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Old 2004-10-06, 23:19   Link #28
Join Date: Mar 2004
Age: 30
Originally Posted by StoneColdCrazy
Epicureanism was a type of philosophy based around the ideas of Epicurus who, I believe, said that the prime good was pleasure, ie avoidance of suffering, so a pursuit of pleasure, including materialism, was a healthy way to live your life. Epicureanism isn't supposed to a headonistic worship of Dionysus, merely an embracing of what's good in life. His materialistic attitude was also a rejection of superstition, so I suppose some of his ideas of enjoyment came from freeing yourself from worrying about God/gods - focus on pleasing yourself first.

The English language definition of the word Epicurean means "Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the enjoyment of good food and comfort."

Well, the phrase I was refering to is: "unlike 'epicurean', the sense of the English adjective 'stoical' is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins." Since all I ever read about Epicureans was from Sophie's World, I won't even go into that. >.>

As for the Stoics, I'm not so convinced that they chose to disregard life experience for their own idealism. I'm still at odds with what the title in this thread proposes. The Stoics believed in reason as the basis for all essential things, including God, morality, and virtue. They shunned all human passions, for they viewed them as essentially irrational. They also allowed room for no middle ground; a person was either wholly virtuous, or wholly evil. Similarly, virtue alone was good, and vice along was evil; everything else was indifferent. Poverty, disease, pain, richness, pleasure, all these were neither good nor bad. Later on the Stoics apparently modified the lines of their beliefs and made it less cynical, though at the risk of inconsistency. They became more lenient in the acceptance of human passions, acknowledged that some individuals were virtuous at different levels, and that things outside of the circle of virtue/vice were not wholly unimportant at equal degrees.

So, what of life experience? Is everyone thinking of life experience in strictly physical terms? Because I think that any life that you feel you ought to pursue, if one is following what he/she believes to be their purpose in the universe, this is undergoing their life experience process. If you decide that you must spend a certain number of years in seclusion from society, living in a hut doing nothing but thinking and philosophizing, I'll gladly accept this as experiencing your life. If contemplating life is what you feel you must do, then live this way; I see no reason to discard it as life experience. It seems that most people consider life experience as limited to social interactions, complying with societal institutions, or living an active life, perhaps. What I don't consider to be "life experience", is a situation where the person lives in total and complete oblivion to life, as in their place in the world - without thinking ever thinking about it. Maybe these are people without goals, or who just don't care, or lack any wisdom to care. But I don't think that the Stoics chose not to live their lives; it's just that they were indifferent to everything except what they thought was important, and this is how they chose to go about living.
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