However one wishes to represent Epicurean teachings, either as a possible political ideal or develop it as a personal philosophy, Epicurus asks one to dispense with any notion that a divine power impacts our daily lives. “It is not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, who is impious, but he who affirms of the gods, what the multitude believes about them.” The dismissal of the idea that we are subject to the whim of the gods allows Epicurus to postulate that no afterlife exists; we will neither be rewarded nor punished after death, our existence is what we experience now. “Death is nothing to us; for that which has been dissolved into its elements experiences no sensations, and that which has no sensation is nothing to us.”
While the Greeks of Epicurus’ age sought the protection of astrology and religion, Epicurus sought not to control the arbitrariness of life, but rather to embrace and accept it. To believe that life was anything other th...
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...d individuals centered on the idea of do no harm. Epicurean communities may spread on the basis of influence and imitation as more individuals make the choice voluntarily adopt Epicurus’ teachings.
Secondly, justice is based on mutual respect and the principle of do no harm, though if directly attacked individuals may defend themselves. Though ideally, by withdrawing from the multitude and surrounding ourselves with friends, the danger of violence is reduced. Lastly, the kinetic pleasures of sex have the power to destroy our happiness. The value of our friends is best place in our deep friendship. Sexual relationships should be approached with care and caution as not to disturb the happiness of ourselves and others. While not discouraging sex, Epicurus warns of its emotional and physical dangers. To achieve happiness we must have thoughtful moderation in all things.
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