Principal Doctrine 13

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One gains nothing by securing protection from other men if he still has apprehensions about things above and beneath the earth and throughout the infinite universe.


Having discussed the individual's attempts to gain security -- a basic, natural and necessary desire -- among other people in Principal Doctrine 6 and Principal Doctrine 7, Epicurus builds a bridge across two different kinds of fears, that of potentially hostile people, and that of natural phenomena.

There is no point, argues Epicurus, in taking measures in order to feel secure from people, if one still harbors superstitious suspicions about celestial phenomena, or what lies beneath the earth, or the material world in general. Thus the riddance from fear that is needed for a truly peaceful, happy life must of necessity include freedom from all sorts of fears, both of human, and of broader, natural threats.

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