In the epicurean paradox, Epicurus' states that God is malevolent if he is 'able' to get rid of evil but isnt 'willing'. Epicurianism was developed around 370 BC by Epicurus, this is the theoretical paradox of God: "God either wants to eliminate bad things and cannot, or can but does not want to, or neither wishes to nor can, or both wants to and can. We have to presume that God is neither willing nor able to help us live together in respect and harmony. Also, he didn't deny the existence of God/gods, and he wasn't complaining about the existence of bad things. Your email address will not be published. Is he both able and willing? [9] His Letter of Menoeceus and surviving fragments of his other writings strongly suggest that he had extensive training in rhetoric. If you're not familiar with it, here's how it goes: Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want … No one can refute or deny your thoughts here Peter. So essentially, under the Christian belief, God satisfies the expectations Epicurus has of God, as He has the power to stop evil and will stop evil when the time is right. No. Would you like to use your freedom to choose/ free will to love God by obeying his laws (1John 5:3) ? Go to # 12. What about the things larger than life itself. [93][10] Void occurs in any place where there are no atoms. [79][81] Epicurus had a low opinion of sex and marriage, regarding both as having dubious value. Vain desires include desires for power, wealth, and fame. [54] Nonetheless, anything contrary to a person's experience can be ruled out as false. Hope more are enlightened. [138] For instance, Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681), the first translator of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things into English, railed against Epicurus as "a lunatic dog" who formulated "ridiculous, impious, execrable doctrines". [138], In the seventeenth century, the French Catholic priest and scholar Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) sought to dislodge Aristotelianism from its position of the highest dogma by presenting Epicureanism as a better and more rational alternative. He was merely posing the question. Though popular, Epicurean teachings were controversial from the beginning. It just assumes that God should be stepping in, and by not doing so violates /their/ view of what God could/should do. The issue raised in Eden was: whether humans do not need God to tell them what is right or wrong. Epicurus is said to have originally written over 300 works on various subjects, but the vast majority of these writings have been lost. God’s promise to eliminate all evil in the future is recorded in Proverbs 2:21,22; and Revelations 21:2-4. Yes. Just the same…. Nonetheless, Epicurus differed from his predecessors on several key points of determinism and vehemently denied having been influenced by any previous philosophers, whom he denounced as "confused". Then he is not omnipotent. 54 in Smith's edition). Thanks for enlightening the people who interacted here. Nothing lasts forever. 'Twere meet to name all causes of a death, [138] His interest in Lucretius, however, seems to have been primarily literary and he is ambiguous about his feelings on Lucretius's Epicurean worldview. [19] Epicurus shared this view with his contemporary, the comic playwright Menander. 15. The recent pandemic called COVID 19 has brought about wide destruction to the society globally. This book, however, has not survived, nor does any other text that fully and clearly explains Epicurean epistemology, leaving only mentions of this epistemology by several authors to reconstruct it. [121] Nonetheless, Epicurus was not universally admired and, within his own lifetime, he was vilified as an ignorant buffoon and egoistic sybarite. The Bible mentioned in Psalms that “man’s heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Go to #8. [131] The first scholarly dissertation on Epicurus, De voluptate (On Pleasure) by the Italian Humanist and Catholic priest Lorenzo Valla was published in 1431. [131] Valla made no mention of Lucretius or his poem. I am courteous and therefore have to take your information as accurate, even if I have never seen such an assertion before. [39][40] Epicurus was an ardent Empiricist;[15][42][43] believing that the senses are the only reliable sources of information about the world. Consider what the paradox says in the very first sentence: either God cannot abolish evil or God chooses not to. The Epicurean paradox or riddle of Epicurus or Epicurus' trilemma is a version of the problem of evil. Go to # 27. Choices have consequences, as most of us know from life experiences. [29] However, clear evidence of an Epicurean hero cult, as well as the cult itself, seems buried by the weight of posthumous philosophical interpretation. [140] That same year, John Dryden translated the celebrated lines from Book II of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things: "'Tis pleasant, safely to behold from shore / The rowling ship, and hear the Tempest roar. It is not after the lesson that enjoyment comes: learning and enjoyment happen at the same time. In divers cases. It was instigated by a rebellious angel, Satan. [131] Instead, he presented the treatise as a discussion on the nature of the highest good between an Epicurean, a Stoic, and a Christian. [124] The Romans therefore often stereotyped Epicurus and his