Friday, August 28, 2009

Epicurus: Ancient ass-kicker

Gotta give credit where credit is due... a helluva argument.
This quote troubles me - it's very powerful and persuasive, but something about it still bothers me. I don't know if I agree with it or not.
It takes a huge amount of energy / knowledge to find chinks in this. I think I could do it, with difficulty, but I'll just let it stand.


shesthesheriff said...

Man, screw that Epicurus guy-he spent all day at his cushy Ancient Greek Government job writing gibberish like this! If his readers knew how much tax payers money was being wasted so he could hang around all day and write....uh, wait a minute.

shesthesheriff said...

The 'whence cometh evil' line is the most intriguing I think. We are pretty much all taught that if you have the power to prevent evil the right thing to do is to prevent it. Epicurus kind of puts God into the position of a bystander watching a guy get beat up at a subway stop or something. Applied to a human being, this would be considered more Satanic and cowardly than Godly/heroic.

Religion teaches that God is more powerful than Satan, yet the amount of tragedy in the world seems to surpass the joy. I'd be curious what Epicurus would have to say about the idea that we're all sinners and that sort of reasoning that is used to justify God's letting terrible things happen-that we deserve it etc.

Either way, it is a killer quote.

Zeyev said...


Does it help that The Wiki knows all? Well, some poster put up something that makes sense. To me.

Take a look at to see a rather complete view of evildoing from the Jewish perspective.

The article also discusses the issue of free will and the basic nature of humans.

Does it refute Epicurus? Of course not. But there may be a Responsa somewhere that specifically addresses his point of view. There is, after all, a Responsa for nearly everything else.

Shesthesheriff seems to present the Christian view (sorry if got that wrong but there aren't many Jews who would mention Satan or that we're all sinners).

Explanations of the existence of Evil in the world go off in myriad directions - I'm simply more comfortable with the Jewish view as expressed in the Wiki I found.

Jonathan Rubin said...

Nice post. Will review.