I am not >>24449
I do not view happiness as something very important. Happiness is temporary and very rarely (if ever) exists for extended periods of time.
The way that happiness is viewed in the modern world as a prolonged state of existence rather than a temporary emotion like anger is a problem as it leads to people striving for something that they can never truly achieve. This is very easily open to abuse within the current economic system of the western world.
There have only been a few moments in my life so far that I have thought made me truly happy (as in crying tears of joy). These moments were always involuntary, and characterized by
by their pure existence "in the moment". I can give no rational reason for why I felt this in certain moments as opposed to others, as the activities and the environment were no different to "regular" moments.
Pleasure is even less important to me, as the pleasure I gain from activities such as food, sex, physical exertion, and entertainment is quickly lost and I am brought back to a baseline state of existence. >>24448
Your "cost-benefit" view does not appeal to me. Pleasure doesn't necessarily have to be hedonistic in nature as I've implied above (hedonism is in fact less pleasurable over the long term), it can take a much more moderate form, but what matters is the principle of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. Suffering is necessary for satisfaction; no good art is made without suffering.
I see satisfaction and "tranquility" (I do not know a better word for it) as ultimately longer lasting and more important.
Satisfaction is gained through pursuit of self-directed goals.
"Tranquility" is associated with a sense of place and being.
Part of a sense of being is given through the participation (and completion) of various stages of life.
Sense of place is given by personal relationships and relationship to community and culture. I see nationalism, communism, and other identification with large groups as a perversion of this.>>24453
>gee stop being so greedy and not wasting your one lifetime serving someone else's interest
I agree that dedicating your life to serving someone's interest that you have no personal connection to is foolish. It also lends itself to horrible behaviour.
By identifying with a collective you are able to absolve yourself of all responsibility i.e. the government/religious figure/corporation made me do it, I was just following orders!
Furthermore, the collective is blameless. Who do you point the finger at when something goes wrong?
In a large group, you will always be serving the group's interest. Moments when your interests and the group's interest coincide are just happenstance. A large group does not and can never
really care about you.
This is opposed to small groups, communities, and friends that you have personal relationships with. In this case it's possible
for others to care about you (however unlikely).
Here your personal interests have some sway and influence over others. You can do what you want in accordance with what others want; you compromise, but at least you have a say.
Atomistic individualism is no better than massive collectivism. Unless you live in the middle of the woods eating worms, you are nothing without others (and even then you are nothing—what happens when you get sick?). All products that you use, all the media that you consume, all shelters that you live in is made by others.
>my personal moral hangups are objective values
"In other words, the whole approach to natural right is wrong because there are n natural rights, and the proof of that is supplied by the New Science." (277)
See attached pdf.
>Also, if I was some capitalist elite, I'd be far more interested in people increasing demand for products by creating lots of kids and dutifully providing for the large family that their faith says they should have. I might even lean on the country's government to promote having kids with family benefits and/or tax breaks for having kids.
In a certain sense this is true, especially in the American mind. See "Postcards from Babylon: The Church In American Exile" by Brian Zahnd.
However, I would also have to disagree with you. Larger families and stronger community ties can very easily decrease dependency on the state and the market.
Such a community may grow food in a family farm, hunt for food, and, depending on the interdependence of the community, their daily needs from cooking oils, to plates, to pottery, to soap are often made at home as well. There is still "an economy" but often one that is barter based or socialist
in the pre-socialist (or in a certain anarchist) sense of the word: mediated by direct face-to-face social tit-for-tat between neighbors and friends, none of this mediated by currency being exchanged, thus it is not part of the GDP.
An economically self-sufficient village with close social relationships and a barter economy has 0 GDP—not very palatable for your "capitalist elite".
>I outright said that an objective level exists. Just that it is inaccessible to humans
I agree. This is both because experience is necessarily subjective and because human reason is limited. Objective reality is only known by "God", who is omnipotent.
I can never really know if God exists, but as a comparison to humanity and to the limits of humanity he is very valuable.
>Like how killing someone is bad unless you're wearing a uniform sanctioned by a country? Or they worship different gods?
In either case killing is bad. The only case in which harm is somewhat excused (but not justified) is self-defence.
Finally, most moments are moments of "nothingness" (not including sleep as it unconscious, although it still has an effect on your conscious state).
In these moments, nothing of particular importance happens. It is here that we could put a "cost-benefit" view to use.
I would rather live in a clean home than a dirty one, I would rather be surrounded by nature than by cityscapes and suburbia, and I would rather be surrounded by those who I love than whose who I hate.
Notice that these tend to involve my environment rather than my actions and activities.