Wiki: Epicurus (Greek Έπίκουρος) (341 BCE, Samos – 270 BCE, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.
Epicurus is famous for his simple four line philosophical argument against the existence of God or gods, The Problem of Evil:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
But many of his other quotes and philosophy on the meaning of life and answering questions about moral hedonism, pleasure, fear of divine retribution and death are more than notable.
Here are a few of his quotes that are right now kicking my ass in very real, practical ways. I am so glad I've come across these writings. Here are some I'm putting down here, more for my own reference than anything else.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.
A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.
It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly.
No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures themselves.
Current Location: at work, satyaniketan, new delhi
Current Mood: happy