The philosophers Socrates and Epicurus both taught their students ideas and concepts which encouraged students to have different views on the nature of deity, simple living, and not fearing death. (ESSAY) Socrates and Epicurus had different teachings in regards to the human soul, which support immensely different ideas of what the pursuit should be in a person's life. Socrates, believed that the soul was immortal, he taught that the search for truth should be the most important goal in ones life, which would only be fulfilled finally after you die and the soul is released from the body. Epicurus believed that the soul was not immortal; he taught that the most important goal in life was to achieve happiness during your physical life.
The Hellenic age was characterized by the high regard for the balance of life, and for moderation in achieving it (text pg. 57). During this time Socrates a self-appointed "gadfly"(Essay), believed in superiority of argument over writing and therefore spent the greater part of his life engaging in dialogue and argument with the Athenian society, questioning their values. Socrates did not think about questions or worldly things, instead he turned all his attention inward to understanding the concepts of justice, love, and virtue, and the self-knowledge that he inculcated (Online Encyclopedia). His indomitable belief in an objective standard of mortality and intellectual order conflicted with The Athenians religious beliefs of Olympian deities (text pg.68). .
The Hellenistic Age was time of change for the Athenian culture. During this period Epicurus had taken the Cyrenaic philosophy of experience and pleasure and developed a more lofty philosophy. Since the Athens society was continually changing they attempted to make sense of what was going on in their society. Epicurus criticizes some of these attempts: The irreligious man I s not the person who destroys the gods of the masses but the person who imposes the ideas of the masses on the gods .