Some sayings of Epicurus

The blessed and important nature knows no trouble nor causes trouble to any other, so that it is never constrained by anger or favor. For all such things exist only in the mind.

Death is nothing to us: for that which is dissolved is without sensation; and that which lacks sensation is nothing to us.


It is not possible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honorably and justly, nor again to live a life of prudence, honor and justice without living pleasantly.  And the man who does not possess the pleasant life, is not living prudently and honorably and justify, and the man who does not possess the virtuous life cannot possibly live pleasantly.

No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the means which produce some pleasures bring with them disturbances many times greater than the pleasure.

Infinite time contains no greater pleasure than limited time, if one measures by reason the limits of pleasure.

He who has learned the limits of life knows that, that which removes the pain of want and makes the whole of life complete, is easy to obtain, so that there is no need for actions that involve competition.

Of all the things that wisdom requires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, the greatest is the possession of friendship.

Among desires, some are natural and necessary, some natural but not necessary and others neither natural nor necessary but due to idle imagination.

We should not spoil what we have by desiring what we have not, but remember that what we have is the gift of fortune.

The justice which arises from nature is a pledge of natural advantage, to refrain from harming one another and save them from being harmed.

We are born once and cannot be born twice, but for all time must be no more. But you, who are not master of tomorrow, postpone your happiness.  Life is wasted in procrastination and each one of us dies without allowing himself leisure.

It is not the young man who should be thought happy, but an old man who has led a good life. For the young man at the height of his powers is unstable and is carried this way and that by fortune, like a headlong stream. But the old man has come to anchor to old age as though in port ad the good things for which he hardly hoped for, he has brought into safe harbor in his grateful recollections.

We must laugh and philosophize at the same time, and do our household duties and employ our other faculties and never cease proclaiming the sayings of true philosophy.

We must try to make the ending of the journey better than the beginning, as long as we are journeying, but when we come to the end, we must be happy and content.

Let nothing be done in your life which would cause you fear, if it became known to your neighbor.

In a philosophical discussion, he who is worsted gains more in proportion, as he learns more.

The disturbance of the soul cannot be ended nor true joy created either by possession of the greatest wealth or by honor and respect in the eyes of the mob or by anything else that is associated with causes of unlimited desire.


There is a widespread quote falsely attributed to Epicurus about the problem of evil.  I once believed it was genuine; I don’t remember posting it on my web log, but I might have.

Epicurus is quoted as saying that if God is willing to prevent evil and is unable, he is not omnipotent; if he is able to prevent evil and unwilling, then he is malevoent; if he is both willing and able, whence comes evil? if he is neither willing not able, why call him God?

This quote is attributed to Epicurus as a fictional character in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.  But in fact there is no problem of evil in the philosophy of Epicurus, because he believed true evil did not exist.


The mysterious case of the totally bogus Epicurus quote by Apuleius Platonicus for egregores.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Some sayings of Epicurus”

  1. Peace&Humanity Says:

    sharing on my blog.


  2. Some sayings of Epicurus — Phil Ebersole’s Blog | Sustained Society Says:

    […] via Some sayings of Epicurus — Phil Ebersole’s Blog […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: