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Stoicism refers to the experience of indifference to pain or pleasure. According to Stoicism, a man conquers the universe by conquering himself. It begins by developing indifference to pleasure and pain, through meditation. According to Stoics, wisdom occurs the moment reason controls passions; evil happens when passions control humans. Another aspect of Stoicism is its conviction in the development of the worldwide state, in which all are brothers and sisters. Stoics believed in some natural rights, a notion which could not be experienced again by the earlier Romans until the eighteenth century. They also had conviction in the right to commit suicide as an essential part of Roman cultural tradition. The Greek founders of Stoicism acknowledged three interrelated components of philosophy: physics, logic, and ethics. The learning of logic taught the identification of genuineness and the avoidance of mistake, preparing the mentality to understand the physical edifice of the world and to employ in ethical behavior. The Stoic cosmos was a macrobiotic unity that unfolded in accordance to the logos or preparation of a universal soul or mind. The physical foundation for the universal brainpower was thepneuma, an all-pervasive animating being. While Epicureanism is a commitment to refined enjoyment or pleasure; especially as it regards to drinks and food. Virtue for Epicurus regarded a means to an end, where end was perceived as happiness. According to Epicureanism, it is good to undergo pleasure and shun pain, but one must employ reason to life. Sometimes pain is essential in order to achieve happiness. Other occasions, pleasure leads to more misery than it is worth. Stoicism and Epicureanism signify two different humanity views that predisposed the western thinking during the Hellenistic era. Drawing being comparable between these two pools of thought may offer a better acceptance about their differences and similarities. Epicureanism must be differentiated from utilitarianism, which occurred during the nineteenth century. Utilitarianism maintains the Epicurean analysis that humans naturally hunt for pleasure and evade pain, but while Epicureans acclaim pleasure seeking and pain evasion for their effects on the emotional state of the actor, utilitarian employ it to express the consequentiality observation that a good act minimizes pain and maximizes pleasure.
Similarities between Stoicism and Epicureanism
There is practical comparison between stoicism and Epicureanism, in spite of their theoretical differences: Both were fashionable in the Roman era, stoicism in Rome’s early time, more forceful years and lifelong among the level and file of Roman population, and Epicureanism at the back of closed doors, particularly at the highest levels of the territory. Both the philosophies had concepts of having a better world through management of pleasure and pain, however different approaches. They are the two prevailing philosophies of the Hellenistic and early Roman eras, have experienced a revival in fame, not only amongst academic scholars, but also amongst ordinary people including psychologists. Those are practical philosophies, whose endeavor is not only to establish what is true, but also to exist happily and wisely. It is known that Christians often misunderstood Epicureanism assuming that Epicureans attempted to rationalize sex, excesses and pleasure without considering other core life requirements, but this was evidently a misconception brought by an erroneous comprehending of the word pleasure. Epicurus regarded pleasure things such as friendship, intellectual life, and got in touch with nature and not only bodily sensations, which were considered to convey more pain than pleasure. In this concern, Epicureans and Stoics shared a familiar understanding of what would be regarded a happy life. For both pools of thought, the mean for happiness is restraint, only for dissimilar reasons: for Stoics, moderation was a method to be associated with the universe's will and for Epicureans; moderation was the best mode to shun pain.
Another notable similarity between the two was that both represent two world concepts that continue to be discussed and analyzed until today, however, no matter the situation one chooses to protect, all ways direct to the same destination that is moderation, simple rich intellectual life, and pleasure.
In addition to the above similarities both Epicureans and Stoics are very anxious with death; which is a point of difference between pain and pleasure. Their views on pleasure have more to do with fatality than on friendship and intelligence. Epicurean, being a captive for most of the life, considers death as an equalizing reality of human life acknowledging its insignificance. Acquaintance and regular meditation upon our death makes us understand the insignificance of our own misery and therefore, existence without agony. Similarly, Epicureanism, as it is portrayed by Lucretius, accentuates the facts of death and obtaining life is too precise sort of the approach. He compounds this pre-occupation with a sort of insensitive atomic theoretical understanding of life that construes even our being alive as a creation of pure chance. Thus, Epicurean concludes, since we live by chance and will be vanished any moment, that we ought to pursue pleasure without restricting the pleasure-seeking of others. Hence, the Epicurean conviction of life of pleasure in similarity with the Stoicism partakes.
Differences between Epicureanism and Stoicism
After analyzing the key points of both philosophies, it happens to clear that the main dissimilarity between Epicureans and Stoics is the point that the Stoics argued that the world is organized in manner that the experiences that it gives to people in the physical earth are always an intentional progress, that is, they comprise of a specific purpose to maintain the universal peace. The Stoics further believes that when one's wish is associated with this purpose, misery ceases. This point is also shared by eastern thinkers, such as Hinduism and Buddhism in which the world is seen as living creatures with intentions. However, Epicureans were staunch earthly believers. They had no anxiety or regard for anything supernatural; according to them, there was no super power or intention to life. Instead, the only valuable objective was to please oneself as much as humanly achievable. Majority of the stoics did believe in a superior force whether it was society, ethics, or the Divine. They sensed that what was good quality and what was enjoyable was not only ever identical, in other moments they were directly opposite. They paid attention more on shunning suffering than seeking pleasure, and perceived life as a sequence of trials and moments for self-development and enhancement.
