Warm Up:

What kinds of things bring you ultimate happiness in life?

- Friends? Family? Material Possessions?

What is Hedonism?

- The worldview which revolves around experiencing pleasure.

- States that nothing good can come from anything BUT pleasure.

- Happiness is measure by net pleasure (good things - bad things)

- Egoistic Hedonism is self pleasure, but Universal Hedonism is the pleasure of all.

- Said pleasure must be understood (Oyster Example).

Here is a song with lyrics that exhibit hedonistic messages:

{Play from beginning to 1:40}

"I'm feelin' rough I'm feelin' raw I'm in the prime of my life

Let's make some music make some money find some models for wives

I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and **** with the stars

You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars

This is our decision to live fast and die young.

We've got the vision, now let's have some fun.

Yeah it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?

Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?"

Character Analysis

Tom Buchanan


    Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby is hedonistic because he fully
    pursues pleasure. Aside from having a mistress, which is a selfish
    pursuit of pleasure in itself, Tom meets his mistress at her house
    that she shares with her husband. Tom also spends money on his
    mistress and whisks her off to events that he plans just for her.
    Tom's undeniable pursuit of pleasure regardless of the consequences
    even though he is aware that what he is doing is wrong exemplifies his hedonistic personality.

    {from 0:40}

    Scripture Connection

    The Beatitudes


    "Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:1-5)

    • Hedonistic beliefs say that we can only achieve a full life through pleasure
    • Jesus tells his disciples that the marginalized of society can achieve the greatest life

    Comparison to Christian Worldview

    What is the Prime Reality?

    The ultimate goal of a Hedonistic life is to achieve and experience as much pleasure as possible.

    What is a Human Being?

    A human being is an entity that's sole purpose is to experience pleasure.?One cannot be human without experiencing and understanding pleasure.

    What Happens after Death?

    Humans do not know, but it is assumed that if there is an "afterlife", it would be even more rich with pleasure that the prior.

    How do we Know what is Right or Wrong?

    Ultimately it is what achieves the most pleasure. Depending on the type of Hedonist you are (Egoistic vs. Universal), this maximum pleasure, or net pleasure, can mean different things. Egoitic Hedonism fundamentally has no right or wrong, only what pleasures one's self. Universal's moral core is more stable, as their goal is to achieve pleasure for all (which would exclude things like murder and other crimes).


    Brandt, Richard B. "Hedonism." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ed. Donald M. Borchert. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 254-258. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

    CUNNINGHAM, R. L. "Hedonism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 701-702. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

    Moore, Andrew, "Hedonism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

    Weijers, Dan. "Hedonism." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

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