In high school I had a teacher who briefly posed a philosophical situation to the class which brought forth hedonistic principles. To simplify, the situation was that there was a box that one could go into and you would be fed happiness through artificial stimulation of the brain. While in the box you cannot communicate with anyone. You are alone in the box. You cannot do anything but lay in the box. With all that considered, in every regard being in the box makes you completely happy for the rest of your life (which goes on for as long as it normally would as this is an imaginative situation not based in science). After explaining the situation and the coinciding limitations he posed this question: If you had the option to enter the box forever and never come out (having no communications with the outside world), would you do it?
Rousseau comments more about the personable differences of savage and domesticated man but this view can also be linked to opinions on what is truly beneficial to one’s life. When referring to the difference between ‘savage man’ and ‘domesticated man’ (pg 86) Rousseau says:
“Being naked, homeless and deprived of all those useless things we believe so necessary is no great misfortune for these first men.” (Rousseau, pg 86)
While I don’t see evidence for Rousseau directly suggesting that we should all jump into boxes in an attempt to constantly obtain pleasure, he seems to be in praise of a man who is less altered by society than the people of his time. Is this too exaggerated of a concept to what Rousseau is intending to get across? Do you think Rousseau would jump in the box (or at least be pro-box)? Do you think you would jump in the box?