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Epicurus considered many, if not most beliefs held by his contemporaries as superstitions: omens, prognostications, "divine signs", and the like. As Epicurus (and, at great length, Lucretius) observed, many superstitions stem from the popular beliefs that the gods are actively involved in the everyday operations of the universe, and either favorably or adversely inclined towards particular individuals.

The chief superstition, however, according to Epicurus is the folly of immortality, as it raises unrealistic expectations that can obviously not be fulfilled, and therefore causes far more anxiety than it offers hope.

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