I read your article comparing Epicureanism and Stoicism again. I really like it and may post a comment there. I didn’t mean that you made a strawman, but that there is a genuine inability in Stoicism to differentiate between pleasure and happiness. If so, this would be a conceptual flaw with far-reaching implications. I’ll need to learn more about Stoicism to see if this is correct.
If you look at the lives we are living in the modern Western world, it is clear that we are hedonists, closer to the Zynerians than to the Epicureans. The “pursuit of happiness” is even enshrined the Constitution of the USA. We talk constantly about eating the best food, having the best sex, traveling to the best locations in the world. Is this wrong? I am not sure. We only have one life to live, why not enjoy it to its fullest?
I do work for social change and to become a better man. I went into politics once (with the Green Party of Spain) and came out completely disgusted at the clash of egos. I didn’t want to become one of them. I tell myself that I work for the good of humanity because I am looking for a cure for chronic pain. and I write in the hope of teaching others a few things I learned. But maybe I am deluding myself and it is all a quest to prop my ego. Maybe looking to have a good time is more honest.