** This is the ninety-eighth 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 1555. Last week this time we were 1520. We continue to grow steadily, and we welcome all participants and lurkers. If you apply to participate and don’t receive a reply promptly, please send an email to an admin about your interest in the group. 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!”
** In contrast to last week’s short version, this week deserves a far longer post, but in the spirit of Vatican Saying 26 “One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end.” I am going to distill this down to focus on two of the most important aspects of what we are doing: (1) promoting the philosophy of Epicurus to new people, and (2) educating ourselves to be sure that while we promote, we sure that what we are promoting IS the philosophy of Epicurus, and not some modern mishmash of ideas that Epicurus himself would not recognize.
**In the promotion department, be sure you check out this post from one of our Greek friends on the new Eadaimonia.eu website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/803834786332150/ The friends of Epicurus in Greece have been promoting a declaration that the European Union should recognize a “right to happiness,” and this website provides excellent information about the background and history of that initiative. It’s a great website and a great project!
**In the education department, this week I released a new “fundamentals” video which assembles key passages from the core text into a progressive narration of many of the main points of Epicurean philosophy. It is far from professional or complete, but it does – in the space of about thirty minutes – introduce a new reader of Epicurus to the core concepts he or she will encounter, and how they fit together into a coherent philosophy for living life. The main link discussing this is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/802936029755359/ You can always find the latest version of the video, and several versions of background music, here: http://newepicurean.com/new-fundamentals-of-epicurean-philosophy-video/ (And if you want to read a little about the “Tannhauser” opera, this is the thread you want to check.)
**Also in the education department this week, Hiram posted an video that covers some extremely important themes. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/803869469662015/ The video “Nietzsche and the True World” does a great job of pointing out the similarities in the many philosophies and religions which reject the “real world” around us in favor of a hypothetical “true world” which they assert is reachable (conveniently enough) through their own peculiar paths. The video stops before describing Nietzsche’s response to this, and it doesn’t touch on the Epicurean alternative at all, but it does a great job of explaining what the issue really is.
**Hiram also posted a link to an article on “Objective Morality” that spurred a debate very similar to the one spurred by the “True World” video: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/802909666424662/
**The new “Foundations” video prompted me to post a series of posts related to Painlessness, which included:
– “The Painless Peter Potter Principle” which discusses the purpose of painlessness as pleasure. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/802754109773551/ I might have picked a better way to illustrate the point, but I’ve always liked the Acadamy-Award winning song from that movie (“Buttons and Bows”) which is in the post.
– I posted a new graphic arguing that the focus should not be on “painlessness” but on “pure pleasure. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804377566277872/
– The Painlessness issue led to a quote from Gassendi relevant to the topic, posted here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/803884469660515/
– A post citing the letter of Thomas Jefferson to William Short, highlighting Jefferson’s advice that repose itself must be evaluated by the results that it brings. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/805044716211157/
– I posted a link to an article by professor Boris Nikolsky of the Russian State University for the Humanities entitled “Epicurus on Pleasure,” which provides important cites and analysis on this and related issues.
**Other significant posts included:
**David d.V. asking a question about the nature of the soul and its particles: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/801280006587628/
**Hiram posting on Hitchens-Jefferson Day: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/802907689758193/
**Uwe assisting with information about “Tannhauser,” the play by Wagner I chose as the background music for the new Foundations video – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804297652952530/
**Alexander posted a link on a technology that may lead to “new senses”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804148989634063/
**M.E. posted on the International Day of Happiness: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804450819603880/
**Alexander posted on whether Epicurean philosophy is indeed for everyone (including psychoapths) https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804258102956485/
**Hiram posted on the naming of the “god particle” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/803740043008291/
**On the Twentieth I posted on “Time To Rescue Venus” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804524002929895/
**Steve Ko. posted a link to an article on the problems entailed in aiming for “the best” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/804523009596661/
**Most recently, but not least, Bill H. asked an excellent question about whether we should in fact cultivate gratitude in our lives, as several texts indicate, or whether that goal is diluted by the fact that the gods are not indicating as displaying gratitude. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/805125192869776/
**And just before pressing the “send” button, I see Elli posted a link to a new graphic of PD12 and a link to a Vangelis song that’s very appropriate to the topic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/805191586196470/
**Those are most of the highlights for the week. Thanks to all who participated. We appreciate all the contributions from those who share our view that the philosophy of Epicurus is something special – something that can be used to make our own lives, and the lives of our friends, happier and less troubled. We have quite a task ahead to continue to educate ourselves and others about what Epicurus really believed and taught, rather than what his enemies have said about what he believed and taught. But the task is enjoyable even as we work together to pursue it. I hope we will continue to work together for a long time to come, that our numbers will grow, and that all of us will profit in living happier lives through the process.
**Thanks to all participants for another great 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 world of Epicurean Philosophy by checking the links here: EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
PEACE AND SAFETY!