Author Topic: Why not hedonism?  (Read 12885 times)

Online Daniel

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Why not hedonism?
« on: January 13, 2019, 01:21:10 PM »
As I understand it, the Church condemns hedonism on the grounds that hedonism does not lead to salvation.

But what about those of us who probably won't be saved anyway? Seeing as there is no road to salvation for us (the reprobate), and seeing as our damnation--if God wills it--is inevitable, why should we not spend our short lives doing whatever we want?

Should there not be a double standard?
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 02:05:48 PM »
As I understand it, the Church condemns hedonism on the grounds that hedonism does not lead to salvation.

But what about those of us who probably won't be saved anyway? Seeing as there is no road to salvation for us (the reprobate), and seeing as our damnation--if God wills it--is inevitable, why should we not spend our short lives doing whatever we want?

Should there not be a double standard?

Hedonism, even if it does not lead to salvation, only leads to suffering.

See, God doesn't want you to go to Hell - but if you go to Hell, you bring it upon yourself by your decisions bringing your own suffering (John 3:16-21).


Do you think that the Hedonists in Hollywood are happy? Do you think the Kardashians are in a state of peace?

Who do you think has arrived at happiness - a Traditional Benedictine Monk who has found inner peace, or Demi Lovato?

You see it all around with all the various 12 Step Programs that Hedonism - whether it's alcoholism, heroin, cocaine, LSD, excessive sex, excessive eating, only leads to physical suffering and death.

The asceticism of traditional Christianity is the antidote - it leads to a certain type of bliss on Earth before Heaven.

Even if you "aren't saved," you can still experience happiness on Earth rather than additional suffering to your eternal suffering.
Even if God doesn't exist, you can still find peace while you are alive.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 02:10:06 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 02:16:18 PM »
There is a saying among the moral theologians: "Wickedness is harmful for the wicked". That, following the road of sin and selfishness does not give us happiness, but makes us more unhappy and dissatisfied with life. There was an author in the 1960's that decided to follow what was then called "the Jet set"; very rich people that Jetted from place to place in a moving party; what he found was that these "bon vivants" were all bored to tears; and were themselves boring and shallow people, with no hope and no ideals, more than the next experience.
Secondly, there is no such thing as "the reprobate" while a man lives; God wills the salvation of all men, and gives all men the graces necessary to come to know and love Him so that they may live with Him in eternal happiness in Heaven.
If you refuse to serve God, but you still want at least a measure of natural happiness in this short life, get out of your own selfishness by volunteering to help others; be it by at a homeless shelter, rescue mission, community service, or even just by helping a neighbor shovel the snow of their sidewalk. Give money anonymously to family members, friends or random people that you perceive need it; contribute to a worthwhile charity like St. Jude's Children's hospital. If you spend more time doing good to others, you will see more goodness in yourself and in the goodness in others and hopefully this will lead you to the ultimate good which is God Himself.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 02:18:52 PM »
There was a video on Youtube in which six hedonistic/atheistic/agnostics in England, spent 30 days in a Benedictine monastery, following the life of prayer and penance of the monks. They were all transformed for the better by the experience. This is something you could also try.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 03:45:43 PM »
Firstly, if you go by Catholic teaching, the increase of punishment in Hell. But you can't know that you will be damned, and I'm really sorry your post read as though you were talking about yourself.

But I could even draw an instructive parallel with something like Buddhism here. The soul of the hedonist becomes so absorbed in the self and attached to the sensual pleasures of the world, he really becomes like a parasite slowly killing his own host, always chasing new sources of pleasure as the old ones dry up and leave him empty, a path that inevitably leads to deeper debaucheries and down the dark hole of despair to a state of hell. Every "higher" form of paganism teaches the same thing regarding detachment and moderation, perhaps out of true experience or perhaps as the corrupted remnant of the original revelation to Adam.

 
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Offline syllabus.errorum

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 04:29:32 PM »
As I understand it, the Church condemns hedonism on the grounds that hedonism does not lead to salvation.

