Epicurus is a founder of any philosophical thought known as Epicureanism. The need of human beings to live a life a happy and peaceful life was the reason why concerning way Epicurus could develop his philosophies. Regarding to Epicurus, for people to live a life a happy life, they must get rid fear, and should never experience any areas of pain. Relating to him, evil brings out pain, while good brings about pleasure (Keefe, 2010). Epicurus further denotes that death signifies the end of a person's heart and soul and body, and therefore there is no need of fearing it. He further continues on to convey that, there is no life after death, and the gods cannot punish humans once they are useless.
This is because the universe is eternal, infinite, and is composed of atoms which move freely around the unfilled place. This paper analyzes the teachings of Epicurus, by looking at his idea of ataraxia (Keefe, 2010). This paper identifies how Epicurus defines pleasure, and happiness in a person. On this basis, this paper expands Epicurus description of happiness. It explains at length how pleasure comes out consequently to do good, and pain consequently of doing evil. This paper further identifies specific desires that human beings have, and the view of Epicurus related to these desires. In addition, it recognizes the virtues that Epicurus thought a person needs to be able to reside a good life, and his spiritual views. This paper has a bottom line which is a conclusion of the major items found in the text.
Epicurus denotes that contentment is the supreme good and it comes consequently of making the most of all aspects of pleasure. Epicurus further continues on to identify two types of pleasures; specifically dynamic and static pleasures. Dynamic pleasure originates from the food that folks eat and drink. Static pleasure comes consequently of having a well balanced mental, physical and mental stability. Relating to Epicurus, pleasure comes therefore of reducing all the needs and wishes of a person.
At this level, there is absolutely no pain, or irritation that an individual suffers from. Epicurus further denotes that to be able to recognize the differences between good and evil, it's important to look if pain and pleasure is out there (Keefe, 2010). Pain is out there when there is fear of doubt, or retribution from religious beings and folks. Fatality is uncertain to numerous people. On this note, Epicurus shows that pleasure comes as a result of liberty from the fear of loss of life.
On this basis therefore, a person becomes happy, because he does not go through any pain, and it is in circumstances of ataraxia. According to Epicurus, this is the only form of true contentment. When a person reaches the condition of ataraxia, he or she does not dread death, or punishment from religious beings. As of this state, an individual does not concern himself with disruptive politics, or dishonest people. The person surrounds himself with trusted friends, and he or she is affectionate, and a virtuous person.
Epicurus further goes on to state that whenever an individual is at the state of ataraxia, then he will not overindulge in any affairs of mankind which includes love, wines, and religion (Keefe, 2010). When a person will this, then she or he are affected pain. Epicurus further continues on to explain that there are present mental and physical aches and pleasures. The mental facet of pain and pleasure occurs when an individual ponders over the past and the future. For instance, when a person regrets of his earlier mistakes, and it is uncertain of exactly what will happen in the foreseeable future, then he or she suffers mental pain. On the other hand, physical pain occurs only in the present. For instance, insufficient food or drinking water.
In his notice to Menoeceus, Epicurus recognizes three types of wants. They may be (Keefe, 2010);
Necessary and natural needs.
Natural and unnecessary desires.
Unnecessary and unnatural wants.
Epicurus denotes that mankind must gratify natural and necessary wants, failure to do so will total pain on an individual (Keefe, 2010). These dreams include the dependence on health, shelter, food and security. Epicurus denotes that eradicating these desires is impossible, because they are necessary to sustain life. And corresponding to his opinion, happiness begins by satisfying these necessary and natural wishes. On needless and natural dreams, Epicurus identifies wants such as luxurious foods, expensive clothes, or even good residences.
According to Epicurus, man will not need a luxurious food to endure; he only requires food (Keefe, 2010). He denotes that depending on such kind of items for survival is a sure way of obtaining pain, leading to unhappiness. In his own opinion, Epicurus denotes that if an individual can afford to obtain these substances, then it is good to take pleasure from them. But to protect against pain, he must not count on these luxurious items for success. Unnecessary and unnatural needs make reference to the desire to build up too much riches, power, fame and other trappings of prestige and position.
According to Epicurus, an individual does not gain any satisfaction by rewarding these wishes (Keefe, 2010). For example, when he acquires electric power, the same individual will want to gain more power. This to him is undesirable, because it will eventually lead to unhappiness. Upon this word therefore, for a person to achieve a status of joy, he must eliminate these wishes. By doing this, he will achieve a sense of mental steadiness which is a key element a person must achieve pleasure, and hence happiness.
In his notice to Menoeceus, Epicurus denotes that the world consists of space and matter, and is divisible into atoms. Regarding to him, the universe is eternal, which is impossible to destroy or create it. On this basis therefore, Epicurus beliefs that there was no creation and aspect does not have any goal. Basing upon this qualifications therefore, Epicurus denotes that there is no life after fatality, and an individual's spirit and body comprises atoms. On this note, whenever a person dies, his or her body disintegrates, thus there is no punishment or prize after death. On this note, people shouldn't fear of the uncertainties of the afterlife, because there is none. Corresponding to him, gods were there, however they were also manufactured from atoms. They resided in a vacuum, free of connection with humans. In his own thoughts and opinions, the gods were happy with their lives, and there is no need of appeasing them through prayers, and sacrifices. To him, religion was a means of instilling dread amongst people, leading to pain, and unhappiness (Keefe, 2010). On this basis, it is important to avoid religious beliefs to be able to lead a happy and enjoyable life.
In bottom line, it is correct to denote that lowering the dreams of a person is the only way of attaining pleasure, and pleasure. This is because; the quest for an individual's desire can cause pain, and especially if the desire is unnecessary, and unnatural. For example the pursuit of electricity, will lead to emergence of sycophants. These folks will mislead the leader, and this might cause pain to him. Pursuit of more wealth will draw in thieves and criminals, and might lead to the loss of life of the abundant person, or unpredictable mental condition arising from constant worries on how to protect their wealth. Upon this basis therefore, an individual's way of life is to get pleasure, pleasure and tranquility of the mind. To Epicurus, the greatest pleasure that man should seek is that of camaraderie, mind and contentment.