**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/30/2015***

** This is the one hundred and 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.

** 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!”

**This week I am posting on time and will return to my traditional format after a couple of important points:

**First, this is a good time to review the options available for those who wish to discuss Epicurus within any of several custom frameworks. This past week we had many discussions on the same topic, and it’s clear to me that things are shaping up in this general direction:

1- If you are someone whose views are fully formed, and you’ve combined several disparate viewpoints into your own personal mix, and you mainly want to talk casually to other people of the same eclectic type, there are several excellent facebook groups including EPISTOBUZEN and “Epicureanism for Modern Times” that you can find by searching facebook.

2- If you are focused primarily on Epicurus, and you want to participate in a forum where people will defend Epicurus strongly from all challenges, then you have two Facebook options. Our open and main group, entitled simply “Epicurean Philosophy,” is the home base of this post. Anyone can read the posts there, and all you have to do is ask in order to join. (Note that there is an “About” and a “Sticky” post with our forum rules.)

3 – If you prefer to post in a “private” group where your posts are not readable by outsiders, last week we set up just such a group, “Epicurean Private Garden” and that is now getting off the ground. Because it is a private group, you cannot find it by searching, and you have to email one of our admins in the open group if you wish to join. Please note that our About and Sticky Post rules in the private forum are the same as the open forum, and the private forum will be moderated to the same standards as the open forum (or perhaps slightly tighter!)

4 – If you are not only focused primarily on Epicurus, but you wish to assist with a forum platform where pro-Epicurean activists can build for the future, check out http://www.EpicureanFriends.com. I am working on a FAQ list there, and setting up the forum in such a way that it can be used for reference material in the future. Anyone can read the posts, but only approved members can create new posts or comment.

The second general comment is that recent debates continue to sharpen the issues that separate our Epicurean Philosophy Facebook group from other groups, which are the same that separate Epicurean philosophy from other philosophies. If you are the sort person whose primary emphasis is Stoicism, Buddhism, or some similar philosophy, and you have concluded that “nothingness” or “escape from pain” is your primary focus in life, then you are going to be more at home in one of other groups listed above, and not in the Epicurean Philosophy Group. You are welcome to read and participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Group, but you are going to find that those views will be challenged vigorously, as the Epicureans challenged them in the ancient world. Unfortunately, we are finding on a fairly regular basis that people who are committed to opposing viewpoints wish to come into the main group and argue their anti-Epicurean positions for purpose or argument, and not because they are genuinely interested in supporting Epicurean views. Such posts are in violation of our “About” section, and in the end such people will be removed from the group. The reason for that is simple: We are dedicated to providing a reliable source of EPICUREAN philosophy to those who come by with a sincere interest in learning. We are not going to allow anti-Epicurean arguments to remain unanswered in the group, and after a while it simply becomes too distracting to reply to them all. Check out either of the groups mentioned above and you will see an eclectic combinations of ideas with little way to differentiate them if you are not already familiar with Epicurean philosophy. If you come to the main group you should not have that problem.

*** Much of the division comes down to this: Some people – MANY people, in fact – are happy to endorse Epicurus and study him, but they do so because they believe that his “absence of pain” remarks make him a kind of Super-Stoic, more ascetic even than the famous philosophers of Stoicism. Such people believe that Epicurus preached that we should pursue only “Necessary” pleasures, which they define as little more than breathing, drinking water, and eating bread while locked in their cave.

The administrators of the Epicurean Facebook Page differ in the finer points of their positions on this issue, but they uniformly reject the characterization of Epicurus that I just mentioned. In general they hold to a view stated well by Thomas Jefferson and quoted today by Alexander Rios from Jefferson’s “Head and Heart” letter:

**** Let the gloomy monk, sequestered from the world, seek unsocial pleasures in the bottom of his cell! Let the sublimated philosopher grasp visionary happiness while pursuing phantoms dressed in the garb of truth! Their supreme wisdom is supreme folly; & they mistake for happiness the mere absence of pain. Had they ever felt the solid pleasure of one generous spasm of the heart, they would exchange for it all the frigid speculations of their lives, which you have been vaunting in such elevated terms.****

The Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group, and the web pages set up by its core administators, are dedicated to pointing the way back to an understanding of Epicurus that gives full effect to his philosophy, and does not stand it on its head through an out-of-context reading of a few passages in the letter to Menoeceus. All of us are happy to explain why those passages do NOT mean that Epicurus was an ascetic or a Stoic, but our primary goal is to explain that to people of good faith who really want to know, and not to people whose primary goal is to argue for argument’s sake, and otherwise distract us from the work that we are doing to research, write, and reinvigorate the Epicurean movement.

