Posts by Cassius

    EC: Gaius Florius Lupus, actually, whether hunger is a pain or not depends on the person and the situation-- it is impossible for one person, from the "outside", to define pain and pleasure for another person, and this is an important feature of the philosophy- that pain and pleasure are subjective.


    I only experience hunger as a pain if I think for some reason that my next meal is uncertain or will be significantly delayed beyond usual. Otherwise, hunger is part of the anticipation, and I enjoy it as a pleasure. I know from experience that waiting to eat until I am actually hungry, instead of by the clock, makes the meal much more enjoyable. As Ben Franklin said, "hunger is the best pickle."


    I find this to be the case with all the necessary and natural pleasures. Sleep for instance-- it feels pleasurable to get tired and sleepy at the end of a day, unless for some reason I need to stay up instead, such as for work. Getting into bed when sleepy feels luxurious... a pleasure. Waking from sleep when I've gotten enough is another pleasure.


    Our bodies have biological cycles that do not have to be occasions for pains, unless we are unable to attend to those needs when they arise.


    Cassius Amicus: I agree with EC. As to this "that pain and pleasure are subjective" I agree as well. I would add that I think this too: Our individual experience of pain and pleasure is subjective, just like we individually see birds or trees or buildings depending on where we are and what direction we look.


    In addition, I think Epicurus was intending to teach us that pain and pleasure also important to recognize as "faculties" just like seeing or hearing, and that is why they are placed in the canonical triad of faculties.


    Everyone's individual experience is different at any moment, depending on circumstances, but it is also possible to develop a scientific understanding of pain and pleasure, just like it is possible to develop a science of optics and of audiology. We can study how pain and pleasure work to allow us to have a better understanding of the faculty, and thereby enhance them and improve their functioning, just like we can enhance the work of the eyes and of the ears with telescopes and hearing aids.


    I write this comment because I think we face a major problem in discussing pleasure and pain. We discuss them today as if they are nothing more than individual discrete experiences which have no further significance, and which we can rank as "good" or "bad" as if there is some outside standard for them (religion, idealism).


    But I think the more important perspective philosophically is to understand pleasure and pain as a faculty that is the one given by Nature for our guidance, and not allow that faculty to be replaced by divine revelation or the idea that logic/reason can provide "better" goals for living.


    That's why Epicurus is damned from all quarters, because he is at war not only with divine religion, but with "the academy" which asserts logic and reason and "virtue" as alternate guidance systems to replace what Nature gave us.


    Epicurus was not teaching a new system (such as religion or idealism) by which we should rank cookies or pies or sex or music as "good" or "bad." He was teaching us that we ourselves have a faculty, given by Nature, by which we reach those determinations without need for priests or academic experts.


    GF: If we understand hunger as a form of pain, then there will necessarily be a state of hunger/pain between two meals. And the regular satisfaction of this need gives pleasure. We can never be constantly satisfied in all our physical needs. We are always oscillating between needs and their satisfaction. The smaller these oscillations are, the closer we are to eudaimonia.


    Cassius Amicus: In Gosling & Taylor's "The Greeks on Pleasure" there is a discussion, if I recall, of the pleasures that arise from the fulfilment of bodily needs (such as hunger) with the experience of pleasures that do not arise from bodily needs (such as enjoying the fragrance of flowers, as a minor example). There are huge numbers of such pleasures which do not arise from need, and yet are perfectly acceptable to pursue in Epicurean terms so long as we evaluate them in accord with what the activity produces - net pleasure over pain.


    To overemphasize satisfaction of basic needs as the goal of life would also tend toward asceticism and apathy, as I believe you commented earlier.


    In fact I would go further and say that the word "tend" is a vast understatement. To focus on "needs" rather than "desires,' and to fail to see that no pleasure is a bad thing in itself, will not only tend toward asceticism and apathy and stoicism, it would *demand* it.


