** This is the one hundred and twenty-second 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, and other discussion cites are referenced at the end of this post.
** 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!”
** Here are the highlights of this week’s posts:
**On Aug 30, Alexander R. forwarded a link about “Robots Learning Like Humans” which served as the basis for a post on “All Dressed Up But No Place to Go” discussing the crucial role of pleasure and pain as Nature’s stop and go signals. Robot inventors can instruct robots to consider some events as “pleasurable” and some events as “painful,” but can the robots really “experience” pleasure and pain? The question serves as a great introduction to the pre-eminent role which Epicurus assigned to them in the Epicurean canon. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/878889212160040/
** On August 31 I posted a link to an article in which the phrase “seeing is believing” is discussed by philosopher Leonard Peikoff. Peikoff’s comments on this limited point seem largely sound despite his grounding in a non-Epicurean philosopy. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/permalink/879365322112429/
** On Sep 30 I posted a copy of an article entitled “Paralysis In A Risk-Free Society” which contains interesting discussion of the issues involved in weighing pleasure vs. pain. Most choices to pursue any pleasure involve some amount of pain as the price of pursuing it, and it is an important question to consider the amount of “risk” we are willing to take in order to experience greater pleasure. When the price is clear, the calculus can be relatively clear, but what happens in those many situations when the full price of a pleasure is not clear, and may vary? https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpicureanPhilosophy/880252088690419/
** It’s been another relatively slow week, but things should pick up soon as we all begin to settle into the fall season (at least in the northern hemisphere). Keep in mind that the coming seven days includes September 11, a time of year particularly frought with danger in some locales. Be Safe!
**Thanks to all who participated in 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
**Options for those who wish to discuss Epicurus on the internet include:
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, we have “Epicurean Private Garden.” 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. Work is starting on a FAQ and other resources. Anyone can read the posts, but only approved members can create new posts or comment.