followers as weak and effeminate. Justice, Epicurus said, is an agreement neither to harm nor be harmed, and we need to have such a contract in order to enjoy fully the benefits of living together in a well-ordered society. Go to # 14. Time was needed to resolve this issue. While not stopping all sorts of evil now, God does not allow his true followers to be tested by evil beyond what they can bear. Aristotle said some things "depend on us" (eph'hemin). He claimed that if God cannot stop evil then he is not all-powerful (omnipotent). [57] Lucretius writes in On the Nature of Things, as translated by William Ellery Leonard: There be, besides, some thing (Genesis 3:1-6,19; John 8:44) After the rebellion in Eden, the Bible teaches that man caused evil to himself and others. [30] Epicurus never married and had no known children. (b) love of fellow humans. Their children, now imperfect, would have choices: to serve God/or not; to choose life or death. Going beyond these limits produces unnecessary desires, such as the desire for luxury foods. “God,” he says, “either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able.”. “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Go to 27. I consider the genuine (not imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. 4.The Bible teaches that the first evil (death) was caused by the rebellion in Paradise. [82] Instead, he maintained that platonic friendships are essential to living a happy life. This world has good in it. [138] These works, together with Charleton's Epicurus's Morals (1658), provided the English public with readily available descriptions of Epicurus's philosophy and assured orthodox Christians that Epicureanism was no threat to their beliefs. Would it have been better for God to have created humans without freedom to choose/free will? [145], The only fragment in Greek about this central notion is from the Oenoanda inscription (fr. Go to # 9. 9. He derived much of his physics and cosmology from the earlier philosopher Democritus (c. 460–c. [21] Epicurus's opposition to Platonism formed a large part of his thought. Love itself proves Gods existence. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei : God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. (Genesis 3:1-5). Go to #4. No. No. To state—but rather several, whereof one Go to 24. Go to 14. Our choice is sure to follow. God wants a free man for some reason; evil and suffering are a side effect of this freedom. And he is not the owner of an oil well or a coal plant, complete with vested interests. (Genesis 2:10-15) He also gives rain and sunshine even to unrighteous ones. Go to # 18. [137] Even the liberal religious skeptics who might have been expected to take an interest in Epicureanism evidently did not;[137] Étienne Dolet (1509–1546) only mentions Epicurus once in all his writings and François Rabelais (between 1483 and 1494–1553) never mentions him at all. Then why call him God? [9] As such, according to Norman Wentworth DeWitt, "it is inconceivable that he would have escaped the Platonic training in geometry, dialectic, and rhetoric. Yes. Then he is malevolent. “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? [138] The Royal Society, chartered in 1662, advanced Epicurean atomism. [71], The Tetrapharmakos presents a summary of the key points of Epicurean ethics:[72], Although Epicurus has been commonly misunderstood as an advocate of the rampant pursuit of pleasure, he, in fact, maintained that a person can only be happy and free from suffering by living wisely, soberly, and morally. [61][62] He, however, maintains that death is the end of existence, that the terrifying stories of punishment in the afterlife are ridiculous superstitions, and that death is therefore nothing to be feared. Laws that are useful for promoting happiness are just, but those that are not useful are not just. Yes. Go to #13. [138] For these scholars, however, Epicurean atomism was merely a starting point for their own idiosyncratic adaptations of it. There is no evidence that God caused the first evil. Hence, it still is conjuring a debate: whether God wishes to take away COVID, and is unable; or he is able, and unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, then why calls him God? The best known reference is in Lucretius's. 1.God exists. Epicureanism reached the height of its popularity during the late years of the Roman Republic. We now have the start of a repeat, when moderation is out of the window, along with democracy and truth. An issue of right to rule (sovereignty) was raised. [16][17][18] According to DeWitt, Epicurus's teachings also show influences from the contemporary philosophical school of Cynicism. [19] Epicurus agreed with the Cynics' quest for honesty, but rejected their "insolence and vulgarity", instead teaching that honesty must be coupled with courtesy and kindness. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is not omnipotent. [140] In 1685, Sir William Temple (1628–1699) abandoned a promising career as a diplomat and instead retired to his garden, devoting himself to writing essays on Epicurus's moral teachings. Would you like to continue? "[140] Meanwhile, John Locke (1632–1704) adapted Gassendi's modified version of Epicurus's epistemology, which became highly influential on English empiricism. Go to 21. 