So who were these groups?
The Epicureans were followers of Epicurus. His teaching was that feelings and emotions trumped everything else and that sensations, feelings and what we anticipate should be the tests we use to determine truth.
If it was pleasurable, it must be true and good. If it causes pain, then it must be bad or evil.
Pleasure was to be the chief goal in life. Freedom from pain, disturbing passions superstitious fears and the anxiety about death--In other words “If it feels good, do it!”
Epicureans were materialists and atheists at their core, so there was no outside forces to dictate right and wrong. Their lifestyle was based solely on making themselves feel good.
Stoics on the other hand rejected pagan worship and taught that the world was god. This is called Pantheism--that everything is god. That tree is god, those bushes are god. The cows are god. Their reality was based solely on logic and reason.
The most important thing in life was to follow your own reasoning. To be self sufficient. Not to need anything outside of yourself, like maybe God. They were not to be motivated by feelings or outward circumstances. Pleasure wasn’t always good and pain wasn’t always evil.
Like the intellectuals of today--the smartest people in the room and definitely smarter than you. That attitude begins and ends with pride.
These philosophies existed 1000’s of years ago and they exist today.
To show their contempt for Paul, we see the next verse...