    That is why the entire framework of our understanding of pleasure needs to be re-examined according to Epicurean perspectives, because as it is now, our modern framework is totally corrupted.


    If pleasure is the faculty given by Nature for us to know what to choose and to avoid, which I believe Epicurus teaches it is, then all who deprecate and attack pleasure as the goal are essentially "enemies of the human race."

    Theo: "I don't think that life with absence of pain is possible. maybe fleeting pain-less moments. especially since Epicurus includes all kinds of possible pains as to be avoided. the quest for pleasure should be constant.Cyrenaics are not the real but the original hedonists. I like' em cause they are more into fun."


    Cassius Amicus:


    As to Theo's "I don't think that life with absence of pain is possible. maybe fleeting pain-less moments. especially since Epicurus includes all kinds of possible pains as to be avoided. the quest for pleasure should be constant."


    I agree that the quest for pleasure should be constant, with the realization for us humans (as opposed to Epicurean gods) that what we can hope to achieve is NET pleasure but not the elimination of all pains.


    This comment is another occasion to stress that I feel sure Epicurus would agree. This calls back the central point of the analysis stated above - that the entire "absence of pain" issue is a response to a debating point asserted by Plato - that pain has no limit. "Absence of pain" is the "limit of pleasure" and is thus the logical point which refutes Plato.


    Understood as the logical point which refutes Plato, which Epicurean students would have understood given the availability of their teachers and texts, the "absence of pain" argument is critically important in winning the "logic wars" with the anti-Epicureans.


    Understood as a full and complete definition of the word "pleasure" or of "the Epicurean goal of life," then "absence of pain" is disastrously incomplete and leads to total reversal of the philosophy.


    That problem was the fault of Epicurus or the Epicureans, and despite Cicero's insistence of it being confusing, it probably did not cause unnecessary trouble as the Platonic argument and the Epicurean response survived in tandem for people to understand the issue.


    The problem is ours, that our society has been so thoroughly Judeo-Christianized, and so thoroughly Stoicized, that very few people are aware of the details of the original debate and why the issue of "absence of pain" was so important in the ancient Greek Schools.


    Again, the best history and analysis of this in detail, by far, is Gosling & Taylors' "The Greeks on Pleasure." Their points gave rise to the Nikolsky article.

    Gaius:


    Thank you for the detailed answer. I did not expect the issue to be so complex.


    So can we summarize it as"posirive pleasure" beyond the zero state of absence of pain is the simple joy of experiencing life? E.g. a dinner with friends, watching a sunset, a pleasant conversation, celebrating Christmas/Saturnalia etc.?


    Since existence requires the fulfillment of simple desires, eating drinking etc., their satisfaction is already pleasureable. So in absence of pain it is a constant feeling of joy just to live. Is this the positive pleasure Epicurus aims for?


    If I am not mistaken, the Cyrenaics, the real hedonists, had a different view. They agreed with Epicurus about pleasure being the highest good, but they wanted to maximize any kind of bodily pleasures, and they believed that there was no limit to possible pleasure.


    Cassius Amicus:



    First addressing Gaius, as I see it this suggestion ("So in absence of pain it is a constant feeling of joy just to live), which I think is fairly common to make as the definition of katastemic pleasure, does not equate with "the positive pleasure Epicurus aims for."


    Everyone who reads DL will see clearly stated that - even assuming that Epicurus himself addressed the distinction - Epicurus endorsed BOTH pleasures "of rest" and "of activity."


    It would be necessary to repeat the entire chapter of Gosling & Taylor's analysis to explain in full, but their conclusion I think is the correct one: " For if we are right, Epicurus was not advocating the pursuit of some passionless state which could only be called one of pleasure in order to defend a paradox. Rather he was advocating a life where pain is excluded and we are left with familiar physical pleasures. The resultant life may be simple, but it is straightforwardly pleasant.”


