Epicureanism is a philosophical system of teachings that were advanced by an atomic materialist known as Epicurus. The teachings of Epicurus suggested that pleasure is the greatest good and it is important that one achieves this pleasure by living a modest life and trying to achieve knowledge and education about different mechanisms of this earth and limiting one’s longings. Epicurus taught that if happiness is present in our lives then we have in our possession all we require but if we lack happiness then we do all we can in order to achieve it. He argued that for one to be happy he or she should do things that bring happiness to him because the person who lives a good life is a happy being. He also taught that happy people in their happy lives fear neither death not the gods.
On the issue of human desires he said there are several types of desires some of which have no basis in nature such as desire to have more jewelry. The desires that have a basis in nature were the desire for happiness, desire to free one’s body from predicaments and the desire for life itself. On the issue of pleasures, Epicurus suggested that we only seek for pleasure when the lack of it leads us to pain and that we when we are not in pain we do not require pleasure. The reason why I like the teachings of Epicurus is the fact that they are direct teachings which are easily understood compared to the teachings of some philosophers. Epicurus’ teachings are very relevant in the world today as they guide us on how to achieve happiness and pleasure while avoiding pain and troubles of the heart.
The reasons for calling Anna Frank, Victor Frankl and Martin Luther King as the model of the happy life is due to the way these three individuals lived their lives faced with trouble and pain yet they were able to get through that and still afford to live a happy life. Ann Fran from her diary lived a terrible life during the holocaust period same as Victor Frankl who survived this Holocaust period. As much as these people faced the hard times during this period they never let the difficulty to ruin their happiness and this shows why they are called the model of the happy life. The same predicaments befell Martin Luther King during his struggle against racism in the United States. Despite their many troubles they were able to exhibit a level of happiness that has made them to be called the model of the happy life.
Ryan, M.J. (1909). Epicureanism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Retrieved December 18, 2013 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05500b.htm
Leddy, N., Lifschitz, A., & Voltaire Foundation. (2009). Epicurus in the Enlightenment. Oxford: Voltaire