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please write 1consists of a page of summary of the topic of a class meeting plus a page of commentary.

please write 1consists of a page of summary of the topic of a class meeting plus a page of commentary.

please write 1consists of a page of summary of the topic of a class meeting plus a page of commentary.

I argue that pleasure cannot be goodness because if it were, that would make it impossible to give an evaluative reason for why things are pleasurable. If something is good because pleasurable, the reason it is pleasurable cannot be on the grounds that it is good.

We would thus be forced to look for reasons entirely opaque from our awareness as to why things are pleasurable. It would be a matter of arcane, and I think futile scientific study.

 

But on the contrary, we know a lot about why things are pleasurable to us. E. g. hugging is pleasurable because community is good. The hardware of our bodies provides the support in the delivery of pleasures, but something that feels just like a hug is not going to be so pleasurable unless it bears the meaning of a hug.

 

Hedonism turns pleasure into the greatest good, thus it would have to be greater than that which causes pleasure. But the greater good is the more satisfying to contemplate; so it should follow that, when i win the championship, I should bask in the contemplation not of having won the championship, but just in the pleasure deriving from it. This is psychologically impossible. Whenever we have pleasure or joy in contemplating, it is in an object of pleasure or joy, not in pleasure or joy itself. The latter comes as a byproduct of contemplating the former.

 

Alternately, think of how you can have a pleasure that is empty, i.e. is non-contributory to your fulfillment. This illustrates how pleasures are not per se goods. The possession of whatever is per se good is contributory to fulfillment.

 

I got into some trouble with you guys for saying that what is helpful to life is good; that life is good. You disagreed, saying that it is not clear that every life form (species) is good.

 

I think I got around the claim that some individuals are not good, arguing that a lousy life implies that something good, ie. the individual’s life, has been frustrated. A lousy life is bad exactly because of the wonderful thing that it frustrates or presents an obstacle to.

 

Here’s my revision: the operative concept is going to be: goodness-for- p, where p is anything that can be helped per se. Now the only thing that can be helped per se is a living thing.

 

Goodness-for-p is whatever is helpful to p.

 

This allows for the possibility that what is good for ticks is bad for humans, etc. We could possibly argue that eliminating ticks altogether is good for humans. This was the result you wanted to consider.

But p can also stand for any group of living things, not just a single individual or species. Thus we can run through all combinations and see how the answer varies.

 

Perhaps, you might think, some combos would have a null answer, since there is nothing helpful to them all. Hmmm…

 

Let’s try running through the combo where p stands for all living things. If we get an answer, that would have to stand for the most generic idea of goodness. I do think that this combo produces a non-null answer:

goodness is community. That is, the ultimate ideal is for all living things to coexist in harmony.

Can they?

 

Problem 1: non-communal animals. How can community be a good for spiders?

Answer: it would be good for spiders to live in a universe communal in this respect: that their welfare was watched over by a communal being or beings capable and willing to steward them according to their needs. Brother sun, sister…spider?

 

Problem 2: natural enmity. Some living forms are naturally inimical, parisitical to one another.

A rational being or beings can take this into account and lovingly steward a system containing such elements in a harmonious way. One life form preying on another can be looked on as part of a system of ecological checks and balances.

Ultimately, if there is one life form that can consider all other life as part of its community, then from its perspective all life is good. And this opens the possibility that belonging to this community through such a stewardship relationship with universally communal being would be good for any life form.Thus, it would emerge that goodness, most generally, is community.

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