But what about those of us who probably won't be saved anyway? Seeing as there is no road to salvation for us (the reprobate), and seeing as our damnation--if God wills it--is inevitable, why should we not spend our short lives doing whatever we want?

have you read the picture of dorian gray?

edit - formatting
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 09:10:08 PM by syllabus.errorum »
 
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 04:48:22 PM »
As I understand it, the Church condemns hedonism on the grounds that hedonism does not lead to salvation.

But what about those of us who probably won't be saved anyway? Seeing as there is no road to salvation for us (the reprobate), and seeing as our damnation--if God wills it--is inevitable, why should we not spend our short lives doing whatever we want?

have you readthe picture of dorian gray?

BOOM! Yes. Excellent answer, sir.  :cheeseheadbeer:

Edwardian literature can teach us much about the state of the material man consuming, consuming, consuming. The holy popes and bishops of this era were sounding the alarm bells to this.
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 
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Online Daniel

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2019, 05:36:02 PM »
To clarify, when I said 'hedonism' I wasn't referring to the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" sort of hedonism. Obviously that sort of hedonism leads only to suffering and could never work. But what about something more along the lines of what Epicurus taught? I don't know a whole lot about his philosophy, but what he said is that the gods are irrelevant, that we should not spend our lives fearing the gods nor should we live our lives trying to please the gods, but that we should live our lives for the end of pleasure. And by 'pleasure', what he meant was a sort of intellectual pleasure or joyfulness attained through temperance, not the intemperate bodily pleasure that comes through "sex, drugs, and rock and roll". It is believed that Epicurus lived according to his own theory and that he died a very painful yet pleasant death.


there is no such thing as "the reprobate" while a man lives; God wills the salvation of all men, and gives all men the graces necessary to come to know and love Him so that they may live with Him in eternal happiness in Heaven
But this is contrary to our everyday experience and also contrary to certain parts of scripture. We can only conclude that there are some men to whom God does not give grace, and that this "lack of giving" is God's own choice.


if you go by Catholic teaching, the increase of punishment in Hell.
I suppose that could be a motive, but it's sort of a tradeoff. Experience no pleasure at all, or experience some pleasure now and greater pain forever.
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2019, 07:05:13 PM »
Re. "Reprobate"; But this is contrary to our everyday experience and also contrary to certain parts of scripture. We can only conclude that there are some men to whom God does not give grace, and that this "lack of giving" is God's own choice.


No, this is contrary to Catholic teaching and Sacred Scripture: God Himself tells us that He wills not the death of the sinner, but that He should be converted and live. That He leaves the 99 sheep to go searching for the lost one. That He stands at the door and knocks and if any man will open, He will come in a soup with him. etc. etc. That God creates some men, just to condemn them is a Calvinist, not Catholic doctrine.
re. "Every day experience"; no one can tell what goes on in the heart of even the most lost sinner; God is constantly calling him to repentance. Even a person who outwardly dies in the state of sin, can inwardly repent before his death, without showing any outward sign of remorse.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 07:38:57 PM »
Secondly, there is no such thing as "the reprobate" while a man lives

In an absolute sense, yes, there is.

Election and Reprobation are eternal decrees of God that play out in time. In Ludwig Ott's excellent manual Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 4, "The Doctrine of God the Sanctifier", Part I, "The Doctrine of Grace," Section 1, Chap. 3, concerning the Mystery of Reprobation, we read the following:

Quote
1. Concept and Realitv of Reprobation

By Reprobation is understood the eternal Resolve of God's Will to exclude certain rational creatures from eternal bliss. While God, by His grace, positively co-operates in the supernatural merits, which lead to beatification, He merely permits sin, which leads to eternal damnation. Regarding the content of the resolve of Reprobation, a distinction is made between positive and negative Reprobation, according as the Divine resolve of Reprobation has for its object condemnation to the eternal punishment of hell, or exclusion from the Beatific Vision. Having regard to the reason for Reprobation, a distinction is made between conditioned and unconditioned (absolute) Reprobation, in so far as the Divine resolve of Reprobation is depedent on, or independent of the prevision of future demerits.

GOD, BY AN ETERNAL RESOLVE OF HIS WILL, PREDESTINES CERTAIN MEN, ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR FORESEEN SINS, TO ETERNAL REJECTION. (DE FIDE.)

The reality of Reprobation is not formally defined, but it is the general teaching of the Church. The Synod of Valence (855) teaches: fatemur praedestinationem impiorum ad mortem (D 322). It is declared in Mt. 25, 41 : "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels," and by Rom. 9, 22: "Vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction."

2. Positive Reprobation

a) Heretical Predestinationism in its various forms (the Southern Gallic priest Lucidus in the 5th century; the monk Gottschalk in the 9th century, according to reports of his opponents, which, however, find no confirmation in his recently re-discovered writings; Wycliffe, Huss, and especially Calvin), teaches a positive predetermination to sin, and an unconditional Predestination to the eternal punishment of hell, that is, without consideration of future demerits. This was rejected as false doctrine by the Particular Synods of Orange (D 200), Quiercy and Valence (D 316.322) and by the Council of Trent (D 827). Unconditioned positive Reprobation leads to a denial of the universality of the Divine Desire for salvation, and of the Redemption, and contradicts the Justice and Holiness of God as well as the freedom of man.

b) According to the teaching of the Church, there is a conditioned positive reprobation, that is, it occurs with consideration of foreseen future demerits (post et propter praevisa demerita).

The conditional nature of Positive Reprobation is demanded by the generality of the Divine Resolve of salvation. This excludes God's desiring in advance the damnation of certain men (cf. I Tim. 2, 4; Ez. 33, II ; 2 Peter 3, 9).

St. Augustine teaches: "God is good, God is just. He can save a person without good works, because He is good; but He cannot condemn anyone without evil works, because He is just" (Contra Jul. III 18, 35).

3. Negative Reprobation

In the question of Reprobation, the Thomist view favour not an absolute but only a negative Reprobation. This is conceived by most Thomists as non-election to eternal bliss (non-electio), together with the Divine resolve to permit some rational creatures to fall into sin, and thus by their own guilt to lose eternal salvation. In contrast to the absolute Positive Reprobation of the Predestinarians, Thomists insist on the universality of the Divine Resolve of Salvation and Redemption, the allocation of sufficient graces to the reprobate, and the freedom of man's will. However, it is difficult to find an intrinsic concordance between unconditioned non-election and the universality of the Divine Resolve of Salvation. In practice, the unconditioned negative Reprobation of the Thomists involves the same result as the unconditioned positive Reprobation of the heretical Predestinarians, since outside Heaven and Hell there is no third final state.

Properties of Reprobation

Like the Resolve of Predestination the Divine Resolve of Reprobation is immutable, but, without special revelation, its incidence is unknown to men.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2019, 10:24:42 PM »
All of this gets into the timeless (har har) discussion over eternal God and our actions in time.  From the perspective in time there are no reprobates.  The just-baptized man is not reprobate until he falls and refuses to get back up.

An imperfect analogy (so don't bother needling it where its obviously to be needled): if you rewatch the 2018 football season the Eagles are not the Superbowl champs until that game is replayed.  Or if you want to put it back into time, the 2019 Superbowl Champs are not the Champs, even though God already knows who will win.

God knows what will happen.  Man chooses what he does.  Man has free will, yet God already knows.  Man will never be able to understand how this is possible.

Specifically turning back to the original question, the lives of the best pagans do not match up to the lives of the saints.

You will die one day.  I am not God and I absolutely know this will occur.  Does it thus follow that today it is wise to put yourself on the road to death?  Just because something will happen it does not thus follow you should give in to it.  The commandments are good for everyone to follow.
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 11:27:08 PM »
V.O. Stated:
Quote
In an absolute sense, yes, there is.

