplaceable, and never to be duplicated or repeated into the universe. It is your very existence and being that is good, that is of incalculable value, that is of inalienable dignity and worth. It is good that you exist. It is great that you exist!!!

Allow me to state it in the strongest possible terms. If you lost everything but your life . . . if you ended up homeless, on the street, living day to day . . . if you lost all friends . . . if you lost all respect from others . . . you would still possess inestimable dignity and worth and value. Or stated another way . . . there are things that are 'meant' to be, like the laws of nature, like the law of gravity, for example. You, in your uniqueness and individuality are also a law, Matt! You are meant to be here in the same way as the law of gravity is meant to be here. You are also a law.


Now aside from that, other things such as pursuing your dreams in life (besides your dream to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapies and other things), this has no value and is "robotic" as well.


I don't see why or follow you reasoning here. I do believe there is value in acceptance of things as many of us have found. The paradox is in accepting what we can't change while finding the courage and wisdom to change what we can (the old serenity prayer paraphrased). Let's remember that a parodox is a truth expressed in the form of only an apparent contradiction.


You would instead give up on these dreams and instead be the superior human being by focusing on regaining your pleasure first. But if pursuing your dreams is the most effective way to help recover your ability to experience pleasure, then you should pursue your dreams. But if it isn't, then you should just give up on them for now and instead attend to the most effective ways that could bring back your ability to experience pleasure.


If I understand you correctly (and I'm not sure I do), you're basically saying that we are purely biological organisms programmed in some sense to ultimately maximize our own pleasure (and avoid pain). Yes? That's fine, but it still leaves a LOT of play in the joints of how to go about doing this, why, in what ways, is it different for different people, and of course, ultimately even why and how can one think he knows this is 'it' the whole enchilada, all there is, and I guess you would have to say, the 'meaning' or 'purpose' of us? I'm not disputing that we have a very strong desire to seek pleasure - although given that its forms are nearly infinite (e.g. the sadomasochist who seeks pleasure through causing him/herself overt pain), I'm not sure this guides us very particularly. I would go back to my initial comments about the more modern and evolving understanding of anhedonia as not being a total absence of feeling every type of pleasure, desire, motivation, emotion, etc. I want to be sensitive here, because I can only imagine this must be an excruciatingly difficult form of depression or phenomenological condition. I only want to observe that it does have degrees. If those who experience anhedonia sometimes have even the slightest different degree of discomfort or pain, then a corollary would seem to be that their are ever so slight glimpses of pleasure or 'not-pain' or 'less pain.' In any case, I trust there are cases of anhedonia that have changed and not been permanent. I am not wanting to sound knowledgeable about anhedonia, as I am not. I hope that as someone who has struggled with long term severe, suicidal depression which has for so long felt and seemed like an absence of pleasure, I hope I can at least relate to a large degree, as many others here can as well. I do not, however, view this as the only litmus test for value, goodness, betterness or superiority or worth. I feel like that sometimes. But I know it is a feeling and not to trust all my feelings.


Only when your ability to experience love and pleasure is fully recovered should you then go back to pursuing these types of dreams. But if you can never fully recover your lost love and pleasure, then at least you have spent your entire life by being the superior human being who has tried to recover these things.


Or, you might have wasted it longing for a restored past while you could have been living your life, with some acceptance of all its imperfectness and pain. It must be conceded this is at least another possibility since many are bearing this out every day.


So in other words, anything in life that can't bring me the greatest things to me (which are love and pleasure), then these things have no meaning to me (even who I am as a person since not even that can bring me any feelings of love or pleasure now).


But even if you were right that 'anything in life that can't bring you the greatest things' (which I don't necessarily agree with), what are these things? You seem to be talking in terms of all or nothing (easily one of the most common negative thought patterns among those of us who are depressed, which I fall into all the time). William Blake, the famous depressed poet started one of his best-known (and I think brilliant) poems with the intro, "To see a world in a grain of sand..." and it goes on from there.

Perhaps even the tiniest things - tactile feeling, the other 4 conventional senses, being able to understand and think, taste food, etc. are themselves the worth living for, being 'great', etc. Just a thought.


Since I have lost my ability to love and feel pleasure, then nothing in life has any value, worth, or meaning to me (even things that used to bring me feelings of love and pleasure).

I have to say that this is exactly the same thing that people with depression think, say and feel, on a constant basis, so I'd say we share a very big part of this at least. And this I definitely do know from long personal experience. It is a feeling. A bad one. A really bad one. I am not minimizing it one iota - it can last a really long time, debilitate, make life seem worthless, make one want to die, repeatedly and over long term. And yet still there are reasons to live. I am slightly increased today by being able to talk with you. I hope in some minute sense you are as well - or else you wouldn't be posting here.


However, the only thing that does is the feelings of others and lving my life trying to regain my lost feelings of love and pleasure. I don't care about science or gaining intelligence in life because these things don't make me feel pleasure nor will they help me recover my ability to experience pleasure. I don't even care about pursuing my dreams in life because not even doing that brings me any pleasure.

Then seek that regaining of pleasure for all you're worth. And while you're doing it, remember that it is possible to accept life on its terms as it is now and still continue, as in fact you are presumably doing at this moment. And know you have friends here.


There are people who are great figures (composers and such) in history through their suffering and despair. But these same people could of been just as great (and even better) through living nice happy lives of no suffering and despair under the right circumstances.

I tend to doubt this very much, and there is some social science to back this up.


My dream in life was to be a good composer through my pure pleasure alone with a life of little to no suffering and despair (no depression or anhedonia). The fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who has immense value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this is what makes me a great person and composer since I can tap deep into my feelings of love and pleasure in coming up with pieces of music that are far greater and more powerful than what the average lesser being who has no such value towards these feelings could only come up with which would be compositions that are likely to be nowhere near as emotionally great as my compositions.


That's wonderful and great and you should celebrate it (save that I will not say that anyone else is a 'lesser being' in any sense whatsoever). I don't believe any person's value ever has been or ever will be determined by their occupation, accomplishment or ultimately, even their actions, important as these are.


It's not only my emotionally sensitive personality that would make me the better composer, but also my feelings of love and pleasure themselves since these feelings (once tapped into through my emotionally sensitive personality), can create great compositions (combined with my used knowledge of music theory and such). These compositions would be far greater than if I was someone with no feelings of love and pleasure due to my depression and anhedonia.

Are you saying that you still have feelings or capacity for love and pleasure in your composing?


So if the greatest composers had no depression and had their full emotions to tap into, they would be able to create greater compositions.


Or quite possibly, they would not. They may well be homoclites - normal well-balanced, emotionally healthy, average persons who usually pay bills, are responsible, but rarely produce something in the range of spectacular are or beauty or brilliance. Several books by prominent psychologists I have recently read strongly support this. There are in fact some aspects of depression to be joyously celebrated. This doesn't mean I would wish it on my worst enemy - as I would not. Only that it does have a tenancy to deepen and broaden people in various ways, with emotional and artistic depth being two of them. This, as a general rule, is pretty well documented actually.


So this is why their despair made them lesser people and lesser composers.

Again, I respectfully disagree, and can cite you to at least two books written by experts in the field (and many more biographies of those with severe depression) that make compelling cases to the contrary.


Depression is not an emotion at all to tap into or embrace. Inner nothingness is not a "power" or an aspect to embrace at all and does not make you a better person for having embraced and used it for great things in life and in helping others. It is a lack of power that only serves to make you a lesser person.


I am glad that in clearer moments, I realize there is a distinction between feeling like this, and it being objectively true. And I have had the benefit to have been able to learn and re-learn this in part from others.


Now if you are going to say something such as that embracing your inner nothingness makes you feel empowered and such and that this is what makes your inner nothingness great, that doesn't make it great. Your pleasure is what allowed you to feel empowered and such in the first place. Therefore, it is just pleasure that makes you great.


I would say that persevering makes me a valuable human being or 'great' if you like (whatever that means) as much or more than mere pleasure. I don't think most people would view someone like Caligula or certain serial killers as 'great' though they certainly experienced a lot of pleasure.


Depression and anhedonia are, therefore, the taking away of your feelings since depression and anhedonia are processes in the brain that turns off pleasure and such in the brain and makes you less mentally and physically functional as opposed to having these full feelings which would enhance your mental emotional composing capabilities and such.


