Approaches to the Problem of Desire

It seems to me, that the problem of desire has three plausible attitudinal responses: The hedonic approach: there is a never-ending supply of desirable things, and life is best lived by pursuing them all. Want is sated when all desirable things have been had. The goal, then, is pleasure at all times, as an equivalent to happiness. The ascetic / Buddhist approach: the things to be desired are never-ending, which means there will never be a time when all desirable things are had.

The Irrationalist

Sam Harris, in his latest podcast, gives his listeners a special treat late in the episode. He hounds Richard Dawkins into submitting to a mindfulness meditation, and we get to spend nearly 15 minutes listening to Harris guide us and his guest through it, while waiting for Dawkins to finally ask Harris “what was the point of that?”. What is remarkable about this whole segment, is the sales pitch that Harris has to offer Dawkins, in order to cow him into doing it.