Should you plug into this machine for life, pre-programming your life experiences? Indeed, if you ask yourself if you would actually choose to leave behind your real friends, family and life in favour of a pre-programmed existence you also might conclude that plugging into the experience machine would not be desirable.
However, if Hedonism is correct and our well-being is determined entirely by the amount of pleasure that we experience, then Nozick wonders “what else can matter to us, other than how our lives feel from the inside?
If you feel that your life would be better if you won the lottery, married your true love or achieved your desired qualifications, then the hedonistic explanation of these judgments is that these things are good for you only if they provide you with pleasure.
Many pleasures may be physical, but (1941–) is a defender of a theory known as Attitudinal Hedonism.
The hedonists need not give way entirely on this point, of course, as they may feel that the experience machine is desirable just because it guarantees experiences of pleasure.
Or, you might believe that our suspicions about the machine are misplaced.
Bentham defined it as “[…] that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness […] or […] to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness”.
Utility is thus promoted when pleasure is promoted and when unhappiness is avoided.
Dara Ó Briain (comedian) Some things appear to be straightforwardly good for people.
Winning the lottery, marrying your true love or securing a desired set of qualifications all seem to be examples of events that improve a person’s life.