Vatican Saying 16

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Template:Vatican Saying 16


Another poignant insight into human behavior: no one looks at evil, recognizes it as such, and still chooses it as a course of action. Yet many (and perhaps most) of us end up pursuing it all the same, considering it to be the lesser of evils. We are tempted to accept it as a viable choice because it seems "good" in comparison to other, far greater alternative evils.

This rather pessimistic view of the exercise of human choice is nonetheless a commonplace on the often dreary, disillusioned, grudgingly compromised landscape of Hellenistic thinking. It is not entirely clear whether Epicurus speaks here against this particular behavior, recommending some other alternative (without, however, articulating it in this Saying), or whether this is a plain statement of fact, a wry observation of humanity and its lot in life.

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