— End of sermon —

This week Hiram continued with a series of good background posts on Epicurean theory. These included:

Reasonings About Philodemus on the Stoics – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/834248633290765/

The Pleasure – Aversion Faculty https://theautarkist.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/the-pleasure-aversion-faculty-an-introduction/

A Notice that the Partially Examined Life Website will be reading “A Few Days In Athens” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/835105996538362/

A post on the “Book of Community” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/834770049905290/

Reasonings about Philodemus on Music https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/836031499779145/

Epicurus’ Instructions on Innovations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/836074026441559/

*** This week has also been an excellent one for “memes” put together by Panagiotis Alexiou and Elli Pensa. Here are a few:

On Friendship – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/834327403282888/

On the Categories of the Desires – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/834328083282820/

On Death is Nothing To US – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/834751746573787/

On Diogenes of Oinoanda’s passage on “Shouting to all Greeks and Non-Greeks that PLEASURE is the end of life” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/833478563367772/

On Principal Doctrine Four: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/835473289834966/

On Principal Doctrine Five: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/836008823114746/

On Principal Doctrine Three: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/835473183168310/

On Epicurus Replies to Zen: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/835969573118671/

On Vatican Saying Eleven: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/836075223108106/

——

*** I also want to mention a post that Dragan made this week about marriage, which contains some good commentary, especially by Elli – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/835121579870137/

There’s more that I did not capture here, but this post is too long already –

**Thanks to all who participated the the Facebook forum this week. 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
*
Live Well!
Cassius Amicus

This Week In Epicurean Philosophy 05/24/15

**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/24/2015***

** This is the one hundred and seventh 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 atEpicurusCentral.wordpress.com.

** 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!”

**Some unavoidable traveling yesterday has delayed me in posting this week’s update on the Facebook group, but it has given me more time to think about this week’s theme. In recent weeks we have had the usual series of excellent posts and discussions, but there has been an uptick in controversy, some of it helpful, and some of it not.

The issue is exemplified in the extensive discussion of my post this week:
“Query: “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Would Epicurus have agreed or disagreed? Why?”https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/832027843512844/

The question posed here proved to be an excellent way to get to the very deep issues that divide those who are truly and primarily fans of Epicurus from those who are primarily fans of other philosophers. But the real issue is not a matter of labels and schools – the real issue is the deep one that Epicurus addressed directly: “What is the goal of life?” There have always been, and apparently always will be, those who for a variety of reasons wish to attack the goal of living devoted to pleasure, and praise life devoted to pain. As Cicero’s Toquatus described them as those who hold: “…this mistaken idea of reprobating pleasure and extolling pain …”

The enemies of pleasure operate under many frameworks. There is a large contingent that embraces the stoic idea of that goes under the guise of suppressing all emotion, but is really oriented toward suppressing pleasure and encouraging pain. But there is also the spirit of skepticism that lives on in the attitude of eclecticism. These people are so adamantly certain that nothing can be considered true that they insist that there is no need for consistency, no need for intellectual rigor, and that they can combine by sheer force of will the most contradictory ideas into one grab-bag collection. What unites these two is that both the pure stoics *and* the eclectics thrive on the deception of being opaque about their true goals. They extol “happiness” to the skies, and demand that we accept that their goal and their definition of happiness is the same as ours. But if you scratch the surface, the goal of happiness as defined by these people is as drained of pleasure as the surface of the moon.

The pleasures of life can only be purchased at the price of some pain. Epicurean philosophy is devoted to the intelligent application of the facts of reality and human nature to assist us in living with as much happiness as possible, which entails also living with as little pain as possible. But just as with his discussion of “the gods,” Epicurus did not write and teach to the “lowest common denominstor.” He did not oversimplify the issues and he did not distort his teachings so that even the unwise can understand them. Diogenes Laertius: “However, not every bodily constitution nor every nationality would permit a man to become wise. VS29. “To speak frankly as I study nature I would prefer to speak in oracles that which is of advantage to all men even though it be understood by none, rather than to conform to popular opinion and thus gain the constant praise that comes from the many.”

In reading Epicurus on the gods, it is necessary to understand that Epicurus defined “gods” in a non-supernatural way. So when Epicurus said that “gods” exist, he was not talking about the supernatural gods that many people insist on jumping to conclude. If you insist on reading Epicurus superficially, you will totally miss his meaning.

