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Many describe the pleasure that crack-cocaine brings as completely outside the normal range of human experience. It is said to offer the most wonderful state of consciousness, and the most intense sense of being alive the user will ever enjoy. Isn't part of the meaning of life, to feel alive? If so, then shouldn't we all try crack cocaine, because otherwise we may not ever experience that intense sense of being alive? From here also stems the arguments against using crack cocaine: the extreme low and obsessive craving that follows the most "intense sense" of being alive. But is it wrong to experience extreme bliss just because it will set a higher bar for pleasure and we will be harder to please later on?

Robert Nozick once raised the following question. Suppose there were an "experience machine" capable of producing nothing but wonderful experiences. Enter it today and your memory of doing so will be erased, but for the rest of your life you will enjoy nothing but happiness, indeed, perfect bliss. Do you enter? Nozick's intuition was that he would not, and most of his readers have agreed. What is inside the machine is illusion, and even if one did not know it was illusion, that doesn't change the fact. Inside the machine, it may seem to me that I am successful beyond my wildest dreams, but in fact I am nothing of the sort. For example, no-one loves me, and I love no-one. Many psycho-active drugs can produce profoundly altered states of mind, and there may be something to be learned from such experiences. (Read Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception , for an example.) But I wonder what the value of this feeling of "extreme bliss" really is, however pleasurable it may seem at the time. This "extreme...