Hedonists have a point. Who can guarantee that tomorrow will come? Who can guarantee that all our palaces won’t be wiped away when the next wave crashes into the sand? Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die? Stoics might say that virtue is its own reward. They would seek to free themselves of all desires and be ruled apathetically by reason alone.
Pleasure only produces more emptiness; but at least it makes the minutes go away. The discipline of denying the self becomes ever more difficult with age. Why bother denying the self, even with the promise of future pleasures? They might not come, even with strenuous effort. Pleasure increasingly fails to attract once age sets in, but the denial of putting off enjoyment seems risky.
Solomon wisely said: “When you find honey, eat only as much as you need. Otherwise you will have too much and vomit.”
Image by Hillary Stein, used with a Creative Commons license