The pleasure machine, derived from lower swine pleasures, could not be considered as able to contrive maximum physical pleasure. Notably, the pleasure machine is simply pleasure and freedom from pain and only a thing that is desirable as an end; and that all desirable things are desirable either for pleasure inherent in themselves or as a means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain (Mill, 7).
Plugging into an experience machine limits us to a man-made reality. This world is not deeper or more important that one’s own imagination could contrive. There is no fulfilling transcendence or any deeper form of reality, but one could simulate one on a much lesser level. Many people want to leave themselves open to contact and to plunging into a deeper sense of significance, much like some religions consider transcendence the pinnacle of belief and being. This would seemingly answer some questions people have over the use of psychotropic drugs, that some see as another form of locally available pleasure machines.
While others see this as a means of an available means of deeper reality. Some also view this as an equivalent surrender to the pleasure machine, while others still, perceive it as one of the main reasons not to partake of the machine (more simply stated as the junkies and the saviors). Since the experience machine doesn’t necessarily meet expectations to be a certain way, picture an experience machine that transforms us into whatever sort of person we’d like to be (compatible with use staying ourselves).
I agree completely with Mill; surely someone would not use the experience machine to become as one would wish and plug into the experience machine. You can do that all by yourself by living your life differently!
Moral behavior is often explained by moral and ethical theory and are meant to help us discover how to be perceived as good. That good should be able to be satisfactorily agreeable in general terms to most people as compared to alternative actions we might take or have taken. This question must originate with asking a question. Where does moral behavior originate? Is it by nature (genus) or nurture (and education)? (Aristotle, 23)
If one were to consider this more closely, it would in fact be natural acts that are nurtured and refined. Some philosophers would even argue that in performing the “best” action, we should nurture our empathy for a stranger. Given Aristotle’s philosophy that individual action is the good, then it lends one to believe that the root of individual morality is bound in this, too.
Observations about people’s past behavior, attitudes, feelings, values, or character traits are not as practical in determining what they will do. One would expect that the person with the observed character trait (such as compassion) would behave consistently (compassionately) in all similar situations when a relevant (compassionate situation) behavior should be observable. This would almost be an experiment of the condition (character trait) of the person’s behavior.
This type situation is described by Aristotle in book two as the dichotomy between virtuous actions versus virtuous character. Aristotle states “First, he must know; second, he must decide on them, and decide on them for themselves; and, third, he must also do them from a firm unchanging state.” This being said, to be all-situation consistent and to infer the likelihood that a person who has behaved compassionately on one occasion will behave compassionately on the next isn’t necessarily beyond simple chance. Aristotle would advocate that if behavior does not vary with character traits, then ordinary people, who try to explain and predict people’s behaviors by their characters rather than their situations, routinely commit a fundamental provenance proclamation error. We’re not always going to do the same thing, based on our former actions.