I don't dispute there is generally some truth in this, but would add that it is based on some current theories of understanding and is a gross oversimplification. I am grateful for the truly amazing list of poets, writers, artists, composers, etc. who in part because of their depression, were driven to produce a type and kind of art and beauty in the way they saw the world with too many eyes, that almost undoubtedly, they otherwise would not quite have done int he same way. Again, this is not being glad they were depressed (and many, many of them took their own lives). Just that it is not a zero-sum proposition.


Feelings of sadness and anger are feelings to tap into since they are the activating of emotional parts of the brain (though they are utterly inferior emotions compared to feelings of love and pleasure since they are emotions that only serve to make you feel bad and that feelings of love and pleasure can be used to do just as much great things in life and in helping others as opposed to feelings of sadness and anger). But depression (hopelessness) and anhedonia (emotional numbness) are the taking away of emotional activity in the brain.


So even other great historical figures besides composers could of done great things in their lives and helped others just as good (and even better) if they lived nice happy lives of no suffering and despair because that would make them much more mentally and physically functional in life and they could of used this high functioning to do even more amount of great things in life and in helping even more people.


Yet this is not what the psychology, social science and history shows. Rather it shows that many with depressive illnesses, were greater with and partially becasue of the challenges they lived with. They had deeper and broader empathy. It helped shape their worldview. They learned new skills and ways to cope and compensate. And undoubtedly, many learned to tap into this deeper range of emotion to produce some of the world's greatest and most lasting and beautiful art.

(See, e.g., Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness (historian), Man's Search for Meaning (Atheist Hauloaust surviving psychaitrstst, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (the Hopkins psychiatrist who wrote the book on manic depressive illness and experienced it), and A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness (professor of psychology)).


Again, I would have compassion and such towards these people despite knowing they are the lesser beings and I am not trying to offend them. I am a person who speaks the truth regardless of how offensive it is and I am, therefore, just telling the truth here like it is. (We all seek the truth with different contaminants, but since none of us is omniscient, this kind of statement is usually indistinguishable from emotionalism and a proffered right to be offensive with impunity. I am curious - how does one know what truth is (or that any such exotic thing even exists), or if science is the ultimate means to knowing 'truth', how does one know that science works, keeping in mind you can't use science to prove science's reliably as that would be logically circular and question begging. I do know that science is reliable for showing truth about scientific questions, but this makes sense in my worldview). Some people might scorn upon me and view me as a bad person for having these beliefs, but that's not so. Your beliefs don't determine whether you are a good or bad person. It is who you are as a person that determines this. (This sounds tautological) Since I am compassionate and caring and would never be someone who would laugh in the faces of those who are lesser beings, that makes me a good person.


You've got to drop this language of superiority and lesser beings - it sounds like bad Nietzsche, and no one knows what it means if anything. Say that some people have stronger connections to pleasure or are better able to self-actualize. Something.



As for me, I will not express my suffering through my music because doing that would only make me feel worse and also because I would have become the lesser person in the world of composing for not being able to channel and express my feelings of pleasure that I wanted to do so badly and instead being an inferior biological robot who creates music through no emotions or through depression. I think there is pleasure in wanting. Even if it is for the sake of helping others, I would still be nothing but an inferior biological robot anyway both as a person and as a composer. If I understand what you mean when you use the term "inferior biological robot" then this is still only true if and once one defines the full potential value of human beings in this extremely narrow (and unjustified) terms of ability to feel pleasure. I still haven't seen any rational case for this. In law, we would call this conclusory - just asserting a conclusion without the necessary building blocks that support a chain of reasoning to justify the conclusion. It's possible you're right (I see know reason to think so right now), but the fact is you just haven't shown it - at all.


I am putting my dream of being a composer on hold for now since my only goal in becoming a composer was to channel and express my feelings of love and pleasure alone throug composing since suffering and despair is pointless and inferior to me. Only when these feelings are fully recovered will I ever go back to being a composer because I would then have these feelings to channel and express.


This seems roughly approximate to saying, I will only get out of bed once everything is perfect in the world and there's no more risk of pain or death. A lot of us feel like this all the time, but we realize its backwards. The way to motivate myself is to take some action, even if very small indeed. It is counter-intuitive and is acting against feeling, but it is pretty demonstrably true.


Now the fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who can come up with great compositions through my emotionally sensitive personality combined with me living a nice happy life free of suffering and despair is the ultimate combination that would make me the great person and composer.

It is also a pipe dream as we all experience suffering and I think even despair, etc. We all would like this, but it isnt' in the cards. I hope for you that you're able to find some meaning in the going, in the journey as it were, rather than waiting for a perfection that will never arrive.


I would of composed epic pieces of music as an expression of this ultimate combination. If I have composed epic masterpieces through these things, my message to the world through my music would be that my pleasure is what made me the great person and great composer and that living a nice happy life of little to no suffering and espair is what truly makes you the great person and a great artist/composer combined with being an emotionally sensitive human being. Suffering and despair is truly pointless and only serves to make you a lesser person since you can achieve great things in life through living nice happy lives just as good as (and even better) than people who do through their lives of suffering and despair. This is again an assumption based on emotion and without support.


I would say this message to the world as well as that despair (depression and anhedonia) makes you an inferior biological robot regardless of who you are as a person, how much you help others, and what great things you do in life. Because of this, all of the great figures in history who suffered despair were the lesser beings because they and others are delusional in thinking that their suffering and despair made them great. Unlike them, I am not delusional and realize that it would instead be my happiness and a life free of suffering and despair that would make me great and would be my own greatness in life.


Well, this is a common thought and feeling and impulse among those of us who are depressed, but happily, most of us learn to realize how it is really not a workable philosophy or way to live.


I mentioned before that the only life worth living without pleasure would be living your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure. If you add in the balance or paradox of learning acceptance, then I agree with that narrow statement - in fact I think it is pre-programmed and axiomatic.


So you might be thinking that if this is the case, then why can't you find other things in life worth living for besides pleasure? As I said before, we are designed by evolution to find our lives to be good and worth living only through pleasure alone because pleasure is the only thing that encourages this (which would be our encouraged survival in life). No, this is demonstrably not accurate, even from evolution. Fear, and many other emotions--and thoughts--motivate us toward a vast multiplicity of actions. If you define pleasure so broadly that it encompasses any and every feeling, I guess you're right, but in so doing, you have swallowed the meaning you were after in the fist place. And we are closer to the beginning than the end of understanding how emotions, thoughts, biology, etc. interact to move us.


So the only closest thing to a life worth living through thoughts and such alone without pleasure would be focusing on regaining the very thing that makes your life worth living in the first place. All other things in life besides pleasure don't make our lives worth living and to think so is delusional and is not how evolution designed us. Even focusing on the pleasure of others and bringing them pleasure does not make our lives worth living without our own pleasure to make it worth living for in the first place (in terms of evolution).


Well, it sounds like you've got it figured out then. Not meaning to sound harsh. But it does seem like you're a bit narrowly foreclosed to considering a broad spectrum of thinking at the moment. Anyhow, I wish you happiness and peace in all things, including composition when and if you choose to take it up again.

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Matt,

That's a lot so I'm going to add a couple replies that hopefully show up here in-line.

I should state at the outset that I do rather like debating/discussing things like this because I often learn something (which for me is one of the things that makes life worth living) and sometimes also have the opportunity to encourage and be encouraged.

I am inferring that to some degree--even if greatly sublimated beneath pain and perhaps not even very consciously--you also do like/want/prefer/desire to debate this out. I hope it is useful for you. If I am wrong about that, you are welcome to let me know as I do not want to argue with you in an confrontational kind of sense.

Thank you very much for your support. But I am an atheist and don't believe anything like that we can't rationalize the universe and that there are supernatural things or any such superstition. But now I am going to explain some more things:

I don't think I mentioned god or the supernatural here. I'm glad to have that discussion - and equally glad you noticed the logical implication of a higher power - perhaps that would be better in the depression and religion forum or off line.

