Star Conclusions of Epicurean Theory

  • The usefulness of every bullet-point list has to be judged by its context and its target. The 40 Authorized Doctrines, for example, were clearly compiled for people who had a significant prior understanding both of Epicurean theory and general philosophical issues. The key Epicurean principles of physics that are necessary to the conclusions were not included at all, and canonics / epistemology is mentioned only briefly. With that background I want to prepare a graphic that summarizes in very brief but very clear terms some of the most important take-aways that a person who knows nothing about Epicurus would find most important. I have prepared this draft list as a start. Each item needs to be short but clear, and that's why I have not used any words like "canonics" or "anticipations" or even "truth," which are ambiguous at best and bewildering to most people.

    As an example of my thinking, I have been considering including: "The Universe Is Eternal and Infinite, and Life Does Not Exist Only on Earth." However such a statement is long, not necessarily related to "ethics," and would probably appeal to more of a "geeky" audience (like myself maybe) rather than to a general reader.

    There's no magic number, and I will probably mix and match lists according to the context in which I use them, but your thoughts and suggestions for pithy statements of key points would be appreciated! Think about the points that are most meaningful to you.

    The current list is:

    1- There Are No Supernatural Gods.

    2- There Is No Life After Death.

    3- Feeling is the Natural Guide To Happiness.

    4- Happiness is The Goal of Life.

    5- We Measure Our Own Happiness By Our Feelings Of Pleasure And Pain.

    6- There is No Absolute Reason.

    7- There is No Absolute Virtue.

    8- There is No Absolute Justice.

    9- Nothing is Reasonable Or Virtuous or Just That Does Not Lead To Happiness.