Belonging and Hedonism

For most people, belonging to a group or tribe brings comfort. Comfort is pleasure. Therefore, if pleasure is happiness, then belonging brings happiness. If, however, pleasure is not happiness, then what does the comfort of belonging to a tribe bring you? An escape from the reality of unhappiness, perhaps?

The same may be said of all other pleasures which, like belonging, entail a spiritual surrender, whether of independence, reason, courage, moderation, the right to change one’s mind, or the freedom to not know. The pleasures, by contrast, of which the same may not be said, are those which arise from a refusal to surrender, such as the pleasures of tireless investigation, unshakable dedication, or an excess of striving, reassessment, self-reliance, self-government.


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