In reading Epicurus on pleasure, it is necessary to understand that Epicurus defined “feeling” as having only two categories – pleasure or pain – and that one’s feelings, if not painful, are therefore going to be pleasurable. So when Epicurus talks about the goal of absence of pain, he means pleasure as ordinarily understood, and not some mystical third state of anesthesia that Stoic-minded people embrace and insist on jumping to conclude. Again, if you insist on reading Epicurus superficially, you will totally miss his meaning.

And “insisting on reading Epicurus superficially” is exactly what the majority of pleasure-repressing philosophers have insisted on doing since at least the time of Seneca. “If you can’t defeat him, co-opt his words and twist them to support your own” has been their theme for 2000 years. And they have succeeded to the point where it is almost impossible to find a group of people who insist on talking the truth about Epicurean pleasure.

There may be other places I am not aware of, but the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook page, and those sites affiliated with the leadership of this group, are the exceptions. Although we certainly have differences of opinion among ourselves, the unifying theme is that we are rejecting the ascetic view of Epicurus, and we are studying and working to understand once again the pleasure-focused philosophy that is evident when one escapes the jail of the orthodox framework.

We have promoted in the past and will continue to promote in the future honest and constructive discussion of these issues. But we are not going loosen our moderation practices to allow the enemies of pleasure to conduct in this group their standard campaing of intimidation and misprepresentation. If you have an open mind about the meaning of pleasure, and you truly wish to study Epicurean philosophy to assist yourself in living happily in a way that ordinary people can understand, then you are welcome and encouraged to participate and post in our group.

If your interest in being here is to snipe against pleasure and suppress discussion, then you are *not* welcome to participate. The About Section and Sticky Post of this group will be enforced in a constructive manner to reinforce the goal of the group and to prevent those who disagree with that goal from disrupting it.

Questions like “is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” are of vital interest to everyone. Elli P. in particular, and others as well, gave great responses. They pointed out that in EVERY question, even one as charged as this one, the ultimate answer is always the same. There is no Platonic ideal form, no Aristotelian evaluation of “essences,” or looking for “golden means,” or “moderation,” that answer the question for us. Nor is it possible to succeed in analyzing this question with an eclectic “whatever works” approach which hides the meaning of “works.”

Epicurus’ doctrine is clear: All pleasure is good, and all questions of what we choose and avoid have to be evaluated according to whether those choices and avoidance bring pleasure or pain. And in the end, since the goal of life is the most possible pleasure AND the least possible pain, only we can evaluate for ourselves how that calculation should be computed.

These are questions and answers that are fundamental to living. Epicurus stood alone against mainstream Greek philosophy with his outlook on answering these questions, and in 2000 years no other school has approached the level of his insight. What people find so hard to understand in many cases is the reason they have failed — despite their protests about “happiness” — is that they don’t *want* to succeed, because they fundamentally disagree with us that pleasure is desirable for itself.

But pleasure *is* desirable for itself, and the reason that it is so is that Nature has made us that way. If we wish to follow Nature, then we need to study and apply the philosophy of Epicurus. That is what we are working to do in the Epicurean facebook group, and those who share our goal are welcome and encouraged to join us.

**Thanks to all who participated the the Facebook forum this week. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please add a comment or participate in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/ or hop around the internet world of Epicurean Philosophy by checking the links here:EpicurusCentral.wordpress.com
*
Live Well!
Cassius Amicus

**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/16/2015**

**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/16/2015***

** This is the one hundred and sixth 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.

** 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!”

**Tonight I am going to deviate from my normal format in order to announce the launching of a new project. I hope will prove to be an important supplement to – and not replacement of – the work of the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook group.

Over the last several years we have had many great discussions on Facebook. Lots of very helpful information has been posted. Many people have contributed enormous amounts of time to post on complicated issues of philosophy, and those posts were greatly helpful and appreciated. And yet all that work is effectively gone — disappeared into the ether and into the abyss of Facebook and the inexorable scrolling of the Facebook timeline. The “search” feature, it is true, can recover things if we know what we are looking for. But it is largely useless for new people and for finding specific information.

For that reason I am in the initial phases of launching a new website with dedicated, professional forum software – http://www.EpicureanFriends.com. Rough edges have to be smoothed out, but the framework of the website is operational and can already be browsed by anyone who is interested.

