April 2014



It deserves to be a word if atheism does.Image

AHEDONISM: Disbelief in and doubt about hedonism.

AHEDONIST: One who practices or expresses doubt about the omnipresence of hedonism in the animal world, including humans; especially, one who expresses perverse views that malign hedonism and/or distort or tend to thwart a correct understanding of hedonism by equating it with gluttony, sensualism, avariciousness, rapaciousness, exploitation, lustfulness, lasciviousness, lewdness, vulgarity, lechery, debauchery, especially when conflated with excessive sexuality, or any activities that can be misconstrued as sexual, sensual, or commercial in nature.

You are a rare person in today’s world if you have not been indoctrinated with ahedonism. You have been misled into thinking of hedonism as wrong, dangerous, perhaps evil. You suffer because of that and lay the blame elsewhere. You have banished prurient longings from your mind and wrongly condemned them as hedonic lusts. The original sin, you learned from the biblical story about the Garden of Eden, was to disobey the god named God. In accordance with that, the second sin, you may have seen for yourself (as the persons who first told you this may have avoided acknowledging) was the lie of denial given expression in the failed attempts to hide themselves.

Whether or not you believe this great story verbatim, acknowledge that it forms an important basis upon which billions of people have founded their indoctrinated beliefs. From that, realize how important it has to be that the story had been taught and passed down as truth, that no mischief had been at work so that it required interpretation to explain it. It is, after all, a simple, straightforward tale about Adam and Lilith. What I am using as a source for this is the original King James Version of 1611, and the first chapters of Genesis.

Beginning in verse 26, after the creation of Earth, the lights and stars, all the plants and grasses, and the animals, replete with blessings and assessments of goodness, God decided to make man and woman: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…

Take note, if you will, how little difference the tale expresses in the creation of man and woman in comparison to the rest of the animals. All were given instructions to be fruitful and multiply. We can safely assume they were given all they needed to accomplish it, and the knowledge and initiative to go along with that. We still possess that knowledge and initiative, and can grant that, if we believe in a wise god and those things are truly sins, he would have removed them from us. As it is, the errant doctrines of ahedonism forbid obedience to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply.

The second chapter of Genesis gives a detailed account of the steps God took to create a man, and a woman from his rib. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

They felt no sense of shame! Do we get told a real biblical reason for why that no longer holds true? On top of that, how did the concept of father and mother get into the picture before the original sins caused women to have to endure the pain of giving birth?

In chapter 3, we learn of the true original sin in verse 13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go…

The original sin, as you have read, is that for which the god named God punished the serpent. “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat,” the first on the concatenating list of sins, is that of which those priests, those thousands of preachers, those millions of parents, all of themselves beguiled by an original lie of deception by omission, have laid as a heavy burden upon all the backs of humanity.

  Were this story taught according to its telling, students would know a more natural morality wherein priests and teachers would be bound by their beliefs to present, always, the truths as they knew them, without omissions and without perversions and with no need for apologia to twist these tales to their liking or to suit their agendas.

Many people explain the vast differences between the two Old Testament descriptions of how God went about creating the unnamed man and woman by appealing to ancient tales of God’s creation of Lilith, often referred to as a ‘demon’, easily understood, after you’ve read about her, to be the kind of woman nowadays castigated as a bitch.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith : “In Jewish folklore, from the 8th–10th century Alphabet of Ben Sira onwards, Lilith becomes Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time (Rosh Hashanah) and from the same earth as Adam. This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam’s ribs. The legend was greatly developed during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar, and Jewish mysticism.[3] In the 13th century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, for example, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael.[4] Go to the Wikipedia link for references.

After reading that quote, reread the end of the first chapter and the first verses of chapter two. It appears the story of Lilith’s misbehavior could have been cut from there, as easily as not. I know of no evidence to support that notion, but the existence of many ancient myths, along with demonstrated inclinations of religious leaders to ‘adjust’ their sources, heightens suspicion.

From http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1513/whats-the-story-on-lilith-adams-first-wife.  “When God created Adam, he was lonely, so God created Lilith from the same dust from which Adam was molded. But they quarreled; Adam [the proverbial domineering male] wished to rule over Lilith. But Lilith [a militant feminist] was also proud and willful, claiming equality with Adam because she was created from the same dust. She left Adam and fled the Garden. God sent three angels in pursuit of Lilith. They caught her and ordered her to return to Adam. She refused, and said that she would henceforth weaken and kill little children, infants and babes. The angels overpowered her, and she promised that if the mother hung an amulet over the baby bearing the names of the three angels, she would stay away from that home. So they let her go, and God created Eve to be Adam’s mate [created from Adam’s rib, so that she couldn’t claim equality].

