What do you all think about Epicureanism?

I’m reading about him now. He had some interesting ideas, and seems to make sense, assuming one emulates him, rather than extrapolating on his ideas and going nuts.

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It is a materialist view, therefore wrong view.

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Perhaps, Epicurus’ reasoning on evil led him to a sort of a nihilist.

In Letter to Menoeceus , Epicurus makes the point that death is ". . . of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist.

His famous reasoning about evil in creationism has kept him alive in philosophy.

“Is God willing to prevent evil , but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing?

The Buddha also pointed out ‘evil’ as a problem to accept God and creation. There is even a book (haven’t read it yet) - The Silence of God: The Answer of the Buddha - Google Zoeken
Ancient Greek philosophers might know Buddhism, but uncertainty is whether Buddhism sufficiently reached ancient Athens. Many Greeks were Buddhists Ancient Greek Buddhism - Relational Buddhism & Karma Transformation

Nature of the Problem - PHILOSOPHY DUNGEON writes:

However, there have been a number of solutions to the Logical Problem of Evil:

  • Dystheism is the belief that God is not wholly good
  • Process Theology is the belief that God is not (yet) entirely omnipotent.
  • Other solutions (theodicies) try to show that there is no logical contradiction between the idea of God and the existence of evil.

Darwinism is also a reaction to Epicurus.


Buddhism’s solution to the Problem of Evil is the most radical of all: evil doesn’t exist because we ourselves do not really exist; if there are no persons, then no persons can be suffering. Buddhism aims to show that evil is an illusion by showing the persons are illusions too.

This is propaganda of humanists: The dark side of Buddhism | New Humanist

…the Dalai Lama manoeuvres his audience into a position where his conclusion seems inevitable…
At the end of the day, it’s still true that, in many respects, Buddhism maintains its moral edge over Christianity or Islam handily. That instinct for proselytising unto war which has made both of these religions such distinctly harmful forces in the story of mankind is nowhere present. But, the drive to infect individuals with an inability to appreciate life except through a filter of regret and shame is perhaps even more dangerous in Buddhism for being so very much more subtle…

Meditations, Teachings and Retreats at Athens Theravada Centre


Ultimately, of course it’s a wrong view, however, they do share some points. The Buddha taught atomism, as did Epicurus, for example:

It should be noted that the atomic theory prevailed in
India in the time of the Buddha. Paramàõu was the ancient
term for the modern atom. According to the ancient belief
one rathareõu consists of 16 tajjàris, one tajjàri, 16 aõus;
one aõu, 16 paramàõus. The minute particles of dust seen
dancing in the sunbeam are called rathareõus. One paramàõu is, therefore, 4096th part of a rathareõu. This paramàõu was considered indivisible.
With His supernormal knowledge the Buddha analysed this so-called paramàõu and declared that it consists
of paramatthas—ultimate entities which cannot further be
-Narada Thera, A Manual of Abhidhamma, page 318

They also both were realists, and rejected phenomenalism, extreme relativism, and subjective idealism, and similar ideas, and believed that the things we experience are conventionally real, and what ultimately exists, truly, and mind independently, from their own side, is Paramattha dhammas, which Epicurus, and his predecessor, Democritus, called atoms, and ancient Indians called Paramanu:

By convention sweet, by convention bitter, by convention hot, by convention cold, by convention colour: but in reality, atoms

Epicurus’ theory of perception should be interpreted as a version of direct realism.
-Bridger Ehli


The entities of our everyday frame of reference
possess merely a consensual reality derivative upon the foundational
stratum of the dhammas. It is the dhammas alone that possess ultimate
reality: determinate existence “from their own side” (sarúpato) independent of the mind’s conceptual processing of the data.
Such a conception of the nature of the real seems to be already implicit
in the Sutta Piþaka, particularly in the Buddha’s disquisitions on the
aggregates, sense bases, elements, dependent arising, etc.,
-Bhikkhu Bodhi, A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, page 3

This theory ensures that the object of direct and immediate
perception is not an object of mental interpretation but something that is
ultimately real.
-Karunadasa, Y. Buddhist Analysis of Matter, pp. 149.

Thus the Theravādins were able to establish the theory
of direct perception of the external object despite their recognizing the
theory of momentariness.
-ibid. page 146

They also both acknowledged the gods, but declared them not worthy of worship, nor obedience, and instead reduced them to simpler beings than the utterly omnipotent source, and maintainer of all things that others generally make them.

So, we say that the Buddha’s teachings are supreme, of course, but we might note that Epicurus came to some similar conclusions about reality, which is interesting.

Smallest are the four mahabhuta rupa kalapa. Space is rupa too as emptiness. Mahabhuta rupa kalapa - Google Zoeken

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