***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREANISM – 7/26/2014***

**This is the sixty-fifth in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicureanism. Our home base for discussion of Epicurean philosophy is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ and copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.
**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 226, and we seem to be growing by at least 30 or so each week. Welcome to all the new participants!
**Activity is picking up in the forum to the extent that I may have to change the focus of my weekly update, and comment mainly on the big threads and big events, leaving other links largely uncommented. Regardless of that, I will continue to list the main events and topics of the week here at the top of the update.

**One topic I want to be sure to highlight is the publication of a paper that Christo Yapajakis, Assistant Professor of Neurogenetics at the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, and founding member of the Friends of Epicurean Philosophy (“Garden of Athens”), gave at the 26th International Conference of Philosophy held this past week in Athens. The conference topic was “Greek Philosophy And Moral And Political Issues Of Our Global Era,’ and Dr. Yapijakis delivered a paper entitled “The Need Of The Epicurean Concept Of ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness’ in the European Union.” Dr. Yapajakis gave us permission that we repost this as widely as possible, and with help from Elli we linked and posted not only the speech but some brief comments about the reaction to it at the conference. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699084323473864/ I think it is great that we have direct communications with fans of Epicurus in his homeland, and I hope the forum will grow as a means of communication between them and fans of Epicurus across the world.

** In what was probably the most-commented thread of the week, Mark Cubbedge started a thread on the nature of the gods in Epicurean philosophy. This thread went in all sorts of directions before it was over, but it contained what I thought were excellent comments form many people on many very important topics. I probably need to start highlighting a “thread of the week,” so that if you missed it you get tipped to go back and check it. I think this week, this thread is it. Thanks Mark! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697729196942710/

** In another recent thread worth highlighting, Alexander Rios started a document in which he is summarizing his thoughts on the message of the inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699072860141677/ We’ve had some good comments on that already, but mainly I want to comment that preparing our own outline is one of the best ways to better understand Epicureanism. Epicurus himself suggested as much in the opening of his letter to Herodotus, and Thomas Jefferson showed that he knew how to summarize the philosophy in an outline he attached to his letter to William Short. I expect discussion on Alexander’s thread to continue during the week, and I hope you’ll check his example and consider following it yourself.

**Another post not to miss is that thanks to Google Street view, we have the ability to look at the location that is the most likely spot where the original garden was founded. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=298187243694424&set=gm.698333223548974&type=1 Thanks to Bryan for that.

**I want to be sure to mention that this week we saw the participation for the first time of Mr. Charis Dimitriadis, who is the writer of the book entitled : “EPICURUS – Seeking For Happiness In Everyday Life – An alternative way of life for the human of our times”. I am afraid that this book is only in Greek at the moment, but at some point maybe we will see an English translation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203918035574327&set=gm.696357870413176&type=1 I have been very impressed with Charis’ posts this week, and hope he will be back often. He was a major participant in the thread on the gods mentioned above, and his comments there are well worth reading.

**Hiram posted an article on “Reasonings About Neuroscience” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697628203619476/ which looks very good.

**Another post with some significant participation was started by M. Samson, who asked: “Dear friends, I have been reading very interesting articles about the Epicurean way of life from many of you. I have one question that has been coming to mind daily. How would Epicurus or his followers advice one to live or which attitude to adopt in a world that is full of evil and very unpleasant scenes as we have today? Thanks in advance.” I think you’ll find the responses to that post of very good quality. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696991760349787/

**If you’re not familiar with the epitaph of Seikilos, it is one of the oldest musical compositions in existence. I thank another of our Greek members whose name I cannot pronounce for reminding us of it! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/697078663674430/

** Yiannis Tsapras, another recent addition, posted an interesting video on Corneliua Castoriadis. Although Castoriadis was not explicitly Epicurean, he was an influential Greek of the mid-twentieth century and as he got older his views shifted from Marxism to views on autonomy much more consistent with Epicureanism. I suspect over time, if we continue to be able to communicate with our Greek friends, this is a name it will be useful to know about. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696179337097696/

**I want to note the existence of another Epicurean community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696724773709819/ Its leader, Nathan Hartmann, posted a nice note inviting us to visit.

**This past week included the twentieth, and I posted this excerpt from Thomas Jefferson which included the phase “The Greater Part of Life is Sunshine” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/696228283759468/ The post is really just an excerpt from Jefferson’s “Head and Heart” letter, which, once you are familiar with Epicurean themes, you will find very interesting and familiar.

