Sunday, February 06, 2005

Faith in Immortality



Where does the desire for immortality (e.g., living eternally with Jesus in Heaven ) come from? My former Cal State Long Beach Physics Department colleague, Larry Lerner, had a great quote on his office wall which provides a good answer. This is a translation of the ideas of the philosopher Epicurus:

Faith in immortality was born of the greed of unsatisfied people who make unwise use of the time that nature has allotted us.

But the wise man finds his life span sufficient to complete the full circle of attainable pleasures, and when the time of death comes, he will leave the table satisfied, freeing a place for other guests.

For the wise man, one human life is sufficient, and a stupid man will not know what to do with eternity.




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