Thanks for the link, although I really don't like the reddit abyss. I'm writing a formal article on this, stay tuned!
Yes the reddit abyss is well underway already, when I checked it. I do think it's important to keep in mind that since there is no absolute justice, there is likely not going to be a "best" Epicurean form of society either, and that much will depend on the circumstances then and there existing.
And in addition to the differing views of how to treat people "within" the society, there is the difficult issue of how to treat those outside the society, especially if they would like to come into it, and especially further if they would like to come into it without accepting the full consensus of the original society.
I'm not advocating for nor do I pretend to assert a best form of society. I can only, insofar as it is plausible, suggest a fairer society for its individual inhabitants. I think society must embrace change and be malleable in rough times or times of plenty. Perhaps, a society of individual responsibility, merit and potential. But that's just a very brief outline Cassius.
I agree we also need to concern ourselves with the treatment of 'insiders' and 'outsiders' on the basis of our collective humanity and not on differences in the trivial sense.
I don't listen much to your presidents/politics as I try to protect myself from the cult of personalities and political/mass-media spheres of influence, but it was your former President Obama, who said, after the abhorrent and tragic massacre in Colorado at the Dark Knight midnight premiere..."anything to take away from this tragedy, it's a reminder that life is very fragile, our time here is limited and it is precious. What matters at the end of the day is not all the small things; it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives, ultimately it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another." That sort of leadership, which is required and actually touching the human spirit and condition, sadly at a deficit around the world.
Video of the speech is linked below, and it does bring tears of hope to my eyes.
These are definitely difficult issues. Where Epicurus comes in the most, I think, is that he teaches that we need to consider this issue, like every other, in the context of pleasure and pain, and not in the context of abstractions like "virtue." That's a perspective that many people don't like to consider, but if we're going to be rigorous (as we should) then it's the alpha and omega of any ethical question.
Well certainly, denying the human emotions and sensations of others is dehumanizing and leaves my stomach with a sickened feeling. That's why I try my best to never miss an opportunity to do good for another, by doing so I do good for myself, in terms of pleasure, which is what I usually say. For example,
Person in front of my in the coffee lineup is at the register but notices he's misplaced his wallet and therefore cannot pay for his order of a muffin and coffee.
I notice this, and declare my intention that to pay for him, a perfect stranger to me, and remark such a mistake has also happened to me.
I pay and then he say's thank you kindly but I quickly insist; no, my friend, the pleasure was all mine.