    There is no reason in my mind to exclude from "familiar physical pleasures" the normal definitions of joy and delight as the Epicurean goal. And in fact the quote about the feeling that is experienced at the relief from impending disaster, which almost certainly is intense, leans in that direction.


    Rather than the focus on simplicity which does or at least can lead to asceticism, in my view the thrust of Epicurean teaching is contained in the hedonic calculus itself - the goal is pleasure as we normally understand it, to the greatest extent possible within natural bounds as a human, but with every decision in life weighed by the question of whether it will produce greater net happiness or not.


    It would not be consistent in an atomistic universe to have a single type of pleasure which is in itself better than all the rest. People have different preferences and find their pleasures in many different activities. What would be consistent across the whole board would be to look at them as being united in being humans of definite, and not unlimited, lifespan.


    Looking at total lifespan of the individual as the ultimate measure of life, then at the end of that person's life we can ask "How much mental and bodily pleasure, and how much pain, did that person experience over his lifetime? Given that the goal of life is pleasure, that means that the answer is formulated as given by Cicero: The most desired life is one which is "crammed full of pleasures" and accompanied by the least pain.


    That this is best viewed as the individual feeling of the person in assessing his own experience of pleasure and pain is indicated by the saying in the letter to Menoecus that what we are after is not the longest life, but the happiest. It seems to me that in the most general terms all this adds up to a calculation of net pleasure that does not apply to the moment, but to the lifetime of the individual, the only person whose feeling and judgment matters in assessing his or her life.


    Maybe the last point to include is that you are right as far as I can tell that Epicurus held mental pleasures to be as important, and regularly more intense, than "bodily" pleasures, and for that reason his advice a to the calculation including both bodily and mental (clearly stated in On Ends") is more sweeping. But out of respect to the Cyeniacs this distinction seems so obvious that it is difficult to believe that they really held the "bodily pleasures of the moment" position which is attributed to them. They probably had some other position on that in my view, and the comment by DL distinguishing them from Epicurus on this might be an artifact of some other perspective, as Nikolsky argues about the katastematic issue in his article "Epicurus on Pleasure."


    (By the way that article is in the files section here, along with the Wentham article on pleasure being an *experience* and they are both very good articles. The Gosling & Taylor book has the most detailed analysis but that requires a library.)

    Gaius Florius Lupus asked in a related thread: "The idea that there is no positive pleasure beyond the avoidance of pain always was what bothered me most about Epicurus' ethics, because it would lead to apathy. Do you have a quote where he specifies the kind of pleasure beyond absence of pain we should seek to attain? I only know quotes where he warns us of "unnatural desires"


    Because this issue is so important I wanted to respond in a separate thread. Another way of asking the question is: "What references does anyone have to offset what appear to be the clear statements in the Letter to Menoeceus, in PD3: "The limit of quantity in pleasures is the removal of all that is painful," and in PD18: "Once the pain arising from need is removed, physical pleasure is not increased and only varies in another direction." Why does this not add up to a call that there is nothing higher than the extinguishment of desire,an ascetic "zero state"?


    It is always good to talk about this because it is necessary to piece together other material in order to arrive at a total context that allows all of Epicurus's statements on pleasure to be reconciled. Because the quotes Gaius Lupus asked about do seem to make it appear that Epicurus held "pleasure" to be something different from what normal people think it means. We know in fact that Epicurus defined "gods" as being natural and not supernatural, and he defined "virtue" as being instrumental to pleasure and not as absolute. Was Epicurus using a technical definition of the word "pleasure" to convey to us that he considered "absence of pain" to be a complete and true description of the "pleasure" that he held to be the goal of life?


    I have collected all of my research at the link I will provide below, but I can summarize a couple of very important points, especially as this relates to the issue of "katastematic" pleasure, which is the name most commentators seem to give to believe that Epicurus used to describe this type of "zero state / absence of pain" pleasure.


