What is Epicureanism?
Epicureanism started off as a humble philosophy based around the philosophy of Epicurus. He was a great materialist in the philosophical sense and believed that the world is made up of tiny atoms which move through the void of open space. Atoms themselves are microscopic bits of matter which come together to make everything in the universe. He did believe in the gods as having bodies made of atoms, but these atoms unlike the souls of humans did not separate. He believed in a state of being called ataraxia, or a state of ultimate tranquility, something the gods had achieved which he believed everybody should strive to achieve. Because this state of being was so wonderful, not even the gods were interested in the lives of humans as they were so content with existence to care, and so people should not fear or rely on the gods. Because of this pursuit of tranquility and the easy lifestyle he proposed many people even illiterate would follow his philosophy to become one the most popular philosophies of ancient Greece.
How to be an Epicurean?
- First of all, one must not rely on the gods, they have found ataraxia and have no interest in human lives, and this also means people should not fear the gods for any reason.
- One must not fear death, since everything is made of atoms, nothing will last the tests of time. Once you die, your body will disintegrate and so you will not be able to suffer after your death.
- Live a life of pleasure with good food and friends, but do not overindulge because there is a measure to everything.
- People should set long term goals for themselves and try to determine the best way to gain pleasure in the long term, as it means one will be happier than simply satisfying the desires for pleasure in the short term.
- Finally Epicureans believe in the pursuit and understanding of philosophical knowledge and scientific knowledge as both come together to help one know the limits of our universe.
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