Without your title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" whatsoever, it would only be your feelings of love and pleasure themselves that would be great.
I don't know what this means. I don't claim or necessarily have any particular title. What I notice is that in your pain, you are making a number of related assertions without real reasons to support them. You've a priori determined that 'feelings of love and pleasure themselves' are the only things that can make a person 'great' and that 'greatness' is all that is valuable or should be desired. As a matter of general logic, I see no supporting reasons for either.
I do agree with 2514 above that we do choose and create our own meaning an purpose in life at least as it relates to attitudes feelings and beliefs - these are presuppositions that we all must necessarily make. (Parenthetically, I do also believe there is objective reality behind them that make this possible and also make reality ultimately a seamless web, but for now I'll leave this as a philosophical proposition).
But who you are as a person would be completely inferior and, in my eyes, would be someone who has completely lost his/her humanity in terms of being an emotionally sensitive human being and I would no longer view you as a human being.
Hm, that is unfortunate and I and glad that even amidst my pain and long bouts with nihilism, I see no reason to believe anything like this nor do I see consistency in the reasoning. I think it is just abject pain talking, which I can understand.
You would be likely to be someone who would both offend me and others by telling us that feelings of love and pleasure are not that great or not great at all and that there are other things in life of greater value. No, simply that there are other things, and that to reduce all of life to one single thing is...well...reductionist. Putting all eggs in one basket. Reducing the most spectacularly dense, layered and complex thing we know to a couple of words that describe one aspect of one experience. That's all.
For this very reason, you would instead be a cold and cruel emotionally insensitive machine for not having value towards these feelings and instead having value towards other things in life. It would be likely that you would have no compassion or anything towards these feelings that are lost in people with anhedonia and depression.
This is a long hypothetical you're attributing to me, again made up out of thin air as near as I can tell. As just one example, I think you are forgetting the multiplicity of ways that something like love can be expressed, particularly and especially via action, which strictly speaking, does not logically require any emotion.
I would no longer consider you a human being even if you were someone who suffered from depression or anhedonia and decided to let go and accept a lifelong loss of pleasure and moved on in life. You would only be the truly better person in my eyes if you had the full title of "emotionally sensitive" who instead decided to not accept a lifelong los of pleasure and told others to not accept theirs and decided to live your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapy, medication, and other things.
Well, that is your purely subjective and unsupported view. Its fine if you want to hold that as an opinion, but I'm just going to keep pointing out you've provided not facts or reason to support it. I'm not even sure what you mean when you use terms like 'better' person. That is such an imprecise (and important) term you keep using susceptible of so many different meanings. Good, and better in what way, with reference to what? (Parenthetically, I always wonder in a view of the universe that contains only matter and motion, ultimate randomness, and only ever Darwinian style survival of the fittest, would do good, bad, should and ought even mean? I understand how people still have a moral understanding and ability to be and do good, etc. - but I also realize it doesn't ultimately make rational sense that they can reconcile them. They're ultimately inconsistent. And the mere existence of empathy doesn't answer the question. Stuff would just happen. Might would make 'right' whatever 'right' could possibly mean, and really even a law of logic like non-contradiction would be purely arbitrary and conversations, thoughts, ineligibility itself would at best be nothing more than figments of our subjective mental chemicals reacting. You haven't answered this). I also wonder--with genuine curiosity--why we shouldn't have expected Darwinian evolution to produce creatures without emotions - pure analytic intelligence seems in general, much more advantageous to strength and survival. And perhaps the answer--as some psychologists and sociologists believe--the next phase of evolution will be dominance by a breed of sociopaths who do have sublimated emotions (I am doubtful of this despite that it seems clear they are more likely to rise to high levels of business, government, power, etc.)
Some might say that the great meanings I have applied to feelings of love and pleasure through my experience of these feelings are false meanings and that things like intelligence have the true greater meaning in life. But there is no scientific proof of that.
There is no scientific proof of what you've been arguing for above either. Neither is science the be-all end-all proof of everything.
Science is fully dependent on logic and reason, rationality, and its more precise form, philosophy and metaphysics. Good atheists like Hume and Russell (much deeper thinkers than the modern atheists like Dawkins, Dan Barker and even the late Hitchens - the latter two who I genuinely love). We are in an age of scientism unfortunately, where people have forgotten several very key and important things. First, the same kind of evidence is not used to answer all questions.
I'll quote now from a passage from The Great Debate that makes this point briefly better than I could:
We might ask , "Is there a box of crackers in the pantry?" And we know how we would
go about answering that question. But that is a far, far cry from the way we go about
answering questions determining the reality of say, barometric pressure, quasars, gravitational
attraction, elasticity, radio activity, natural laws, names, grammar, numbers, the university
itself that you're now at, past events, categories, future contingencies, laws of thought,
political obligations, individual identity over time, causation, memories, dreams, or even love
or beauty. In such cases, one does not do anything like walk to the pantry and look inside for
the crackers. There are thousands of existence or factual questions, and they are not at all
answered in the same way in each case.
This is rather axiomatic, somewhat self-authenticating (as much as anything can be), but is also borne out by evidence over and over again.
The second point is that science relies totally on the principle--indeed the law--of inductive reasoning and the uniformity of nature. And as Hume knew well, and demonstrated, there is no reason to trust in induction or the uniformity of nature--certainly not into the future and certainly not past our tiny little half life of experience. And saying, 'well we just all know it is true' (although true), does not answer or explain the problem. At this point, I am not arguing for a god, deity or even higher power. I am merely laying groundwork for a transcendental argument (this is a somewhat technical but also firmly reliable test from philosophy that can and has demonstrated the irrationality of an atheist worldview, and fortunately for me, of nihilism as well).
Also, we all find our own personal things in life that have the true great meaning.
Yes, which 2514 and I have alluded to above, and yet in the larger sense they are all the same too - in that everyone in their own ways wants to be happy, healthy, have friends, some security, avoid pain, have hope for the future, etc.
So for someone who only values other things in life like intelligence and has little to no value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this person would be, in my eyes, a cold and inferior biological robot. But it is a false choice entirely. But who I would be in this person's eyes would be an inferior pleasure-seeking fool. I guess in your made up hypothetical person that does not exist, maybe. I don't care what it is you have to say such as that intelligence can be used for far more greater things in life and that this is what you personally think gives intelligence the greater value and meaning, my personal experience of love and pleasure says to me that these feelings are the greatest things in life. So by your own words, you are arguing general objective points from purely subjective experience. I'm not bashing that - it is a form of evidence. Just realize the risk of error when putting one perceived part of your own experience and thinking it is somehow more reliable than all of everyone's experience. To me, intelligence that is not used in gaining more pleasure or as a plan to obtain more pleasure has no value to me because such intelligence and such a way of pursuing intelligence as the greater thing in life is "robotic" and is something a highly intelligent robot from the future would do (not an emotionally sensitive human being like me). I think you've basically described hedonism. Hedonism is fun, but I don't think is anywhere close to an accurate depiction of how most people live, regardless of where they fall on the scale of feeling and having emotions. It is modified in a thousand nuanced and important ways. More importantly, do I understand correctly that you still understand yourself to be 'an emotionally sensitive human being?' If so, doesn't that presuppose some degree of feeling, even emotion? I'm just genuinely a little confused by the terminology.
I would never abandon my value towards my feelings and those of others in any way. The only intelligence I will pursue in life would be something that would keep my full title of an "emotionally sensitive human being" by both making it likely to help me recover my ability to experience pleasure as well as bring others pleasure. This intelligence would be what is gained from therapies and other things to help recover from depression and anhedonia. This intelligence I have acquired would also help bring others pleasure and help them recover from depression and anhedonia as well.
Ok. Good.
Now if you are going to say something such as that feelings of love and pleasure come from having value towards other things in life in the first place and that we can't experience these feelings through having value towards these feelings alone and that this is why only other things in life have the greater value, this would be false. I value my own feelings of love and pleasure greatly and experience even more feelings of love and pleasure knowing that these are the greatest feelings to me and that I am able to experience them in life.
I have no idea--I think love (and emotion)--are many-splendored (and nuanced) things, but we do definitely all want to feel love.