Scholars also point to Isaiah 34:14 as the first of many verses that refer to Lilith as a screech owl: “The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.” http://witcombe.sbc.edu/eve-women/7evelilith.html : “In the Latin Vulgate Bible, Lamia is given as the translation of the Hebrew Lilith (and in other translations it is given as “screech owl” and “night monster”).”

Upon this base ahedonism makes its stand. Adam and Eve get wrongly accused by ahedonists of performing the original sin. That horrific honor belongs to Satan for his beguilement of Adam’s second wife, Eve. Her sin, to succumb to Satan’s spell and not heed Adam’s admonishment about the tree’s fruit, was small in comparison, even, to Adam’s violation of a direct order. They erred by hiding themselves out of shame. It was covering their nakedness that informed God about their disobedience. It was never the fact of their nakedness that God considered a sin. It was that they knew about it, felt shame for their exposure, and tried to hide it. They had lost their innocence. It was not nakedness God considered a sin, but knowing about it and feeling shame. Priests and preachers everywhere perpetuate Satan’s original sin by defiling innocent minds they fill with the knowledge proclaimed as of good and evil. They wrongly point to nakedness as being the sin, and cover over their own sin of doing so by not acknowledging they are doing the same as Satan. However they deny his sin as the original, still, they are doing the same as Satan.

From chapter 3: 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Ahedonists would have us believe that nakedness is a sin. No, by knowing about it to the point of shame, they offended God in the story. God admonished them about the desperate conditions that knowledge would cause them to endure, and made garments of skins to protect them from briars and thistles before their banishment. God did not ever tell them that nakedness is evil or a sin. The story makes it plain that knowing about it to the point of shame definitely is. By whom were you taught shame?

Ahedonism’s messengers arrive bearing diverse messages in support of conflicting belief systems or to promote commercial interests. All share certain features in common:

  1. They state in error that hedonism is about sexual interests.
  2. They state in error how that interest is somehow always condemnable.
  3. They state in error that hedonism is only about physical pleasure.
  4. They state in error that pleasure is somehow always condemnable.
  5. They support in error body covering and so increase prurience.
  6. They state in error that hedonism is only about self-interest or self-gratification.
  7. They state in error that hedonism does not represent a moral process of high degree.
  8. They state in error that religion does not apply hedonism in its doctrines.

Why they err is told in the matching numbers below:

  1. Ethical hedonism, as founded upon the philosophies of Epicurus, is about maintaining a pleasant, balanced existence. In modern terms, reward gets balanced against penalty (gain versus cost) to assess an interest’s worth.
  2. As part of existence as a live animal, sexuality deserves the same considerations as any other natural process.
  3. Epicurus specified that mental pleasures were “higher” than the physical pleasures, and I know of no one respectable who disagrees.
  4. Sports, the rewards of hard work, exercise all promote health and well-being. Oh, you’re still stuck on sex as physical? Sex perpetuates the human species. A threat of overpopulation does not arise because of sex, but because we have made ourselves into poor targets for hungry predators, and certain kinds of ahedonists have worked to perpetuate deep ignorance in backward lands.
  5. I believe prurience sells garments. As a one-time nudist, I can testify that naked human bodies become old-hat soon after the initial curiosity gets appeased. Those guys hiding in the bushes are always dressed.
  6. Reciprocity as proposed by Epicurus as a basis for moral actions, sets a standard of behavior that must always include consideration of others. Reciprocity proposes balance be maintained in social give and take, that no one should feel cheated. Generosity gets praised and cheating condemned, as in a system of justice.
  7. Justice is a child of reciprocity’s philosophy. Concerns about maintaining personal and social balance require that attention be paid to every involved element and be assessed according to expected outcomes and the results of previous experience.
  8. Religion as I know it plays the promise of Heaven against the threat of Hell in a blatantly hedonic scheme. 

The point to take from this is not to disparage anyone for their beliefs, but to learn how to defend from attacks against your own or, if it comes to that, discover how to verify their evidence if they seem correct. It is to doubt the human purveyors of belief that states our duty to ourselves. To take it upon ourselves to always read their references, we will assure ourselves the context matches their usage of a quote. Practice critical skepticism, make sure you are getting the whole story, never take for granted your messenger has done it for you, with honest intentions and with nothing more than your best interests in mind.

Only dead people have no beliefs. What do you think is true? What, if it should change, would make the world a better place for you and the rest of humanity? Most important is to learn how to describe your own beliefs, and to dare to change your mind about them when time arrives for self-correction. You will sooner or later discover that what others have decided would represent your best interests will seldom ever be what you would choose. Life is too short and too precious for anyone to waste serving someone else’s interests. Keep this slogan in mind: “If God made me this way and declared it good, who are you to declare otherwise?”

