As Epicurus describes death as the absence of pain, and most humans, with bronze-souls, will avoid bodily pain, it follows logically that we should not worry about death, it should not only mean nothing to us, but it is nothing to us because we will lose the only bad sensation and feel nothing.
I struggle with his claim is in the two ways you can interpret nothingness. "Nothing" can be interpreted through the lack of sensation. I agree here as death is literally nothing to us, where we will feel nothing and experience nothing posthumously. This interpretation is incredibly straightforward, and I believe most people would agree that our bodies become nothing after death. I disagree with Epicurus in the interpretation death should mean "nothing" to us. In his four-part cure, one of his points is not to worry about death. He believes death is an irrational fear which should not impact our lives. However, Epicurus states, "Pleasure is our first and kindred good," and since when we die we no longer feel sensation, yes we no longer feel pain, but we can also no longer feel pleasure because we cannot feel. And while Epicurus believes "certain pleasures entail annoyances... greater than the pleasures themselves," which means the fear of death is ultimately worse than actually experiencing death, it is extremely difficult for humans to combat this when pleasure is our number one priority. We think of what sounds tasty today and what professor will be friendly and an easy-grader. We are generally not thinking what might reduce pain in the future by eating foods that are healthier and taking from professors we can learn more and challenge ourselves from.
I think hypothetically, yes governments could profit by treating people as free agents because most people do not like to be micromanaged and want some sort of freedom. However, I think to treat people as rational is a little bit of a stretch. Our minds are capable of a lot, more than just a machine, so it seems like we have this freedom to make rational decisions. However, we still do immoral things like the way we reacted to the Flint Water Crisis. From birth, we are so used to following the guidance of other individuals, are parents, our teachers, our friends, and our bosses that we often forget to use our own understanding. We neglected it in Flint, yes, but we also neglect it in our day to day ethical lives. Kant wants us to have the courage to use our own understanding, but I am not sure enlightenment will ever entirely be possible. We are used to being taught and it is difficult to ignore this engrained part of society. Enlightenment is breaking free from the guidance of others, but it is unlikely we will ever fully use our understandings without at least checking in with other people. Like it or not, we tend to follow the governments lead and so I think the government will remain the most powerful if they treat us more as machines they are teaching and guiding to do things. Becoming personal with God is what prayer is all about, God knows everything you do, but through prayer and your actions, you are then to understand God. Chapter 35 says "prayer is an ascent of the spirit of god." Through prayer, one is supposed to understand themselves and seek what will give them the most spiritual of a cleanse, far from demons who want what is worst for you. The point is that with God, whom you will come to know personally on this journey, you will become the best you can be, these chapters are the guidelines. Personal prayer for someone who seeks god for refuge, for hope, for guidance, for sanity, and for power, need to connect to God, I believe that prayer is not absolutely necessary to have a "full human life", it is something that the soul of the human seeks if they wish to attain what they believe God can offer. For those who are non-religious, you can live a full life without ever seeking these offerings, for someone who wishes to have this relationship with God, these guidelines would very much help them in terms of fulfilled prayer. Just like chapter 131 talked about in question 2, wealth is not the highest of means for the Stoics. Both have practices and ways they think are best for a person to live by, the differences are evident since Stoics never turned to prayer or religion since they were mostly atheists. Other differences include spiritual goals, Stoics were spiritual but their goals were in terms of contentment and not relationships with Christ and God. Similarities are within the chapters where they explain the best ways to not let your emotions and decisions be diseased. Chapter 26 says " If you restrain your anger you yourself will be spared and in the process prove yourself too wise a man to indulge in arrogance." Chapters as such would be agreed upon in the terms of how anger is not a desired trait, it is not needed, and one should avoid it. The chapter ends by saying "Further you will be counted among the men of prayer." This here is another difference, Stoics would view anger as undesirable to their goals of virtue, Ponticus is a gnomic and his views turn to how this avoidance helps you with your belief. Although this example comes from Chapters on prayer instead of Praktikos, I think it still symbolizes the differences. Humility is something they have in common since both believe in the contentment of oneself, to be meek, to be humble with what life gives as well. On page 16 in Praktikos, number 6 explains the 'eight kinds of thoughts' being "Gluttony, Impurity, Avarice, Sadness, Anger, Acedia, Vainglory, and Pride." These are what is at the source of many sins. Repentance is widely brought upon in terms of confession for your sins and wrongdoings, to confess and to correct through belief and prayer (Chapter 7 and 8 speak on this). Humility goes hand in hand with meekness since both tend to be the most humble and content. Tears are something that usually comes about when one thinks about their past or what occurs when tragedy strikes, Ponticus explains that faith and prayer are there to help you forget and rebuild. The uniqueness here is that these are the issues that Evagrius Ponticus sees within people, but here his solution does not just come from oneself but with the connection of one with Christ and God, only then will things within your life have answers. The cynics and the stoics focused greatly on their own thoughts and desires on their journey to virtue, that they themselves could change without the need for religion. I agree with the stoics and the cynics because I don't think humans need religion to fix things within their life or to gain the answers we have questions for, this is my personal belief. Acedia is one of the 8 sins as well as fundamental passions, it is a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray. There is also the noonday demon called acedia which "is the most burdensome of all the demons." It is explained as such on page 18 that it "First it makes the sun appear to slow down or stop , so the day seems to be fifty hours long.
 Then it forces the monk to keep looking out the window and rush from his cell to observe the sun in order to see how much longer it is to the ninth [hour, i.e. 3 pm], and to look about in every directions in case any of the brothers are there.
 Then it assails him with hatred of his place, his way of life and the work of his hands; that love has departed from the brethren and there is no one to console him
 If anyone has recently caused the monk grief the demon adds this as well to amplify his hatred [of these things]
 It makes him desire other places where he can easily find all that he needs and practice an easier, more convenient craft After all, pleasing the Lord is not dependent on geography, the demon adds; God is to be worshipped everywhere.
 It combines this with remembrance of his relatives and his former way of life, and depicts to him a long life, placing before his eyes a vision of the burdens of the ascetic life. So, it employs, as they say, every [possible] means to move the monk to leave his cell and flee the racecourse.
No other demon comes immediately after this one; rather, after the struggle the soul receives in turn a peaceful state and unspeakable joy."
He insists that such disciplines as ethnology and psychoanalysis, even in their Structuralist forms, remain captive of the linguistic protocols in which their interpretations of their characteristic objects of study are cast. The Structuralist movement in general he takes as evidence of the human sciences' coming to consciousness of their own imprisonment within their characteristic modes of discourse. The two principal Structuralist disciplines, ethnology and psychoanalysis, not only comprehend the other human sciences, in the sense of transcending and explaining them; they point as well to the dissolution of belief in the "positivity" of such concepts as "man," "society," and "culture." Structuralism signals, in Foucault's judgment, the discovery by Western thought of the linguistic bases of such concepts as "man," "society," and "culture," the discovery that these concepts refer, not to things, but to linguistic formulae that have no specific referents in reality. This implies, for him, that the human sciences as they have developed in the modern period are little more than games played with the languages in which their basic concepts have been formulated. In reality, Foucault suggests, the human sciences have remained captive of the figurative modes of discourse in which they constituted (rather than simply signified) the objects with which they pretend to deal. And the purpose of Foucault's various studies of the evolution of the human sciences is to disclose the figurative (and ultimately mythic) strategies that sanction the conceptualizing rituals in which these sciences characteristically indulge themselves.
Certain forms of knowledge become popularized, and are dividing factors. They provide course frameworks or standards of knowledge. However, he does not necessarily believe they are right or wrong. Biopower shapes people to see themselves in a certain manner.