Now some would also say that your personality, thoughts, attitude, knowledge, and even pleasure are all one thing and cannot be separated. For example, you cannot have a personality without thoughts, knowledge, etc. So these people might then say that all these things have the same value since they're all the same thing and that I should not be able to compare intelligence and pleasure and say that pleasure is superior. If this is true, then what I whould really be saying instead is that the state of mind I am in due to my depression and anhedonia is inferior and "robotic" compared to the state of mind I would be in if I was happy and didn't have depression or anhedonia. This "inferior robotic" state of mind I am in would still be inferior and robotic regardless of how much I use it in doing great things in my life, helping others, and other things.
I don't know. I think it seems pretty clear and pretty well tested, that we as human beings are more than one thing. More than the sum of our parts. If someone is a pure naturalist, they can try to separate this, but very early on, they run into the problem of why they should care about any meaning, love, emotions or otherwise. Nihilism looks pretty spot on from that point of view.
I would add that ALL of us with our multivariate forms of severe depression have definitely felt robotic and inferior. But thankfully, we lean that these feelings are not facts. That in fact, as someone once said to me, and at the risk of saying something you already know [so apologies in advance!] it can sometimes help to realize that your worth, dignity and goodness are intrinsic to your being and not a matter of "having" or "acquiring" or "proving." In a technological age like this that is so dominated by machines, it can be easy to "reduce" a human being to their "function" or "usefulness." And it can become the common belief that only what is "useful" is any good. But this is an over-simplification of things and therefore both false and unfair. Instead of looking merely at "having" or "doing," one can look at "being." It is good that you exist. You, in your very being, bring something unique, irreplaceable, and never to be duplicated or repeated into the universe. It is your very existence and being that is good, that is of incalculable value, that is of inalienable dignity and worth. It is good that you exist. It is great that you exist!!!
Allow me to state it in the strongest possible terms. If you lost everything but your life . . . if you ended up homeless, on the street, living day to day . . . if you lost all friends . . . if you lost all respect from others . . . you would still possess inestimable dignity and worth and value. Or stated another way . . . there are things that are 'meant' to be, like the laws of nature, like the law of gravity, for example. You, in your uniqueness and individuality are also a law, Matt! You are meant to be here in the same way as the law of gravity is meant to be here. You are also a law.
Now aside from that, other things such as pursuing your dreams in life (besides your dream to fully regain your lost pleasure through therapies and other things), this has no value and is "robotic" as well.
I don't see why or follow you reasoning here. I do believe there is value in acceptance of things as many of us have found. The paradox is in accepting what we can't change while finding the courage and wisdom to change what we can (the old serenity prayer paraphrased). Let's remember that a parodox is a truth expressed in the form of only an apparent contradiction.
You would instead give up on these dreams and instead be the superior human being by focusing on regaining your pleasure first. But if pursuing your dreams is the most effective way to help recover your ability to experience pleasure, then you should pursue your dreams. But if it isn't, then you should just give up on them for now and instead attend to the most effective ways that could bring back your ability to experience pleasure.
If I understand you correctly (and I'm not sure I do), you're basically saying that we are purely biological organisms programmed in some sense to ultimately maximize our own pleasure (and avoid pain). Yes? That's fine, but it still leaves a LOT of play in the joints of how to go about doing this, why, in what ways, is it different for different people, and of course, ultimately even why and how can one think he knows this is 'it' the whole enchilada, all there is, and I guess you would have to say, the 'meaning' or 'purpose' of us? I'm not disputing that we have a very strong desire to seek pleasure - although given that its forms are nearly infinite (e.g. the sadomasochist who seeks pleasure through causing him/herself overt pain), I'm not sure this guides us very particularly. I would go back to my initial comments about the more modern and evolving understanding of anhedonia as not being a total absence of feeling every type of pleasure, desire, motivation, emotion, etc. I want to be sensitive here, because I can only imagine this must be an excruciatingly difficult form of depression or phenomenological condition. I only want to observe that it does have degrees. If those who experience anhedonia sometimes have even the slightest different degree of discomfort or pain, then a corollary would seem to be that their are ever so slight glimpses of pleasure or 'not-pain' or 'less pain.' In any case, I trust there are cases of anhedonia that have changed and not been permanent. I am not wanting to sound knowledgeable about anhedonia, as I am not. I hope that as someone who has struggled with long term severe, suicidal depression which has for so long felt and seemed like an absence of pleasure, I hope I can at least relate to a large degree, as many others here can as well. I do not, however, view this as the only litmus test for value, goodness, betterness or superiority or worth. I feel like that sometimes. But I know it is a feeling and not to trust all my feelings.
Only when your ability to experience love and pleasure is fully recovered should you then go back to pursuing these types of dreams. But if you can never fully recover your lost love and pleasure, then at least you have spent your entire life by being the superior human being who has tried to recover these things.
Or, you might have wasted it longing for a restored past while you could have been living your life, with some acceptance of all its imperfectness and pain. It must be conceded this is at least another possibility since many are bearing this out every day.
So in other words, anything in life that can't bring me the greatest things to me (which are love and pleasure), then these things have no meaning to me (even who I am as a person since not even that can bring me any feelings of love or pleasure now).
But even if you were right that 'anything in life that can't bring you the greatest things' (which I don't necessarily agree with), what are these things? You seem to be talking in terms of all or nothing (easily one of the most common negative thought patterns among those of us who are depressed, which I fall into all the time). William Blake, the famous depressed poet started one of his best-known (and I think brilliant) poems with the intro, "To see a world in a grain of sand..." and it goes on from there.
Perhaps even the tiniest things - tactile feeling, the other 4 conventional senses, being able to understand and think, taste food, etc. are themselves the worth living for, being 'great', etc. Just a thought.
Since I have lost my ability to love and feel pleasure, then nothing in life has any value, worth, or meaning to me (even things that used to bring me feelings of love and pleasure).
I have to say that this is exactly the same thing that people with depression think, say and feel, on a constant basis, so I'd say we share a very big part of this at least. And this I definitely do know from long personal experience. It is a feeling. A bad one. A really bad one. I am not minimizing it one iota - it can last a really long time, debilitate, make life seem worthless, make one want to die, repeatedly and over long term. And yet still there are reasons to live. I am slightly increased today by being able to talk with you. I hope in some minute sense you are as well - or else you wouldn't be posting here.
However, the only thing that does is the feelings of others and lving my life trying to regain my lost feelings of love and pleasure. I don't care about science or gaining intelligence in life because these things don't make me feel pleasure nor will they help me recover my ability to experience pleasure. I don't even care about pursuing my dreams in life because not even doing that brings me any pleasure.
Then seek that regaining of pleasure for all you're worth. And while you're doing it, remember that it is possible to accept life on its terms as it is now and still continue, as in fact you are presumably doing at this moment. And know you have friends here.
There are people who are great figures (composers and such) in history through their suffering and despair. But these same people could of been just as great (and even better) through living nice happy lives of no suffering and despair under the right circumstances.
I tend to doubt this very much, and there is some social science to back this up.
My dream in life was to be a good composer through my pure pleasure alone with a life of little to no suffering and despair (no depression or anhedonia). The fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who has immense value towards feelings of love and pleasure, this is what makes me a great person and composer since I can tap deep into my feelings of love and pleasure in coming up with pieces of music that are far greater and more powerful than what the average lesser being who has no such value towards these feelings could only come up with which would be compositions that are likely to be nowhere near as emotionally great as my compositions.
That's wonderful and great and you should celebrate it (save that I will not say that anyone else is a 'lesser being' in any sense whatsoever). I don't believe any person's value ever has been or ever will be determined by their occupation, accomplishment or ultimately, even their actions, important as these are.
It's not only my emotionally sensitive personality that would make me the better composer, but also my feelings of love and pleasure themselves since these feelings (once tapped into through my emotionally sensitive personality), can create great compositions (combined with my used knowledge of music theory and such). These compositions would be far greater than if I was someone with no feelings of love and pleasure due to my depression and anhedonia.
Are you saying that you still have feelings or capacity for love and pleasure in your composing?
So if the greatest composers had no depression and had their full emotions to tap into, they would be able to create greater compositions.
Or quite possibly, they would not. They may well be homoclites - normal well-balanced, emotionally healthy, average persons who usually pay bills, are responsible, but rarely produce something in the range of spectacular are or beauty or brilliance. Several books by prominent psychologists I have recently read strongly support this. There are in fact some aspects of depression to be joyously celebrated. This doesn't mean I would wish it on my worst enemy - as I would not. Only that it does have a tenancy to deepen and broaden people in various ways, with emotional and artistic depth being two of them. This, as a general rule, is pretty well documented actually.
So this is why their despair made them lesser people and lesser composers.
Again, I respectfully disagree, and can cite you to at least two books written by experts in the field (and many more biographies of those with severe depression) that make compelling cases to the contrary.
