Monday, September 28, 2020

Does feeling good make something good?

I had a most interesting conversation with my friend Paul yesterday. We were deliberating over his passionate addiction to rich food and wine. I asked him whether these things are good, to which he replied "undoubtedly, yes".

I questioned his answer, because he never really seems to put much thought into his habit of eating and drinking. He said that because it makes him feel good, they must be good, so he indulges. But is this true? Does feeling good make something good?

I suggested that next time a bodily pleasure calls to him that he pause and think before accepting the call. I said, "ask yourself whether this pleasure is fleeting or lasting. Will it endure? Will it improve your strength of character? What sort of person will it make you?"

He did not seem convinced that such questions would be of any use. Still, I maintain that if we can calmly distinguish between fleeting bodily pleasures, which we often regret, and the pleasures of the mind, which contribute to the health of our soul, we will find ourselves making wise decisions and living the good life.

- Socrates