- Knowledge Is Based On The Senses, Not on Reasoning Alone
- Confidence Is Built Step By Step On The Conclusions Established By The Senses
- Nothing Comes From Nothing
- Nothing Is Destroyed To Nothing
- The Universe As A Whole Has Always Existed, and Will Always Exist
- Nothing Has Eternal Independent Existence Except the Elemental Particles
- Combinations of Matter and Void Are Perishable And Do Not Last Forever
- All That We See Around Us Arises From The Properties And Qualities of Combinations of Particles And Space
- The Elemental Particles Are Constantly In Motion
- Elemental Particles Have the Capacity To Swerve At No Fixed Place Or Time
- The Universe As A Whole Is Boundless
- The Universe Is Populated With Life In Other Worlds
- In Other Worlds There Are Beings Lower and Higher That Ourselves, Some of Whom Have Attained Immortality and Perfect Happiness
- Although We Lack Evidence About The Things We See In The Sky, Many Natural Explanations Are Possible
- Knowledge of the Universe Is Gained Naturally, By Intelligent Use of the Images We Receive In the Flow of Elemental Particles
- The False Threat Posed By Religion
- Life Begins When Our Bodies Are Formed And Ends When We Die - Death Is Nothingness To Us
- The Goal of All Living Beings Is to Live Pleasurably
- Reject The Argument That Pleasure Is Not the Goal of Life Because Pleasure Has No Limit
- Reject The Argument That We Should Pursue Virtue Rather Than Pleasure
- Nature Calls All Living Beings to Pursue Pleasure Intelligently
- Mental Pleasure And Pain Are More Intense Than That of the Body
- In Pursuing Pleasure Intelligently Sometimes We Will Choose Pain
- "Fate" Does Not Exist - We Have Much Freedom To Choose Our Path In Life
- Life Is Desirable So That We May Live Pleasurably
- Wise Men Pursue Pleasure Through Reasoning And Not Through Chance
- Wise Men Live According To Their Means And Circumstances
- Wise Men Embrace Emotion And Do Not Seek To Suppress It
- Life Is Short So It Must Be Used Wisely To Maximize Happiness
- Store Up Good Memories To Enjoy When Times Are Bad
- Treasure Friendship As Essential To Happiness
- Treasure Freedom From the Crowd And Proclaim True Philosophy To Those Who Will Listen
- Reject the Argument That There Is Single Absolute Justice And A Single Way For All Men To Live
- Treasure Your Community Of Friends And Protect It From Those Who Would Harm You
- Epicurus - Elementary Principles of Nature
- Epicurus - Principal Doctrines
- Doctrine 1
- Doctrine 2
- Doctrine 3
- Doctrine 4
- Doctrine 5
- Doctrine 6
- Doctrine 7
- Doctrine 8
- Doctrine 9
- Doctrine 10
- Doctrine 11
- Doctrine 12
- Doctrine 13
- Doctrine 14
- Doctrine 15
- Doctrine 16
- Doctrine 17
- Doctrine 18
- Doctrine 19
- Doctrine 20
- Doctrine 21
- Epicurus - Sayings From The "Vatican List"
- Epicurus - Sayings About the Wise Man
- Epicurus - Letter to Herodotus
- Epicurus - Letter to Pythocles
- Epicurus - Letter to Menoeceus
- Lucretius - On The Nature of Things
- 1 Lucretius
- Epicurus broke through the chains of religion to discover the truth about Nature
- Religion is the true mother of wickedness in the world.
- Religion oppresses men by causing them to fear punishment by the gods both in this life and in eternal hell hereafter.
- The remedy to the terrors of the spirit manufactured by religion is to study and uncover the true nature of the universe, for this will allow us to see that those threats are not real.
- The true nature of the soul is not obvious to us, so if we are to free ourselves from religious fears we must study nature. We must also see that religion is not correct when it asserts that we have eternal souls which will be punished or rewarded by gods after death.
- Our starting point in this study of nature is this primary observation: nothing ever comes from nothing. We observe that neither gods nor any other forces are able to create any thing from nothing.
- Once we see that nothing comes from nothing, we can see that all things come into being in accord with the nature of their elemental material, and that all things occur without any intervention from any gods.
- Our method for proving that nothing comes from nothing is the same method we use to address all questions. We must look at the evidence around us and draw deductive conclusions based on the evidence nature provides to us through our senses.
- We must also test conclusions by looking to see that the opposite conclusion is not supported by the evidence nature provides.
- Nature determines qualities of all things, and the limits and boundaries of what is possible to them, including how all things come into being, grow, and pass away.
- Nature also contains life-giving particles which, under certain conditions, are capable of springing to life.
- Our second primary observation is this: all things pass away and change back into the essential material from which they are made, but nothing is ever absolutely destroyed to nothing.
- If things passed away to nothing, in the eternity of time past all things would have passed away, and nothing would be left in the universe.
- But we see that the universe survives, and has not all passed away, and therefore we conclude that the basic material of the universe is indestructible.
- Do not doubt that elementary material is indestructible simply because it is too small to see. You cannot see the air or odors either, and yet you know they exist.
- Nature’s work is done by elementary particles so small that they are unseen. In addition to these particles, however, there is also empty space, or "void.”
