By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. These desires are innate to humans, but they do not need to be fulfilled for their happiness or their survival. Again, if the void were finite, the infinity of bodies would not have anywhere to be. Christopher Hitchens referred to himself as an Epicurean. He also considered prudence an important virtue and perceived excess and overindulgence to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia.
He defined justice as an agreement made by people not to harm each other. The Epicurean would argue that image of the oar, that is the atoms traveling from the oar to the observer's eyes, have been shifted and thus really do arrive at the observer's eyes in the shape of a bent oar. Katastematic pleasure describes the pleasure one feels while in a state without pain. Without the swerve, the atoms would never have interacted with each other, and simply continued to move downwards at the same speed. This is not the case. Tetrapharmakos, or "The four-part cure", is Epicurus' basic guideline as to how to live the happiest possible life. Other adherents to the teachings of Epicurus included the poet Horace , whose famous statement Carpe Diem "Seize the Day" illustrates the philosophy, as well as Lucretius , who wrote the poem De rerum natura about the tenets of the philosophy. For if the void were infinite and bodies finite, the bodies would not have stayed anywhere but would have been dispersed in their course through the infinite void, not having any supports or counterchecks to send them back on their upward rebound. These pleasures involve sensations of the body, such as the act of eating delicious food or of being in a state of comfort free from pain, and exist only the present. Justice was deemed good because it was seen as mutually beneficial. For example, when one places a straight oar in the water, it appears bent. It is not by an unbroken succession of drinking bouts and of revelry, not by sexual lust, nor the enjoyment of fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. Modern usage and misconceptions[ edit ] In modern popular usage, an Epicurean is a connoisseur of the arts of life and the refinements of sensual pleasures; Epicureanism implies a love or knowledgeable enjoyment especially of good food and drink. His community also became known for its feasts of the twentieth of the Greek month. If I had time I would add to my little book the Greek, Latin and French texts, in columns side by side. This poetic doctrine was handed down by an anonymous Epicurean who summed up Epicurus' philosophy on happiness in four simple lines: In fact, Epicurus referred to life as a "bitter gift". He viewed recreational sex as a natural, but not necessary desire that should be generally avoided. The poet Virgil was another prominent Epicurean see Lucretius for further details. He also considered prudence an important virtue and perceived excess and overindulgence to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia. Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo "I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care" , which is inscribed on the gravestones of his followers and seen on many ancient gravestones of the Roman Empire. Contains Epicurean tetrapharmakos from Philodemus' Adversus Sophistas. Humanistic Judaism as a denomination also claims the Epicurean label. Tetrapharmakos Part of Herculaneum Papyrus P. In the second century CE, comedian Lucian of Samosata and wealthy promoter of philosophy Diogenes of Oenoanda were prominent Epicureans.
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