I think that hedonism makes sense.
You see, we know that we are made for goodness and evil is just not helpful to our well-being. There are two approaches to this reality. Either accept that there is evil and reject it or reject that there is evil and accept it. I can tell you right now that one is easier to do than the other. It is easier to let yourself be swept away than to swim, to fall than to fly (except in the case of Buzz Lightyear who does both simultaneously and with style). The thing is, Original sin made it hard to do what is right. But, as the song “Be My Escape” by Christian Punk-ska band says: “The beauty of Grace is that it make life not fair.” The hardships in life seem unfair because it’s not supposed to be this way. We messed up and now we have to deal. We once lived in Original Innocence and the Grace of God was with us, but because that is our purpose and our telos, sin seems to have cheated us out of it.
Because it is hard to do what is right, and we want to escape evil, we turn toward hedonism. We see a pleasure (which in itself is not bad and is more than likely actually Good) and we say “Oooh!” This exclamation is a rejection of evil and the doorway to an escape…at least so we think. Once we have opened the door to pleasure-seeking, we will forget a truly free use of pleasure which does not involved in being lost in the current of our times. Once again, as Relient K says, “I’m giving up on giving up slowly and blending in so you won’t even know me apart from this whole world that shares my fate.” We can’t just give up.
We instead look for an escape from the seemingly meaningless things that happen. From the evil that men do that “live after them.” (Julius Caesar, Shakespeare) The thing we have to remember is that the way to respond to meaninglessness is not to say “whatever” but to find the meaning in things. And the true and full meaning, the reason behind things we can only find in the Logos who is Christ our Saviour who did not escape the bonds of death by fleeing them, but by embracing them and shattering them forever. Denying the shackles may feel better for a time but that will not help us escape. Living as though we are free when we are not feels good but it is a lie. The signpost to hedonism reads, “Escape evil,” and it is internally coherent. It makes sense that if there is only good (pleasure) in your life, there will be no room for evil. You will have escaped it. But it is not true, and only He Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life can be the Escape Route, the Meaning and the Goodness in life we all desire.