Epicureanism And Stoicism: How To Live A Comfortable And Satsifactory Life

1859 words - 7 pages

The philosophical ideas of Epicureanism and Stoicism taught how to live a comfortable and satisfactory life, although they maintained similar aspects, Epicurus and Zeno’s teachings incorporated exceptional differences.
In examining literary works, documents, and articles referring to the notable aspects of Epicureanism and Stoicism, the contrasts and discrepancies of these philosophical theories are clear.
In ancient Greece, many philosophers professed their ideas in hopes of gaining supporters and making themselves and their philosophical concepts known. Along with the several great philosophers of this time, Epicurus and Zeno promoted their theories and collected their disciples. However, Epicurus and Zeno are not simply known for their philosophies, but for how significantly their ideas differentiated. “To the Stoic, it [referring to the philosophic life] consists in following virtue, in obedience to an authoritative law of nature or reason. . . To the Epicurean, the good life is that of rational enjoyment of all the satisfactions which the world affords” (De Burgh 178). De Burgh humbly summarizes the basic concepts of living as a Stoic in contrast to life as an Epicurean.
Through explanations of both Epicurean and Stoic ideas and illustrating the differences concerning these philosophies, their few similarities diminish and the exceptional variations between them are obvious. When examining the beliefs of an Epicurean, their strategy for acquiring happiness is clearly unique. The Epicurean lived a simple life and eliminated any excessive causes of human anguish. Yet, when clarifying the basic philosophies of a Stoic, their opposing way of life is described. For the Stoic believed that living a life of virtue and respecting others would eventually bring one happiness.
The Epicurean way of life consisted of finding pleasure through living a simple and unpretentious life and by eradicating the unnecessary sources of human suffering. In living faithful to these teachings, one must evade any excessive indulgences, by following these basic guidelines pleasure may be achieved. “Bodily pleasure becomes more secure if we adopt a simple lifestyle which satisfies only our natural and necessary desires” (Sedley 223). Epicurus taught his followers that in order to attain the joy and unsurpassed bliss they seek it is essential to minimize unnecessary luxuries.
Epicurus taught that it was important of one to avoid standing accountable for any overwhelming responsibilities or participating in any significant involvements. It was imperative of an Epicurean to evade the desires and satisfactions of wealth, popularity, and other social advantages.
Epicurus recommended the suppression of desires that go beyond natural needs, the cultivation of friendship, the enjoyment of carefree pleasures, and even attendance at religious festivals in order to remind themselves of...

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