Epicurean Paradox

Epicurean paradox, also known as Riddle of Epicurious or Epicurious trilemma, is a version of problem of evil, i.e. the problem of existence of evil with the existence of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God. In this paradox, questions that does God knows about all evil or not, can prevent evil or not and whether he is willing to prevent evil or not is contemplated upon on for two possible outcomes, yes or no, and each time the reasoning circles back to God not being all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful. This paradox, however, doesn’t argues against existence of God’s but rather against the divine-providences. Epicurus believed in the existence of deities, like everyone during the early Hellenistic period in Greece.

Epicurus was born in 341 BC and was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded the school philosophy, Epicureanism. He was an empiricist and was against Platonism of his days. He was inspired by Cynics and led a simple like and discussed a wide range of philosophical subjects with his followers. He believed that both body and soul died at death and hence death must not be feared.

The epicurean paradox follows a series of hypothesis and antithesis to arrive to the paradoxical conclusion. As per my understanding of Socrates, he might agree with the process of acquiring knowledge through series of question. But, Socrates believed that God is perfect and immortal and tries to make the soul as perfect as Him. But this trilemma breaks the proposition of God being perfect. Though it does not deny existence of God, it does makes out that God does not interfere with the working of human world. Epicurus did not even believed in realms and believed in only what senses can perceive. Socrates indirectly states that God does affect human realm and that there is more to world and oneself than what senses can perceive. Also, the existence of this paradox is an irony to the existence of one absolute knowledge that Socrates claimed.

As for Plato, Epicureanism was against Platonism and their thoughts differ a great degree. Plato also believed God to be real and all-powerful, all-loving ad all-knowing. He believed that ideal is real and beyond visible. His theories are also challenged through the paradox. Epicurus believed only what the senses can administer. He believed in the existence of God as He was the reason behind the infinite universe and nature but not in the way Plato did.

Aristotle and Epicurus were similar in a lot of ways. Both were empiricist and involved themselves with politics. But where Aristotle, too, believed Epicurus believed that the concept of God is different than what Aristotle believed, that God’s exist unaware of us and does not try to administer the world.

To conclude, I would like to say that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, all three of them talked a lot about and believed in existence of absolute knowledge and Good, which is often considered synonymous to God, and importance of following virtue and doing Good. They believed in existence of all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful Gods who is concerned with the working and miseries of the world, that God is perfect. Though Epicurus believed God to be ethical ideals he did away with the concept of God involving themselves with humanity and through his Problem of Evil wants to prove that only. Also, Epicurus was somewhat influenced by ideas of Socrates because of he was influenced by Cynics and Aristippus, both of which were born out of Socrates teachings. We can see how the branches of the same tree goes in different directions because of different perspective of seeing the same concept, even with reason and logic supporting them.

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