20. [131], In spite of this, DeWitt argues that Epicureanism and Christianity share much common language, calling Epicureanism "the first missionary philosophy" and "the first world philosophy". [131] As such, while Plato and Aristotle enjoyed a privileged place in Christian philosophy throughout the Middle Ages, Epicurus was not held in such esteem. 2. [111] Later Epicureans mainly followed the same ideas as Epicurus, believing in the existence of the gods, but emphatically rejecting the idea of divine providence. It is never God’s will that man do evil. The hero cult of Epicurus may have operated as a Garden variety civic religion. "[140], The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818–1883), whose ideas are basis of Marxism, was profoundly influenced as a young man by the teachings of Epicurus[142] and his doctoral thesis was a Hegelian dialectical analysis of the differences between the natural philosophies of Democritus and Epicurus. His school was the first of the ancient Greek philosophical schools to admit women as a rule rather than an exception,[citation needed] and the biography of Epicurus by Diogenes Laërtius lists female students such as Leontion and Nikidion. Would it have been better if God killed the first rebels–Satan, Adam & Eve started all over again? Although food is necessary, luxury food is not necessary. then is he malevolent. [140] Nonetheless, there are a few indications from this time period of Epicurus's improving reputation. Just a few centuries before the first Palm Sunday, Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) Go to 20. "[90] Like Democritus before him, Epicurus taught that all matter is entirely made of extremely tiny particles called "atoms" (Greek: ἄτομος; atomos, meaning "indivisible"). Epicurean Paradox The problem of evil, also known as the Riddle of Epicurus, states: If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to Then He is not omnipotent. One might reasonably have expected Him to have intervened during the massive slaughters of two world wars, but no. For prove thou mayst he perished not by steel, Through the centuries there is no evidence of the intervention of God in human affairs. (Εἰ καλῶς εἴρηται τὸ λάθε βιώσας, An recte dictum sit latenter esse vivendum) 1128c; cf. Evil is a necessary tool. If the 1st evil was not caused by God, humans, or angel, then it could have been caused by natural disasters, or disease. Actually, Epicurus was a Greek, so he wasn't considering the God of the bible. 3.A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils. As a former Christian Fundamentalist I do rightly understand Epicurus. Refuting the Riddle of Epicurus The statement in question is often used by atheists to refute the notion of God being concerned over man's fate and being able to overcome evil. Go to # 4. No. The “Epicurean paradox” is a version of the problem of evil. [83] One of the quotes from Epicurus recorded in the Vatican Sayings declares, "In other pursuits, the hard-won fruit comes at the end. Like Aristotle, Epicurus was an empiricist, meaning he believed that the senses are the only reliable source of knowledge about the world. 1:11 ). So as if we are in a excruciatingly painful season of evil, like all seasons, it’ll pass eventually, if we hope and continue to live. Through the centuries there is no evidence of the intervention of God in human affairs. [131] As such, Christian writers such as Justin Martyr (c. 100–c. Diogenes Laertius, Book IX, Chapter 11, Section 64. [131], In 1417, a manuscript-hunter named Poggio Bracciolini discovered a copy of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things in a monastery near Lake Constance. One of his earliest laws could have prevented death, the 1st evil. Go to # 6. And therefore exists because of the good. [98] He held that there are two kinds of motion: the motion of atoms and the motion of visible objects. "[64] He also wrote that a single good piece of cheese could be equally pleasing as an entire feast. [112] The Letter to Pythocles, written by a later Epicurean, is dismissive and contemptuous towards popular religion[112] and Epicurus's devoted follower, the Roman poet Lucretius (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC), passionately assailed popular religion in his philosophical poem On the Nature of Things. It was a paradox 2300… [121] Gordon characterizes anti-Epicurean rhetoric as so "heavy-handed" and misrepresentative of Epicurus's actual teachings that they sometimes come across as "comical". Epicurus permitted that any and every statement that is not directly contrary to human perception has the possibility to be true. "[127], Epicureanism was a notoriously conservative philosophical school;[5][17][18] although Epicurus's later followers did expand on his philosophy, they dogmatically retained what he himself had originally taught without modifying it. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei, 13, 20-21: God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. Epicurus (Ancient Greek: Ἐπίκουρος, romanized: Epíkouros;[a] 341–270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. It is a famous argument made against the existence of the all-loving, all-powerful God, and it applies only to theistic religions. Would you like to be a robot, or loved by a robot? "[84][85] He also taught that philosophy is itself a pleasure to engage in. I am not even an adept of some denomination Epicurus paradox is a paradox for antique deity, not monotheistic God Yes. Your definition of evil is question begging. 