Perception Of Happiness In Epicurus's Letter To Menoeceus

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Inward Approach In Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus writes to Menoeceus on the philosophy by which he follows with regards to creating pleasure while avoiding pain. That is, Epicurus argues that the ultimate meaning of life hinges on our perception of happiness and consequences, which are directly affected by our choices. For example, Epicurus describes this perception of the ultimate meaning through death. He states that death is, by logic, harmless to no one since when one is dead, he/she ceases to exist. Thus, nothing can harm him/her if he/she no longer exist, including death. Therefore, it is irrational and dangerous to “shun death” (Epicurus, 50) since it is only hurtful to people, who extensively ponder on it. Epicurus maintains that not thinking about death leads to happiness while the consequences of thinking about death leads to sadness. Furthermore, Epicurus discusses several consequences overly pursuing pleasure. For instance, he argues that we must not always decide on the basis of immediate pleasure and immediate pain…show more content…
This is especially evident in his portrayal of death, by which he considers the self when describing the “pain” of death. However, he does not consider that, others’ perception of our death will affect our own, which leads to external pain that we, by definition, cannot determine nor control. For example, a young child is dying of an unknown disease with no cure. According to his logic, the child must embrace because it is painless to him since he cannot receive any more pain after death. However, with considerations to his parents and their perception of the child’s death, it is rational to fear death due to his/her awareness of the parents’ feelings, which he/she cannot
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