Another Highly Counterproductive Video on Epicurus - "Philosophies For Life" - "Eight Life Lessons From Epicurus" - NOT Recommended

  • I am sure that many people are as tired of my negativism about popular videos on Epicurus as i am of being so, but I suppose it's better to comment for the record than ignore the reality of what is out there. Here's the latest:

    Aside from the fact that the narrator apparently has trouble pronouncing Epicurus's name, here is the NUMBER ONE LIFE LESSON to take away from the philosophy of Epicurus: "BE CONTENT WITH LITTLE." Sigh, double sigh, and triple sigh.

    What are the other seven? I will spare you having to watch the video - I hope the commenter who posted these was correct:

    1. Be content with little, minimalist
    2. Study philosophy all your life, the love of wisdom, the key to a good life
    3. Learn to rely on yourself, live justly, prudently, honorably
    4. Develop courage through adversity, it makes us stronger.
    5. Get great friends, to ensure the happiness throughout the whole of life
    6. Do not try to be popular, be authentic yourself
    7. Don’t fear death, enjoy life
    8. Strive to achieve peace of mind, tranquil pleasure, a sense of calm and peace

    Several of those aren't too far from the mark (e.g. 5, 6) , but if Epicurus were here today I do NOT think he would be happy that his life's work and his devotion to the study of Nature had been homogenized into such a timid pudding.

    I won't belabor the point because I have too many productive things to do, but notice, just for the sake of a start, that the NUMBER ONE DOCTRINE OF EPICURUS - to the effect that there are no supernatural gods - does not even appear in those eight lessons at all!

    The second most important - death is nothing to us - appears only in the watered down version of "Don't fear death." Well Mr. "Philosophies for Life," Christians don't fear death either because their treasure is in heaven. Does that make THEM Epicureans too?

    And as to the core idea that "Pleasure" is the beginning and end of the proper life - can anyone dig that out of those eight without a backhoe?

    I'll close with the core argument of so much of Epicurean philosophy: that virtue is not an end in itself, but is determined by whether it in fact leads to pleasure. I don't think even a backhoe would be sufficient to find that one in those eight!

    I didn't watch past the point of the clip I pasted above. If anyone finds something in the rest relevant for discussion, by all means please post. But I don't recomment spending the time ;)