Re: Hedonism

E. Shaun Russell (
Sun, 6 Oct 1996 12:47:32 -0700 (PDT)

On 5\10\96, Ira Brodsky wrote:
>Another (related) small project I'm working on is the meaning of life. <g>
>Until we can prove the universe is going to reach a steady-state and is
>eternal, it seems to me we should assume that it is dying.

Uh oh. Rational pessemism vs. rational optimism. First of all, out
of curiosity, why are you searching for 'the meaning of life'? I'm sure
that some people could find the pursuit itself to be hedonistic. What is
the reasoning behind the pursuit? Anyway, enough of that.

I have two slightly contrasting views on what 'the meaning of life'
is. On one hand, the meaning of life could be different for each person.
Who's to say that 'the meaning of life' is the same for everyone? My other
theory is the one I agree with completely: the meaning of life is life. See
how simple that is? So simple that I think most people don't even consider
it. The fact that I am living is so much more powerful than not living. I
love life. I would hate to die. I am alive, and I am writing this; if I
was dead, I would not be writing this. I am alive, and I can see a
multitude of color; if I was dead, I would see no color. I am alive, and I
can look deeply into the eyes of someone I love; I could not do that if I
was dead. The exquisite beauty of everything I see around me, from the most
beautiful starscape to the most base gum wrapper, is so much more than not
being able to see that. This is not hedonism --a hedonist does everything
solely for pleasure-- this is life. Finding pleasure *within* life.

As for your view of assuming that the universe is dying, I can't say
much. I merely disagree. I'd rather assume that the universe has no end
until it's before my very eyes. I can't *prove* that the universe is
omnipotent, but in the same effect, no-one has yet been able to *prove* that
it's not. If you find proof, please let me know! :-)

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

E. Shaun Russell Extropian poet\musician