** Most recently as the week wound to a close Hiram linked to an article entitled “How Can “Moral Science” Exist?” I take it from the comments that the author’s point of view is not necessarily Epicurean, but he grapples in an interesting way with issues that are important to us all. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/699030316812598/

** I know I have skipped over a lot but I want to bring this week’s update to a close on an important and positive note. We’re really seeing a lot of new people and a lot of new activity on the Forum. That is highly positive, but at the same time there are inevitably going to be some glitches, misunderstandings, and things said which will probably be regretted. Please remember that we are all new at Facebook forum communications, and most of us are also new to Epicureanism. Please give each other the benefit of the doubt and presume comments are benevolent when there is any doubt. If anything gets out of hand, please report it to the moderators and it will be dealt with. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to calibrate exactly how much spiciness to allow in the debate before things are deemed over the line. Philosophy is a rough and tumble game, but we ask that you keep your descriptions of others as respectful as possible, and that you eliminate profanity and harshness from your posting. This is FACEBOOK. It is intended to be a community of friends, and it is intended to be fun. It is focused on Epicurus and not general philosophy, but we have participants from all over just about every possible political and geographic and philosophical background you care to imagine. We have participants from the political far left to the far right, and just about all increments in between. I am not aware of too many (or any) participants who promote fundamentalist religion, but rest assured that those will come. We will try to be slow to anger and slow to remove offending participants, but please honor the “About” section and be sure that your posts are relevant to Epicurus and made in a good faith effort to discuss his philosophy constructively.

**OK that’s it for the week. Feel free to post any comments in this thread.

I apologize if I missed anyone or anything. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet word of Epicureanism by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com

PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus

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***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREANISM – 7/19/2014***

**This is the sixty-fourth in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicureanism. Our home base for discussion of Epicurean philosophy is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ and copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.
**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 199, and by the time this is posted we’ll probably cross 200. We seem to be growing by at least 30 or so each week. Welcome to all the new participants! As posted in a “sticky” notice at the top of the group, we’re planning to make a better effort in the future to make sure that new participants have a sincere interest in studying Epicurus. If you experience a delay in being approved please send a message to one of the admins.

**This week has been interesting to say the least. Last week we had a flareup in new interest, possibly as a result of the Epicureanism v Stoicism chart which is posted here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691019920946971/ The chart was linked on Reddit, and created quite a stir, which continued into the present week. Reddit is nothing if not rough-and-tumble, and we no doubt have some new readers who found the group from Reddit. There is (sad to say) a much larger community of active Stoics on the web than Epicureans, and they were *not pleased* by some of my comparisons 😉 If you like you can review their retorts here: http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/2a4r4u/epicureanism_v_stoicism_a_comparison_chart_with/ I intend to keep working on the chart to refine it, and I may even add a new column to include and respond to some of their retorts. In the meantime, I stand by the summaries as documented by the cites that are included at the bottom of the chart. And I still have 40% of Marcus Aurelius left to go to add to it! 😉

**As the week ended on my last update, I missed including Elli P’s “Why did the chicken cross the road?” post. Mea maxima culpa. Here it is with top billing this week, and take my word for it the discussion went in many different directions. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203864743002046&set=gm.693143874067909&type=1

** Before I turn to some of the more controversial postings this week, let me mention two entirely positive links, The first was a thread on words that have special meanings in Epicureanism. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695423193839977/

** And in what may be one of the more enjoyable threads of the week, Elli has started a discussion on our favorite pieces of music (hopefully linkable on youtube)! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695972663785030/

**Our first hint of the sparks that were to fly was a post by Lopunis R. about the birthday of “John Dee” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=515031591931396&set=gm.693488820700081&type=1 Apparently Mr. Dee was a big fan of mathematics, which Epicurus was not. So Mr. Dee was awarded a fake cake 😉

**In what was probably a response to some of the discussion that followed, Elli posted a graphic of Epicurus saying “I was never anxious to please the mob. For what pleased them, I did not know, and what I do know was far removed from their comprehension.” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203871071800262&set=gm.693560854026211&type=1

** On July 12 Raajan S. posted about how it was high time for humanity to follow the teachings of Epicurus *and* Marcus Aurelius. As you might expect, that produced a resumption of the sparring between Epicureanism and Stoicism. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693090280739935/