- We know that void exists because otherwise movement would be impossible; but we see that things do move, so we know void exists.
- We conclude that everything in nature is made up of matter and void. Nothing exists in the universe except matter and void.
- Because the elementary material of the universe is eternal, the universe is itself eternal. This does not mean that the current form of the universe is eternal, because the elementary material constantly changes position, but the elementary material from which the universe is made is itself eternal.
- There is a limit to the divisibility of the elementary material. The smallest elementary materials are indivisible and eternal
- All things are not made from a single substance, but from many distinct elementary materials. Fools often admire the things their blindness sees in hidden meanings, and they follow men such as Heraclitus, who argued that all things are made from a single substance – fire.
- Errors about the nature of things arise because philosophers teach that the senses cannot be trusted, but all arguments against the reliability of the senses are madness. This is because such arguments are self-contradictory – they argue against the senses by using the senses, and those who use the senses must accept that they are trustworthy.
- Just as a limited number of letters in the alphabet form all words by being arranged differently, the elementary materials of the universe form all things by combining in different ways.
- There is a limit to divisibility. There is an absolute smallest.
- Our goal is to free the mind from the restrictions imposed by religion. Although it may seem grim to conclude that life ends at death, we will rim the cup with honey so that take the medicine that may seem bitter, but which brings healing.
- The universe is infinite in extent, and has no boundaries no matter how far you travel in any direction.
- The universe has no center.
- Matter and space are equally infinite.
- These basic lessons lead to all the rest that follows. Applying our method to all questions will lead to a series of answers which each, in turn, illuminates the next.
- 2 Lucretius
- 3 Lucretius
- 4 Lucretius
- 5 Lucretius
- 6 Lucretius
- Civilization first flowered in Athens, and Athens brought to us a man – Epicurus – who discovered and brought to us the complete truth, and as a result his glory makes him seem to us almost divine
- Epicurus diagnosed the problem that corrupts men’s lives, and cleansed our hearts by words of truth, showing us (1) the error of greeds and fears, (2) the highest good that Nature has ordained for men, (3) the natural evils that confront the lives of men, and that they can be defeated once we learn the proper way to deal with them, and (4) that most of the anxieties we face are imaginary, no worse than the imaginings of children.
- Even those who otherwise understand the laws of Nature may wonder how certain things can happen, especially in the sky, and this wonder leads to confusion and to regress to superstitious religious awe
- Stop having thoughts unworthy of the gods, because this will harm you – not because the gods will care, but because you will fear that you are at the mercy of the gods and this will cause you great anxiety.
- We see that lightning is not caused by the gods because it does not occur with any consistency to punish the enemies of the gods or to accomplish anything.
- Snow, wind, hail and the light are understandable if you keep in mind the basic properties of the elements involved.
- Many natural phenomena cannot be isolated to a single cause due to lack of information, so consider all reasonable possibilities that are not eliminated by the evidence.
- Diogenes Laertius - Biography of Epicurus
- Cicero - On Ends
- Cicero - On The Nature of the Gods
- Diogenes of Oinoanda - The Inscription
- Philodemus - On Methods of Inference
- Epicurean Passages From Other Sources
The Goal of All Living Beings Is to Live PleasurablyBut some men argue that happiness is not the goal of life, and that there is some particular final and ultimate good, an End to which all other things are means, while not itself a means to anything else.
But we that it is Pleasure which is our first and kindred good, the alpha and omega of a blessed life, and that all Pleasure is good.
And so the "greatest good" is that which brings about unsurpassable joy, such as the bare escape from some dreadful calamity.
And this is the nature of 'the good,' if one apprehends it rightly, and stands by his finding, and does not go on walking round and round, harping uselessly on the meaning of 'good.'
And by this we mean that pleasurable living is the ultimate end prescribed by Nature. If you do not on every occasion refer each of your actions to this end, but instead of this you turn to some other end, your actions will not be consistent with your goal.
For we see that every animal, as soon as it is born, seeks for pleasure, and delights in pleasure, while it recoils from pain, and so far as possible avoids it. This every young animal does as long as it remains unperverted, at the prompting of Nature's own unbiased and honest verdict.
It is pleasure that fills the sea with ships and the lands with corn, and by pleasure is every kind of living thing conceived, rising up to behold the light of the sun.
And in the pleasure of spring the birds take flight, the wild herds bound over green pastures and swim the rapid rivers, each in turn following the charms of pleasure with desire leading them on to continue their races.
The proof that pleasure is our guide of life is more luminous than daylight itself. Our evidence is derived entirely from Nature's sources, and rests firmly for confirmation on the unbiased and unimpeachable evidence of the senses.
Lisping babies, even dumb animals, prompted by Nature's teaching, can almost find the voice to proclaim to us that there is no welfare but pleasure, no hardship but pain, and their judgment in these matters is neither sophistic nor biased.
Thus there is no necessity for argument or discussion to prove that pleasure is desirable and pain is to be avoided. These facts are perceived by the senses, in the same way that we perceive that fire is hot, snow is white, and honey is sweet.
If we were to strip a man of all sensation, nothing would remain of his life. It therefore follows that Nature herself, through these faculties of sensation, is the judge of that which is in accord with or contrary to nature.
And what faculty does Nature grant for perception and judgment of that which is to be desired and avoided besides pleasure and pain?