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Lecture 6

CLA 203 lecture 6.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA160H1
Professor
Jonathan Tracy
Semester
Fall

Description
CLA 203 Lecture 6 Thursday, October 17, 2013 -goal of book 5: to take the gods out of the world -forces of the world are not only not divine they also possess no life or sense -everything has its fixed place in the world where it lives and grows -mind cannot exist without the body -in the body the mind is a fixed in a certain spot where it grows -forces don’t have the breath of life -took gods out of the world in 2 ways: -disproves divinity of the celestial bodies -disproving the divine creation the world -what is in it for God in terms of creation of the world? -what could mortals even offer them as gratitude for bestowing the gift of life upon us -what could have changed in the gods divine world that would cause them to feel the need to make humans (motive) -in the whole span of time that we did not exist we did not suffer therefore why create humans at all -knowledge based on phenomenon that we can see -the world we live in is very complex as is living organism so how did the Gods know to produce such as place -must have been nature herself who had knowledge already of this world to create it -statistical certainty that a world like this will come into being, just the same experiment reiterating itself over and over again -no divine creator needed, just atoms coming together in an infinite universe -refuting anthropocentric creationism -the world isn’t really perfectly made for us therefore not made for our benefit by the gods -must search for a habitable zone to live in (ancients believed the equator was too hot for humans to survive) -earth isn’t so perfect that we can just live on it without working (must work to grow food then sometimes don’t even have enough to survive) -Hesiod: said Zeus imposed hard labour on man for punishment of Prometheus’ theft of fire -Virgil: Jupiter imposed work on us to keep us from getting lazy (work is a gift) -why is there disease, death, wild animals who attack humans if world is a perfect creation for us (Lucretius) -the animals seem to have a pretty good life without all the comforts of civilization so perhaps the world was made for them -humans are helpless in infancy, in need of mothers and nurses to take care of us -extended period of helplessness in infancy as compared to animals -Epicureans much to quick to deny adaptive explanations for survival on this earth -went to far to the other extreme in attempt to deny divine creation of world -organs happen and then we start using them, organs aren’t created for a certain use that is decided later -purpose arises after -men could quench thirst long before cups invented -William Paley, Argument of Design -divine watchmaker The Epicurean Answer: -infinite space and time, over time atoms will come together to create something better like humans and animals and once they do this they will repeat the process over and over -power of infinity -existence of more than one world -highly unlikely that just this earth was created throughout the whole universe -particular configuration of atoms that created us so why would they not have created more worlds like ours other places in the universe -our world is not unique (laws of material combonation) -uniform laws that exist throughout the universe that govern atoms and how they come together -process and laws never change, are infinite -right in that there are other earth-like planets Epicurus vs. Democritus: -Dem. posited an infinite variety of atoms, infinite number of shapes and sizes -Ep. said there were infinite number of atoms but a finite set of shapes and sizes -limited number of atomic types, only way that the experiment could be repeated over and voer to create earth -not only is our world not unique but we as humans aren’t either -‘reincarnation’ -after we die somewhere out in the universe at a different time the same atoms will come
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