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  • I think I agree with elli. Re;- "These deities are described in the Theogony and Metamorphosis as having identical emotions as mortal beings". Surely that is because some of them are personifications of natural psychological forces, isn't it? Others may also be personifications of natural physical forces, such as storms and earthquakes (Poseidon). As we know, now, the emotions are mediated by the limbic system, which evolved before the cortex, in order to preserve cellular homeostasis. Of cours…
  • I may be wrong about any of this. As I have said elsewhere, I'm not an expert. I am not aware of the point of view that says 'Aristotelian biological thought was an impediment to the advancement of biology', but it may be so. Aristotle wasn't really a scientist. Science, as we now know it, only started much later, probably in the 'Enlightenment'. But certainly not before Francis Bacon. The existence of atoms, as understood in the modern physical/chemical sense, as opposed to Epicurean 'atoms', w…
  • Matthaeus, Re;- "If you read further up the thread you’ll see that there are three positions modern Epicureans take on the gods issue. Two of which posit that the gods do not actually exist and one (the Traditional view) that they fundamentally do exist". Yes, I see that now. As I am new to the site I'm still trying to find my way around it. I don't know exactly how Epicurus thought of the gods,or how modern Epicureans think of them. I suppose I haven't read enough about it. I know that I prefe…
  • For me the most important thing about Epicurus' and the gods is that he said there is no need to be afraid of them. Whether he contradicted himself, or not, I can't decide. We know so little about the actual life of Epicurus. He was chased out of Mytilene (Lesbos), apparently in some danger to himself. I don't know the exact reasons for that. I don't know whether anyone else does. But it indicates to me that he probably did have to be a bit careful about what he said, especially given that his …
  • Also, I think I read somewhere that Epicurus also said that dreams are made of atoms, didn't he? (or did I imagine that, or dream it?). So the gods were made of the same stuff as dreams? We still don't really fully understand dreams, in terms of neurobiology (at least, I don't). Some of us now probably think that dreams, thought, feelings, emotions, etc, are holistic properties of the functioning of the brain, probably connected with processes dealing with the sorting of memories and emotions. …