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Stoics and Epicureans

Updated on October 16, 2012

The Stoics and the Epicureans were both Greek divisions who had different beliefs about the universe.

According to the Stoics our universe was created and controlled completely by God, who in this time was Zeus. He ordered all things to be in the process of ultimate good will. This would then give them eudemonia, the fulfilment of life. Due to this belief; they also thought that humans had a special connection with God, such as their mind being that of God.

Even though they had such strong belief in this, they often found it difficult to overcome their desire for joy, such as pleasure, and fought with emotions such as fear and depression as well. This was known to be their obstruction to virtue.

The founder of the Stoics was Zeno of Citium, who was influenced by Socrates. He felt that humans were meant to follow God’s will, or because God was closely related as nature in that time, the will of nature.

On the other hand, the Epicureans felt differently. They taught that gods were not who were controlling the universe, or running their lives, but in fact, it was their own decisions and choices that controlled them. The Epicureans would say that we go through life by our own free will, and that it is silly to follow superstitions or be afraid of the supernatural as it only sets you back in life, so you can no longer enjoy it.

Epicurus was the founder of the Epicureans. He considered religion a form of ignorance; though he believed in the Gods, he did not believe that they had any relevance to their lives.

Despite the fact that both views of life are very different, the Stoics and the Epicureans still share the same view points in other ways; such as their belief that the end of human life is supposed to bring about the end of fear and pain so they can have a peaceful mind and spirit.


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