I am in the process of brainstorming...and would especially appreciate any ideas for "steps" or descriptions (and maybe it needs more than 7 steps?) from Joshua, Don, Godfrey, Martin, TauPhi, Onenski, and kochiekoch.
The following "Seven Steps to the Ethics of Epicurus" is a work in progress:
1. The nature of the world, the soul, death, and god(s) - The basis of everything is atoms and void and nothing comes from nothing - there are no supernatural elements or forces, no afterlife, and no angry gods. Death is natural and not something to dread.
2. Pleasure is the guide of life. Pleasure is good and pain is evil. But at times the painful is chosen if it prevents a worse pain or leads to a greater pleasure or to the health and happiness of the soul. The virtues are useful when they lead to pleasure and health.
3. Choices and avoidances according three categories -- natural & necessary for health of the body and the soul; natural but not necessary (a variation of sensation); unnatural and unnecessary.
7. The gods are blissful beings who are to be emulated
8. Study natural science and practice the Epicurean ethics together with those of like mind.