Depression is not an emotion at all to tap into or embrace. Inner nothingness is not a "power" or an aspect to embrace at all and does not make you a better person for having embraced and used it for great things in life and in helping others. It is a lack of power that only serves to make you a lesser person.
I am glad that in clearer moments, I realize there is a distinction between feeling like this, and it being objectively true. And I have had the benefit to have been able to learn and re-learn this in part from others.
Now if you are going to say something such as that embracing your inner nothingness makes you feel empowered and such and that this is what makes your inner nothingness great, that doesn't make it great. Your pleasure is what allowed you to feel empowered and such in the first place. Therefore, it is just pleasure that makes you great.
I would say that persevering makes me a valuable human being or 'great' if you like (whatever that means) as much or more than mere pleasure. I don't think most people would view someone like Caligula or certain serial killers as 'great' though they certainly experienced a lot of pleasure.
Depression and anhedonia are, therefore, the taking away of your feelings since depression and anhedonia are processes in the brain that turns off pleasure and such in the brain and makes you less mentally and physically functional as opposed to having these full feelings which would enhance your mental emotional composing capabilities and such.
I don't dispute there is generally some truth in this, but would add that it is based on some current theories of understanding and is a gross oversimplification. I am grateful for the truly amazing list of poets, writers, artists, composers, etc. who in part because of their depression, were driven to produce a type and kind of art and beauty in the way they saw the world with too many eyes, that almost undoubtedly, they otherwise would not quite have done int he same way. Again, this is not being glad they were depressed (and many, many of them took their own lives). Just that it is not a zero-sum proposition.
Feelings of sadness and anger are feelings to tap into since they are the activating of emotional parts of the brain (though they are utterly inferior emotions compared to feelings of love and pleasure since they are emotions that only serve to make you feel bad and that feelings of love and pleasure can be used to do just as much great things in life and in helping others as opposed to feelings of sadness and anger). But depression (hopelessness) and anhedonia (emotional numbness) are the taking away of emotional activity in the brain.
So even other great historical figures besides composers could of done great things in their lives and helped others just as good (and even better) if they lived nice happy lives of no suffering and despair because that would make them much more mentally and physically functional in life and they could of used this high functioning to do even more amount of great things in life and in helping even more people.
Yet this is not what the psychology, social science and history shows. Rather it shows that many with depressive illnesses, were greater with and partially becasue of the challenges they lived with. They had deeper and broader empathy. It helped shape their worldview. They learned new skills and ways to cope and compensate. And undoubtedly, many learned to tap into this deeper range of emotion to produce some of the world's greatest and most lasting and beautiful art.
(See, e.g., Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness (historian), Man's Search for Meaning (Atheist Hauloaust surviving psychaitrstst, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (the Hopkins psychiatrist who wrote the book on manic depressive illness and experienced it), and A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness (professor of psychology)).
Again, I would have compassion and such towards these people despite knowing they are the lesser beings and I am not trying to offend them. I am a person who speaks the truth regardless of how offensive it is and I am, therefore, just telling the truth here like it is. (We all seek the truth with different contaminants, but since none of us is omniscient, this kind of statement is usually indistinguishable from emotionalism and a proffered right to be offensive with impunity. I am curious - how does one know what truth is (or that any such exotic thing even exists), or if science is the ultimate means to knowing 'truth', how does one know that science works, keeping in mind you can't use science to prove science's reliably as that would be logically circular and question begging. I do know that science is reliable for showing truth about scientific questions, but this makes sense in my worldview). Some people might scorn upon me and view me as a bad person for having these beliefs, but that's not so. Your beliefs don't determine whether you are a good or bad person. It is who you are as a person that determines this. (This sounds tautological) Since I am compassionate and caring and would never be someone who would laugh in the faces of those who are lesser beings, that makes me a good person.
You've got to drop this language of superiority and lesser beings - it sounds like bad Nietzsche, and no one knows what it means if anything. Say that some people have stronger connections to pleasure or are better able to self-actualize. Something.
As for me, I will not express my suffering through my music because doing that would only make me feel worse and also because I would have become the lesser person in the world of composing for not being able to channel and express my feelings of pleasure that I wanted to do so badly and instead being an inferior biological robot who creates music through no emotions or through depression. I think there is pleasure in wanting. Even if it is for the sake of helping others, I would still be nothing but an inferior biological robot anyway both as a person and as a composer. If I understand what you mean when you use the term "inferior biological robot" then this is still only true if and once one defines the full potential value of human beings in this extremely narrow (and unjustified) terms of ability to feel pleasure. I still haven't seen any rational case for this. In law, we would call this conclusory - just asserting a conclusion without the necessary building blocks that support a chain of reasoning to justify the conclusion. It's possible you're right (I see know reason to think so right now), but the fact is you just haven't shown it - at all.
I am putting my dream of being a composer on hold for now since my only goal in becoming a composer was to channel and express my feelings of love and pleasure alone throug composing since suffering and despair is pointless and inferior to me. Only when these feelings are fully recovered will I ever go back to being a composer because I would then have these feelings to channel and express.
This seems roughly approximate to saying, I will only get out of bed once everything is perfect in the world and there's no more risk of pain or death. A lot of us feel like this all the time, but we realize its backwards. The way to motivate myself is to take some action, even if very small indeed. It is counter-intuitive and is acting against feeling, but it is pretty demonstrably true.
Now the fact that I am an emotionally sensitive human being who can come up with great compositions through my emotionally sensitive personality combined with me living a nice happy life free of suffering and despair is the ultimate combination that would make me the great person and composer.
It is also a pipe dream as we all experience suffering and I think even despair, etc. We all would like this, but it isnt' in the cards. I hope for you that you're able to find some meaning in the going, in the journey as it were, rather than waiting for a perfection that will never arrive.
I would of composed epic pieces of music as an expression of this ultimate combination. If I have composed epic masterpieces through these things, my message to the world through my music would be that my pleasure is what made me the great person and great composer and that living a nice happy life of little to no suffering and espair is what truly makes you the great person and a great artist/composer combined with being an emotionally sensitive human being. Suffering and despair is truly pointless and only serves to make you a lesser person since you can achieve great things in life through living nice happy lives just as good as (and even better) than people who do through their lives of suffering and despair. This is again an assumption based on emotion and without support.
I would say this message to the world as well as that despair (depression and anhedonia) makes you an inferior biological robot regardless of who you are as a person, how much you help others, and what great things you do in life. Because of this, all of the great figures in history who suffered despair were the lesser beings because they and others are delusional in thinking that their suffering and despair made them great. Unlike them, I am not delusional and realize that it would instead be my happiness and a life free of suffering and despair that would make me great and would be my own greatness in life.
Well, this is a common thought and feeling and impulse among those of us who are depressed, but happily, most of us learn to realize how it is really not a workable philosophy or way to live.
I mentioned before that the only life worth living without pleasure would be living your life trying to fully regain your lost pleasure. If you add in the balance or paradox of learning acceptance, then I agree with that narrow statement - in fact I think it is pre-programmed and axiomatic.
So you might be thinking that if this is the case, then why can't you find other things in life worth living for besides pleasure? As I said before, we are designed by evolution to find our lives to be good and worth living only through pleasure alone because pleasure is the only thing that encourages this (which would be our encouraged survival in life). No, this is demonstrably not accurate, even from evolution. Fear, and many other emotions--and thoughts--motivate us toward a vast multiplicity of actions. If you define pleasure so broadly that it encompasses any and every feeling, I guess you're right, but in so doing, you have swallowed the meaning you were after in the fist place. And we are closer to the beginning than the end of understanding how emotions, thoughts, biology, etc. interact to move us.
So the only closest thing to a life worth living through thoughts and such alone without pleasure would be focusing on regaining the very thing that makes your life worth living in the first place. All other things in life besides pleasure don't make our lives worth living and to think so is delusional and is not how evolution designed us. Even focusing on the pleasure of others and bringing them pleasure does not make our lives worth living without our own pleasure to make it worth living for in the first place (in terms of evolution).
Well, it sounds like you've got it figured out then. Not meaning to sound harsh. But it does seem like you're a bit narrowly foreclosed to considering a broad spectrum of thinking at the moment. Anyhow, I wish you happiness and peace in all things, including composition when and if you choose to take it up again.

