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Monday 14 November 2005

Both epicureanism and stoicism sought to give ataraxia , or peace of mind. For Epicurus the aim of life was pleasure; the highest pleasure was absence of pain; pleasure of the mind was preferable to that of the body.

The soul dies with the body, so we must not fear death or afterlife; the gods exist but do not concern themselves with humanity or natural phenomena (all of which can be explained scientifically); we should avoid public life and emotional commitments in order to escape the pains likely to be caused by them. The physical world was explained by the atomic theory adapted from Democritus.