Even without the paranormal, the stoics argued that they were empowering themselves to conquer whatever greater confrontations might arise afterward in life. An epicurean would most likely argue that by depriving themselves pleasure there was no reason to live a long life.
Epicureanism is a way of life based on taste, which is the reason we call gourmands Epicures. Drink, Eat, and be Merry, is characteristic of Epicures. For Jews the word Epikoros is disparaging, denoting a Jew that has conformed to gentile standards. Stoics, on the other hand, anchor their philosophy on recognition and duty. Stoic was to portray the same expression to the world in all situations. This was demonstrated in Seneca opening his layer when he established life and Roman civilization no longer manageable. This was also in the captive Epictetus' saying, "Look at present on the face of your youngster, and say the following day it will better.”
In the Epicurean earth Universe is the result of unsystematic combinations of molecules into four rudiments, and elements into accessible matter. The Universe will terminate when one element; water, earth, fire, or air totally dominates. This is supposed to be one movement, analysis, mechanical movements, with cogent explanations of unintentional combinations of things. Religion is the uninformed expression of uncertainties of humans, and thus isunreasonable. As for the Stoics there is recurring recreation and conflagrations; no real commencement, no final conclusion, only a continuous unrest of elements. They believe that the planets are fraction of the music of the Heavenly globe. There is an accord in natural world. The divine arrangement for the universe is coherent and can be recognized.
In the Epicurean situation, there exists evolutionary sight, natural selection of existence compared to Stoics view. From isolated person to complex culture for self-defense and mutual safety or social contract there is law, the set of preparations made from moment to moment in different places. Control by oppressors comes of wealth and fear. True joy comes from an uncomplicated life and contented mentality. While for the Stoics meditation of Nature, and unselfish service of fellow human beings, in whom the heavenly spark burns. Happiness for one is pleasure for all. Law is coherent and universal, and component of every balanced being's inheritance. Epicureans believe in reality of Gods but they live apart from the world, they did not make the world, so should not be adored. Gods are autonomous and do not require men. While, on the other hand the Stoics only believe in nature. All that occurs is cogent, in accordance with natural world designs. Total contribution of requirements and human actions are Stoics’ arguments of existence.
The Epicureans have conviction in freedom from trouble entanglements of civilization and the people; suppression of bodily desire. Liberation from trepidation of death is one aspect of their concern to pleasure and pain. True faith is contemplation of all belongings with a nonviolent mind; there subsist pleasures and pain, intellectually and bodily. While the Stoics believe in responsibility towards associate human beings, justice legalizes relationships between persons. Justice is personality, and each spirit is part of nature. All can be righteous, through cogent thought about divine fairness. Reward for righteous living: becoming a deity. The Epicureans, on the other hand, argued that the creation is chaos, it has no reason or intentions and deity does not control the life of humans, so as people are left unaccompanied in a chaotic universe, the only way to attain happiness and peace of intelligence is by avoiding pain and seeking pleasure this is acceptable as long as the pleasure does not root greater suffering. This, in regard to Epicureans, is the procedure to live well in the universe without intentionality or rationale. Skeptics also mutual this world sight and Epicureans were from time to time confused with Skeptics but there's a significant difference; the Epicurean attitude was not doubtful as Epicurus believed in the continuation of gods, what hesitation was that the gods had any pressure in the human life.
While both the Stoics and the Epicureans emphasize ataraxia, the Epicurean prospect of the highest person good, or happiness, varies from the Stoic point of understanding. Epicurus believed that superiority is natural in the common sense that we naturally look for pleasure and keep away from pain. This contrasts with the Stoic concept of nature and thus of merit. The process leading to happiness, then, is essentially different for the Stoics. Stoic beliefs differ from Epicurean morals in at least three traditions. First, their concepts of nature differ. For the Stoics, self-protection is the first natural character while pleasure plays this responsibility for the Epicureans. This difference influences their views of human distinction. Epicurus viewed pleasure and superiority as undividable while for the Stoics, self-defense leads to valuing rationale for itself, which pilots to the harmony of a special worth of excellence.
The second dissimilarity between Stoics and Epicureans engages their views of the sensation and feeling. For the Epicureans, it was not obligatory to get rid of pathos. The Epicurean recognizes that only a few wishes are desirable for a pleasant life and they can be without difficulty satisfied. In the Epicurean condition of ataraxia, one need not shun desires, but one is not troubled by the incapability to satisfy one's requirements either. The Stoic, on the other hand, is imperturbable since he or she has totally eliminated pathos.
As a final point, the Epicureans and Stoics vary on the role of fineness. For the Stoics, brilliance alone is adequate for eudaimonia, and it consequences directly from motivation. The Epicureans put together pleasure and brilliance, but this does not guide to eudaimonia. Rather, the lucid person recognizes that the uppermost form of pleasure is ataraxia. In addition, events performed from the situation of ataraxia are the proceedings of the happy person.
Stoicism and Epicureanism signify two different humanity views that predisposed the western thinking during the Hellenistic era. Drawing a comparable between these two pools of thought may offer a better acceptance about their differences and similarities. Epicureanism must be differentiated from utilitarianism, which occurred during the nineteenth century.