23. Read Romans 15:4; Psalm 65:2; 119:2,93, 105; 1Peter 5:6,7 [119][120][121] Diogenes Laërtius records that the number of Epicureans throughout the world exceeded the populations of entire cities. Quiet to the Sound of Many Waters, Listen to the Wind.. Rejoice in the Wisdom of Gods presence. Go to # 20. Is he both able and willing? [138] They came to exert profound influence on later writings about Epicurus. 165 AD), Athenagoras of Athens (c. 133–c. Also, very importantly, at rare points in human history, intense prayer by devotees of God have led to Avatars take form like the Narasimha Avatar and, in this case, kill the evil doer who was harassing the devotee. [116][62] More original writings of Epicurus have survived to the present day than of any other Hellenistic Greek philosopher. The source of Gods existence is all around us. 14. [140], Around the same time, the Epicurean injunction to "live in obscurity" was beginning to gain popularity as well. Should God stop all evil now in this present system of things? Please forgive my typos. [22] Although later texts, such as the writings of the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero, portray Epicureanism and Stoicism as rivals,[22] this rivalry seems to have only emerged after Epicurus's death. God became man and lived with him. God is Almighty. His teachings gradually became more widely known in the fifteenth century with the rediscovery of important texts, but his ideas did not become acceptable until the seventeenth century, when the French Catholic priest Pierre Gassendi revived a modified version of them, which was promoted by other writers, including Walter Charleton and Robert Boyle. Then whence cometh evil? Go to 27. Study and learn more about the amazing God of the Bible. [99] Democritus had described atoms as not only eternally moving, but also eternally flying through space, colliding, coalescing, and separating from each other as necessary. No. Flavius Philostratus, Vita Apollonii 8.28.12. The Epicurean paradox or riddle of Epicurus also known as Epicurus' trilemma is a type of problem of evil. According to Epicurus, death is the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. [31][32], Diogenes Laërtius records that, according to Epicurus's successor Hermarchus, Epicurus died a slow and painful death in 270 BC at the age of seventy-two from a stone blockage of his urinary tract. Throughout the Middle Ages Epicurus was popularly, though inaccurately, remembered as a patron of drunkards, whoremongers, and gluttons. [27] Epicurean communities continued this tradition,[28] referring to Epicurus as their "saviour" (soter) and celebrating him as hero. [138] During the Protestant Reformation, the label "Epicurean" was bandied back and forth as an insult between Protestants and Catholics. A limited number will go to heaven and be kings/priests over the earth. Majority of humans have ignored God’s laws resulting in all sorts of evil. Epicurus and his followers had a well-developed epistemology, which developed as a result of their rivalry with other philosophical schools. You just have to choose. [133] DeWitt argues that Epicureanism, in many ways, helped pave the way for the spread of Christianity by "helping to bridge the gap between Greek intellectualism and a religious way of life" and "shunt[ing] the emphasis from the political to the social virtues and offer[ing] what may be called a religion of humanity. Evil exists to show the delight God and his created man may find in the alternatives to evil. scene i; c. 1607)[141] and "such an epicure was Potiphar—to please his tooth and pamper his flesh with delicacies" from William Whately's Prototypes (1646). Or make sense of a world so in need of our proper order. [58], Epicurus strongly favored naturalistic explanations over theological ones. Jesus Christ said that Satan caused the 1st evil. The world was thrown into turmoil by Hitler and the other fascists, and millions died defeating them. [138] In 1647, Gassendi published his book De vita et moribus Epicuri (The Life and Morals of Epicurus), a passionate defense of Epicureanism. These desires are inculcated by society and by false beliefs about what we need. [139] One of the most prolific defenders of atomism was the chemist Robert Boyle (1627–1691), who argued for it in publications such as The Origins of Forms and Qualities (1666), Experiments, Notes, etc. [62] In the Letter to Herodotus and the Letter to Pythocles, Epicurus summarizes his philosophy on nature and, in the Letter to Menoeceus, he summarizes his moral teachings. Our hope for our children to emerge victorious. [105], In his Letter to Menoeceus, a summary of his own moral and theological teachings, the first piece of advice Epicurus himself gives to his student is: "First, believe that a god is an indestructible and blessed animal, in accordance with the general conception of god commonly held, and do not ascribe to god anything foreign to his indestructibility or repugnant to his blessedness. 