Copyright ©2014 by Lloyd H. Whitling. Permission to excerpt is granted if accompanied with credit to the author. Permission to reuse unchanged is granted only if accompanied with this notice and proper credit. All other rights reserved.

 


I blame erectile dysfunction and many other debilities on the inhibitive influences at work in our social processes, most especially the oppressive sexual-phobic processes that instill unreasonably inhibitive behaviors with only rhetorical justification. A lifetime of thwarting one’s own sexual urges becomes a habit wherein such urges turn themselves off. What keeps men monogamous and out of jail at a young age keeps them off the bouncing springs and in the doctors’ clinics in their old age. A long list of physical causes can be gleaned from any medical Internet site. What I am saying is that many or most of those causes result, in one way or another, from socially induced mental and physical imbalance that, in turn, induces chronic stress. People talk and write a lot about debilities resulting from stress but seem unaware of physiological imbalance, or to avoid it, maybe because that goes against the need to sell pills. Many variations of chronic stress induce a long list of phobias. We have reached and surpassed a point in the development of most societies in the world to where all kinds of social phobias are vying against each other for dominance. Many are someway relevant to sexuality or induce sexual dysfunction

Erotophobia – fear of sexual love or sexual abuse. This prevalent phobia appears to contribute heavily to the irrationality that in turn drives American political processes. True, the human sex drive, an evolutionary development that assured our slow, weak and clumsy species would procreate often enough to provide a dependable food supply for predators, now works against assurance of our survival into the long term future. Condemning that drive as lust, lasciviousness, lewdness and any other derogatory terms does nothing toward stifling it, and does everything to forestall constructive thought on what we must recognize as a problem from which a majority of the human population directly or indirectly suffers in many-times unrecognized ways.

Gymnophobia, fear of being seen naked, or seeing others naked, is closely associated with erotophobia. Nakedness is seen as mainly a feature of sexual activity. Exposed genitalia and female (and, in some locales, male) breasts are seen as on display as a signal of sexual invitation to others.

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnophobia ) is a fear (phobia) of nudity. Gymnophobics experience anxiety from nudity, even if they realize their fear is irrational. They may worry about seeing others naked or being seen naked, or both. Their fear may stem from a general anxiety about sexuality, from a fear that they are physically inferior, or from a fear that their nakedness leaves them exposed and unprotected.[3](reference links are left intact to indicate where live links may be found on the site page. Please go to the indicated pages to find verifications).

This page warns that “Gymnophobia should not be confused with avoidance or shunning of many forms of nudity on modesty or other rational or moral grounds. Many people avoid public nudity as well as nudity in private situations, and some have an aversion to nudity as an aspect of prudishness or body shame.” While that may be true, it overlooks or avoids the contention made at the beginning of this piece, that such prudishness is, for the most part, culturally and socially induced. There are no rational grounds, but phobias rationalized into laws abound in this and other areas that affect our existence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Politics_of_Lust:  The Politics of Lust, by John Ince[1] argues that irrational sexual fear (“erotophobia”) pervades our culture, that it stays largely unrecognized, and that it affects our political orientation. Sexually repressive cultures produce rigid, authoritarian political systems.[2]

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(biology) .(Recommend to read the whole page to gain familiarity with homeostasis). Stress is a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body responds to stress by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

(From later on same page:) It is when the body’s HPA-axis cannot overcome a challenge and/or is chronically exposed to a threat that this system becomes overtaxed and can be harmful to the body and brain. A second major effect of cortisol is to suppress the body’s immune system during a stressful situation, again, for the purpose of redistributing metabolic resources primarily to fight-or-flight organs. While not a major risk to the body if only for a short period of time, if under chronic stress, the body becomes exceptionally vulnerable to immune system attacks. This is a biologically negative consequence of an exposure to a severe stressor and can be interpreted as stress in and of itself – a detrimental inability of biological mechanisms to effectively adapt to changes in homeostasis.

(From that same page) Selye published in 1975 a model dividing stress into eustress and distress.[33] Where stress enhances function (physical or mental, such as through strength training or challenging work), it may be considered eustress. Persistent stress that is not resolved through coping or adaptation, deemed distress, may lead to anxiety or withdrawal (depression) behavior.

