Vatican Saying 59

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Template:Vatican Saying 59


A simple, direct, even rustic expression of the principle underlying the Epicurean doctrine on the limitation of desires: the many often falsely believe that the stomach is insatiable. Obviously it is not; their belief is plainly wrong.

However, Epicurus may be battling an imaginary foe, a misconception, or rather a misapplication: all those folkloric expressions regarding the stomach's insatiable nature allude to the natural fact that as long as we live, we must also eat. Our stomach is thus alleged to be "insatiable" only in the sense that its function is a natural and necessary corollary to our survival (and, as such, the natural drive towards nutrition is also sanctioned among Epicurus' own, precious few natural and necessary desires). Truthfully no such iteration of folk wisdom claims that the stomach is insatiable ad hoc, per meal. Yet such expressions have sometimes been perverted to excuse, defend, or even laud gastronomic excess; pehraps this is what Epicurus had in mind with this Saying.

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