BARRON, Hazel Jane M.



PAST AND PRESENT HEDONISM: Ancient Rome v. Las Vegas

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die.” This is the formula of hedonists for a happy life. (Ethics by Florentino by Timbreza) Hedonism’s goal is to attain pleasure to gain happiness and avoid pain. They consider pleasure as their basis and standard for morals and ethics. Hedonist believes that you will live a better life when you experience greater pleasures. In hedonism, pleasure and happiness goes hand in hand in order for a person to become ethical. To them, you are morally right when you give in to your desires and experience pleasure. This belief of hedonists is for them to avoid pain in their life. Happiness is the on the one side of a coin while the other side is pain. In order to obliterate evil, extreme happiness and pleasure should be in one’s life. For hedonists, a good action brings about absolute pleasure while a wrongdoing only causes pain. This is why hedonism believes that in order to measure the goodness a person had done, maximum pleasure must be attained by that person. Anything that is considered as positive feeling like euphoria, elation, and happiness are considered as pleasure. Pain, on the other hand is the negative things like sadness, gloom, and desolation. They say that the father of hedonism is Aristippus of Cyrene but it really started with an Indian philosophy Cārvāka where the earliest record of hedonism is based on the Barhaspatya sutras. It mainly focuses on Hedonistic Egoism that indicates what brings most pleasure to a person is the right action. After the Cārvāka, Aristippus also advocated Hedonistic Egoism but they

This pleasure is derived from the one’s sense of touch. physical pleasure is experienced through intimate touch of other being. Two places but different generations reminded me of what hedonism is like. Lastly. Aesthetic pleasure are drawn from designs and intrinsic art which are beautiful and picturesque. these two places gave me a concrete picture of hedonistic lifestyle. According to Timbreza. people who delights in intellectual pleasure are those who are constantly curious with things and will stop at nothing to achieve what they think and consider as final resolution to a specific issue or problem. These edifices are not ordinary buildings . the Senate themselves cannot do anything but to yield. ancient Rome is the center of it during the time of emperors known for their hedonistic lifestyle. Roman lifestyle in ancient times is far beyond my imagination. Intellectual pleasure is derived from discovering or enlightenment of a new theory. Even though it is not that evidently rampant. This pleasure is from a feeling of happiness whenever something wonderful draws one’s attention. as what I can understand. From my standpoint. and physical. Other sources of hedonism are Epicurus and the Oyster example of Socrates in his argument with Protarchus. Emperors themselves are initiating activities that are hedonistic thus his followers and also. When encountering the past and present era these kinds of desires are always evident.focused on bodily pleasures. The sense of seeing is one’s instrument in order to see the beauty and splendor of a thing. Ancient Rome If it is hedonistic ethics we search for. physical pleasure is obtained from giving in to sensuous or sexual desire. aesthetic. it is from having finding a solution to a specific problem. there are three kinds of desires namely intellectual. Based on my understanding. Also. Different buildings and temples are built for the gods and goddesses of the ancient Romans.

Art pieces during this time that are not only in craft but also in paintings along the walls of great palaces and temples are expressive of their hedonistic lifestyle. A specific example of this is the city of Pompeii. In Pompeii. After eating a specific course. Las Vegas is dubbed as “sin city” because of the city’s activities like . The houses in Pompeii are perfect depiction of their great pleasure derived from beauty in art. This is the hedonistic life of ancient Romans. They take pleasure in excessive eating. Colorful decorations of mythological deities and nude male and female are constant paintings in the houses in Pompeii. Nudity in art is ordinary for them as well as orgies in parties hosted by the upper classmen of the society including the emperor. they will gorge their food in order to eat the next course. the center of trade during the ancient Roman era. Art is their form of aesthetic pleasure while the Roman’s ways of seeking physical pleasure are the orgies and their practice of excessive intake of food during parties. they would send some of their officers in battle just to get the wives of the officials.but Romans designed these intricately and with beauty. Beauty for ancient Romans are very important as part of their lifestyle. Las Vegas People that visit Las Vegas dwell on their pleasures believing that these kinds of desire will eliminate their pain. different public baths with work of art painted in the walls is a common place for people to gather and socialize. brutal fights of gladiators. and sexual experience that includes taking other’s wife. In emperors’ way. They would eat the food that was served to them not because they are hungry but for the pleasure of the taste of food. They treat excessive drinking and sex as common entertainment. There is also a common practice for them during parties where gluttony was very apparent.

Such acts are usual to American people but clandestine meetings that are usual occurrence in this city are not common to other people. they will experience pain which they inflict on themselves. excess spending on hotels that holds beauty in terms of architectural arts. Seeking physical pleasure is rather discreet in this city unlike the Roman city of Pompeii. In Las Vegas. Dance clubs and bars are rampant in the city. physical pleasure is made public. . Las Vegas boasts of lights and lavish culture and people all over the world. all the intrinsic details and excessive use of luxurious materials. especially rich people. hedonistic ethics is the same with ancient Rome.gambling. In is undeniable that Las Vegas is also a mirror of sexual activities just like the ancient Rome. People who seek to escape from desolation will give in to the pleasure of being drunk and having to socialize with complete strangers. Hotels in Las Vegas are not only for lodging but also for those who appreciate Roman art that is being reconstructed in some of the building façade in the city. Las Vegas emits the Hedonist ethical lifestyle where maximizing your pleasure is morally right. Gambling is illegal in some places and Las Vegas provides pleasure to the people who can openly do what they desire. The difference is that while in Rome. Interiors of some of these hotels and gambling buildings will remind you of Roman art. go to this city to maximize their pleasures. in Las Vegas it is discreet but they have the same belief that maximum pleasure is morally right. aesthetic and physical pleasures. Giving in to sexual desire is morally right for them because if they suppress it. Even when you think of hasty marriages it is this city that one would think of on first thought.

Retrieved March 29. .stanford.. • Timbreza. from www.Sources: • Pompeii: Baths. 2012. 2012. 2012.). from www.ethicsmorals.d.utm. 2004).edu/entries/hedonism • Hedonism (Internet encyclopedia of Philosophy) (n.. from www.) Leaving Las Vegas: Are Americans Ready to Put Cataclysmic Consumption and Hedonism Behind Them?. 2010)..carnaval.alternet. 2012. F..iep./leavin_las_vegas %3A_are_americans_ready_to_put_cataclysmic_consumption_and_. Ethics.plato. Retrieved March 28. from www.html • Sorata. from www. Sex & Mystery (n. Retrieved March (n.htm • Hedonism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (April • Hedonist Ethics (June 25. Retrieved March 27. Retrieved march 27.). • CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Hedonism (n. 2012. Philosophical Landscapes: Manila.d. from www. Retrieved March 27.

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