My worms are happy. They don’t think. They eat all day and night slithering and sliding amongst their fellows procreating as male and female simultaneously, oblivious to death.. perhaps. Their only stress is the light that enters their photophobic world when I lift the worm farm lid to pour more carrots gone to goo onto what is already nematode nirvana.
Epicurus died horrendously with kidney stones so large he could not pee. Yet he died a happy man, not fearing death contemplating a universe without gods or gods who were uninterested in him – a universe of atoms and only atoms, of which he was part. A universe where all was equal, whether dead or alive. A universe without consequences… perhaps.
Epicurus believed we all had an inbuilt system which advised us how to live. If an action caused pain it was to be avoided. If it caused pleasure it was to be pursued. Was he no more than a mere worm? Of course he was. He thought.
And what did he, Epicurus, who prized pleasure, find to be the most pleasureable activity of all? He says: kicking back in a beautiful garden with a few good friends having a barbeque and discussing…. well, how to live, well.
Epicurus believed in restraint as he found depriving oneself of pleasure allowed for greater pleasure. Indulging a pleasure leads to pain. A glutton is not happy. Are my worms in pain or are they happy?