By using state-of-the-art forum software, we can organize discussions by topic for easy reference by new people. Direct linking will also make it easier to reuse content on other web sites, so that we will less often have to reinvent our wheels after we once devote the effort to post and explain particular issues.

Let me emphasize this as clearly as I can: Epicureanfriends.com is **NOT** intended to be, and will not be, a replacement for the Facebook discussion. I fully expect that most of my own time, and most of the time of the other leaders of the Facebook group, should continue to be spent on Facebook. It is here that in a free-flowing manner we can interact with people from all over the world, and find out who shares our interests and who is just passing through.

Epicureanfriends.com will have a distinctive organizational feature that dramatically separates its purpose and operation: All posting, except by a few of our established admins and leaders on the Facebook website, will be moderated for content before appearing on the site. New registrants will be given the status to submit questions and of course read all posts. They can also post new comments and start new threads, but all such posts will be moderated.

Given the moderation aspect, I expect the website to get off to a slow start and grow slowly- possibly *very* slowly. Anyone is free to register a user account, and submit posts, and I hope everyone with a sincere interest in supporting Epicurean philosophy will do so. But discussion will not be free-wheeling as it is on the Facebook site, and we will not be looking for regular posting from people who are not already supportive of the core ideas of Epicurus. Unless your post is deemed to contribute to the goal of providing reference material for the future, or directly contributing to a positive discussion of the particular topic, it will probably not be approved.

NOTE WELL: We should **all** acknowledge that no one has the right to say what “is” or “is not” Epicurean philosophy. The meaning of various doctrines is hotly contested. The interpretations you will find on Wikipedia and other philosophy sites is the “mainstream,” “orthodox” and “majority” view. Everyone has a right to interpret Epicurus as they see fit.

But *not* everyone will have the right to post to Epicureanfriends.com. The tone there is expected to be more than just a superficial “facebook friendship,” and we are expecting posters to be true friends of Epicurean philosophy.

The purpose of Epicureanfriends.com will be to continue the work that the admins and leaders of the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook forum have started at that forum and in their individual websites.

Broadly, that means that EpicureanFriends.com will be devoted to a fundamental, positive, pleasure-centered view of Epicurus and his philosophy. And when I say “pleasure-centered,” I mean firm and uncompromising and unembarrassed adherence to the Lucretian formula that “Divine Pleasure is the Guide of Life.”

This means that the tenor of Epicureanfriends.com will be expected to oppose interpretations that make Epicurus into an ascetic, a friend of stoicism, or a determinist. There are many other attitudes and goal that are not consistent with the effort to give full faith and credit to the overall thrust of Epicurean Philosophy. We will expect those attitudes to be checked at the door and left outside.

One way of describing this viewpoint and attitude is to say that it should be similar with that of Norman DeWitt, whose “Epicurus and His Philosophy” is widely admired among the leaders of our group. Another point of comparison is Frances Wright, whose “A Few Days In Athens” was a landmark work toward restoring Epicurus to the prominence that he deserves. And another point of reference is to Cosma Raimondi, whose letter from 1429 displays the zeal in defense and promotion of Epicurean philosophy that our current Facebook leadership team shares.

Epicureanfriends.com will tackle every difficult question that is relevant and appropriate to address. The distinctive feature is that we will tackle these issues in a way calcutated to reinforce the pro-Epicurean viewpoint. There are many other websites where anti-Epicurean, pro-Stoic, or simply Eclectic views can be discussed. The purpose here will be to assist those who are truly dedicated to Epicurean philosophy in furthering their work.

At present the website is little more than a skeleton. As soon as I personally have the time, one of my first efforts will be to go back through my posts at our various websites and the facebook page, and copy/paste/rewrite them into posts according to topic at Epicureanfriends.com. Many people have provided links and excellent commentary, and excerpts from these can be reused or linked on the new website so they can more easily be found in the future.

That aspect of the work – gathering existing material – is something that I would appreciate anyone’s help in doing. And I do mean anyone – even if you have just been a “lurker” here and not previously posted. When you register with the new site, you will be able to submit threads and posts, and if you are motivated to do so and have the time, you too can assist in preparing posts on the various topics. It’s not necessary for you to write up lengthy original material – links and excerpts under each topic will be a valuable start.

I ask your patience and indulgence in the problems that will no doubt arise in launching this. And please remember that the website may sit largely unused for many weeks or months until we get a nucleus of material and people interested in the goal. The goal of the site will never be complete, but it has to start with a first step.

