I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

418. The Gods In Epicurus' World

The Gods In Epicurus' World

The reason or triggers to become atheistic differ, depending on the kind and trait of the deity to be discarded and the general level of available scientific knowledge.   
The question, how much Epicurus was a theist and why he did not become an atheist as would be consistent with his philosophy as expected from our modern view, can only be answered by looking at the social and intellectual background of his time.   

1.  It was during the lifetime of Epicurus, that Alexander the Great invaded territories as far away as what is now Pakistan.   Therefore his soldiers certainly brought back vague and phantastic tales of very strange people and animals like elephants in far away countries, tales of outgroups, that appeared capable of anything.   
The Greek gods had not only human bodies.  Instead of having the fame of at least being allegedly benevolent and benign, the were the representation of every atrocity, that is usually ascribed to outgroup members: cheating, killing, raping, abducting, incest, cannibalism.    These gods were predominently so evil, that humans could feel good in comparison, when in reality they were only less evil.    But these gods were also considered as so powerful, that this was an excuse to not interfere.   Usually ascribing evil to an outgroup is the justification for war, extinction, slavery.     
Some info about those gods:
Therefore it seems probable, that the Greek gods were more perceived and imagined as a special outgroup living on Mount Olympus, whom nobody ever happened to meet personally.
Even a Centaur was probably another tale from far away, comparable to the elephants, that Alexander's army did fight against.
In short, these gods were probably not perceived as divine in the same way as the christian god is by the believers.

2.  As long as the knowledge of natural phenomena and science was very rudimentary, many things were incomprehensible and unexplainable.  Nobody could explain the nature of lightning and thunder, before there was any knowledge of electricity.    Today's skeptical ability of seeing the difference between contingency, coincidence and correlation is enabled by enough knowledge of the rational distinction between natural and supernatural.    When unexplainable phenomena happen as the normal occurrence of every day life, then the difference between incomprehensible and supernatural is blurred.  

Therefore Epicurus' part of his philosophy suggesting to not be bothered about the gods is in his times as good as not believing in the existence of a god in our time.