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Edition #8
Rio de Janeiro, 2005

Internet, our greatest ally against information manipulation

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TAGS: christians, culture, philosophy, nietzsche, religion

Philosopher Epicurus is one of Plato's followers, and his philosophy is full of Platonic transpositions, but he is primarily a contradicter, as the forty years that separate him from Plato predispose him to rebellion. In Plato's time, it still seemed possible to desire the collective salvation of society. In Epicurus' time, it is only possible to desire the individual salvation of man. Freedom dies. It is a time of great oppression. All doctrines after Aristotle, Plato's heir, cease to think about the restoration of social values ​​and concern themselves only with the happiness of each man. Here lies the great revolution and the great setback of Greek thought...

Epicurus is not concerned with divine justice or model cities; he simply seeks an immediate means of saving what remains of man. Epicurus' greatness lies in having proposed not a salvation that is an escape to heaven, as Christianity will do, but an earthly realization. He does not promise heavenly wealth, wealth beyond death. Salvation does not reside in heaven, in the spirit, in death. Epicurus conveys a materialistic knowledge that only asks the body and its virtues for the secret of not dying in despair. The "Fourfold Remedy" of his Principal Doctrines was summed up in twelve Greek words meaning:

There is nothing to fear from the gods.
There is nothing to fear from death.
It is possible to attain happiness.
It is possible to endure pain.

Christian thought, which saw in Epicurean materialism an effective enemy of its doctrines and a dangerous rival to its spiritual empire, engaged in a struggle against it. Clement of Alexandria stated:

"If the apostle Paul attacks the philosophers, he only targets the Epicureans"...

This desire for nothingness on the part of contemporary man, this incorporation of vital discouragement, as if the only and best thing left were to go on surviving, is precisely what characterizes nihilism.

There is a situation by which nihilism is typically characterized: Christian morality developed in Western man an insatiable desire for truth, which ultimately turned against itself, the morality, upon discovering the unreality of the afterlife as Christianity conceives it. As Nietzsche wrote:

"When the wills become equivalent and all desire the same, when the legal and political order is understood as a means to dissolve the conflict between individuals, then the conditions for the victory of nihilism will be created." One of the most striking characteristics of this will be precisely the absence of conflict and complete anesthesia against pain. Hence, the ascetic (the priest or any other modern figure of asceticism) becomes a decisive protagonist of nihilism. Nihilism is established and becomes dominant when life, or the forms of life in societies, incorporate principles hostile to life and ultimately dissolve those very forms.

The affirmation of Christian morality is purely metaphysical. There is nothing in the realm of reality that would lead you to suppose that following the conduct suggested by Christianity is good. The only basis for this is metaphysical: Heaven or Hell.

The morality that limits actions is only the morality of resentment. Christian morality is an example of this morality; by being unable to be strong, the weak individual psychologically sabotages others, convincing them that being strong is wrong. It is precisely from there that the feeling of guilt is born.

SOURCE: The Materialists of Antiquity, Paul Nizan
On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche
(Contributed by: Victor Cavalcanti)

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