My blood pressure was already high today before I received this link from someone who was no doubt trying to be helpful.
I do not think it would be possible, if someone worked for 100 years, to state the "ascetic" position more clearly and more efficiently than is the video which is receiving the first nomination for the year.
THIS was not an auspicious start:
Not ten seconds into the video strike too, a false picture of Epicurus:
Followed immediately by ANOTHER false picture of Epicurus:
Why? The producer apparently knows the correct image, as it is portrayed on the title image of the video.
But I digress. These are followed immediately by a classic eastern symbol of asceticism:
As to the rest, you know what is striking to me in this video? He is hitting repeatedly that Epicurus did not want us to pursue "vain" desires / pleasures because they have no natural limit. That's the exact argument that Plato uses against Philebus to prove that pleasure cannot be the goal. But according to this view, Epicurus held that it is ONLY the "natural" desires that have a limit, and are therefore worth pursuing. In other words, he is saying that Epicurus held that we should STRICTLY seek only bread and water, because hunger has a limit, but we should never pursue any pleasure of any kind that has no limit. In other words, he is saying it is valid to to look at bread and water as a legitimate pleasure because it has a limit in the moment when we eat, but it is NOT valid to ever pursue any "unnecessary" desire because we'll want more of it. Can you imagine any more logical way to convince someone to shut up, sit down, and go live in a cave on bread and water? And to contend not only that it's the most logical way of life, but indeed the HIGHEST way of life?????? If this version were in fact correct, Epicurus would be in my estimation one of the most worthless and indeed evil philosophers in the history of the world.
It ought to be obvious (and would be if someone were aware of the Philebus argument) that the point of the limit is a LIFETIME limit, and not an "of the moment" limit. I dare say that "for the moment" anyone could be satisfied with greed or power or fame or any other of the clearly "unnecessary" pleasures, just like they can be satisfied with one hamburger "for the moment." But what about tomorrow, and the next day? More hamburgers! Same with water, or air, or bread!
OMG, people who wrote this video, don't you think Epicurus could see that too? The "satisfied for the moment" argument has no part in what Epicurus was teaching. The limit that is relevant and important is not "of the moment" but a "lifetime" limit, and the reason it is important is that it answers Plato's argument that pleasure has no limit, not that it drives us to a life of asceticism!
And of course he highlights MODERATION! how many times have you guys counted the word "moderation" appears in the Epicurean texts??? By my count, ZERO! Elli am I wrong about that?
And the oldest standby of them all for the pro-ascetic "Epicureans" - get rid of all UNNECESSARY desires:
I strongly doubt that any other video or other multimedia presentation can challenge this one as packing more nonsense into less than ten minutes. Of course I should be careful with the term "nonsense" - this is the accepted view of virtually the entire "Epicurean" academic community. Neverthless, I deem it nonsense so this is nomination one.
The floor is now open for more nominations, or commentary on this first one.
Here it is in all its glory: