Eoghan Gardiner Level 03
  • Member since Mar 27th 2018
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Posts by Eoghan Gardiner

    Well my story is probably a common one around Epicureans, I was 22 and used to drink a lot and sleep around a lot. Anyway I grew disillusioned with the unhinged hedonism lifestyle (because it led to dissatisfaction and pain overall and the pleasure while nice wasn't worth it). I eventually found my way to "Stoic Joy" by William Irvine and thought it was great! He pushed the idea that if you practice Virtue you will have a tranquil life, in fact he stated that "you can't live virtuously without living tranquilly and vice versa".


    So I bought more Stoic books and they really praeached the idea of Virtue for it's own sake, which I bought into. I didn't question WHY or how can value something abstract like that for it's own sake but I digress. Anyway after 2 years of Stoic practice I became very happy but then it hit me "I am not practicing Virtue for it's own sake, it just makes me feel really good" Which led me to Epicureanism and here I am today.


    Epicureanism just makes sense, there is no god telling us what to do, everything is valued in a way that can be measured (pleasure and pain) and the goal is one which is noble to the truth of human nature (pleasurable living) rather than some church or gods idea of what we should be (virtue/afterlife/whatever other woo woo) EDIT:b Also the idea that the hedonistic calculus is individual for the most part.


    Thanks for welcoming me!

    Hello all, just came here from the FB group, was going to write this over there but we seem to moving to this forum so I'll write it here.


    I wanted to discuss why Epicureans (and most Hedonists such as John Stuart Mill) regard Virtue so highly in their hedonistic philosophy. A virtue, is a character trait that is seem as positive, how do we know it's positive? Well we Epicureans know that it's a positive character trait because they lead to pleasure, when you are generous it feels good, when you are prudent with your choices you avoid a pain or gain a please. How do Stoics know why Virtue is good? I dunno, Zeus I guess.


    Pleasure is our highest goal, specifically a pleasurable life. Epicureans aren't too worried about having one massive pleasure once a month then living 29 days of pain, they are concerned with pleasurable living, a life style. So because of this goal, pleasure and pain are tools on what to avoid and what to accept e.g. eating feels good when hungry and it removes a pain but eating too much can cause problems, so eat in moderation for a pleasurable life (virtue of Prudence, again we know this is good because it leads to a pleasurable life).


    What other virtues are good for an Epicurean and why, well Justice. Not because of some divine law which is handed down to us from God or Zeus but rather because it allows everyone to pursue a pleasurable life without harming one another. We abide by the laws of the country because people who harm others get punished and therefore are deterred from interfering with others happiness. Endurance is also a good because sometimes we must accept a pain for a later pleasure.


    Are some pleasures higher or lower than others in Epicureanism? Well, friendship is seen as the highest way to live pleasurably so it seems that there is some ranking system for pleasures.


    Overall that is where my Epicurean philosophy is at right now, and my understanding of Virtue. Looking forward to chatting with you all on this forum.