(From that same page:) Erotophobes are less likely to talk about sex, have more negative reactions to sexually explicit material, and have sex less frequently and with fewer partners over time. In contrast, erotophiles score high on the opposite end of the scale, erotophilia, which is characterized by expressing less guilt about sex, talking about sex more openly, and holding more positive attitudes toward sexually explicit material.[2]

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_violence) Sexual violence is a serious public health problem and has a profound short or long-term impact on physical and mental health, such as an increased risk of sexual and reproductive health problems[6] or an increased risk of suicide or HIV infection. Murder occurring either during a sexual assault or as a result of an honor killing in response to a sexual assault is also a factor of sexual violence.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism#Sexual_slavery) 95% of feminists agree that most fashion trends have been oppressive to women; they restrict women’s movements, increase their vulnerability and endanger their health.[238] The fashion industry is dealing with a great deal of criticism, as their association of thin-models and beauty has said to encourage bulimia and anorexia nervosa within women, as well as locking female consumers into “false” feminine identities.[239]

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_formation) “[h]igh ideals of virtue and goodness may be reaction formations against primitive object *cathexes rather than realistic values that are capable of being lived up to. Romantic notions of chastity and purity may mask crude sexual desires, altruism may hide selfishness, and piety may conceal sinfulness.”[3] *Note: The word ‘cathexes’, according to the Merriam-Webster Medical Desk Dictionary, is a plural noun meaning: “1: investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea. 2: libidinal energy that is either invested or being invested.” Libidinal (sexual) energy that has been redirected can serve creative or self-destructive functions that can either enhance or thwart homeostasis (the human body’s automatic balancing system) according to the nature of its origins. High ideals become counter-productive of community well-being when attempts to achieve or maintain them become all the community is about. The community loses equilibrium and conditions deteriorate until the impossible ideals are abandoned, or the community reaches a state where it can no longer sustain itself. The word ‘community’ can refer to a town, the members of an organization, a workplace or school system, or any other social gathering.

(The page continues:) Even more counter-intuitively, according to this model”[a] phobia is an example of a reaction formation. The person wants what he fears. He is not afraid of the object; he is afraid of the wish for the object. The reactive fear prevents the dreaded wish from being fulfilled.[3]

The concept of reaction formation has been used to explain responses to ~external threats as well as internal anxieties. ~Note: Large groups of humans organized to suit a purpose, or a single human in a role of authority, can surely be recognized as an external threat, especially in the absence of an effective defense, and in an authoritarian society such as the United States has become.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterphobic_attitude)  ^Sex is a key area for counterphobic activity, sometimes powering hypersexuality in people who are actually afraid of the objects they believe they love.[7] Adolescents, fearing sex play, may jump over to a kind of spurious full sexuality;[8] adults may overvalue sex to cover an unconscious fear of the harm it may do.[9] Such a counterphobic approach may indeed be socially celebrated[10] in a postmodern vision of sex as gymnastic performance or hygiene,[11] fuelled by what Ken Wilber described as “an exuberant and fearless shallowness”.[12] ^Note: This can easily be understood as a variation of the previous subject, Reaction Formation.

(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_stress_on_memory)  Chronic stress is a stressor that is ongoing for a long period of time. When chronic stress is experienced, our body is in a state of continuous physiological arousal.[15] Normally, our body activates our fight-or-flight-response, and when the perceived stress is over our body returns to a state of homeostasis. When chronic stress is perceived, however, the body is in a continuous state of fight-or-flight response and never reaches a state of homeostasis. The physiological effects of chronic stress can negatively affect memory and learning.[15]

(From same page:) Chronic stress and elevated cortisol (which is a biomarker for stress) has been known to lead to dementia in elderly people. [#3].

Stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine are released by the body in situations that are interpreted as being potentially dangerous. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and epinephrine is believed[by whom?] to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_hormone)       Stress hormones act by mobilizing energy from storage to muscles, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate and shutting down metabolic processes such as digestion, reproduction, growth and immunity.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response) The parasympathetic nervous system originates in the spinal cord and medulla and works in concert with the sympathetic nervous system. Its main function is to activate the “rest and digest” response and return the body to homeostasis after the fight or flight response. This system utilizes and activates the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.[7]

(From same page) In current times, these responses persist, but fight and flight responses have assumed a wider range of behaviors. For example, the fight response may be manifested in angry, argumentative behavior, and the flight response may be manifested through social withdrawal, substance abuse, and even television viewing.[19]

If imbalanced living does induce stress, as seems obvious, our socially induced compunctions certainly play a leading role for most of us. I have left reference notations intact in the foregoing, not only so you can see them and find them at their origin, but so you can check them within their context. While this subject could easily fill a book, this short page offers but a few of the many possible stress effecters that may help you see how imbalance may give rise to the inability to rise, and understand how we may gain happier, more comfortable lives by a simple ongoing process wherein we pay attention to the stressors in our lives, learn to avoid those that harm us, and learn also how to recognize those related to our talents and interests that promise to reward us for our pain, the good stressors.

Copyright ©2014 by Lloyd H. Whitling. Permission to excerpt is granted if accompanied with credit to the author. Permission to reuse unchanged is granted only if accompanied with this notice and proper credit. All other rights reserved.

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