Epictetus
Epictetus


God Gave Us a Brain

Having such promptings and commands from God, what further can I tell you? Am I more powerful than He? Am I more worthy of confidence? But if you observe these, do you want any others besides? "Well, but he has not given these orders," you will say. Apply your best thoughts. Apply the proofs of philosophers. Apply the good things you have heard. Apply even the good things you have said yourself. Apply what you have read. Apply what you have meditated on (and you will then see that all these things are from God).

Indeed, God gave each of us a brain. He gave us each a mind, a soul and a heart. Did he give us these things so that we might go about blindly? No, Epictetus tells us God gave us Science and Philosophy for a reason. He gave us these things so that we might make informed judgments with regard to our actions. That is one reason why study of the Bible, Philosophy and Science are important.

Perhaps the greatest scientist who ever lived was Sir Isaac Newton. He believed that the study of science was the study of the "mind of God". He was a fundamentalist Christian. It is not well known that he wrote more about religion than he did mathematics, optics, astronomy, etcetera. He pursued so vigorously ideas about gravity and calculus because he believed it was the will of God that we should understand these things, and in understanding them also be able to make right decisions.

Chapter 25:

  1. More on Struggle
  2. Faculty of Understanding (25a)
  3. God Gave Us a Brain (25b)
  4. The Saturnalia (25c)
  5. Conjecture and Life (25d)
  6. Examples of Application (25e)
  7. Where to Sit in the Amphitheater (25f)
  8. Give Up the Material (25g)
Stoicism and Christianity Index

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This is a translation and explanation of the first book of the Discourses of Epictetus. His words are in regular text, comments are in bold.

Biographical Information on Epictetus


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