The Notre Dame Fire

  • .... Additionally, as Matt, rightly, pointed out that Liantinis killed himself in order to protest and emphasize his disdain through a symbolic and final personal act of murdering himself...I interpret that as hatred and disdain against his individual humanity and our collective humanity. Epicurus would certainly not have approved of Liantinis and would've rightly labeled Liantinis a fool.

    Matthaeus the ethnic nationalism and anti-semitism in here is stomach sickening...

    Cassius, I wish you luck with Epicurean Friends, I'm an Epicurean but ethnic-nationalists and anti-semites are not friends of mine - and witnessing here the thoughtless copy/paste approach by a moderator and dramatic use of fonts and regurgitation of seemingly prepared counter-responses drown out dialogue. Such immature and mindless behaviour has unfortunately, greatly, undermined your project of Epicurean Friends.

    I wrote a piece for the Humanist on euthanasia, and the research I did for this proved that only one Epicurean in antiquity ever committed suicide and this was a frowned upon practice among the Epicureans except in cases of terminal disease or when a person is already lying on the battlefield near death. Committing suicide to prove a point politically is about as far from ataraxia / a life of pleasure as one gets.

    Also, the problem of nationalism and anti-Semitism is something we have seen before in some Epicurean groups and circles, it's a source of embarrassment and keeps us from being able to effectively carry our message. Here in Chicago I met a guy who I guess considered himself Epicurean (he came to my Epicurean meetup twice) who was a Serbian white supremacy enthusiast (and very homophobic), had strong fascist tendencies, and spent the first 15 minutes of our very first conversation ever spewing arguments in defense of the Bosnian genocide.

    I wrote the atheism 2.1 essay hoping to address political militancy among atheists and where it goes wrong, but it could also be applied to the Epicureans.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • Hello to all the friends. The limits on pain and pleasure are personal. Liantinis was a Spartan, and as a Spartan he matured with the idea for keeping Thermopylae. This idea/prolepsis/preconception/anticipation was stuck to his mind in all of his life. He thought that his action to end his life was an action to protest against those issues that we live today in Greece and are producing to our society a lot of pain. Maybe Liantinis decided that to escape from something that produced to him a lot of pain. Maybe Liantinis thought that his action was a heroic and brave action. It is the same with Georgakis who was born in my home-island and had set himself on fire in the middle of a square to Genova, in Italy to protest against the dictatorship that was then, in Greece.

    For Georgakis now, my compatriots made a big statue placing it to a square in my home-island. This is the prolepsis/anticipation/preconception that had been stuck in Georgaki's that was measured by him on the basis of his experiences and the circumstances. And as Liantinis did , he saw, he measured, and he decided. And by the way Metrodorus says :

    47. I have anticipated thee, Fortune, and entrenched myself against all thy secret attacks. And we will not give ourselves up as captive to thee or to any other circumstance; but when it is time for us to go, spitting contempt on life and on those who vainly cling to it, I will leave life crying aloud a glorious triumph-song that we have lived well.

    Liantinis decided that was the time for him to go and of what his 15,000 students at the university confirm, they say that he lived well as he also remarked many times to them that life is a GREAT GIFT. Of course I do not say that this idea is good or bad. I do not moralize and this issue. I do not say that the christians were disgraceful when for a name of a god threw themselves to the lions, as they say. Anyone is free to offer and taking whatever he likes in his life. And everyone is free to make his hedonic calculation. But for me, frankly as an Epicurean the issue of survival is a great issue, and of course the pleasurable survival is the greatest issue. So I consider hostile whatever is against to my pleasurable survival, and of course, this goes in extension to my family, friends and my society. Maybe Liantinis started his values from the end : the society, the friends, the family and the last was himself. These are the greeks they count upside down. But if someone would place me a question to give my life to save my children or my close friends this is another issue to talk about seriously for putting aside myself. Because I keep in mind those two sayings.

    56. The wise man feels no more pain when being tortured himself than when his friend tortured.

    57. On occasion a man will die for his friend, for if he betrays his friend, his whole life will be confounded by distrust and completely upset.


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

  • In regard to the comments by Oscar, which I think are two posts above (post 60).

    Oscar I note your objections but I do not accept them as accurate. It appears that you feel like any discussion of the ant-theism in general, or the well documented ancient Epicurean - Judaism conflict in particular, should be off limits. I strongly disagree. The core issues involved in theism go right to the root of the conflict between Epicurean philosophy and Stoicism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, and any other form of theism.

    I have previously overlooked your use of words like "fool" "ethnic nationalists" "anti-semitic" "regurgitation" "immature" and "mindless" to describe someone who is a long-time supporter of Epicurus, a valued friend, and Moderator of the forum.

    We cannot overlook that any longer. Repeated use of accusations of this type will result in your account being suspended.

    Of course anonymous registrations are allowed, so there would be nothing to prevent you from setting up a new account and proceeding from there. Our intent here is to moderate the content of posts, not the people who set up accounts, so each account will be judged on the merit of its own track record of postings.

