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8. The Stoics developed an ethical and social theory which accorded well with their general

philosophy described above. Recognizing the prevalence of particular evil, they taught that men

should be tolerant and forgiving in their attitudes toward one another. They denied racial

exclusiveness and held that all men are brothers under the fatherhood of one God. Unlike their

contemporaries, the Cynics, they did not recommend that man should withdraw from society but

urged participation in public affairs as a duty for the citizen of rational mind. If the atoms were

capable only of mechanical motion, then man, who is made up of atoms, would be reduced to the

status of an automaton; and fatalism would be the law of the universe. The ethical philosophy of

the Epicureans was based upon the doctrine that the highest good for man is pleasure. The

highest of all pleasures, however, consists in serenity of soul, in the complete absence of both

mental and physical pain. Men obey these rules solely because it is to their advantage to do so.
Generally speaking, Epicurus held no high regard for either political or social life. He considered

the state as a mere convenience and taught that the wise man should take no active part in public

life.

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