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Epicurus Quotes


Ancient Greek philosopher.
(341 BC - 270 BC)

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A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs.
 

A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.
 

A strict belief in fate is the worst kind of slavery; on the other hand there is comfort in the thought that God will be moved by our prayers.
[Fate]
 

All other love is extinguished by self-love; beneficence, humanity, justice, and philosophy sink under it.
 

Among the things held to be just by law, whatever is proved to be of advantage in men's dealings has the stamp of justice, whether or not it be the same for all; but if a man makes a law and it does not prove to be mutually advantageous, then this is no longer just. And if what is mutually advantageous varies and only for a time corresponds to our concept of justice, nevertheless for that time it is just for those who do not trouble themselves about empty words, but look simply at the facts.
 

Any device whatever by which one frees himself from fear is a natural good.
 

Chance seldom interferes with the wise man; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout his whole life.
 

Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.
 

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
[Forgiveness]
 

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
 

I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know.
 

I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding.
 

I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome.
 

If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.
[Against]
 

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another.
 

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.
 

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? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
 

It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble.
 

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.
 

It is impossible for a man who secretly violates the terms of the agreement not to harm or be harmed to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for until his death he is never sure that he will not be detected.
 


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