Seven Reasons Why We Need More Epicurean Content Creators

  • In addition to what Hiram mentions, there are a couple of other factors relevant to this that I would note:

    (1) There are some deep and legitimate differences of opinion about what Epicurean philosophy really means. For example, see my comments under the article linked by Alexander Detrojan nearby. While I think the article conveys some points that are correct, I think it conveys them in a way that I find totally unattractive, and that I (more importantly) think that most strong and healthy younger people would find unattractive.

    (2) Lurking beneath the surface of many issues that Epicurean philosophy touches are are controversial "political" questions. Even the "live unknown" slogan is subject to controversy, but the issues go much deeper than that, so there is an underlying tension that tends to make people focus on superficialities ("eat drink and be merry") rather than very real issues of religion and philosophical disposition on very deep and divisive issues.

    I don't think Epicurus and his philosophy won their fame by avoiding those issues, and I think we have to confront them too. We need to prepare ourselves that we aren't all going to agree on every issue, but rather than sweep them under the rug, I think that the great majority of us can agree to focus on fundamentals and hold aside disagreement on specific applications for separate emphasis in our individual side projects.

    As Hiram says we need MORE discussion of these issues, even the controversial ones, rather than less. That leads in the direction, as Hiram says, to MORE blogs and podcasts and writing, rather than less, by people who are unfraid to acknowledge their disagremeents.

    And that is where the quote: "I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know" has very real application, not as a statement of defeat, but of the reality that we all don't agree even among ourselves, much less with the rest of the world.


    Note: My comment on the article linked by A.D. referenced above: "I scanned both that article and the followup on that website, entitled "An Epicurean Cure." I see that it is mirrored by an article entitled "Why Stoicism Matters Today." The Epicurean articles are not bad, but there's a certain tone of resignation and even defeat throughout them of which I don't think an ancient Epicurean would approve. And not a hint of the glorious triumph song from VS47: "I have anticipated you, Fortune, and entrenched myself against all your secret attacks. And we will not give ourselves up as captives to you or to any other circumstance; but when it is time for us to go, spitting contempt on life and on those who here vainly cling to it, we will leave life crying aloud in a glorious triumph-song that we have lived well."