Election and Reprobation are eternal decrees of God that play out in time. In Ludwig Ott's excellent manual Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 4, "The Doctrine of God the Sanctifier", Part I, "The Doctrine of Grace," Section 1, Chap. 3, concerning the Mystery of Reprobation, we read the following:
And this is Ott's take on the "Thomistic" view of "negative reprobation":
Quote
However, it is difficult to find an intrinsic concordance between unconditioned non-election and the universality of the Divine Resolve of Salvation. In practice, the unconditioned negative Reprobation of the Thomists involves the same result as the unconditioned positive Reprobation of the heretical Predestinarians, since outside Heaven and Hell there is no third final state.
Of course, "negative reprobation" cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of God's universal salvific will, so ultimately it must be rejected as untenable with said doctrine. So in the temporal order (which is what we are discussing), there are no reprobates.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2019, 11:55:05 PM »
Of course, "negative reprobation" cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of God's universal salvific will, so ultimately it must be rejected as untenable with said doctrine.

And yet it hasn't been rejected because you can't have election without reprobation.

It is a dogma of the faith that "God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection."
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 11:56:58 PM by Vetus Ordo »
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 12:07:45 AM »
Of course, "negative reprobation" cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of God's universal salvific will, so ultimately it must be rejected as untenable with said doctrine.

And yet it hasn't been rejected because you can't have election without reprobation.

It is a dogma of the faith that "God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection."
Then if God is condemning  men for their foreseen sins, ergo, He isn't predestining them before considering their sins, which is what "negative reprobation" holds. Therefore, God does not condemn any man to Hell except in view of their deliberate rejection of His graces, and not as the Thomists hold, because He withholds the necessary graces that would enable them to be saved.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 02:33:33 AM »
Of course, "negative reprobation" cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of God's universal salvific will, so ultimately it must be rejected as untenable with said doctrine.

And yet it hasn't been rejected because you can't have election without reprobation.

It is a dogma of the faith that "God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection."
Then if God is condemning  men for their foreseen sins, ergo, He isn't predestining them before considering their sins, which is what "negative reprobation" holds. Therefore, God does not condemn any man to Hell except in view of their deliberate rejection of His graces, and not as the Thomists hold, because He withholds the necessary graces that would enable them to be saved.

As I understand this (at least roughly thomistically, I think), God doesn't  "first predestine some men to hell and enforce that by withholding necessary graces that would enable them to be saved". He, FOREKNOWING their sin (resisting sufficient grace, which they would do even if they knew of further grace) withholds the further grace (which they would REJECT if they could).  He does not force grace on those who would reject it, but chooses from eternity to permit some to sin (and be damned). He at the same time (not afterwards) chooses from eternity that other men freely do good (ensuring they are saved) and is the cause of that good. I think the mystery of both reprobation and predestination can't be understood without understanding what "God is outside of time" really means, in God's eyes.  God is Sovereign over both good and evil in the whole Eternal tapestry of Divine Providence: the story of Creation, the Fall, the Redemption, and Salvation.  He doesn't just stand by and watch how we all work it out ... even though we ARE freely working it out too.

It's not being forced to do evil if it is inevitable because God foreknows it from eternity. Nor is it being forced to do evil if it is inevitable because God permits it from eternity - even if He could have done otherwise. Saying "You could have NOT PERMITTED our sin if you REALLY loved us" to God is a childish refusal to take blame (and envy of others).

You can LOOK at simple foreknowledge as being a proof of fate; but in a lifetime people live freely and produce their own results.

You can LOOK at predestination (something God performs outside of time) as being a proof of a lack of freedom; but in a lifetime, a man in a sense freely "lives himself into" being a reprobate, or into being saved (predestined):

Quote
...with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
As St. Paul goes on to say, it is God who works in you; but YOU are still working.

"Well I may as well live as I like since I can do nothing about it" is not true, nor is "I know I am saved since I accepted...".  I think that in trusting in God you can put all this aside and live in hope and do good. That's what saints did, no matter what they thought about how predestination worked.

Yes it is hard to understand how the obvious truth of free-will is not violated by the idea of God's absolute sovereignty and causality of all good.  But I accept both of these truths (as the Church teaches) and chalk up the problem to the weakness of my own intellect and that of all the myriads of theologians who have tried to explain them (even St. Thomas). How can our intellect compare to that of God?  I don't think it is denying human reason to admit to the Mystery of Divine Providence.

I know I haven't "figured this out".
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 02:49:33 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!
 
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