The Notre Dame Fire

  • 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!


    From a tv show and at 40.40 minutes there is a remarkable excerpt of a conversation between the journalist Mr. Pantelis Savvides and the Dean of Theology at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Mr. Miltiades Konstantinou.

    - Μr. Konstantinou: Whoever reads the gospels will notice carefully that all the discussions that Christ does with the theologians of his era are on this: who is the true Israelite…

    - Mr. Savvidis: Who is?

    - Mr. Konstantinou: He who truly respects the Law of God. And Christ always gives his own interpretation in all these conversations every time. Therefore, here comes Christ saying: I tell you the authentic interpretation of the Law (of God).

    - Mr. Savvidis: So, Christianity is a continuation of Judaism...

    - Mr. Konstantinou: An evolution of Judaism ... yes, from somewhere it starts ...

    - Mr. Savvidis: That is, Christianity is a development of the Judaism…

    - Mr. Konstantinou: Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism…

    (We repeat thrice the absolute acceptance) : Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… 8o8o

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

  • (We repeat thrice the absolute acceptance) : Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… Certainly, Christianity is another version of Judaism… 8o8o

    Christianity has been defined as a ‘morality of slaves.’ What genealogy and psychology lay behind this new forma mentis?

    Nietzsche believed the Jews, as a historically oppressed group, were responsible for the spread and triumph of ‘slave morality’ over the ‘master morality’ of noble, culture-creating aristocracies:

    “All the world’s efforts against the aristocrats, the mighty, the masters, the holders of power are negligible by comparison with what has been accomplished against those classes by the Jews—the Jews, that priestly nation which eventually realized that the one method of effecting satisfaction on its enemies and tyrants was by means of a radical transvaluation of values, which was at the same time an act of the cleverest revenge. Yet the method was only appropriate to a nation of priests, to a nation of the most jealously nursed priestly revengefulness. It was the Jews who, in opposition to the aristocratic equation (good = aristocratic = beautiful = happy = loved by the gods), dared with terrifying logic to suggest the contrary equation, and indeed to maintain with the teeth of the most profound hatred—the hatred of weakness—this contrary equation, namely, the wretched are alone the good; the poor, the weak, the lowly, are alone the good; the suffering, the needy, the sick, the loathsome, are the only ones who are pious, the only ones who are blessed, for them alone is salvation—but you, on the other hand, you aristocrats, you men of power, you are to all eternity the evil, the horrible, the covetous, the insatiate, the godless; eternally also shall you be the unblessed, the cursed, the damned!”

    (Genealogy of Morals)

    Judaism was the soil out of which grew Christianity—the flower of slave morality. Though a single unified system, it carried different emphases for the two groups. For the Jews, the foci were self-pity, ethnic solidarity, thirst for revenge, obsession with freedom, hatred of the strong and powerful, and desire to recover lost wealth. The Christians—through the figure of Jesus—preferred to emphasise the value of the downtrodden (‘blessed are the meek’); faith in God to bring justice (‘the meek shall inherit the Earth’); salvation in the afterlife—and a fixation with love as means for ameliorating suffering.

    Nietzsche considered that the struggle between these competing moralities was the single most important event in all of history, symbolised as a conflict between Judea, representing slave morality, and Rome, representing master morality:

    “The symbol of this fight—between the two means of valuations—written in a writing which has remained worthy of perusal throughout the course of history up to the present time—is called, Rome against Judea, Judea against Rome. Hitherto there has been no greater event than that fight, the putting of that question, that deadly antagonism. Rome found in the Jew the incarnation of the unnatural, as though it were its diametrically opposed monstrosity, and in Rome the Jew was held convicted of hatred of the entire human race; and rightly so, insofar as it is right to link the well-being and the future of the human race to the unconditional mastery of the aristocratic values, of the Roman values . . . The Romans were the strong and aristocratic; a nation stronger and more aristocratic has never existed in the world, has never even been dreamed of . . . The Jews, conversely, were that priestly nation of ressentiment par excellence, possessed by a unique genius for popular morals . . . Which of them has been provisionally victorious, Rome or Judea? . . . Rome is undoubtedly defeated.”

    (Genealogy of Morals)

  • Daniel:

    My study into the details of Nietzsche is limited, so if you know --- to what "writing" is this a reference?

    The symbol of this fight—between the two means of valuations—written in a writing which has remained worthy of perusal throughout the course of history up to the present time....

    As to me personally, I fully agree with the thrust of what N. is saying here. "Slave morality" rings bells in my mind as another variation of "class warfare" as well, as just another means of asserting some "other" goal, other than the "pleasure" of the individuals involved, as the meaning of life. The list of abstractions that can be set up to take the place of "the feeling of pleasure given to us by Nature" seems endless.

  • The quotation is extracted from the First Essay of „Genealogy of Morals“, entitled ‚Good and Evil, Good and Bad.‘

    In it, Nietzsche argues that the two opposite pairs 'good/evil' and 'good/bad' have very different origins, and that the word 'good' itself came to represent two opposed meanings. In the 'good/bad' distinction, 'good' is synonymous with nobility and everything which is powerful and life-asserting; in the 'good/evil' distinction, which Nietzsche calls 'slave morality', the meaning of 'good' is made the antithesis of the original aristocratic 'good', which itself is re-labelled 'evil'. This inversion of values develops out of the ressentiment of the powerful by the weak.

    „Writing“ is the translation of „Schrift“ in the original German version. Sometimes, „Schrift“ can also be translated as „Script.“ Nietzsche is describing a sort of primeval ‚clash of civilizations,‘ so to speak.

    „Let's bring this to a conclusion. The two opposing values "good and bad," "good and evil" have fought a fearful battle on earth for thousands of years...“ (Genealogy of Morals, Essay I, 16)

  • This fight among two moralities i.e. the bravery and slavery is given inside a Nietzsche's book with graphics. The picture is with a brave eagle that wants to fly free onto the skies and a snake that tightens its body. The snake's body is made of sheep that always are connected with the slave morality... if the snake-sheep will manage to choke the eagle then the sheep will go inside the sheepfold for eating their stupid-grass and waiting for their slaughter...8o

  • Sorry, Cassius I do not have this book in my home now. There is in my son's home. It is a greek edition that I do not remember many details. Long time ago I had scanned this photo with the eagle and the snake, because our friend George Kaplanis used it for one of his articles. :)

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

  • I like Nietzsche enough that I've written a full series of essays with CRITICAL Epicurean content about Nietzsche, both praising and criticizing his ideas…nietzsches-will-to-power/

    I mainly criticize his idea about truth as an expression of will versus truth as an expression of nature (which is the Epicurean concept of truth), his aristocratic ideals, and while his genealogy of morals is interesting and useful we have to be mindful not to dismiss all community and friendship and the values that sustain them as "slave morality". Just like Marx gives a great critique of capitalism but fails to PREDICT future capitalist relations and fails to create a useful utopian ideal, similarly Nietzsche gives a good methodology to critique and study morality, but fails to produce a useful alternative.

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

  • we have to be mindful not to dismiss all community and friendship and the values that sustain them as "slave morality".

    Absolutely I agree with that. However, the particular values and ideas that give rise to "slave morality" are another form of virtue ethics, or worse. I don't think that those are compatible with Epicurean philosophy, nor (and more importantly) are people who firmly hold to those ideas likely ever to be friendly with people of Epicurean persuasion, any more are people who firmly hold to conventional Platonic or Stoic ideas.