Buddha’s Ceasing of Woe Effectively Constitutes the Good Life as Compared to Epicurus’ Theory of Pursuit of Pleasure

1729 words 7 pages
Buddha’s Ceasing of Woe Effectively Constitutes the Good Life as Compared to Epicurus’ Theory of Pursuit of Pleasure
I will argue that although Epicurus holds validity in his argument on achieving happiness through the pursuit and fulfillment of pleasures, it is Buddha’s method of the ceasing of woe through following the eightfold path to enlightenment that most comprehensively constitutes the good life. I will first explain Epicurus’ vision of the good life through his invitation to join him in studying the pursuit of pleasure; and then argue against the points in his writings concerning his attempt at dispelling a fear of death as well as his theory on the actual pursuit of pleasure. I will then explain Buddha’s path to the good life
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According to Epicurus, the good life consists of the fulfillment of nature; therefore the good life consists of the pursuit of pleasure.
In the next section, I will argue against Epicurus’ attempt to dispel the fear of death in living creatures. While I agree that there is nothing to fear about death itself, as it is an absence of sensation, I believe that Epicurus misses the mark on what is actually fearful about death. It is not what comes after death that there is to fear, nor just the anticipation of it, it is the matter of dying before fulfillment that hangs over the heads of human kind. The fact that death can occur at any second leaves people fearful of life ending too soon before one can have the experiences and life they desire. Epicurus promotes the pursuit of pleasure, making death a reasonable thing to fear since it could happen while on that pursuit; then the individual would die without ever fulfilling that pleasure, therefore not reaching the fulfillment that constitutes the good life. I believe that death is something that should be considered during life, seeing as our existence could cease at any moment and if it were to come too soon I would want to have fulfilled and experienced as much as I could.
While I agree with this view in that I believe the good life is achieved through the fulfillment of nature and therefore pleasures, I take issue with the idea of living life in pursuit of pleasures. Pursuit implies uncertainty, as in maybe the end

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