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DRN Book V.

De Rerum Natura - The Classic Poem of Epicurean Philosophy.

Bailey Version   Munro Version

Book V

o       Epicurus appears to us now as god-like, given the immortal wisdom he left to us.

o       If the reason is unpurified, we wage an internal war against ourselves.

o       All the world is mortal too, and just as it once came together into its present form, it will one day pass away.

o       Wonderment at the stars in heaven breeds confusion, as fools think that the stars are moved by the gods, and this leads them to invoke a bitter lordship of religion over themselves.

o       Everything that has a body does not have a mind – the element of mind and spirit exists only in connection with living animals.

o       The gods did not change their immortal ways to create the world for men.

o       The gods did not live in darkness and grief before they created the world.

o       It would be of no harm to us if we had never been born.

o       Nature had to provide the model for creation – how could the gods themselves have created the universe without a model?

o       Too much is wrong with the world for it to have been created by an all-powerful god.

o       Our world is very young, or else we would have a much longer knowledge of human history.

o       Our world was formed by the natural actions of the basic material of the universe.

o       Speculations as to the stars are necessarily only theories, since we lack ability to verify the true facts by direct closeup evaluation.

o       The size of the sun is an example of the limits of our ability to determine the truth of things in heaven – certain facts observable here on earth (primarily that all things except light appear to grow less distinct when further away) lead us to conclude that the sun is not significantly larger than it appears to us in the sky.

o       Another point we lack the ability to verify is whether the Moon shines with its own light, or reflects light from sun.

o       Centaurs and such things as half-men, half-animals never existed, and never can exist, because seeds combine only according to their nature.

o       Language developed naturally over time as men learned to communicate with each other.

o       Men fell under religion because they had visions of gods in dreams and saw things in the world and sky that they did not understand, so they assumed the gods must be responsible.

o       Populations die if they disarm.

o       Men developed music by imitating the birds

o       We toil in vain because we fail to remember the limits of possessiveness and the brevity of our time to enjoy pleasure.

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