Epicureanism vs. stoicism

Topics: Fear, Soul, Suffering Pages: 5 (1682 words) Published: December 16, 2013
Epicureanism Vs. Stoicism
Epicurus was a great philosopher that founded the Epicurean belief. He was born in 341 B.C. and met his demise in 270 B.C. He was an advocate for seeking out carnal desires; however, he also knew the significance of experiencing pain in life. Without suffering, people would indefinitely take everything for granted. Epicurus had a following of people that he taught to live modestly, within their means, in communities filled with individuals that had pleasant demeanors. His philosophy presented valid options for dealing with emotional distress and the many difficulties associated with life. He concluded that happiness is equivalent to the “absence of pain”. The people that are without friends are not better off, according to Epicurus. Friendship is one of the many great joys that make life worth living. He believed that happiness is a state of mind. (Bergsma) Epicureanism is a philosophy that deals with the belief that fear is both unnecessary and irrational. Greeks were afraid of the gods and this idea teaches that one should not live in fear. Fate is determined by the individual. If one plans out his or her life in the most virtuous way possible, they will lead fulfilling lives. Nothing should deserve cruelty. The fear of death was also a driving force behind this belief. (Strenger) Epicureanism Vs. Stoicism

Epicureanism was founded in the third century B.C. in a time wherein the citizens of Greece were constantly searching for answers. This philosophy was able to provide a way that people could find happiness. It took on religious proportions. The followers of this belief lived in their own small town. This community had a school wherein the ideals of Epicureanism were taught. The founder of the school was made to lead model life and was actually worshipped as if he was a god. Epicurus gave very detailed instructions on how to live this lifestyle in the way that he did. He warned against overindulging in luxurious things. Material items were not to have all of one’s attention. He wanted people to be able to experience true happiness, which would not require fortune or the things that could come with it. (Bergsma) There are hedonistic characteristics that can be found in Epicureanism. Hedonism is defined as the pursuit of pleasure. Things, people, or experiences that can cause an individual pleasure or pain are what define morals. An individual lives his or her life based on what causes them joy and the things that cause great displeasure. The afterlife is not considered a factor. The dead are just

Epicureanism Vs. Stoicism
that: dead. The dead cannot experience pain or pleasure. It makes it simple to believe that death should not be cause for fear. (Glannon) When the body is sustained by simple joys and when the mind is void of fear, life becomes fulfilling. There are four primary truths found in Epicureanism: 1. “Don’t fear the gods.

2. Don’t worry about death.
3. What is good is easy to get.
4. What is terrible is easy to endure.” (Bergsma)
Epicurus believed that the gods did not concern themselves with the affairs of humans. One has to give themselves order and a moral code to live by because no one else was going to give it to them. The gods did not listen to prayer, Epicurus argued, and it was pointless to expect things to change without any action from the particular individual. (Bergsma) Fear of death is a major cause of depression. Epicurus eliminated the need for this fear. He stated, “[Death] is relevant to neither the living nor the dead, since it does not affect the former and the latter do not exist.” (Bergsma) Epicureanism Vs. Stoicism

Both Epicurus and Lucretius believed that an individual is a combination of a soul and a body. It is separate from the concept of dualism, wherein the body is viewed as being material and the soul is immaterial. In Epicureanism, both the body and the soul are believed to be substantial. Anything material can be corrupted. This argument...
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