Epicurus was a big proponent of Hedonism. Hedonism is the ethical theory that the main drive of humanity is to seek happiness. Actions, behaviors and beliefs can all be traced to or boiled down to individual happiness.

This theory is very self-centric, and Epicurus felt that morals were based on a person's own beliefs. "Give me bread and watered down wine, the simplest of pleasures are the easiest to obtain and the least likely to be taken away. The simplest pleasures are the healthiest."

Epicurus therefore felt that everyone who seeks true happiness as their goal will attempt to live a long life of simplicity and tranquility.

As an example, most people want to buy a nice house and a decent car in the United States. To achieve these goals, one must work very hard. Does the superficial wealth gained by this work counterbalance the effort taken to achieve the material things? Epicurus thought not, that the end result was overall happiness.

By working hard to achieve happiness, one will become happy. Peace is another byproduct of this process. Fighting brings pain instead of pleasure (to most people), and therefore most people will want to surround themselves with friends and make as few enemies as possible. Making and keeping these friends requires that one be truthful, respectful, compassionate and empathetic.

Epicurus' view of morality, ethics and happiness is shared by most of the world's religions in a philosophic sense. Most religions require a life of simplicity and nonviolence, and these two core values were shared by those modeled by Jesus and Buddha.