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The Paradox of Hedonism and Beer Hunting

June 8, 2010

The paradox of hedonism is also known as the pleasure paradox. It is a rather simple paradox that states that pleasure cannot be attained directly, it can only be attained indirectly. Even Aristotle noticed this, he spent quite a bit of time discussing pleasure in his works on logic.

How does this all apply to beer hunting you may be thinking. Here is a quote that may make it a little clearer before I go on;

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it. – Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in Either/Or

I really love that quote. I feel that some people have lost their way when it comes to beer hunting, they’ve taken it to extremes. They’ll do whatever it takes to get the latest, most hyped up, beer. Whether it involves getting the ‘golden ticket’ or trading a kidney for a bomber, it’s never too unreasonable just as long as they get that beer. This is something I feel the brewers are also guilty of, by creating these situations and encouraging the behaviour.

And I feel sorry for these folks. They’ve lost the pleasure that drinking beer brings, and I’m not talking about the effects of the alcohol contained within. I’m talking about the pleasure that we’ve been experiencing for ten thousand years. The pleasure that some anthropologists suspect is the true reason we went from a nomadic race to settling down and creating civilization. If you’re always searching for that next great beer, how can you enjoy what you have?

Now excuse me, I’m going to go drink a regular, everyday beer and enjoy beer for beer’s sake.

“Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap.” – Politician William Bennett


From → Beer, Blog

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