    Of the material directly attributed to Epicurus, we know that Epicurus was emphatic that "pleasure" is a feeling which we experience personally and need use no words to define or to defend. This seems to be a clear statement that pleasure is something all animals, including humans, experience without need for explanation: From On Ends: "...pleasure he holds to be the Chief Good, pain the Chief Evil. This he sets out to prove as follows: Every animal, as soon as it is born, seeks for pleasure, and delights in it as the Chief Good, while it recoils from pain as the Chief Evil, and so far as possible avoids it. This it does as long as it remains unperverted, at the prompting of Nature's own unbiased and honest verdict. Hence Epicurus refuses to admit any necessity for argument or discussion to prove that pleasure is desirable and pain to be avoided. These facts, be thinks, are perceived by the senses, as that fire is hot, snow white, honey sweet, none of which things need be proved by elaborate argument: it is enough merely to draw attention to them. (For there is a difference, he holds, between formal syllogistic proof of a thing and a mere notice or reminder: the former is the method for discovering abstruse and recondite truths, the latter for indicating facts that are obvious and evident.) Strip mankind of sensation, and nothing remains; it follows that Nature herself is the judge of that which is in accordance with or contrary to nature."


    As to the highest pleasure we have this recorded in Athenaeus – Deipnosophists XII p. 546E: Not only Aristippus and his followers, but also Epicurus and his welcomed kinetic pleasure; I will mention what follows, to avoid speaking of the “storms” {of passion} and the “delicacies” which Epicurus often cites, and the “stimuli” which he mentions in his On the End-Goal. For he says “For I at least do not even know what I should conceive the good to be, if I eliminate the pleasures of taste, and eliminate the pleasures of sex, and eliminate the pleasures of listening, and eliminate the pleasant motions caused in our vision by a visible form."


    We know that Epicurus said this about pleasure as the good: Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 7, p. 1091A: Not only is the basis that they assume for the pleasurable life untrustworthy and insecure, it is quite trivial and paltry as well, inasmuch as their “thing delighted” – their good – is an escape from ills, and they say that they can conceive of no other, and indeed that our nature has no place at all in which to put its good except the place left when its evil is expelled. … Epicurus too makes a similar statement to the effect that the good is a thing that arises out of your very escape from evil and from your memory and reflection and gratitude that this has happened to you. His words are these: “That which produces a jubilation unsurpassed is the nature of good, if you apply your mind rightly and then stand firm and do not stroll about {a jibe at the Peripatetics}, prating meaninglessly about the good.”


    And we know that Cicero wrote that Epicurus held "joy" to be the greatest good: Cicero, Tusculan Disputations,III.18.41: "Why do we shirk the question, Epicurus, and why do we not confess that we mean by pleasure what you habitually say it is, when you have thrown off all sense of shame? Are these your words or not? For instance, in that book which embraces all your teaching (for I shall now play the part of translator, so no one may think I am inventing) you say this: “For my part I find no meaning which I can attach to what is termed good, if I take away from it the pleasures obtained by taste, if I take away the pleasures which come from listening to music, if I take away too the charm derived by the eyes from the sight of figures in movement, or other pleasures by any of the senses in the whole man. Nor indeed is it possible to make such a statement as this – that it is joy of the mind which is alone to be reckoned as a good; for I understand by a mind in a state of joy, that it is so, when it has the hope of all the pleasures I have named – that is to say the hope that nature will be free to enjoy them without any blending of pain.” And this much he says in the words I have quoted, so that anyone you please may realize what Epicurus understands by pleasure."


    Several modern authorities have reached the conclusion that this zero state / absence of pain is not to be construed as some new type of pleasure, different from what we normally understand the word "pleasure" to mean.


    Gosling & Taylor, “The Greeks on Pleasure.” 1982. See Chapter 19, “Katastematic and Kinetic Pleasures” (Also :“Plato’s and Aristotle’s intellectual feats can only win one’s admiration, but a cool look at the results enables one to understand how Epicurus might have seemed more in contact with the subject. For if we are right, Epicurus was not advocating the pursuit of some passionless state which could only be called one of pleasure in order to defend a paradox. Rather he was advocating a life where pain is excluded and we are left with familiar physical pleasures. The resultant life may be simple, but it is straightforwardly pleasant.”)