You are right, I do wish to debate about this. So here are some other things for you to debate against as well. Some of these things might be the exact same things I have already said, but just worded differently (I'm not sure). But go ahead and read through them all anyway and debate against them:

1.) You said that expressing yourself is perhaps better than the feelings themselves that are not there due to depression or anhedonia. In other words, if you express that you love someone, but don't have love, that would make you a great person. But based on my arguments, that is still nothing compared to these feelings themselves and expressing yourself is something a highly intelligent and well-designed robot in the future can accomplish. Also, what I mean by being a better person if you had these feelings is that these feelings are what make you the better person than if you were someone without these feelings and also that these feelings make you better than everyone else who either don't have them or have little to none of them.
2.) Robots are fine living a life without pleasure because that's what they are--emotionally insensitive functioning machines that are inferior. But I, on the other hand, am an emotionally sensitive human being who is not fine living a life without pleasure and will never be fine with such a thing because, again, I am a sensitive human being and will forever remain a sensitive human being in terms of my pleasure. For me to be fine with and accept this as a way of life would truly make me the inferior robot and anyone else to be fine with and accept that they might never recover would truly be inferior robots as well. I would never accept such a thing anyway for all my reasons stated in my writing. I am at least one step towards being a superior human being despite my depression and severe chronic anhedonia for having not accepting this as a way of life and trying to gain my pleasure back.
3.) Life is not about acceptance of living an entire life with depression or anhedonia that never recovers. It is about completely overcoming our suffering of depression and anhedonia. It is also about being superior to acceptance itself and to this inferior life as well as its inferior pointless hardships by living a nice happy life and also by having the attitude of a megalomaniac psychopath who wishes to have power and control in their lives only in the sense of their lives not being bound by any inferior problems. This is one of the reasons why the lives of those who are happy and struggle-free are better lives because these happy people have power and control in their lives, can live life basically however they want, and their lives are not bound by any inferior problems which makes them superior to major problems in life as well as acceptance since they don't have to accept any major problems in life while the rest of us do. These happy people dominate over this inferior life of suffering since they don't have to go through any of it.
4.) All our suffering is for nothing. We may have helped others suffering through our own suffering which gives the illusion that our own suffering did have a useful purpose and such, but our own suffering for ourselves is truly pointless because there are innocent people with nice happy lives who help others suffering and give great advice. In other words, we can achieve great things in life and help others through pure happiness alone and with a life free of struggles just as good as (and even better) than those people who suffer. I'm also an atheist and believe that there is no heaven for all our suffering and no hell to put all our suffering on wicked people with nice happy lives which is another thing that makes our own suffering even more pointless and makes those who are wicked with nice happy lives even more great.
5.) But some forms of struggle do have an advantage such as training in the military, struggling through rigorous training, and having gained something after all of this which would be the "no pain, no gain" mentality. But there are forms of struggle in this life that are truly pointless. One of these struggles would be for those people who suffer from depression and anhedonia (especially for those people who can't gain any betterment from their suffering and are doomed to a life of suffering). Unlike the gains we would obtain which are gains that can only be achieved through hard training in the military, the gains we obtain from suffering from depression and anhedonia which are gains that are used in helping others who suffer from these things and giving advice as well as other things, these are gains that an innocent person with a nice happy life can achieve (as I've just stated in the paragraph above).
6.) An innocent person suffering from cancer in a hospital bed might think that their suffering had a benefit because they got to meet many people who cared for him/her and such and because he/she gave inspiring messages to others who suffer. But an innocent and caring person with a nice happy life with no suffering can achieve the exact same things (and even better) and can achieve many other great things in life that this innocent person suffering from cancer couldn't which would make this happy person's life far better and would make this other person's suffering truly pointless.
7.) Some scientists and intelligent people might say that feelings of love and pleasure are nothing more than chemical processes in the brain, that it is nothing more than something used for our survival, and that it is nothing special for these very reasons stated. But there is a big difference between how nonspecial and ungreat love and pleasure are in terms of science and how special and great they are to us based on our own personal experience of these emotions. So this is why these feelings are so special to me and are the greatest things in my life simply because they feel like the most special and greatest things ever experienced. Since these emotions feel like the most special and greatest things to me in life, that is what makes them the most special and greatest things in life. The feelings of love and pleasure that others have also has the same value as your own and makes their feelings of love and pleasure the most special and greatest things in life as well. But as for anything else in life besides feelings of love and pleasure that is either unable to serve you or others love and pleasure (such as due to depression or anhedonia) or serves no purpose in regaining your lost love and pleasure, these things have no value. In other words, if you have anhedonia and you lived your life as nothing more than a "job" not doing things to try and bring you or others love and pleasure and not caring to regain your lost love and pleasure, then that is a life of no value and your life would be worthless.
8.) I bet people such as your family would feel very sorry for you more than they would being happy for you if you were suffering from cancer in a hospital bed or any other such type of suffering. But based on my writing, losing your pleasure would be even much worse than that since it is basically the greatest thing in your life. So it truly would make no sense if these people felt happy towards you despite your loss of pleasure and yet felt very sad and depressed for you if you were going through any other type of suffering. Of course, these people deserve to be happy. I am just simply pointing out here that it wouldn't make any sense for them to be happy towards you despite your loss of pleasure. I am also pointing out just how bad of an experience this is for me and that I would prefer any other type of suffering over this.
9) Now another reason why megalomaniacs and people with mania are superior is because they can increase their self-worth and empowerment (their pleasure) to an extreme psychotic level which, metaphorically speaking, makes their value and worth enhanced to a god-like level. Megalomaniacs who want power and control in their lives and to not accept any problem in life, their attitude here is not compatible with this life (universe) as it is a life that forces its problems upon us and to live with those problems. But their attitude would be compatible with a superior god-like life (universe) of no suffering and this is what, in a sense, makes their attitude of this superior god-like universe and makes them superior god-like beings from that universe. But those who do accept problems in life, have humility, and don't want power and control in their lives--these would be inferior beings of this inferior universe only providing that they have less pleasure in life because pleasure is really the only thing here that determines your value, worth, and status as a human being.
Megalomaniacs would be superior god-like beings from another universe (a superior god-like universe) that is the opposite of this inferior universe of being powerless in overcoming certain suffering and just having to accept problems in life and make the best of our lives anyway. This superior god-like universe is a universe where we live lives of perfection, immortality, and empowerment over suffering knowing that we are superior god-like beings who are superior to suffering because we don't have to accept or have any of it. Megalomaniacs have the personality trait of this superior god-like universe since they don't accept problems in life and wish to be superior to them while the rest of us who accept suffering as a way of life have the personality trait of this inferior universe of pointless suffering. Again, I am metaphorically speaking when saying all of this and don't actually mean that there are superior god-like beings or that there is another universe of no suffering because I am an atheist, believe in scientific facts, and don't believe in such superstition. But atheists who accept that there is no God or an afterlife that will grant them this superior god-like status, these people are inferior. At least I hate my own atheism, don't accept it, and wish to have the personality trait of a superior god-like being myself in order to make myself superior to this inferior universe of suffering.
Megalomaniacs are superior because they wish to change things in their life and are not pathetic punching bags that just sit there and accept punches (problems) that this life gives to them. They wish to live the way they want and wish to be superior to reality and its problems which is what makes these megalomaniacs superior. People with humility and acceptance are inferior because they allow their lives to be bound by inferior problems, tell others to just accept their problems, and allow themselves to be of a lower status in life, whereas megalomaniacs are superior because they are the opposite. Actually, as I will explain later on in my writing, accepting any problem in life besides your loss of pleasure and telling others to accept these types of problems does not make you inferior. But if you accept a lifelong depression or anhedonia that never gets better or fully recovers as well as tell others to just accept a lifelong depression or anhedonia, that would make you utterly inferior. This would also include accepting atheism in which you would be accepting a denied afterlife of eternal pleasure. However, as I stated before, pleasure is what really defines your status as a human being. So if you did have all the pleasure in the world and accepted these things in life, then that would give you a superior status anyway.
Megalomaniacs and people with mania would be superior to people with humility and acceptance who accept depression/anhedonia and make the best of it. These megalomaniacs and people with mania would be superior due to their psychotically enhanced pleasure and for not accepting reality and choosing to increase their level of pleasure to a psychotically enhanced level while the rest of us with not as much pleasure or have little to no pleasure due to depression and anhedonia are inferior.
