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10. If those things which debauched men consider pleasurable in fact put an end to the fears of the mind, and of the heavens, and of death, and of pain; and if those same pleasures taught us the natural limits of our desires, we would have no reason to blame those devote themselves to such pursuits.

Alternate Translations: Bailey: If the things that produce the pleasures of profligates could dispel the fears of the mind about the phenomena of the sky and death and its pains, and also teach the limits of desires (and of pains), we should never have cause to blame them: for they would be filling themselves full with pleasures from every source and never have pain of body or of mind, which is the evil of life. Yonge: If the things that produce the pleasures of profligates could dispel the fears of the mind about the phenomena of the sky and death and its pains, and also teach the limits of desires (and of pains), we should never have cause to blame them: for they would be filling themselves full with pleasures from every source and never have pain of body or of mind, which is the evil of life.

NewEpicurean Commentary: Nature provides that our goal is to live a happy life, and thus the true and only test of how to live is to follow that which in fact produces a life of happiness, not momentary pleasure. A happy life is one in which we experience pleasure, have no fears as to punishment by gods, or fear of death, or fear of pain, and in which we recognize the natural limits of our desires. If the activities that men consider to be debauchery brought this result, those activities would be proper to pursue. Also, compare Crucial Doctrine 35 for another example of Epicurus’ commitment to the implications of his positions. In Doctrine 10 we see that Nature’s ultimate standard of living a happy life would justify even those things we think of as debauched, IF they in fact led to happiness, and in Doctrine 35 we see that those things which we think of as evil, such as injustice, are bad only because they bring pain, and not because they violate some hypothetical Platonic/religious ideal that does not exist in Nature.

pd_10.1523067228.txt.gz · Last modified: 2018/04/06 22:13 by 127.0.0.1