    Boris Nikolsky, “Epicurus on Pleasure.” 2001 (“The paper deals with the question of the attribution to Epicurus of the classification of pleasures into ‘kinetic’ and ‘static’. This classification, usually regarded as authentic, confronts us with a number of problems and contradictions. Besides, it is only mentioned in a few sources that are not the most reliable. Following Gosling and Taylor, I believe that the authenticity of the classification may be called in question. The analysis of the ancient evidence concerning Epicurus’ concept of pleasure is made according to the following principle: first, I consider the sources that do not mention the distinction between ‘kinetic’ and ‘static’ pleasures, and only then do I compare them with the other group of texts which comprises reports by Cicero, Diogenes Laertius and Athenaeus. From the former group of texts there emerges a concept of pleasure as a single and not twofold notion, while such terms as ‘motion’ and ‘state’ describe not two different phenomena but only two characteristics of the same phenomenon. On the other hand, the reports comprising the latter group appear to derive from one and the same doxographical tradition, and to be connected with the classification of ethical docrines put forward by the Middle Academy and known as the divisio Carneadea. In conclusion, I argue that the idea of Epicurus’ classification of pleasures is based on a misinterpretation of Epicurus’ concept in Academic doxography, which tended to contrapose it to doctrines of other schools, above all to the Cyrenaics’ views.“)


    Mathew Wenham On Cicero’s Interpretation of Katastematic Pleasure in Epicurus. 2007 “The standard interpretation of the concept of katastematic pleasure in Epicurus has it referring to “static” states from which feeling is absent. We owe the prevalence of this interpretation to Cicero’s account of Epicureanism in his De Finibus Bonorum Et Malorum. Cicero’s account, in turn, is based on the Platonic theory of pleasure. The standard interpretation, when applied to principles of Epicurean hedonism, leads to fundamental contradictions in his theory. I claim that it is not Epicurus, but the standard interpretation that generates these errors because the latter construes pleasure in Epicurus according to an attitudinal theoretical framework, whilst the account of pleasure that emerges from Epicurean epistemology sees it as experiential.”


    Norman DeWitt, “Epicurus and His Philosophy.” 1954 Chapter 12, the New Hedonism (e.g.: Even at the present day the same objection is raised. For instance, a modern Platonist, ill informed on the true intent of Epicurus, has this to say: “What, in a word, is to be said of a philosophy that begins by regarding pleasure as the only positive good and ends by emptying pleasure of all positive content?” This ignores the fact that this was but one of the definitions of pleasure offered by Epicurus, that he recognized kinetic as well as static pleasures. It ignores also the fact that Epicurus took personal pleasure in public festivals and encouraged his disciples to attend them and that regular banquets were a part of the ritual of the sect. Neither does it take account of the fact that in the judgment of Epicurus those who feel the least need of luxury enjoy it most and that intervals of abstinence enhance the enjoyment of luxury. Thus the Platonic objector puts upon himself the necessity of denying that the moderation of the rest of the year furnishes additional zest to the enjoyment of the Christmas dinner; he has failed to become aware of the Epicurean zeal for “condensing pleasure.”)


    So those cites can be used to show that "pleasure" means the same thing to us as it did to Epicurus. As to why Epicurus was insistent on discussing pleasure as absence of pain, I would contend that that was in response to the reasoning of Plato in Philebus, and others who attacked the feeling of pleasure as something which can never be satisfied, as collected at my link here:


    https://newepicurean.com/found…llness-of-pleasure-model/

    DB: The term "feeling" is perhaps a bit vague. The view seems most plausible if it means simple "sensation", though normal touch and proprioception would appear in some cases to be neither.


