Starting Point Questions

  • Over on the Facebook Epicurean Philosophy page a new participant appeared for the first time and asked a question about "consumerism." Here is a followup question I asked of him in turn. I think this makes a good set of "starting point" questions for most anyone new to Epicurus:

    I don't think you have posted many times before your recent question which went straight to the "consumerism" issue, so we don't know where you stand on any of the much more basic issues in Epicurean philosophy. So just out of curiosity I'd like to ask:

    1 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that supernatural gods did not create the universe, and are not controlling your life?

    2 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that there is no life (and therefore no punishment or reward) after death?

    3 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that pleasure and pain are the ultimate motivators of life, rather than ideal forms or "virtue" or instructions from religion?

    4 - Are you confirmed in the viewpoint that the way to decide what to choose and avoid is to weigh the full consequences of a decision in terms of how much pleasure or pain that it brings you?

    5 - Do you agree that it is essential to study natural science in order to dispel false superstitions that prevent us from being fully happy?

    6 - Do you agree that assertions of logic are to be tested by whether those assertions conform with the evidence of the senses, rather than testing the evidence of the senses to see if they conform with the assertions of logic?

    All of those are much more fundamental than "consumerism," so I am curious as to whether you have taken positions in your mind on these earlier and more important issues. I bet it would be interesting to consider how your positions on the earlier issues relate to your views on the latter issue.