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Chapter 4: Epicurus
1. Although Epicurus is a hedonist, he is clearly opposed to vulgar hedonism. Can you find
additional arguments for or against the theory of vulgar hedonism? Is it not terribly
judgmental” for us to claim that some pleasures are “higher” or lower” than others?
Shouldn’t we just tolerate and accept differences of opinion in this area? Or does it make
more sense to argue that there is a natural hierarchy of pleasures and pains?
Like Epicurus argued, not all pleasures are good for us. Epicureans, philosophy Epicurus
philosophy can be called materialistic: he did not recognize the gods, denied the existence of
predestination or destiny, recognized the right of free will for a man (Hutchinson, 1994). The
basic ethical principle in the "Garden of Epicurus" was proclaimed pleasure. But not at all in that
vulgar and simplified form, by which it was understood by the majority of the Greeks.
Epicureans, the philosophy of Epicurus preached that in order to receive true satisfaction from
life, you need to limit your desires and needs, and this is the wisdom and prudence of a happy
life.
An epicurean is a person who understands that the main pleasure is life itself and the
absence of suffering in it. The more immoderate and greedy people are, the more difficult it is
for them to achieve happiness, and the sooner they condemn themselves to perpetual discontent
and fear (Rist, 1980).

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2. Epicurus believes that fear of divine retribution is the greatest source of fear and
anxiety. Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not?
Being human we want our lives to be prosperous and full of pleasure which is not guaranteed at
all. We have to believe that there are some things which are not in our control. I agree what
Epicurus believes that Fear of divine retribution is the greatest source of fear and anxiety. We
already have anticipated in our mind that for every bad deeds we do; we will be punished by the
divine powers of god (Hutchinson, 1994). We do have the love for heaven in our mind but more
than it we have the fear of hell within us. With this fear, a person will try to do only good things
to sustain the life. We always try to go away from pain and anxiety but not with the cost of doing
evil things which will force that diving power for retribution (Rist, 1980).
3. Epicurus argues that the best and happiest way of life is one in which one seeks to satisfy
on the most basic, natural and necessary desires. Do you agree that embracing such a life of
simplicity (no honor, fame, luxury or wealth) is really more conducive to happiness and
tranquility than trying to “keep up with the Joneses”? If you said “yes,” then are you
already taking measures to live in the Epicurean manner?
Embracing a simple life is very conducive to happiness and tranquility that "keeping up
with the Joneses." Life becomes full of joy when the basic desires such as good health and basic
needs are available. Good health reduces fear and anxiety; availability of basic needs restrict
people from engaging in wrong acts that are punishable both by law and divine retribution (Rist,
1980). A healthy and contented mind has the wisdom to differentiate between pleasurable
pleasures and hazardous ones. People also learn to appreciate negative emotions but not those
causing unnecessary pains. I am already taking measure to live an Epicurean life full of
happiness and tranquility with lots of simplicity and discipline (Rist, 1980).

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Students Name Professor Name Institution Date Chapter 4: Epicurus 1. Although Epicurus is a hedonist, he is clearly opposed to vulgar hedonism. Can you find additional arguments for or against the theory of vulgar hedonism? Is it not terribly “ judgmental” for us to claim that some pleasures are “higher” or “ lower” than others? Shouldn’t we just tolerate and accept differences of opinion in this area? Or does it make more sense to argue that there is a natural hierarchy of pleasures and pains? Like Epicurus argued, not all pleasures are good for us. Epicureans, philosophy Epicurus philosophy can be called materialistic: he did not recognize the gods, denied the existence of predestination or destiny, recognized the right of free will for a man (Hutchinson, 1994). The basic ethical principle in the "Garden of Epicurus" was proclaimed pleasure. But not at all in that vulgar and simplified form, by which it was understood by the majority of the Greeks. Epicureans, the philosophy of Epicurus preached that in order to receive true satisfaction from life, you need to limit your desires and needs, and this is the wisdom and prudence of a happy life. An epicurean is a person who understands that the main pleasure is life itself and the absence of suffering in it. The more immoderate and greedy people are, the more difficult it is for them to achieve happiness, and the sooner they condemn themselves to perpetual discontent and fear (Rist, 1980). 2. Epicurus believes t ...
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