Plato, The Stoics And The Epicureans Views On Pleasure And Pain. Essay, Research Paper
Plato?s believes that the body is nothing
but constant distraction to the soul. The five senses, along with
pleasure and pain are among the most distracting feature of the body because
with them, one cannot search for reality. Plato viewed death as the
one release from the body in which the soul is free to search with reality,
since it has no contact or association with the body. Plato thinks
of pleasure and pain, as something one cannot have without the other, ?A
man cannot have both at the same time. Yet if he pursues and catches
one, he is bound to catch the other.?
But Plato believed that to distance your
self from pleasure and pain as much as possible.
On the other hand, the Epicureans believed
it was natural for humans to seek the pleasant life above all other things,
this included needs that are natural and necessary such as food and shelter,
and often needs that were natural and unnecessary such as sexual gratification.
The Epicurean philosophy did not include needs that were unnatural and
unnecessary such as wealth and extreme luxury. Epicureans believed
that by trying to satisfy the unnatural and unnecessary pleasures, that
one would ultimately find disappointment, failure or illness in the end.
Finally the Stoics believed all that occurs,
happens in accordance to Natural Law. Their two fundamentals are:
1. Whatever happens is the inevitable
outcome of the logic of the universe.
2. Whatever happens, is for a reason,
and therefore is fore the best.
According to these two fundamentals, Stoics
outage on the body would be to go with whatever seems natural, and whatever
it is, cannot be helped. The ideal stoic would go about life as an
actor in a play, playing the roll they are assigned. If one becomes
ill, the would play the part accordingly. The stoic philosophy also
say to remain uninvolved emotionally in your fate, and you will live an
untroubled life. If someone adheres to this philosophy, they would
in essence live a pleasant life. However, the Stoic views of pleasure
and pain could would be to simply accept them, and let your opinions of
them get in the way.
Personally, I feel the views of the Epicureans
is the one I agree with the most, however they all have qualities that
I believe in. The main reason I agree with the Epicureans, is for
their belief that people should not go after pleasures that are unnatural
or unnecessary. Although there are a few pleasures I do go for that
are unnatural and unnecessary(such as the computer I am typing on.)
I do think people do not have to live an extravagant life style, such as
the pursuit of wealth and power. And I feel all people should get
the necessary and natural pleasures fulfilled. I believed this prior
to taking any philosophy courses, and I will continue to believe this for
some time to come.