EpicureanThe Epicureans were a hedonistic school of philosophy, founded by Epicurus around 307 A.D., which held that simple pleasures were the highest good. However, the Epicureans' beliefs on simple pleasures are drastically different than modern views.
By simple pleasures, the Epicureans meant abstaining from bodily desires, such as sex and appetites, being on the edge of asceticism. When eating, one should not eat too richly, for it could lead to dissatisfaction later, such as the grim realization that one could not afford such delicacies in the future. Sex could lead to increased lust and dissatisfaction with the sexual partner. By simple pleasures, the Epicureans merely advocated for a lifestyle free of pain and suffering.
The Epicurean schools were also quite solitary, for social interactions was seen as one of the causes of suffering.
The Epicureans also used the atomist theories of Democritus and Leucippus to describe that man has free will. They held that all thoughts are merely atoms swerving randomly. This explanation was used to relieve the ever-curious minds of people who wondered anxiously about their role in the universe. The Epicureans also held that the gods did exist, but they were too busy in their own world to directly affect humanity.