The Future is Uncertain

Aristippus points out that the future is uncertain.  Thus, he advises individuals to live in the moment.  You ought to try to pack as much intense, immediate, physical pleasure into your life as quickly as possible.  He also recommends enjoying thrills and excitement. Live life to the fullest so that you will have made the most of whatever time you have.  In contrast, Epicurus claims that the best life is a long life of peace of mind and contentment.  Depending on external things for your happiness puts you in a precarious position, because if you can’t get what you want, you will suffer.  Instead, Epicurus advises individuals to train themselves to be happy without external things. Thus, the morally right way to live, according to Epicurus, is to practice self-denial or asceticism.  Although both Aristippus and Epicurus are hedonists and ethical egoists, they advocate completely different lifestyles as being morally right.  If you had to choose how to live your life, and your ONLY options were to live the self-indulgent lifestyle promoted by Aristippus or the ascetic lifestyle promoted by Epicurus, which one would you choose and why?  For this assignment, you may not choose a middle position!

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