On The Need For Scientific Knowledge

  • Over the years we have sometimes had debates over how important it is to study physics and biology and epistemology (the canon). Some - primarily the anesthesiologists - say knowledge in those areas is not important, but I think that's a laughably silly suggestion. Of all people, Epicureans are MOST in need of knowledge in a broad spectrum of areas, because we do not rely on gods or absolute idealistic standards to tell us what to do. For the Epicurean, the test of every choice, every action, is "What will happen to me if I choose this course of action and what will happen to me if I don't?"

    Accurate predictions about the future results of our courses of actions are hard enough even with a broad knowledge of Natural Science, of Humanity, and of History. Without knowledge in those areas, no accurate predictions about the future are possible at all.

    As recorded from Epicurus himself, the rule is: PD71. "Question each of your desires: 'What will happen to me if that which this desire seeks is achieved, and what if it is not?'"

  • From Epicurus’ Description of the Wise Man, by Diogenis Laertius.

    In my opinion the procedure would go like this :

    The epicureans will teach things that are clear, rather than doubtful musings ==>The epicureans will show a regard for their reputation to such an extent as to avoid being despised ==> So, the epicureans will not hesitate to go to the courts===> But IF the epicureans want to go the courts, first thing first is to observe carefully the phenomena : IF the laws are still beneficial and if the justice is serving the pleasure of all the people of the community. If not, then the procedure will start again from the beginning : "The epicureans will teach things that are clear, rather than doubtful musings. And this means "the enlightment" i.e. to create such kind of people around, just to be able of making a new social contract with such agreements and laws to not harm each other. :)

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!