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Epictetus

  • Date Submitted: 02/14/2012 04:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.4 
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The God of Epictetus as Our Source for Happiness
Although the Stoic teachings of Epictetus sometimes do not seem to relate to religious teachings, the god he presents shows great similarity to the God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Epictetus’s god is portrayed as the creator of the universe, indicating just how powerful he is. His creation includes us, the humans, whom he expects much from and demands complete respect from, yet cares about greatly. God is believed to be an all-good being full of right reason. His omnipresence allows him to watch over us at all times. According to Epictetus, god is within us all, ensuring that we live our lives rationally and with right reason. Despite the close relationship we seem to have with this god, Epictetus presents a god that does not seem to answer the prayers of the pious. The characteristics of Epictetus’s god complement Epictetus’s teachings that for a happy life we must understand that there are things in life that we are not in control of.
Epictetus shows that god is indeed all-powerful, just like the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim God due to the fact that not only is he the creator of the universe, but he also controls all that is within it, including us. Epictetus states that god created the universe and has the power to control everything in it with a simple command. Nature may seem like nothing but green objects and round, fiery balls of light, but they are in fact objects completely subject to god’s power. For example, all god needs to do is command the moon to wax and wane, and it will obey (Discourses I. 14. 3-4). According to Epictetus, god holds the power of everything in his hands, including us. We, as human beings, are many times faced with difficult situations that we would not have the ability to deal with if it were not for god. In The Discourses, Epictetus states that it is god who has granted humans the faculties to overcome anything “without being humiliated or broken by it” (Discourses I. 6....

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