This post asked

why we can't (or shouldn't) seek the things that give us direct pleasure (like drugs).

Most people would think taking drugs is not worth doing.

On the other hand,

Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure

So we can assume we should do things that are sustainable and not depending on the outside environment and things; it means the mind inside us.

However, how about watching the sunset, which people would enjoy and agree it's worth doing, even though it also gives us direct pleasure and not sustainable. Similar examples include connecting with nature, learning new skills, and so on.

I don't know how to describe it perfectly, but I was wondering humbly. After all, which things are really worth doing in life and which are not? How do we distinguish them?

  • Why is watching the sunset not sustainable??
    – Joseph Weissman
    Jul 11, 2021 at 15:46
  • Assigning meaning to life is a cultural construct.
    – user48488
    Jul 11, 2021 at 16:08
  • @JosephWeissman In this context, you need to "watch" "the sunset"; it may be gone if you don't.
    – User
    Jul 11, 2021 at 16:39
  • "Pleasure" is subjective. Einstein derived pleasure from physics, Wittgenstein from philosophy, Euler from mathematics, Turing from logic, Beethoven from music. And on similar lines, a psychopath from deviant acts.
    – Ajax
    Jul 11, 2021 at 17:14
  • I would say through cultivating wisdom: 'What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?' philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/82925/30474
    – CriglCragl
    Jul 11, 2021 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


Assuming that pleasure has to be sustainable is limiting pleasure. Taking drugs might be sustainable or not (it becomes pretty difficult for a drug addict if it is not sustainable though...).

Every form of pleasure that is experienced as pleasure is a pleasure. It could even be my pleasure. My pleasure. It is a pleasure to answer this question.

So limiting pleasure by placing it in a theoretical framework (which is the tendency of science based culture) is reducing the extent of pleasure. But it is up to people themselves.

One,s pleasure is the other's dislike. Anyway, my pleasure!

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