**This is the sixty-ninth 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.
**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 393. Last week this time we were 352. We are growing steadily, and we welcome all the new participants! If you know others who would like to discuss Epicurean Philosophy, please let them know. In so doing, you can, like Lucian, “strike a blow for Epicurus – that great man whose holiness and divinity of nature were not shams, who alone had and imparted true insight into the good, and who brought deliverance to all that consorted with him!”
**We had another busy week, but before I get into that I want to note that as the seasons change in late August / early September, this time of year can sometimes seem to be a time of year when many bad things happen. I blogged about that in the past here, mentioning the eruption of Vesuvius and the major carnage at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest at the height of the Epicurean years in Rome http://newepicurean.com/a-season-of-the-year-to-remember-fallen-epicureans/: I hope I am wrong in sensing that tensions are building around the world again in 2014, but regardless of that I wish peace and safety to all our group participants. A Latin motto I like a lot is “dum spiro, spero” – “while I breathe, I hope.” No matter how bad things may look at times, don’t give up!. Bad things may happen, but there’s “no fate but what we make.” To cite Epicurus directly: “Fate, which some introduce as sovereign over all things, [the wise man] scorns, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency. … . Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to men so as to make life blessed, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance.”
** Once again, there was a huge amount of substantive discussion in the group this week. Let’s take the most-commented posts chronologically:
**On August 17 Hiram posted a link to an article on physics about the hunt for the Higgs particle, and it generated LOTS of comment. If you are at all interested in the subject of how an Epicurean might view issues in physics, this is one that you ought to read: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708405475875082/
** On August 18, Haris continued his series on foundational Epicurean concepts with “the Epicurean Canon of Truth – Emotions Part 1 https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708665012515795/ Each of Haris’ posts is well-thought out and draws much comment, and this one was no exception. In an effort to split out one of the issues that was raised, I started this thread on the phrase “with some slight aid from reasoning” in the biography of Epicurus. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708726785842951/
**On the 18th we also welcomed a new participant, a philosophy professor posting under the name of Phenix Rising: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708748385840791/
** Another split-off from Haris post was this one on whether “love” is given by the gods. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708858309163132/
**Also on the 18th was a post shared about a professor giving a lecture on “memes” and the walk-out response she got from her religious students: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/708777665837863/
**On August 20th we added a document to the files section containing both the Forty Authorized Doctrines and the Twelve Fundamental principles of physics: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709483575767272/
**Also on the 20th Tom linked to a good article on “Would Philosophy help when my father died? https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709548879094075/
**As a monthly message on the 20th, I posted a discussion of suicide and how philosophy might respond to growing occurrence of it https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709424105773219/
** Also on the 20th new participant James Peterson posted a question “Is anything good or evil, right or wrong in itself, or is everything up for interpretation?” This generated several answers that I thought were excellent examples of applied Epicurean thinking. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709573562424940/
** On August 21 Haris posted another installment in his very good series – this one entitled: “The Epicurean Canon of Truth – the Senses” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709725189076444/
**Also on August 21 Tom posted to a meme about “accepting what is” which generated comment: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/709747862407510/
**The clear winner of this week’s “most discussed award goes to a simple link from Hiram to an article entitled “How Humanistic is Humanism?” The reason this one generated so much discussion, over a VERY wide range of topics, was that it gave us a chance to discuss the similarities and diffences between Epicureanism and Humanism. That opened up many lines of discussion including the role of pleasure, nature vs nurture, and other related topics. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/710366702345626/
** I know I am leaving out some shorter but still substantive posts, but I want to try to keep the length of these manageable.
In closing, please remember that we invite your questions and discussions on any matter relating to ancient or modern Epicureanism, no matter what your level of expertise in asking the question. Even if you are a younger person studying Epicurus for a philosophy class, we invite you to ask your questions here. There is no better way for us to learn more, and have fun doing it, than to discuss Epicurean philosophy issues with new people who are sincerely interested.
Thanks to all who participated this week, and we look forward to another active week ahead.
**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!