God and Evil

Epicurus (341–270 BC) was a Greek philosopher who founded the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. Only a few fragments of his 300 works remain. Much of what is known about him derives from later followers and commentators.

For Epicurus, philosophy concerns how to attain the happy life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear—and aponia—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life with friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are measures of what is good and evil; death is the end and should not be feared; the gods neither reward nor punish; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events are based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space. Here he articulates one of the oldest arguments against the existence of God.