Last night at our Zoom meeting I brought up the discussion question of "What makes someone an Epicurean?" and also followed that with "Would you consider yourself an Epicurean?" ...and we had lots of interesting thoughts shared on these two questions.
Here are a few of the points (of what I can remember) which came up regarding whether someone considers themselves to be an Epicurean:
-- a person adopts that label for themselves
-- the study and implementation of the philosophy of Epicurus
-- agreement with all of the philosophy of Epicurus
-- regular attendance at 20th meetings
-- belief in specific things, such as a materialist view of the universe (Cassius has a good list in the preceeding post in this thread).
There isn't a strict line that would prohibit one to consider themselves as such. Epicurus isn't alive to say who is and isn't an Epicurean.
Occasionally we notice that there are some people who "are Epicurean" without knowing about Epicurus. So that brings up the idea regarding the importance of a philosophical lineage, and the following point by Cassius:
My own first question is "Does the person call himself an Epicurean?" Epicurean philosophers have always acknowledged a debt to the person of Epicurus himself as the founder of the school. So if the person doesn't explicitly talk about Epicurus, that is probably a bright line that would eliminate that person from being considered to be a part of the Epicurean school, no matter how many admirable personality traits or interests we can identify in them.
And also, everyone else is welcome to weigh in on this topic as well