The goal of the site will always remain clear. In the spirit of Cosma Raimondi, Frances Wright, and others, it is being set up to promote Epicurean philosophy in its full, positive, vigorous form – the form launched by Epicurus himself.

**Thanks to all who participated the the Facebook forum this week. 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
*
Live Well!
Cassius Amicus

**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/09/2015***

**THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/09/2015***

** This is the one hundred and 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 1684. Last week this time we were 1669. 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!”

**Every week I say we have lots of excellent discussion, and this week is not only no exception, it was almost too full to do justice here. Before I get started, I mentioned last week that I would soon have an announcement for a new initiative to help preserve some of the content we are generating on Facebook. That’s not quite ready to go, but it will be soon. In the meantime, here are the week’s highlights:

**We had a discussion this week of dating the current year (2015) in terms that would be recognizable to Lucretius and Epicurus. It seeems tha Lucretius would name this year as (2768 AUC) but with Epicurus we got a number of different answers (2091 and 2768). So we may still need more work on that. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/825973464118282/

**Elli posted a graphic on VS 41: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826400777408884/

**Prompted by a post by Alexander Rios, I posted “Fields, Particles, and the Reality We Live In.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826486014067027/ Also: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826413944074234/

**Also this week Hiram and Alexander posted an excellent Spanish-language interview they gave. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826325070749788/ That prompted me to write “Setting the Stage for the Discussion of Pleasure.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826556700726625/

**Elli posted a graphic on PD33, which says that justice has no independent existence. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826486637400298/

**Doug B. posted on “Is it depressing or empowering to think of life as a performance?” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826677037381258/

**Elli posted on the very difficult VS62 – the one about the anger between parents and children. This is one that is not discussed often enough: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826666660715629/

**Doug B. also contributed as link to a paper by Bernard Frischer with an imposing title, but is essentially about recruitment among the ancient Epicureans. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826703304045298/

**Hiram posted a review of his book by blogger Tom Church. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826785464037082/

**In the first of several related posts, this week, we talked about the issues involved in promoting unadulterated Epicureanism here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826412780741017/

**I.V. reminded us of the “Epicurean Year” project. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827036987345263/

**Elli posted two great graphics paraphrasing Diogenes of Oinoanda: Here https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827096677339294/ and also here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827126447336317/

**Uwe F. started a good conversation on euthymia which also involved the Phaecaian analogy from Homer. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826774200704875/

**Jason B. started “What should Epicureans eat?” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827128484002780/

**Elli continued her graphic creation this week with a reference to Lucian’s Hermotimus: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827242810658014/

**And in another post dealing with differences between Epicurus and Stoicism, I posted a graphic excerpt from “Happiness: A philosopher’s Guide” which did a good job of summarizing basic tenets of Stoicism, which allowed for a clear contrast. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826859490696346/

**And Elli continued the graphics with “A Philosophy For Marbles” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827282057320756/

**Ioannis A. posted a good short animated clip which Elli described as “slaves to the slavers” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827366720645623/

**Yesterday I posted to a clip from Francois Bernier, a friend of Gassendi, who tried to reconcile what the Stoics had said about Epicurus with what he thought was a correct understanding of Epicurus. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827382237310738/

**Alexander R linked to “More sex doesn’t lead to increased happiness.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827426840639611/

**I linked to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and asked if we could imagine a world truly based on Epicurean pleasure. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827462133969415/

**With some good assistance from friends, we discussed here how to use the PERSEUS website to find every instance of the word “ataraxia” in their extensive Greco-Roman library. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827467220635573/

**Alexander R. linked to a table showing “Epicurus vs. Mohammed” in physics. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827683320613963/

**Hiram linked to “Atoms Here, Atoms There, Atoms Everywhere: Fields or Particles” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/826464474069181/

**Elli started an excellent discussion on VS78 with a graphic. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827669747281987/

**And again I swatted at the hornet’s nest with “Why Do I Speak Harshly About Stoicism?” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827159647332997/

**Thanks to Uwe F. we started a discussion on the opening of Book I of Lucretius and the meaning of the Venus/Mars symbolism. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827783143937314/

**And in the most recent post before this goes to press, I posted my latest explanation of Epicurean Philosophy Through Coffee – “Pleasure is a Dish best served Pure and Smooth.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/827756357273326/

**Those are most of the highlights for the week. Thanks to all who participated. We’ve had another very substantive week of discussion, and I thank everyone who participated. 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
*
Live Well!
Cassius Amicus

***THIS WEEK IN EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY – 05/02/2015***

** This is the one hundred and fourth 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 1669. Last week this time we were 1661. 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!”

