I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

413. The Difference Between Hedonistic And Epicurean Atheism

The Difference Between Hedonistic And Epicurean Atheism

I think there are two different varieties of atheism, based upon very different dynamics in and predispositions of the brain.  
  • Hedonistic Atheism is mainly anti-religious.   It is caused and determined by an aversion to religion based upon observations and experiences of the detrimental effects of religion upon people's lives.    Hedonism comes first and leads to atheism.
  • Epicurean Atheism is mainly pro-rational.   It is one facet and the logical consequence of a personality defined and determined by rationality as its predominant trait and part of the identity.    Epicureanism, atheism and rationality are interdependent and interrelated.
According to evolutionary biology and psychology, on a subconscious level, human behavior is driven or influenced by the same instincts as are animals.    The main instincts are procreation and sexuality, hierarchy, competition and ingroup-outgroup behavior.  

Just as intelligence is distributed along a bell curve, I consider it as probable, even though this is speculation, that the force of the instincts over rationality also differs widely between individuals and is also distributed along a bell curve.  At one extreme there are the hedonists and at the other the epicureans.   
The decisive and fundamental difference is the predominant sensitivity of the pleasure center to either physical stimuli or emotional and intellectual but non-physical stimuli.   (More about these differences of the pleasure center in entries 388 and 389.) 

For the reason of clarification, I will compare the two extremes and why atheism is attractive to both, but for very different reasons.   
All religions, no matter how much they differ, are restricting and channeling the expression of some instincts but are commanding to submit to others.    Therefore I assume, that religions serve best the interests and needs of those, who are in the middle of the bell curve.   When instinctivity and rationality are nearly balanced, people get more benefits from gullibility, because they feel a need to be guided in how to balance being an animal and being a cognitive being.     
This normative guidance of religion is much more of a detriment for the individual needs of both the hedonists and epicureans.

1.  Hedonists are prone to become atheists, because religions deny them the unrestricted and uninhibited pursuit of stimulating their pleasure center as much as they want.   A man, who is driven like an animal by strong instincts to be a promiscuous predator of all female bodies would get into cognitive dissonance, if adhering to a religion prescribing him monogamy, while everything else were considered sin.    
Therefore he resolves his cognitive dissonance by becoming an atheist and henceforth he can practice his 'no strings attached fun' or whatever expression he uses for copulating like an alley dog.  This allows him feeling good about himself, often without consideration for or in denial of the damage done to the used victims.  This kind of selfish and cruel hedonism unfortunately leads to the false claim of religious people, that all atheists have no morals.    Of course not all hedonists are selfish and cruel, some do exercise self-control to resist impulses, that would hurt or damage others.  

2.  Epicureans are persons, whose core trait and whose identity is defined by rationality.   
2.1.  Rationality means the absence of the gullibility to accept any claim or superficial appearance as true, it means instead the skepticism of always evaluating the probability of truth.   This kind of rationality leads automatically to atheism.    
2.2.  Rationality includes long-term and global or general thinking and consideration.   Epicureans are less afflicted with strong momentary impulses with detrimental long term consequences.    
2.3.   Rationality causes the rejection of a deity demanding behavior based upon instincts.   Epicureans, who cannot accept any reason to sacrifice their own personal wellbeing in favor of the survival of their genes, cannot accept a religious obligation to breed.    
For innate epicureans, only monogamous long term commitment gives them, what their pleasure center is especially sensitive to:  emotional and intellectual intimacy with a bonded companion.  
They would experience cognitive dissonance with any religion demanding them to breed against their inclination.   Rejecting religion is the epicureans' freedom to not submit to the norm of behaving as if they were following instincts, which they do not have.   Atheism enables epicureans to feel good about themselves as being less driven by instincts than what society expects from them.     
This does not only concern breeding, but also other instincts like the ingroup-outgroup instinct.   A rational person not seeing any difference between people except in how they treat each other rejects a deity telling him to fight wars.   
2.4.  Rationality bases morals upon a generalised golden rule and tit-for-tat strategy.   Treating others like one wants to be treated oneself, treating others how they express that they want to be treated and always do the good and giving first step and then react.   This is based upon Epicurus' principle of not harming and not be harmed.  This is of course somehow biased and limited to be successful mainly between epicureans.   

Hedonists and epicureans have difficulties understanding and respecting each other, because both take for granted, how their own pleasure center reacts.  
  • Epicureans despise hedonists as primitive instinct driven animals, who are dangerous and repulsive.  
  • Hedonists defame epicureans as inhibited, uptight, repressed, prudish or dysfunctional.  
  • Epicureans experience themselves as the most advanced in the evolution of cognition, they derive their identify, dignity and self-esteem from being as little like animals as is possbile.    
  • Hedonist experience themselves as the fittest of the species according to the survival of their genes and the species, they identify with their bodies, their instincts, this is their source of pride and self-esteem.  
Epicureans and hedonists usually mix each with their own kind.   But in atheist groups and forums, both mix, not aware, that they are atheists for opposite reasons.    
  • Hedonistic atheists want the freedom to follow their instincts.   
  • Epicurean atheists want the freedom to live in accordance with their lack of instincts.    
Sometimes they mutually are unable to comprehend each other, because they only perceive their shared atheism and overlook the differences.   

I can to a certain point detach myself and describe the two groups, but being very much an epicurean myself, I continue to be biased.   As much as I know theoretically, that hedonists are just as much determined by the structure of their brain as I am, I still continue to feel disgust and repulsion when directly confronted with their promiscuity.    

I can only accept a fellow epicurean as the mindmate, for whom I am looking.