**The next day I posted a link to John Adams agreeing with Thomas Jefferson that Plato was not to be admired. Adams said, upon reading Plato, “My disappointment was very great, my Astonishment was greater and my disgust was Shocking.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693675107348119/

**Later that day Elli posted an excerpt from a writing by Dimitris Altas, a member of the Epicurean group in Thessalonika, on Epicurus v. Aristotelian logic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693572477358382/

**Christos T. posted a link regarding Lucretius and a theory of how life spreads in the universe (Panspermia): https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693615684020728/
**Hiram posted a link on the book “Buddha’s Brain” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693478617367768/
**Alexander R. posted a link on “God and the Atom,” a history of Atomism https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693929320656031/
** Elli posted to a link on an optical illusion, which gave us an opportunity to discuss the Epicurean view on those and the senses https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203874403163544&set=gm.693808380668125&type=1
** I posted a reference to an important section of Jefferson’s “head and heart” letter that has direct application to our discussion of the role of “reason” in life https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693657707349859/
** Tom Merle posted a link to a Sam Harris quote — and then forgot he posted it! 😉 https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693946717320958/
**Raajan S. posted a link about combining the best from many different philosophies, which generated an interesting discussion on eclecticism which I think was very good. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693926677322962/
** A new member, Harald Z, posted a link about joining the group and his interest in philosophy. I hope all new members will consider posting something similar as it’s a great way to get to know new people and discuss new things. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694313577284272/

**Teddy M., another new member, posted a link to a youtube recording of a classroom presentation on Epicureanism. There is some good stuff here and the professor is an entertaining speaker. I think he does a particularly good job in pointing out differences between Epicurus and Aristotle and Plato. I would warn you, however, against relying too heavily on this brief presentation, just like I would warn you about ANYONE’s commentaries. It is always best to go right to the texts for the greatest accuracy. In this case, I have a particular problem with the fact that the professor skipped right over much of the critical points on the nature of knowledge. He also dismisses out of hand Epicurus’ physics, and thereby almost guarantees that his students will not find out the critical methods of reasoning that underlay the philosophy. He also makes several cheap jokes at Epicurus’ expense (“He’s not the kind of guy who actually *does* anything); in general he often sacrifices accuracy in favor of making a joke. He also leads his students into thinking Epicurus was much more of an ascetic than he actually was. In general and as a quick introduction, this presentation is not bad. Just understand that what you about to hear is the conventional viewpoint on Epicureanism, and it incorporates the standard academic criticisms without giving the response Epicurus would have given. Be prepared to verify the details for yourself, and don’t rely on this presentation for an accurate view of the big picture either. For a more serious and more accurate introduction, be sure to check out Norman DeWitt’s “Epicurus and His Philosophy.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694691653913131/
** Teddy M. also started discussion on whether there were any novels with Epicurean themes. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694444600604503/

** As discussion about the role of reason and Epicureanism got warmer, I posted several key quotes from Lucretius on the topic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694766327238997/
** Harald Z also started a discussion about some eastern views and whether they were relevant to Epicureanism https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694664310582532/

** Elli posted to a graphic of an Epicurean saying: “The study of nature does not make men who are fond of boastering and chattering, or who show off their education that impresses the many, but rather men who are strong and self-sufficient, and who take pride in their own personal qualities, not in those that depend on extraneous things.” This was NOT randomly selected! 😉 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203894565347586&set=gm.695021340546829&type=1

**And then on July 16, Alexander R. posted a link on Epicureanism and naturalistic traditions, and the sparks started to fly. If you’ld like to observe a debate about Epicurean views on nature of the gods, this is your thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694695913912705/

**Later that day Tom M. posted a comment about a politician talking about “the tranquility of the global community” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694583967257233/

**Helen S. posted an interesting thread about getting into reading classical Greek or Latin. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/694122310636732/

**On July 17 also a discussion was started on how a member first was introduced to Epicurus – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695131123869184/

**Discussion continued on the nature of the gods with a post about Dirk Obbirk’s book “Philodemus On Piety” on the fragments of that work that are left. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695089100540053/

**Hiram posted a link to the “Becoming Minimalist Newsletter” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695143173867979/

** Tom posted a link on the “Town of Greece” in the united states and its decision to start a board meeting with an “invocation” by an atheist. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695134720535491/

**Another new member, Will Osborne, introduced himself and his current reading. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695094803872816/

**Raajan S. posted a link to an article on “An Epicurean Guide to Happiness” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695549037160726/

**Yiannis T. posted a link to the Epicurus entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/695409470508016/

** Elli posted to a quote from Menander comparing Epicurus to Themistocles, saying one had saved Greece from slavery and the other from stupidity. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203908440774463&set=gm.695809143801382&type=1

** Long-time member Brian posted a document which is color-coded as a method of assisting in reading Lucretius’ poem. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/694429283939368/
** Elli posted to a Greek reading of the Hypocratic oath as an example of what the language of Epicurus sounded like in the ancient world. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203882805613600&set=gm.694309053951391&type=1

**OK that’s it for the week. Activity in the group is really picking up, but I am going to do my best to stay on top of it. Feel free to post any comments in this thread.

I apologize if I missed anyone or anything. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet word of Epicureanism by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com

PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus

***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREANISM – 7/12/2014***

**This is the sixty-third in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicureanism. Our home base for discussion of Epicurean philosophy is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ and copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.

**This week we had approximately 40 new participants in the group, bringing the group total to 168. Welcome to all the new participants!

**Last week when I wrote the weekly update I had no idea we were about to have such an active week. Let me address the cause in general fashion:

** I see the purpose of this group as a place for fans of Epicurus to discuss his philosophy, have fun, and learn more about how we can apply Epicureanism to our lives. This is not a cult; not an indoctrination camp; but most of all a place to potentially make new friends and learn while we study and discuss the topic of Epicureanism.

It is inevitable, and in very much desirable, that those who come to an Epicurus page like this are going to have widely varying amounts of background in philosophy in general and Epicureanism in particular. I thinki it’s clear that we want that — there is no way to expand our circle if we limit it to those who are already experts in these issues.

One side-effect of that, however, is that we are going to see many people who combine accurate ideas with Epicurus with inaccurate ideas; people who know about Epicurus by reputation, but not by reading what he actually said. Again, that’s to be expected and is desirable.
It’s interesting to note that most people already have enough information to know that Epicurus was not in favor of “wine, women, and song” – most people know that his philosophy entailed and effort to life happily without suffering the consequences of irrational desires. But THERE’s the rub – most people also know that Stoicism taught something similar, and they have a vague idea that Stoics and Epicureans were essentially the same. They think that both focused on “holding in” or “suppressing” strong emotions, because that is what they understand the word “stoicism” to mean. And many people are familiar with one of the most famous emperors of Roman History, Marcus Aurelius, who was renowned as a good man – a philosopher-king, which all rulers should wish to emulate. And they understand Aurelius’ brand of “toughing it out under adverse circumstances” to be the meaning of Epicureanism.

For those who are simply seeking to escape the world of dogmatic religion, knowing that Aurelius was a “pagan” and held views that sound familiar from Mr. Spock is “good enough.” They think this is such a refreshing change from the mindless religions of today that this is all they need to know, and it makes no sense to dig any deeper into ancient arguments that nobody cares about and that can have no possible relevance to their lives today.
And that is where “most people” are wrong.

The great issues of life that confront us today hardly need repeating: (1) Is there a god who rules the universe? (2) What is the nature of our soul? (3) What happens to us at death? (4) Do we cease to exist or is there reward or punishment in heaven? (5) While we are alive, what should be our goal in life? (6) How should we think; what is the role of “reason”; can we live by emotion? What is “truth” anyway? (7) Is our world stable and knowable and can we reasonably plan to live happily, or is all the world a flux that is totally irrational and could pop out of existence at any moment? If so, what’s the use of living? (8) Do we really have any control over our lives, or are we “fated” or “determined” to suffer a destiny which we could not change if we tried?
Despite what you may think; despite all you may have read in commentaries and summaries – what you need to know is that Epicurus gave answers on these questions that are vitally and essentially DIFFERENT from the answers which Marcus Aurelius or the other ancient Stoics would have given.

And you will never know these differences unless you study these things for yourself.
I will not attempt to dig deeper into this here – that is what I did this past week in my “Epicureanism v. Stoicism” chart which was discussed here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691019920946971/

It’s not necessary that you agree with the opinions listed under Epicurus; it’s not necessary that you disagree with those listed under Stoicism. But what I do urge you to do is to read the chart, then ** check the cites listed to support each one ** and judge for yourself where YOU stand on the issues.
It is quite possible that you will disagree with some of what I have included about Stoicism. There is a large community of modern-day Stoics who object strenuously every time anyone suggests that the Stoics advocated the suppression of emotion. But again, judge for yourself by reading the quotes from the Stoics themselves which I have listed in the notes.

In my view these issues are the heart of what people need to know about to live their lives better. And in my view the answers given by Epicurus were head-and-shoulders superior to the answers of the Stoics. I pledge that I will always approach these issues and discussions as charitably and agreeably as possible, but I also pledge this: These issues are at the heart of Epicureanism, and I will work as hard as I can so long as I am associated with this topic to make sure that a fair, accurate, and sympathetic presentation of Epicurus’ position is available to those who sign on to the group to discuss it.
END of Sermon! 😉
Before I turn to the other posts of the week, I want to also remind everyone that the new site dedicated to providing the full text of Lucretius “On The Nature of Things” is up and live here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691528494229447/ This makes the first time I am aware of that good authoritative versions of Lucretius can be accessed and cut and pasted for easy use, and I hope you will take advantage of it. These texts have already been available in PDF form, and in EPUB in my Elemental Epicureanism ebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/ElementalEpicureanism/ but easy access via HTML webpage makes it universally more accessible.

This week’s update will be prohibitiively long if I try to address every post. Let me say in summary that we had a number of active new members this week who have contributed very much. Even when they post something which is not orthodox Epicureanism, the discussion gives us an opportunity to flesh out the whys and wherefores, and that is very valuable. Special thanks this week to new participants Raajan Soni, Natalie Samarcande, Lopunis Rajah, and Helen South, and Mitja Makuc. None of these were known to us only a short time ago, but I know I appreciate their participation.

And of course our regulars deserve thanks as well – Ilkka, Tom, Hiram, Brian, and many others. And of course Elli Pensa, who has single-handedly (with many others in the background of course) shown us that passionate appreciation for the philosophy of Epicurus remains strong in his homeland.

I do want to mention specially that there was particular discussion of the location of Epicurus’ house in Athens, and the pledge of the Athenian mayor to work on a memorial of some sort there https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692116254170671/

Hiram posted on a book give-away: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692579350791028/

Elli posted on a list of classic books https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/690531620995801/

Hiram set up a group for Spanish-speaking Epicureans: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/690591430989820/ Again a special word of thanks to Hiram here. Many of us will always be limited to the world of English-Speakers. Hiram can perform a critically important role for millions of people who would never otherwise hear an advocate of Epicureanism. And also in reference to Hiram, he set up an “Ask the Author” section at GoodReads https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691361910912772/

Here is a link to my post that launched the “Epicureanism v Stoicism” comparison chart: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691019920946971/

I am skipping over several general posts but one that generated a particularly strong discussion was Lopunis Rajah on Nietzsche: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=513364175431471&set=gm.691670944215202&type=1

Helen South, who makes particularly interesting posts and will be a great contributor if she can put up with Mr. Curmudgeon (which I hope by now Tom knows is an endearing name) posted on Julius Caesar https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/691617894220507/

Natalis Samarcande posted about plans for weekly meditations in Athens https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692519574130339/

For those interested in political theory I posted what I considered a particularly strong contrast between the ideas of Cicero and those of Epicurus: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692270137488616/

Given the rest of the background this week, my post about a passage from Martha Nussbaum probably got lost, but it was good to see it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/690929300956033/

Lopunis posted some pictures relevant to Athens https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/693004357415194/

Hiram posted a thread on “transhumanism” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692742464108050/

Elli posted a video on “Why Greece?” which is on my things-to-watch list https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692995230749440/

And Hiram posted a link to an article on the French banning of burqas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/692715524110744/ I won’t comment on that further here, but the issue of growing religious intolerance in the world (and I don’t mean by those who would *ban* the burqua!) is a matter of huge future concern. And for some of us in some parts of the world, the future is now.

OK That’s it for this week. Best wishes for a good week, and we hope to see you regularly in the Facebook Forum.

I apologize if I missed anyone or anything. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet word of Epicureanism by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com

PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus

***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREANISM – 7/5/2014***

**This is the sixty-second in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicureanism. Our home base for discussion of Epicurean philosophy is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ Copies of these posts are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com. Please consider joining us on the Facebook forum so your facebook feed will be updated with the most recent postings.

