Epicurean Formula For A Good Life Essay

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Choosing Happiness: The Epicurean Formula for a Good Life
There is often great debate as to what can be considered the good life and how one can achieve it. In this paper I will argue that Epicurus’ moderate hedonism will make for the most flourishing life because it promotes happiness and gives each person a clear formula through which they can make decisions. I will do this by first defining the good and bad life, then introducing Epicurus’ ideas and finally showing how they will lead to the most flourishing life according to my definition.
In order to discuss how to achieve the good life, we must first begin with a definition of what we can consider to be “the good life.” In this paper I will narrow that definition down to two main parts.
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Having a set way to make decisions or a clear set of morals creates a life in which each person feels confident in how they make decisions and knows in which direction they are going in their life. Being able to make decisions with a common direction and goal in life will create a certain piece of mind in your life. As life is constantly full of choices to make and never ending decisions having this piece of mind rather than anxiety over your direction in life is critical in having a good life. Thus having a set of morals, direction or formula for which you can make decisions is a key part of the good life. Where a good life will look like one we have described, one in which you are filled with happiness and always clear on what kinds of decisions you should make and why, a bad life is almost entirely the …show more content…
Epicurus’ ideal life easily achieves both of these. Having a life that revolves around pleasure and happiness surely achieves the first condition. Furthermore, Epicurus avoids trying to find an objective meaning of life and focuses just on this happiness- ensuring that his philosophy is a universal formula to achieve the good life. Moreover having happiness as the main goal in your life gives a simple way to make decisions. What will lead to the most happiness? Epicurus even describes in his Principle Doctrines that “If you do not on every separate occasion refer each of your actions to the end prescribed by nature, but instead of this in the act of choice or avoidance swerve aside to some other end, your acts will not be consistent with your theories. “ (Epicurus, Principal Doctrines, 25) meaning that if you do have this consistent decision making centered around your happiness (which he claims is just your nature) then you will end up having a mismatch between your actions and your intents. Thus Epicurus provides us with simplest form of achieving the good life as he quasi combines the two requirements into a simple doctrine of just pursuing what makes you happy. However to some the simplest solution is not the best

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