I think Cassius and I have basically come to an accord.
I agree that it is pedagogically useful to understand how Epicurus reasoned out the positions on physics that he did, while at the same time using the Canon ourselves today with the information we have available now to re-evaluate (and occasionally dismiss, when relevant) those conclusions.
That is all I wanted to accomplish for this conversation in the first place.
This is leading ultimately to a new discussion which gets at the root of my concerns.
(Cassius, if the following needs to be moved somewhere else, please do so.)
To ask a new question, which likely may have been addressed before, but which I would like to understand for myself, what does it mean to call someone a "neo-Epicurean"?
From etymology, it would appear that the prefix "neo-" just means "new", but of course words develop in different contexts and also it seems the term "New Epicurean" is tolerable, whereas there is a guideline post that specifically rejects "neo-Epicurean" in favor of "Epicurean".
I would like to propose the division of words that implement the prefix "neo-" into two categories: revivalist (i.e. neo-classical, neo-Romantic, etc.) and revisionist (i.e. neo-Kantian, neo-liberal, neo-conservative, etc.).
By my division here, I satisfy both and would therefore classify myself as a neo-Epicurean, in the particular sense that I am for seeking a revival of the Epicurean tradition and also a revision of some of the conclusions of the physics.
We have debated at length as to how I would defend the important conclusions of Epicurus' ethics from a modern scientific standpoint employing Canonical evidence from Darwinian evolution, paleoanthropology and group evolutionary psychology, modern physics, etc., none of which contravene the ultimate metaphysical position of materialism/naturalism, as well as hedonism, which are central to Epicurean philosophy. (I am saying I am using the Canon to ascertain the truth, which makes me at the very least Epicurean.)
If we are satisfied with this understanding of 'neo-Epicurean', then I would invite the admins to omit the clause on 'not neo-Epicurean but Epicurean' on their guidelines page.