What many or most secular materialists seem to want - what they ask for - is the ethics of the barnyard.
Specifically (for the men) to live the pampered life of a stud stallion - well-fed, beautifully groomed, toned-up with refreshing exercise, frequently touring in a stylish vehicle to nice places to have sex with many and diverse partners, admired and envied by all the non-stud stallions...
And then to die swiftly and painlessly, preferably 'on the job'.
That is, a meaningless and purposeless life - but one filled with pleasure.
Such a life is not impossible; it is just not human.
A human is not an animal; but a human might decide to turn himself into an animal, temporarily or permanently - by, drugs or a brain operation perhaps - and thereby lose self-awareness, reason etc.
And then that person might simply exist, simply be, simply respond to the stimuli he encounters in whatever way he is instinctively-equipped.
He would suffer, he might also experience pleasure; but would not be aware of either, nor would he fear the future - he would just behave differently according to whether a stimulus was aversive or gratifying.
All that kind of thing is certainly possible (i.e. from a secular materialist conception of the human condition).
I think many secular hedonists regard this kind of pampered animal life as a sort of paradisal daydream. Consciousness and rationality (and perhaps memory) are regarded as a curse. (A familiar trope in romantic literature.)
Yet, without that which makes us human, then the pampered stud stallion does not know he is happy - and from the S-H perspective he might as well be asleep: he might as well be dead.
The secular hedonist fantasy of unconscious animal bliss is therefore just one single logical step away from suicide.
Two of the three Karl Marx children who reached adulthood - all daughters - died by suicide.
Walker Percy noted the precipitous increase in suicide among the young over the second half of the twentieth century.
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