Vatican Saying 56

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Template:Vatican Saying 56


This Saying expresses a noble sentiment of profound altruism: the wise man is so sensitive to his friend's pain that he would suffer no differently were he being tortured himself, or his friend. (Epicurus uses the graphic term strebloumenos, which means "contorted", as many methods of torture in antiquity caused excruciating pain by the forceful and protracted contortion of limbs.)

In fact, Epicurus tells us, the wise man will even lay his life down for his friend's sake. The reason is his conscience: were he to betray his friend, his entire life from that point on would be confused and inhibited by pangs of guilt for his disloyalty.

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