**This is the seventy-fourth in a series of weekly updates with news from the world of Epicurean Philosophy. Our home base for discussion is https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ Copies of these posts, and links to active Epicurean websites, are stored at EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.
**As of tonight, our participant total has grown to 568. Last week this time we were 524. We continue to grow steadily, and we welcome all participants and lurkers! We are here to discuss Epicurean Philosophy, have fun, and in the words of 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!”
** If you have been following along in the posts, you’ve seen we’ve had some lively disagreement this week about a number of issues. I have posted about the background of these issues in the Epicurean texts here, under the title “The Epicurean Views the Modern Mind Finds Unthinkable: “Dogmatism” and “Free Will”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/724882404227389/
As a result of continuing disagreement about these issues among a number of well-respected members of the group, there is now a new group forming entitled “NeoEpicurean Philosophy” https://www.facebook.com/groups/neoepicureanism/ This is being led by Stephen HB with the assistance of Tom M and others. Many of our current members of this group will wish to join that one as well. The way facebook works, that is quick, easy, and seamless. Check it out and see it described in my post here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/724336644281965/
There are many reasons for this development, but one of the ones most important to me personally is that the “Epicurean Philosophy” group has been set up with an About section and a mission of staying true to the core tenets of Epicurus. We encourage questions and debate and commentary from other perspectives, but in the end our goal is to provide a place on the internet where serious students of Epicurus can discuss the philosophy in a supportive environment. It is inevitable that not everyone agrees with the core tenets of Epicurus, and so not everyone is suited to be a participant in our group. If, after lengthy discussion of a topic, a participant finds that he or she cannot agree with a core tenet, a decision has to be reached by that participant and the group. Either the participant who is in disagreement with a core tenet moves along to another group more suited for him or her, or the participant kindly and politely agrees to disagree. What is not productive either for the member or the group is for the dissenting member to launch a campaign to disagree with or attempt to change a core tenet of the philosophy. In that sense, the Epicurean philosophy Facebook group, like the philosophy itself, is not a “Democracy.” The core tenets of Epicurean philosophy are not up for a vote. Free will is a basic element of Epicureanism, as is the focus on separating out what is “true” from what is “false.” But there comes a time when someone who is unalterably against a core tenet needs to let go of the idea that he or she is an Epicurean, and have the intellectual honestly to use the label Neo-Epicurean or some other label entirely. Our friends who are participating in the NeoEpicurean group are using this approach, and I applaud them for it.
Because the focus of this Epicurean Philosophy group has been (and will be) to promote the philosophy of Epicurus, it is incumbent on us when a post is made which is non-Epicurean or even anti-Epicurean that we point out the issues with the post. This is a desirable process and is essential to all of us learning more about the philosophy, and improving our ability to articulate it. So you will continue to see in this group many posts about determinism and skepticsm. These are ancient issues and will never be resolved; we welcome questions and discussions about them. But what we do not welcome is, after lengthy debate and discussion, a concerted campaign by an individual poster to carry on an unending campaign against the Epicurean position. Such a campaign consumes too much of our resources and is too confusing to the core target audience of this group: sincere students of the philosophy who wish to study it in a supportive and positive environment.
We welcome further discussion of this topic in this tread, but we encourage civility and courtesy toward all concerned. No one involved in these discussions is being criticized or disparaged personally. I wish success and happiness to all the leaders of the NeoEpicurean group and encourage anyone who wishes to participate there to do so.
If you wish further background on this, check out threads such as this one (a “Staring into the Abyss” podcast) — https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/722752404440389/
Also, some of this discussion took place in Helen S’s post on an interesting painting https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1554870954749472&set=gm.723867860995510&type=1
**As an example of the type of post we would like to get back to focusing our time on, this past week we had Francisco A. post an excellent discussion of practical exercises an Epicurean would advocate: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/723322327716730/
**Hiram posted on “Reasonings about Philodemus’ Rhetorica” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/723685804347049/
**Ilkka posted on “Life as the Foundation of Epicurean Philosophy” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/723690811013215/
**Haris D. posted on “Epicurean Decision-Making Part 2” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/722768687772094/
**Yiannis T. posted on an Alain de Bolton presentation https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/724365304279099/
**Ilkka posted on “Dawkins and the “We are going to die Argument” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/724527404262889/
**I want to repeat that these last several posts are exactly the kind of constructive presentation, followed by vigorous discussion, that we wish to see here in the group. Please feel free to post anything consistent with the About section of the group as you wish. We work hard here to moderate the forum carefully and fairly, and we welcome all constructive discussion, questions, and debate.
**OK that’s it for this 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 Epicurean Philosophy by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
PEACE AND SAFETY!