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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The antidote to human stupidity and greed., December 26, 2001
This review is from: The Essential Epicurus (Great Books in Philosophy) (Paperback)
This book does not rely on a god or a saviour to lead a smart and fulfilling life. It relies soley on reason and what an effective use of it by epicurus! Most of epicurus works are either lost or destroyed, but this book contains his essential teachings. Epicurus did not deny the existance of the gods. This would make sense. If the universe is infinite as he says, then all possible things already exist in one way or another. According to epicurus one should live out his natural life, this would be prudent. This life is the only one you get. He writes that by being prudent ie; looking at both sides of an issue to find truth and getting only what you need, you can live a smart and happy life. After life is over one goes to eternal oblivion, free of all suffering forever. The ironic thing about epicurus is that he admits there are gods. If one reads what he writes carefully, one finds that one doesnt need to go to heaven or even to exist. Since it is not needed, one loses nothing. The same thing can be said for the wild goose chase, most people are engaged in for happiness. They want bigger houses, more expensive cars, more cash, etc. and instead of gaining happiness gain more misery. Why? Because the truth is you gain happiness by getting only what you need. Epicurus writes that those who are not satisfied with a little, will never be satisfied even with a lot or even infinity. The more you have above need, the more worry, headache and problems. This in no way is conducive to happiness. These writings are some of the most brilliant in the entire realm of philosophy. This book gets two thumbs up!
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