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On the Nature of Things Essay

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Author Kirk Summers discusses Lucretius' ideas on the religious traditions of his time. Epicurus' paradoxical attitude toward religious observances has fascinated scholars for a long time now. Although he dismissed most of the popular notions about the gods and their involvement in human affairs, he still encouraged his followers to participate in the traditional cults of their countries. He believed that, by engaging in popular religious activities, they would strengthen their own mental conception of the gods and thereby be better able to imitate and experience the divine blessedness. Yet, even when keeping this doctrine of imitation in view, one formidable inconsistency remains: How can an Epicurean maintain his [lack of disturbance] while praying, sacrificing, and making vows to gods who neither heed such ritualistic expressions nor are moved by them? In other words, would not the constant exposure to incorrect views about the gods and involvement in...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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On the Nature of Things from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.