Epicurus and the atheist's guide to happiness - Deepstash

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Four schools of ancient Greek philosophy

Four schools of ancient Greek philosophy

Ancient Greek philosophy consists of four schools, who each proclaim that they hold the secret to a happy and fulfilled life. These schools are Stoicism, Cynicism, Skepticism, and Epicureanism.

Stoicism forms the foundation of cognitive-behavioural therapy. Scepticism and Cynicism have become diluted. Epicureanism has a modern and easy to follow "Four-Part Remedy" to life.

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Epicureans: The first atheists

Epicureans were materialists: They believed the world consisted only of atoms. There were no gods, spirits, or souls, no afterlife or immortality.

In the world of Epicureans, all there is to life is to get as much pleasure as possible and to avoid pain. The concern was with the higher pleasures of the mind. Pleasure does not come from pointless indulging but from decreasing desire to the bare minimum necessary to live.

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Epicureanism: The Four-Part Remedy

Epicureans developed the "Four-Part Remedy" to help them find solace and escape existential and spiritual pain.

  1. Don't fear God. Everything is just atoms. The afterlife will be nothingness.
  2. Don't worry about death. With no body, there is no desire, no suffering, no discontent.
  3. What is good is easy to get. Pleasure comes from basic biological desires required to keep us alive. Anything more complicated just creates pain.
  4. What is hard is easy to endure. We're seldom hungry for long.

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Practical Epicureanism

Epicureanism is about a psychological shift that life doesn't need to be as complicated as we make it. We're just animals with basic needs.

We have the tools to satisfy our desires and the resilience to endure hardships. When that fails and we're dead, we won't care.

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