10.) Also, since I am a hedonist and pleasure is the greatest thing in life to me, since our minds, bodies, and this universe are not designed to make us happy and instead gives us depression, anhedonia, and many other types of suffering, this is another thing that makes our design and this universe inferior to me. I am an atheist who is not even allowed to have pleasure in this one and only life which is what makes this life inferior and worthless to me. Without my ability to experience pleasure, then there is absolutely nothing for me in this one and only life which is why I would rather of been someone who believed in a God and an afterlife of eternal joy because that would give me a sense of hope and a "real" life to look forward to (even though that life doesn't exist) rather than this life which is now worthless since I have no pleasure. Without pleasure, then this life is nothing more than a mockery of me--giving me beautiful and great things to enjoy in this life and I can't experience any amount of pleasure whatsoever from any of these things. My life is now just being wasted away at this point since pleasure is the only greatest thing to me in life and anything else I do in life is nothing more than the equivalent of a robot doing mechanical task in life whether they be great things in life or helping others.
Our minds and bodies are just designed for survival and nothing more. We are just designed to survive and to just forever remain dead in the end. The fact that we are not designed to be superior immortal god-like beings who have complete control over reality and suffering in living an eternal life of joy, this is what makes our design utterly inferior.
11.) A true emotionally sensitive human being is someone who has both immense value towards his/her own feelings of love and pleasure and those feelings of others. I mentioned earlier in my writing that I am at least one step towards being an emotionally sensitive human being for not accepting my loss of pleasure and trying to regain it. The fact that I also value the feelings of others makes me two steps towards being an emotionally sensitive human being despite my depression and severe chronic anhedonia. So in order to be truly defined as "emotionally sensitive," you would have to have both of these personality traits I just mentioned. If you just have one or the other, then you would only earn half that title and that would make you a lesser person as opposed to having the full title. But despite the fact that Hitler does not have that title at all, he is still the better person for having pleasure in his life anyway and nothing can take away from that greatness other than his own loss of pleasure.
12.) If you have the ability to fully recover from depression and anhedonia, then that would deem you as the "Ultimate Life Form" in this universe since you would have the ability to recover the only greatest thing in life which is your pleasure. But if you can't recover, then that would make you and your brain a "Worthless Creation" and you should end your worthless life because you would be delusional in somehow thinking you would be making the best of your life anyway and living a fulfilling life without pleasure. You can choose to live anyway, but you would just be a biological robot not being able to "appreciate anything" or "make the best of life" or "live a fulfilling life" because those things in quotes can only come from pleasure alone and don't come from nothing but biological robotic functioning. I ask of you, can a robot achieve those things quoted? I don't think so! And it wouldn't matter anyway if you could because, again, you would still be nothing but a biological robot with a worthless life.
13.) I am a person who, without pleasure, finds no value in living just for the sake of living and in just doing things in life as a mission or a job in this life. I am neither a person who solely values intelligence and the pursuit of knowledge in life over the pursuit of happiness. I would have to agree and say that my intelligence is completely useless for me and has only brought me depression and anhedonia as well as atheism in making my life that more pointless and worthless. My intelligence of scientific facts is what lead me to atheism. I am not interested and don't care about science or reality itself for that matter. I just want to live a happy life with the delusional fantasy belief of there being a God and a heaven for my worthless life without pleasure here on Earth. I wanted to live in a happy fantasy world separate from reality through composing and other things. There is a phrase that states "Ignorance is bliss." In other words, I would of rather been someone who is happy and very dumb who believes in superstition (even a dumb happy wild animal that is carefree in life). Some scientists might tell me that, despite my inability to feel love and pleasure, I am an amazing creation that has come about through evolution and that my intelligence can be used for great things in life. Although a scientist would appreciate this, I , once again, am not interested and don't care about science and evolution, my design, or who I am as a person. I would still be nothing more than the equivalent of a highly intelligent and well-designed biological robot from the future that has no ability to love or feel pleasure even if I did use my intelligence to do great things in life and help others as well as having a great personality in life. Not to mention, I have no help or advice I can even think of that I can give to others through my intelligence anyway. The only thing I can think of and is something I truly believe would be everything I'm saying here in my writing. I do not believe in anything else such as making the best of your life anyway if you could never recover your ability to experience pleasure because, according to what I'm saying here in my writing and what I believe, your life would be truly worthless if you could never recover.
I only care about my feelings of love and pleasure because they are the most precious things to me and, unlike the average intelligent person who pursues knowledge and such over happiness through science and other things, I am someone who completely pursues my happiness and love through composing and in expressing these feelings I value so much through composing.
But there is one thing of great value that my intelligence has which would be everything I'm saying here in my writing. I have used my intelligence in discovering the truth of this life which is that pleasure and love are the greatest things and if you ever lose these things and can never recover them, then you are truly an inferior robot who should end his/her worthless life. Now that I have no love or pleasure, then there is nothing left for me in this life but to now call this one and only life inferior and to reveal this cold hard truth in my writing.
14.) Now my dream in life was to be a composer and my only reason for being a composer was to express and experience my feelings of pleasure that I valued so much because music, to me, is all about emotions. But now that I am emotionally numb and depressed, there is nothing for me to express or experience and there is no longer a reason for me to become a composer. I realize that there are composers who put all their suffering into making music in helping others and such, but this is not who I am at all and choosing to express my suffering through composing would only make me feel worse. I wish to express feelings of pleasure alone by creating music that has a beautiful and mystical fantasy feel which would be music that expresses mystical forests and other things.
Even if I were a composer who composed songs that have somber feels to them in helping other people who are suffering, I can compose music that is just as powerful and compelling in helping others and such (and even better) through pure pleasure alone (the pleasure in helping others and through other forms of pleasure). I can compose any song with any feel to it through pure pleasure alone and these songs can be just as good (and even better) than if I suffered negative emotions and used my suffering in composing music. This is another reason why suffering from depression and anhedonia is pointless and has no greater benefit than if you were a happy person. Therefore, living a life of suffering that never gets any better or never fully recovers in inspiring and helping others who suffer is even more pointless because you can be just as helpful and inspiring (and even more) if you fully recovered from your suffering and chose to be helpful and inspiring through your recovery. Again, you can even be just as inspiring and helpful (and even more) having not suffered in the first place and just being inspiring and helpful to those who suffer out of the kindness of your own heart despite the fact that you are living a nice happy life yourself.
15.) Now I was able to channel my feelings of pleasure in creating great music. But now that my pleasure is gone, I cannot create any such piece of music whatsoever and there is no reason to become a composer anyway since I have no feelings of pleasure to express. When I had feelings of pleasure in the beginning, I was able to dedicate all my time all day everyday (many hours a day) in learning to compose and such. But now that I have no pleasure, I have completely given up and no longer dedicate any amount of time whatsoever in composing.
A true composer who only values and expresses their feelings of pleasure through composing (such as myself) would realize that there is no longer any point in composing without pleasure and would just give up composing completely because they would now be emotionless robots in a world that absolutely calls for our experience of love and pleasure (which would be the emotional world of music and composing). If I or any other true hedonist composer such as myself were to have any other disability besides depression and anhedonia instead such as being in a wheelchair or any other mental or physical disability, then such a true composer would never give up in this situation since he/she still has the most important thing about him/her as an emotionally sensitive hedonist composer (which would be his/her pleasure). I, myself, would never give up on composing and even all other things in life in this situation.
But if such a composer were to lose his/her pleasure either due to depression or anhedonia, then that would be the time I and other such composers like me should give up composing completely only until our pleasure fully recovers. Although I could compose purely for the sake of other people's pleasure instead, my only goal in becoming a composer was to express my own feelings of pleasure and give others pleasure only through my own pleasure. Once again, I still value others and their pleasure. It's just that composing is a very personal thing for me and any music I compose comes from my own personal pleasure. Composing is not something in which I abandon my own personal means of composing (which would be channeling my own feelings of pleasure) and instead just composes for the sake of other people's pleasure and composes just as a "job" like a robot.
Although I could compose without my feelings of pleasure and instead compose using only my knowledge of music theory, through my thinking alone, and through just playing around on the keyboard, music and composing is a very emotional thing to me and I will not compose like a robot without emotions. Since music and composing must absolutely be a pleasurable emotional human experience for me and I am not even allowed to have this experience at all (since I have severe chronic anhedonia that is there all the time 24/7), this is why I am giving up being a composer. To me, there is no value whatsoever in pursuing my dream of being a composer anyway because that is something "robotic" that only an inferior biological robot would do. I am instead doing the human thing by giving up my dream for now and instead trying to gain back my pleasure through therapies and medication.
Only when my pleasure is back will I then go back to being a composer because I absolutely refuse to be the inferior biological robot in the world of music and composing because my only goal in composing is to use my pleasure and pleasure alone to make music and to feel pleasure when listening to music I like. Therefore, me choosing to become a composer and to listen to music I like despite my anhedonia and depression only serves to make me feel much worse knowing that I cannot experience pleasure from these things at all.