**We had a lot of discussion this week in response to some very good questions. Tonight I will point out the highlights of those, but I also want to report that I am continuing to work on a new format for preserving some of the important aspects of these posts rather than letting them fade into obscurity as the Facebook timeline inexorably advances. It is only natural that the same questions are asked over and over, and it would save us all a lot of time, and improve our responses, if we could easily refer to past discussions.

Stay tuned – I am working toward an announcement of a new initiative in that department hopefully later this week. My goal is to allow those who are most interested in the work we are doing to participate more closely in creating content that we can all access more easily and distribute more widely. Several of us have blogs and websites that are carrying on that work, but we will always have numbers of people who are not up for the challenge of maintaining their own site, yet want to assist in the work of building up a body of Epicurean material that others can use. We’ve come a long way on Facebook in building a community so far, but there are projects to tackle that Facebook isn’t designed for.

Stay tuned and I will announce more as the project proceeds.

**Here are comments on the past week:

**In furtherance of the points raised by Hiram in his article in the Humanist, I prepared a graphic entitled “Which is Happier?” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/822117547837207/

**Hiram prepared a graphic featuring Lucian and his “Alexander the Oracle-Monger” https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/822183654497263/

**Thanks to a post by Jason Baker, I learned that Norse mythology contained a god of “Pleasure and Peace,” who had a boar as a sidekick. That seems too close to Epicurus to be mere coincidence, so I borrowed the graphic and used it as a theme for a post on how the important criticism in the letter to Menoeceus was focused, not on the activities listed, but on the “unbroken succession” of them. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/822255561156739/

**In another example of the type of material I think needs to be easily accessible, I took the time to go through quotes from several prominent Stoic philosophers on the topic of pleasure. It wasn’t pretty, but this is material that we will regularly need to refer to in order to show how the philosophies differ. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/822307591151536/

**Recent discussion of the “fullness of pleasure” vs “painlessness” issue reminded me of a vintage television commercial that illustrates the point of a vessel which can be “filled to the rim” with good things. You probably have to be a certain age, and from certain geographies, to appreciate this, but if you are, I think it hits home. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/822480677800894/

**Hiram posted a good article from Philodemus’ On Anger of relevance to recent events in Baltimore, Maryland. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/823562227692739/

**In a little change of pace, a blog post from a dieter that was making the rounds provided a good illustration of the point that there is no “end state” that once we reach is good enough for us forever. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/823365671045728/

**Elli posted a graphic on Metrodorus and VS 10: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/824046530977642/

**Juha posted a link on suffering and Jim Carey (which is what I feel when I watch his movies) 😉 https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/823518637697098/

**Elli posted a link and nice graphic to my only “children’s outreach” to date – my “Catiuscat.com website. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/824255734290055/ You will no doubt observe that this has not swept the world with sucess, but perhaps it will serve as a challenge to someone to do better! 🙂

**Alexander posted a link to an article on how trying to make everyone happy can make you miserable. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/823409477708014/

**Hiram posted a link to his Society of Friends of Epicurus youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/824541554261473/

**Elli posted a good graphic portraying VS 44: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/825355427513419/

**We had a good discussion prompted by a post from Juha pointing out the importance of making sure that we know the definitions of the important terms used by Epicurus. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/825267724188856/

**Juha also posted to an article about the issue of whether the perceptions can be relied upon. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/825305387518423/

**No doubt prompted by recent discussion on Aristotle and others on money, Elli prepared a graphic on VS 43 and the love of money. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/825364877512474/

**And last but far from least, the name “Ayn Rand” is usually good for a discussion, if not necessarily for enlightenment. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/824353240946971/ Hiram posted a a video “How is this Still a Thing?” which prompted lots of discussion. I know our friends in Greece and Europe were happy to learn that the Ayn Rand Institute is working on outreach to their areas. 😉 You’ll want to read the discussion if you are interested in this topic, but I do want to point out that regardless of your feeling about Ayn Rand, there are important issues here regarding Aristotle and Epicurus which many people need to know about. I think we probably need to devote far more attention to Stoicism and its variants than to Objectivism, but if people have questions we will be glad to try to respond to them.

**Those are most of the highlights for the week. Thanks to all who participated. We’ve had another very substantive week of discussion, and I thank everyone who participated. 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
*
Live Well!
Cassius Amicus