    Epicurean philosophy is inherently anti-theistic. Those who are strong theists, or defenders of strong theism, are naturally not going to be at home in any form which makes an effort to be true to Epicurean philosophy. That's something that applies to Christianity, Islam, Mormonism - or Judaism or any other theistic religion. We will moderate to make sure that gratuitous slurs and unnecessarily personal commentary are kept to an absolute minimum, but free discussion of issues relevant to core principles such as theism and ant-theism are always going to be protected from efforts at censorship.

    I remind everyone reading this of PD39:

    The man who best knows how to meet external threats makes into one family all the creatures he can; and those he can not, he at any rate does not treat as aliens; and where he finds even this impossible, he avoids all dealings, and, so far as is advantageous, excludes them from his life.

    it's a big world, and there is plenty of room for people of all type - including Epicureans who truly want to follow Epicurean philosophy.

  • In regard to Liantinis' suicide I largely agree with Hiram on this, where Hiram wrote:

    I wrote a piece for the Humanist on euthanasia, and the research I did for this proved that only one Epicurean in antiquity ever committed suicide and this was a frowned upon practice among the Epicureans except in cases of terminal disease or when a person is already lying on the battlefield near death. Committing suicide to prove a point politically is about as far from ataraxia / a life of pleasure as one gets.


    I don't know that the examples Hiram listed are the only situations where sucide is appropriate, and I suppose that since the universe is not predetermined in any way, every situation has to be judged on its own merits. But clearly Epicurus said that a person who has many reasons to commit suicide is of little account. (or something like that - I don't have the quote)

    Also, I think it is important to recognize that Liantinis did not consider himself to be primarily an Epicurean, any more that Nietzsche did. There are important strains and appreciation for Epicurus that run through Liantinis, but - Elli correct me if I am wrong - Liantinis did not consider himself or label himself as a primarily an Epicurean. And to the extent that he tried to be eclectic, rather than Epicurean, that was probably a large part of any poor thinking on suicide that he may have had.

  • Cassius Liantinis never said that he was an Epicurean. He was more as an eclectic, for this sometimes his views are controversial like Nietzsche's. Liantini's admiration was for Ionian philosophers, for Nietzsche, for Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and not for Epicurus especially. But for Epicurus and his philosophy, he had pointed out some good things, but he did not study epicurean philosophy as a whole like you and me, and many others.

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

  • Yes that is my understanding. Even though Liantinis wrote against Stoicism (as I understand it) he was more of an Aristotelian/Platonist and he did not agree with a number of fundamental Epicurean presumptions. That's much the way I see Nietzsche, -- as having much insight into what Epicurus was doing, but allowing themselves to be "turned off" by the "absence of pain" issue. Now why didn't they analyze the "absence of pain" the same way we do, and look to all the many other statements in favor of the normal interpretation of "pleasure."?

    That's a question that deserves a lot of thought. Were they?

    (1) So turned off by the drumbeat of the majority interpretation that they didn't think it was worthwhile to fight it?

    (2) Were they such original thinkers that they really saw themselves as such rebels personally that they didn't want to be considered to be part of anyone's "team" or "school?"

    Of course:

    (3) Maybe they just disagreed with what DeWitt, Gosling & Taylor, Nikolsky, and others can see, along with us.

    But I tend to think the reason is a mixture of (1) and (2) . The passages that support normal pleasure are clear and numerous, and they totally conflict with the superficial interpretation of the lines in the letter to Menoeceus. It's easy to see that something is missing from the surviving texts, and that there must be a key that harmonizes the apparent conflicts. Rather than looking for that key, I guess they (especially Nietzsche) just decided it was better to come up with his own brand of "will to power."

  • I found this post to FB in many greek profiles of my friends.

    The area that is now «Notre Dame» was an island, and on top of it was built the temple of Zeus Carneus by Tiberius Caesar Augustus. It was then the center of the French-Romans. For to visit the temple there were sailors with boats who carried the pilgrims and protected the Temple. Then Paris was called by Romans Lutetia. A column that was found writes : "To Zeus Carneous, Carnous" for the Celts.

    In 1710, during the construction of a crypt underneath the temple of «Notre-Dame», a column dedicated to Zeus with the foundations of a Roman temple that was dedicated to Zeus. This was first published by Baudelot de Dairval in 1712. /, and testifies the excavation.
    The column is dated by a dedication of the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar August who took over his emperor in year 14.
    The Roman temple was dedicated to Zeus and existed there before the advent of Christianity.

    The column of the temple is called "the column of sailors" of Parrasia or Parisias.
    The column says:
    "During the reign of Tiberius Caesar Augustus, to the High and Great Jupiter,
    the Parisian sailors raised this column with public money.

    The origin of the French Parisians comes from a breed known as the Parrasians who were people of Arcadia. The 15th-century Italian humanist and poet John Baptist Mantuanus writes that: the Parrasians, who led from a place of Arcadia by Hercules, came to France, where they settled and gave to the nation the name of Paris.
    With the advent of Christianity, the temple
    of Zeus was destroyed and to its place Christians built 4 temples before «Notre-Dame».

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