But if I can never regain my full pleasure, then I will never go back to being a composer. I cannot gain back some or even most of my pleasure in order for me to go back to being a composer. I must regain my full pleasure in order for that to happen because I will not be the inferior biological robot to any degree whatsoever in the world of music and composing (even if it is just a little bit).
16.) My sole dream was to, metaphorically speaking, be a superior god-like being in the world of music and composing. That status would be given to someone who is able to fully experience pleasure from music and in composing as well as being able to experience pleasure from these things at a manic level. In other words, my dream was to express my god-like feelings of mania (empowerment) and create music that has an empowered god-like mystical feel to it as an expression of my superior god-like empowered status as a human being and as a composer. But also because I just wish to express my feelings of pleasure in general which would be enhanced to a manic level due to my immense value and overly emotional sensitive personality towards feelings of love and pleasure.
17.) Some people embrace their inner nothingness and call that something great and that it makes them a better person (perhaps a superior god-like being like how I would embrace my feelings of pleasure and call myself a metaphorically spoken superior god-like being as well). But nothingness is not a "power" at all to embrace. It is a lack of power that only serves to make you less of a person (not a superior god-like being or even a human being for that matter). You are nothing but a biological robot if you had inner nothingness regardless of how much you embrace it and use it for great things in life as well as helping others. A superior god-like being would be someone who has full pleasure in life that is even enhanced to manic levels. People who embrace despair and inner nothingness in the world of goth might call themselves "gods of darkness." But, once again, a god of darkness would feel pleasure from dark gothic things--not depression or nothingness in their lives to any degree that only serves to make these people inferior and not gods.
But as for other negative emotions such as rage or sadness that these people might embrace, although having these emotions does make you human and not a biological robot, these emotions are still inferior and make you an inferior human being because they take away from the greatest emotions in your life which are love and pleasure. They are also inferior because they allow problems/rotten people in life to get to you and to make you an emotional slave to these problems/rotten people, rather than emotionally dominating over these problems/rotten people by living a happy empowered life and instead being superior to these things through your pleasure. This also applies to feelings of hopelessness (depression) and anhedonia (emotional numbness). Except that, these two feelings just mentioned are the most inferior of all and are not classified as feelings at all. They are the taking away of your feelings and make you an inferior biological robot.
18.) I watch and feel enlightened and empowered by anime (Japanese cartoons) in which there are god-like and mystical concepts such as god-like characters who have enhanced god-like pleasure and have power and control in their lives through their god-like powers as well as the concept of an afterlife. These concepts are superior to this inferior life in which we have less pleasure and basically have no power and control in our lives over suffering and that there is no afterlife of eternal joy to make us gods. Unlike the average person who watches anime and is inspired by realistic messages portrayed by anime such as making the best of life even during hardships, I am instead inspired by unrealistic messages such as the ruthless characters in anime with enhanced god-like pleasure and personality who seek god-like powers and control over reality and I am inspired by the mystical god-like concepts in anime as well. I have embraced these things and made myself into a megalomaniac who wishes to be a superior god-like being through my pleasure and pursues that in composing music. I am a megalomaniac only in the sense that I feel empowered by mystical god-like things and that I just wish to be a great and empowered person through my pleasure. I still have great value towards other people though.
My megalomania would of then enhanced my pleasure to manic states which would of made me a superior god-like being and a better composer (a superior god-like composer in a sense) who would then be able to create pieces of music that have much more feel and power to them (a manic feel) as opposed to if I was someone with depression and anhedonia (or even just the average person with a humble amount of pleasure) who would only be likely to create music that is nowhere near as great. My megalomania is not only inspired by the ruthless god-like characters, but also by innocent god-like characters which makes my megalomania a very empowered innocent god-like experience as well. I stated before that, since pleasure feels like the greatest thing to me, then that makes it great and makes me a great person. But if I also experience feelings of pleasure that feel god-like, then that would make my pleasure in this specific situation god-like and would make me god-like as well (metaphorically speaking). Experiencing god-like feelings of pleasure from mystical god-like things is what makes you a mystical god-like being in a sense. But now that I have no pleasure at all, I am unable to have any such pleasurable experience whatsoever.
19.) Now as I just stated, your happiness has just as much value as anyone else's (even your own family's happiness). In other words, their happiness is neither of lesser or even greater value than yours. So if I had the choice to either be a happy ****** and give my family the burden of taking care of me in which they would just feel a little loss of pleasure due to their hard lives of taking care of me, or to be an intelligent genius with no ability to experience pleasure whatsoever to make their lives happy, one might think that making the sacrifice in becoming the intelligent genius would be the right thing to do. But if I were to become the intelligent genius, that would say right there that my family's happiness is more important than mine. But if I were to become the happy ******, that would say right there that my own happiness has more value than theirs. Therefore, to determine which of these two sacrifices is the right one now all comes down to which of these two sacrifices would cause the greatest loss of pleasure. My family might be happy with a little loss of pleasure in having to take care of me if I was the happy ******, but I would have no pleasure whatsoever if I was the intelligent genius. So the right sacrifice for me to make would for me to become the happy ******. What would be even worse in me making the sacrifice in becoming the intelligent genius is that, since pleasure is the only greatest thing about you as a person in life and that to lose it would be the worst suffering, your family should not feel happy for you at all in making that sacrifice since you would now be nothing more than a biological robot regardless of how much value they have towards you and that you would be going through the worst suffering. Even if my family made the sacrifice in becoming happy retards if they had depression or anhedonia, I would feel that their decision was well-justified and was the right thing to do despite the fact that I would now have to take care of them. This and the other sacrifice I will explain later on in my writing in becoming happy wild animals are both the right sacrifices to make.
But aside from pleasure, one would also have to consider the non-emotional physical aspects in that making the sacrifice in becoming the happy ****** would cause the lives of your family to become a physical chore. But non-emotional physical aspects are nothing more than biological robotic functioning that really has no value. In other words, your happiness is the only thing that matters about you and to cause the lives of others to become a physical chore through your sacrifice in becoming the happy ****** does not matter. However, physical pain is something of value you would definitely have to consider in making your sacrifice in becoming the happy ******. An entire life of physical pain or any other unpleasant sensation might be just as bad as a life without pleasure (depending on the severity of the pain or unpleasant sensation). Although I am not sure if it can ever be just as bad (or even worse) than a life without pleasure. So to make my sacrifice in becoming the happy ****** at the expense of my family living an entire life of intense physical pain or any other unpleasant sensation, or to become the intelligent genius with no pleasure so that my family does not live a life of such misery, this is something undecided. But even so, if my family were to become happy retards at the expense of my life being nothing but physical pain or any other unpleasant sensation or if I were to do the same to them, it just might be the right thing to do considering just how important pleasure is for you in life.
20.) Even if you were a psychopath like Hitler who slaughtered many innocent people, as long as you have pleasure, that would make you the better person. You would even be far better than a depressed and emotionally numb innocent person who instead helped many people around the world.
Who you are as a person (in this case, being a psychopath like Hitler) is neither inferior nor superior to someone who helps and cares for other people because who you are as a person is nothing more than biological robotic functions and has no value whatsoever (whether positive or negative) compared to pleasure. It's only your amount of pleasure that makes you the better person. So this is the reason why people with nice happy lives are the better people. As for feelings of pleasure that are obtained from eating tasty foods (which I wouldn't even call pleasure at all--just simply a tasty sensation), these types of pleasure have no value and don't make you a better person. It's the other types of pleasure such as love, joy, motivation, empowerment, etc. (the "powerful" and "human-defining" feelings of pleasure), these are what make you the better person.
All of those "greater" feelings of pleasure I just mentioned, they all have equal value. Not having one of them would make you a lesser person. But despite the fact that Hitler has no love, he would still be better than an emotionally numb person who can't feel any form of pleasure whatsoever, but helped many people and gave them pleasure.
If I never had depression or anhedonia in my entire life and I never knew just how awful losing pleasure would feel, then I think I would not have valued pleasure to such an extreme as to even call Hitler himself great for having it. I would instead view him as a subhuman monster for ******* all those innocent people. But now that I have lost my pleasure, I realize just how great and absolutely necessary pleasure is for me in life and that it makes even the most wicked people great and absolutely nothing can take away from that greatness (other than them losing their own pleasure). It makes even the most wicked people great and makes even the most innocent people inferior biological robots if these innocent people didn't have it regardless of how caring and innocent these people are and what great things they do in life. Even if I were to fully recover my ability to experience pleasure, I would still never forget the immense value that pleasure has and I would still view Hitler as a great person for having it.
Edited by MattMVS7
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