December 2, 2008
Epicurus was known to be a laid back guy. His name now a day is associated with luxury. Epicurus was a hedonist as well as atomist, believing that the fundamental constituents of the world were indivisible little bits of matter fly trough the empty space. He was a student of Democritus; however his view of free will is the opposite from him. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life without pain and fear. He also highly valued his friends and believed that one should live a self sufficient life surrounded by friends. He would teach and “hang out” with his friends in the garden. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad. He also mentioned that death is not evil and should not be feared. His overview that pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain is the most important thing is wrong for many reasons.
Epicurus was a student of Democritus. Democritus as well as Epicurus believed that everything that occurs is the result of the atoms colliding, rebounding, and becoming entangled with one another, with no purpose or plan behind their motions. His theory, however, differs from Democritus because he admits that atoms do not always follow straight lines but their direction of motion may occasionally exhibit a swerve. This is where he introduces that agency is free. This is important because Democritus believed that there is no free will. With this he supported his idea that the gods did not have supernatural powers that allowed them to interfere with humanity or nature. Epicurus also used atomism to solve the problem of a great fear, death.
One of the greatest fears that Epicurus battled with is the fear of death. Epicurus thinks that this fear is often based upon anxiety about having an unpleasant afterlife; this anxiety, he thinks, should be dispelled once one realizes that death is annihilation, he did not believe in after life. The soul needs a body in order for there to...