Is pleasure an absolute indifferent or a preferred indifferent?

Sometimes there’s a debate over whether pleasure is a preferred or merely an absolute indifferent.

I think pleasure is a preferred indifferent, largely because pleasure is important for your body to function well and perform well in order to help you carry out virtue.  It’s important to please oneself and take pleasure in others’ pleasure.

If pleasure was an absolute indifferent, you could biologically function completely fine without it.  Your body would be in perfect health.  But living a life in pain or lack of pleasures takes it toll on anyone’s health.

It’s really important to find pleasure in a joke and laugh because this helps increase endorphins and endorphins are necessary for bodily health.  Not only that but they do affect the brain, which will affect the mind.

Sure, a Stoic will learn with practice to live without preferred indifferents but even though they may still live a life of eudaimonia, the lack of health, pleasure, wealth, reputation will inevitably take toll on their existence and they’ll slowly waste away.

Preferred indifferents are for our bodily existence.  Virtue is for our eudaimonic existence.  It’s true that virtue is the only good but it will be difficult to practice virtue without taking care of our bodily needs.  It’s not that bodily needs are good, they’re just a requisite means to the end of pursuing virtue, which is the ultimate importance for living a eudamonic life.

So enjoy pleasure.  You should enjoy it. Just don’t let it steal virtue away from you.

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