ThoughtStorms Wiki

Quora Answer : Philosophy: What is "Wirehead Hedonism"?

Jul 3, 2015

Not entirely sure, but I assume making yourself happy by hacking your brain.

Wirehead hedonism versus paradise-engineering

One issue for moral philosophy is that utilitarianism and other consequentialisms basically try to define what is "good" in terms of what maximizes happiness. But if we find a way to increase happiness dramatically by hacking the brain (eg. sticking the equivalent of a pacemaker into it) then does that mean that the most moral way to behave would simply be to try to make these available to everyone? Or to force people to have them implanted? If it generates enough happiness, does this requirement trump any other moral requirements? Eg. to improve people's "real lives"? Why work towards improving the lives of the disadvantages, disabled or poor if these people's happiness can be fixed with a cheap machine?

Intuitively it feels "wrong" to cheat on our moral duties like this. But it might be the logical implication of any kind of utilitarian position.

No Backlinks