***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 12/20/2014***

**This is the eighty-fifth in a series of weekly reports on 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 group has grown to 1263. Last week this time we were 1223. 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!”

**We are approaching a holiday week in much of the world, and we hope you’ll find time to continue to touch base with us during the holiday season. Here’s a report on the last seven days – I have it somewhat out of order, since Hiram just posted it, but I particularly recommend Hiram’s post from today, which I discuss near the end below:

** Most-Commented Post of the Week: This week we had a lot of discussion on older posts, and it looks like the most-discussed *new* post was that of Omel R., who asked about “Prevention” in Epicurean philosophy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/759367750778854/

**In other posts of the week –

**We were happy to learn that the regular monthly meeting of the Sydney Garden of Epicurus Meetup Group was not affected by the terrorist activity in Sydney. No doubt this was a traumatic experience for all involved, but it is good to know that those who attend the Garden meetup are safe. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/759601094088853/

**That post led me to post a followup, in which I summarized a number of the most relevant Epicurean texts which refer to maintaining personal safety. Those are collected here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/760366730678956/

** Hiram posted a quote from Giordano Bruno – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/762120000503629/

**This week contained the Twentieth (today!) and we had a couple of specific Twentieth Posts:
— The Epicurus page (be sure to “like” if you’re not already a follower) posted here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/762140957168200/

**In my own Twentieth post, I quoted Frances Wright’s summary of the Epicurean way of thinking as contained in her Chapter Sixteen: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/762144187167877/ Here’s one of the key passages, which Hiram also emphasized: “We have exhorted you to use your eyes, and your judgments, never your imagination; to abstain from theory, and rest with facts; and to understand that in the accumulation of facts, as regards the nature and properties of substances, the order of occurrences, and the consequences of actions, lies the whole science of philosophy, physical and moral.”

**Hiram posted a Twentieth post in which he discussed te problem of “Solving the Tension Between Atheist Politics and Ataraxia.” This is an excellent article, and although it was posted today I hope to be able to report on much discussion of it by the time next week’s “Weekly Update” rolls around. You’ll want to read all of Hiram’s reasoning, but here is an important concluding passage:

“Some argue that a true Epicurean must never be militant; they say “lathe biosas”, live unknown. Our compromise with our tranquility must always come first. But I do not agree with this. I do see the point that many firebrand atheists are making: that by coming out and assuming the label atheist, we do make a change in society, we do challenge religious privilege and misconceptions about atheists. And, most importantly, that any and all personal choice must involve hedonic calculus, and that in many instances the long-term profit that emerges from coming out is much greater than the losses. THAT is how it may be appropriate for a true Epicurean to be, at times, militant. Epicurus NEVER told anyone to be a hermit and always challenged people to not base their lives on fear. We must never misinterpret lathe biosas as a call to escape society, reality and life: that is the exact opposite of the realism of our predecessors. (A happy life is neither like a roaring torrent, nor a stagnant pool, but like a placid and crystal stream that flows gently and silently along. – A Few Days in Athens)”

**There was much other discussion this week, but much of it in older posts. The one additional post I’d like to mention is by Steven V, who took the time to say hello in a post noting that he was now a new member. We encourage **Everyone** to post similar things to introduce themselves. Even if you have been part of the group for a while, feel free to say hello at any time! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/761420913906871/

**All in all it was another excellent week; thanks to one and all for your participation. 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 world of Epicurean Philosophy by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
PEACE AND SAFETY!
Cassius Amicus

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