Epicurus (341–270 B.C.)


Epicurus was an Athenian philosopher, who taught his theories in a school called The Garden. He believed in Metaphysics which is the belief that our bodies are in motion and nothing comes into existence from what does not exist. He believed that the universe had no beginning, and that it will therefore have no end. Because of his theory regarding atoms, he believed that space had no end because atoms had enough space to move around. If space had an end then there would be mini microscopic bodies floating around that were made up of the atoms. He believed that, “Natural science is needed in order to give mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena and thus dispel the fear of the gods, while philosophy helps to show us the natural limits of our desires and to dispel the fear of death”(IEP).

Epicurus emphasized how people should not be afraid of death. He believed that the fear of death stemmed from people having anxiety and being afraid of the afterlife. One theory he pointed out was that when we die our atoms disperse and we become nothing. His overall view of life was that human’s ultimate goal was to aim for  happiness. This would be possible by avoiding all pain and suffering. He concluded that by making happiness a human’s ultimate goal would rid the anxiety surrounding death, since he believed that nothing happened after you died.