This week was very active, as our numbers continue to grow and new posters start their own discussions. We had so many good posts that I don’t have time to comment much other than for listing the highlights of the week, which include:
**Helen S. from Australia pointed out that our book list was in poor shape, and that led to discussion and improvements documented here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/687245311324432/
**Based on the discussion last week about suggested topics, I updated a file in the FILES section: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/687287194653577/
**Panagiotis A. started a good discussion on autarchy vs autarky: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/687287194653577/
**I added a post this week highlighting Frances Wright’s discussion of the difference between the Epicurean concept of “virtue” vs other philosophies, particularly the Stoics: http://newepicurean.com/frances-wright-on-epicurean-virtue-vs-virtue-in-the-other-philosophies/
** Ilkka posted on his Menoeceus blog: Philosophy as Mental Hygiene https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/687854961263467/
**Ilkka posted again, and Hiram posted to our group, on “Why do we need to practice philosophy?” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/687890711259892/
**Tom M. posted a link to “What god does to your brain.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/687959037919726/
**Raajan S., one of our new friends, posted an excellent post on Epicureanism as a way of life: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/687966747918955/
**Hiram posted a topic list for upcoming editions of “Happy Twentieth” and invited submissions for publication: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688330924549204/
**Hiram posted a link to “A Green Hereafter” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688365734545723/
**Raajan S. again posted, this time to an article on Stoicism. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688432751205688/ I will take the liberty of includind here by response: “I would add to the list of why Stoicism is relevant to the modern world is that it helps us as Epicureans explain our *correct* viewpoint about the role of “virtue” and “gods in the universe” by pointing to it (Stoicism) as an example of the wrong answers!” 🙂
**I posted a copy of Norman Dewitt’s “Organization and Procedure in Epicurean Groups” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/688542701194693/ with a comment that it would be helpful for us to develop additional guidelines on rules of the group, including mediation and resolution of any disputes which might arise. I have not made nearly enough progress on that yet, but it is an important topic.
** Mark C. pasted a photo of the 3d-generated bust of Epicurus which he recently ordered from Shapeways. Those interested in purchasing one should read the comments and follow the links on that post. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152508799102356&set=gm.688555574526739&type=1
**Many of our group friends are, to varying degrees, fans of the work of Nietzsche, who had many good things to say about Epicurus. Ilkka posted a link to an article entitled: “The Recurring Myth about Nietzsche and Fascism” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688789947836635/
**Tom Merle posted a link to one of the last interviews of Christopher Hitchens before his death. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688801104502186/
**Raajan S. posted a commentary on Nietzsche and how he was not a nihilist. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688801947835435/
**Tom Merls posted a link to “Your Desire to Be Famous And the Problems It Will cause You” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/689030801145883/
**Stefan S. (who I want to say I am very happy to see participating again; Stefan was very helpful to me in my early researches) posted on “an eminently Epicurean way of travel, rediscovered: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/689126887802941/
**We had much additional discussion this week about the symbolism in the famous “monkey skull” mosaic from Pompeii https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152076703796295&set=gm.646777628704534&type=1
**Hiram posted a link to a TED talk on “The Lethality of Loneliness” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/688966961152267/
**Hiram posted a link to “Dopamine – the science of pleasure” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/690138441035119/
**Tom posted a link to a David Brooks article on assimilation vs separation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/689720624410234/
**I don’t think this was posted in the Epicurean Group, but I note that Ilkka posted on the “Epicurus” page on Facebook a link to an article on the problems of male/female relationships and rape. https://www.facebook.com/epicureanphilosopher/posts/10152586367808729 This post generated many comments many of them heated, and much emotional opinion on both sides of the issue. I think it would be fair to summarize the division as between (1) those who thought the article was helpful and covered an important topic with the seriousness it deserved, and (2) those who thought that the tone and style and argument of the article were vastly overblown, offensively overgeneralizing, and unhelpful to the topic by its condescending attitude (and that’s just a taste of the reaction)) 🙂 This is a good time to repeat that in both the “About” statement already on our page, and in the additional call for suggestions and posting I intend to do on Epicurean “frank criticism,” we stress the right of every individual to hold their own opinions, and the fact that **No One** can speak for Epicurus on any issue. Epicurus is dead, he did not leave a holy ghost, and the best that any of us can do is to attempt to study, understand, and apply his wisdom in the way we deem helpful. This isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last, link to a controversial article that appears on an Epicurean page, so it will help us all if we learn to make habit of Epicurus’ advice on courtesy and respectful disagreement.

I apologize if I missed anyone or anything. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet word of Epicureanism by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus