Epicureanism And Skepticism Essay

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Skepticism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism all contain important truths. Skepticism is correct in saying that believing ideas to be certain which one cannot be certain of causes unhappiness. Stoics are not wrong that one’s perception of and response to events can cause happiness or unhappiness. Epicureans are right that rationally seeking pleasure may often cause one to find it. But when taken as one’s sole worldview, Epicureanism determines the best life for man.
The central belief of Epicureanism is that the best life for man is to seek pleasure. Pleasure, for an Epicurean, is not merely the physical pleasure that arises from eating, drinking, smoking, or intercourse. Pleasure for the Epicurean means the satisfaction of ALL of one’s desires, not merely the ones of the body. Pleasure can come from the satisfaction of the desires of the mind, like philosophical contemplation, or the soul, like the pleasure that arises after having done a righteous deed. When a person fulfills his goals, he is pleased,
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Just like the atomists, they believe in nothing but atoms and the void. Because of this, death is inconsequential. Humans only consist of atoms and the void, and the only difference between a living human and a dead one is their arrangement of atoms. Since a person is only atoms, and humans don’t feel any stress, pain, or displeasure with non-existence before they are born, it follows that they must continue to feel this way after they die. Epicureans do not believe in any sort of god, excepting one made of atoms, and they do not believe in an afterlife. If Epicureans did believe in an afterlife where a higher power punishes evil and rewards excellence according to a standard beyond one’s own pleasure, Epicureanism would fall apart! If there is more to life than what we have now, it is profitable to “save up” for the afterlife, to be well-behaved now so one can party later. That does not fit with the Epicurean

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