16. Whether or not God exists is probably the most important question of all human philosophy. Knowing proof of faith can be as simple as acknowledging gravity. The Epicurean paradox assumes that God does not have a higher reason for allowing us to live in a world of our own making. The omnipotence paradoxes, where evil persists in the presence of an all powerful God, raise questions as to the nature of God's omnipotence. God is all knowing. It almost leaves me to wonder, why bother believing things to stay stable, when it only take a whiff of wind to topple our “peace”. God destroyed an evil world in the days of Noah. [35] It would also indicate that he maintained an especial concern for the wellbeing of children. It is not Gods choice to live a dismal existence. [131] Nonetheless, "Epicureanism" remained a pejorative, synonymous with extreme egoistic pleasure-seeking, rather than a name of a philosophical school. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to help people attain a happy, tranquil life characterized by ataraxia (peace and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of pain). (Matthew 5:45). He then founded a school in Lampsacus before returning to Athens in c. 306 BC, where he remained until his death. [79] After one's desires have been satisfied (e.g. Go to #11. A choice exists for each of us to make sense of all that exists before us. 3. Go to 2. Yes. The Epicurean paradox or riddle of Epicurus or Epicurus' trilemma is a version of the problem of evil. (Joshua 24:15; Deuteronomy 30:19). [138], As a result of Gassendi's modifications, his books were never censored by the Catholic Church. There are other issues that need time to be resolved why God allows evil to continue for a while: (a) the issue of whether a human is serving God only for selfish interest written in Job 1:6-12; (b) to give other humans a chance to turn around their lives and be reconciled with God. [4] Epicurus grew up during the final years of the Greek Classical Period. [138] Gassendi's version of Epicurus's teachings became popular among some members of English scientific circles. Go to # 17 Go to # 22. [11][10] After the completion of his military service, Epicurus joined his family there. Majority of those who truly love God will inherit paradise earth and live there forever. (1Corinthians 10:13). The “Epicurean paradox” or “Riddle of Epicurus” is a version of the problem of evil. [15] Epicurus's philosophy was consequently more universal in its outlook than those of his predecessors, since it took cognizance of non-Greek peoples as well as Greeks. [108] Instead, he taught that the gods are morally perfect, but detached and immobile beings who live in the remote regions of interstellar space. Ask any Christian if you don’t know how to turn away from the evil God abhors. [7] Plato had died seven years before Epicurus was born and Epicurus was seven years old when Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont into Persia. [140][141] Examples of this usage include "Epicurean cooks / sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite" from William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (Act II. (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:29). Yes. No. [107][110] Epicurus maintained that the gods are so utterly perfect and removed from the world that they are incapable of listening to prayers or supplications or doing virtually anything aside from contemplating their own perfections. [62][66] Scholars first began attempting to unravel and decipher these scrolls in 1800, but the efforts are painstaking and are still ongoing.[62]. [33][34] Despite being in immense pain, Epicurus is said to have remained cheerful and to have continued to teach until the very end. Epicurus died a couple of centuries before the birth of Jesus and Christianity, so if he really is the originator of this conundrum then it isn’t specifically aimed at the Church, but it is a philosophical question which still applies to our society today. [116] Epicurus's extant writings demonstrate that he did believe in the existence of deities. The "Epicurean Paradox" June 10, 2011 04:30PM Moderator Registered: 13 years ago ... it's only until the world is remade. [140] Many thinkers with sympathies towards the Enlightenment endorsed Epicureanism as an admirable moral philosophy. Most knowledge of his teachings comes from later authors, particularly the biographer Diogenes Laërtius, the Epicurean Roman poet Lucretius and the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus, and with hostile but largely accurate accounts by the Pyrrhonist philosopher Sextus Empiricus, and the Academic Skeptic and statesman Cicero. [22][22], Epicurus's teachings caused strife in Mytilene and he was forced to leave. Has been trying to defeat God by offering mankind choices that are not and... Deities were involved in human affairs choices: to serve God/or not ; choose. 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Proverbs 2:21,22 ; and Revelations 21:2-4 was curious about the “ body-guard God ” who doesn t. /Their/ view of what God could/should do even wait for Moses to come the. Issue raised in Eden was: whether humans do not need God to created. Paradise as home to widen and care for them more than 600 laws in need of our proper.. A ) the 10 commandments, and without beginning or end did deny. Caused is a famous argument made against the existence of deities exist without good friendships are essential living... [ 4 ] Epicurus 's extant writings demonstrate that he did n't deny existence. Been trying to defeat God by offering mankind epicurus god paradox that are not useful not! Reached the height of its popularity during the nineteenth century in rhetoric it died out in antiquity!