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According to anecdotal evidence, Epicurus was a piously religious Athenian, never neglecting to observe the traditional rites and ceremonies of the city. His only extant, literary references to religion are uniformly positive. He advises, however, against "the beliefs of the many", as those tend to degenerate from veneration of the gods (as correctly understood) to outright superstition.

It has been suggested that the role of religion in the Greco-Roman world was more social, cultural, and thus ceremonial, than definitive in matters of everyday morality (e.g. as has always been the aspiration of all Abrahamic religions). This liberal humanist suggestion implies that the role of making ethical judgments and setting moral standards in the Greco-Roman world may have been within the domain of philosophy, not religion.

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