The Meaning Of Life For Millennia Essay example

783 Words Nov 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Philosophers have pondered the meaning of life for millennia. Some say that the meaning of life is to find happiness, or to flourish. But what is happiness? A stoic named Epictetus goes into great detail to explain how one should find happiness. In theory, living by Epictetus’ guidelines of only worrying about things you can control would be worth it and make you flourish; however, it is impossible to do so because human nature causes us to focus on things that are out of our control. Epictetus describes being truly happy as being free (Epictetus 1). To become free, you must give up on anything that is out of your control like body, fame, or power (Epictetus 1, 2, 24). Humans have no control over what happens to their bodies; if we are born unattractive or we get sick and die then so be it (Epictetus 5, 9). Fame doesn’t completely rely on our talents, but also those who will receive our talent and decide whether or not we are good (Epictetus 25). We can only have power over our minds because we cannot claim power over the universe since we did not create it, nor can it agree to our power over it (Epictetus 8, 14). Any action that depends on our own will is free, therefore these actions will cause us to flourish (Epictetus 1). Our lives should not focus around external things, but instead the judgements that go towards them (Epictetus 16). Epictetus describes being a philosopher and how it deals with true happiness (Epictetus 23). Ultimate happiness relies on controlling…

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