    If "feeling" includes "emotion" then as well as pleasure and pain we also feel relief, fear, longing, boredom, ennui, bemusement, anger, discomfort, hunger, elation, grief, love, satisfaction, etc.


    You could use "pleasure" for all the positive ones and "pain" for all the negative ones, but then "pleasure" surely does not name a single feeling. Consider also emotions of questionable valence, such as surprise.


    Cassius Amicus: "If "feeling" includes "emotion" then as well as pleasure and pain we also feel relief, fear, longing, boredom, ennui, bemusement, anger, discomfort, hunger, elation, grief, love, satisfaction, etc."


    That's just as saying that if feeling includes taste, then it includes the pleasures of fish and ice cream and wine and cake and pies and on and on an on as well.


    I think what we are talking about in more general terms is the "faculty of feeling" -- especially since Epicurus was focused on this faculty given to us by nature as the only ultimate guide in life to what is desirable and undesirable - a faculty which stands fully self-sufficient without reference or subordination to divinities or to ideal forms.


    I think the true frame of reference here is not a matter of placing "sex drugs and rock'n'roll" or "cakes and pies" against supernatural religion and idealism. The real frame of reference is that Epicurus' is asserting the placement of "the natural faculty of feeling" against supernatural religion and idealism.

    DB: How can you possibly think there are only two feeling in life?


    GF: In PD3 Epicurus says: "The limit of quantity in pleasures is the removal of all that is painful." And in PD18: "Once the pain arising from need is removed, physical pleasure is not increased and only varies in another direction." Apparently Epicurus does not recognize any pleasure beyond the zero state. Pain arises from need, so Epicurus recommends to remove the need.



    Cassius Amicus @DB - This is one place this can be found, in Diogenes Laertius: "They affirm that there are two states of feeling, pleasure and pain, which arise in every animate being, and that the one is favorable and the other hostile to that being, and by their means choice and avoidance are determined; and that there are two kinds of inquiry, the one concerned with things, the other with nothing but words."


    The point would appear to be that if something is a "feeling" we ultimately feel it to be either pleasurable or painful, and this includes all mental and bodily feelings.


    Cassius Amicus @GF: As usual the devil would be in the details of the meaning of "zero state." There are many many passages which show that Epicurus held that we find ALL pleasure to be desirable, due to the nature of all pleasure as pleasing, even though some pleasure requires much more pain to attain than is worthwhile.


    Someone who wants to focus on this passage, standing alone could more easily attain the result of removing pain from need by committing suicide: "For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. When we are pained because of the absence of pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure."


    On the other hand it makes perfect sense to view the totality of experience of life as a leaky vessel, which is difficult (without true philosophy) to fill with pleasure by eliminating pain, as referenced in the opening of Lucretius Book 6. Under such a model it is clear that a life from which all pain has been removed is not in any way similar to what a phrase like "zero state" would evoke, but is in fact a life "crammed full of pleasures without any pain" as referenced by Cicero in describing Epicurean doctrine: Cicero, In Defense of Publius Sestius 10.23: “He {Publius Clodius} praised those most who are said to be above all others the teachers and eulogists of pleasure {the Epicureans}. … He added that these same men were quite right in saying that the wise do everything for their own interests; that no sane man should engage in public affairs; ***that nothing was preferable to a life of tranquility crammed full of pleasures.***"


    Yes it is possible to look at the glass of water and describe it as half-empty if one's focus is "negative", but it is equally possible to describe it as half-full of water if one's focus is on "positive."


    If we always stay with the premise that pleasure is the alpha and omega of a blessed life, as Epicurus stresses without his work, then terminology like zero state (referencing zero pains due to 100% pleasures) also makes good sense. But that is a context that is largely lost except in knowledgeable Epicurean circles, and outside those circles the perceived meaning of that phrase generally is going to result in asceticism, the opposite of Epicurean philosophy.

    A: Many people would be terrified of choosing that. They would not choose it. Even those that calculate a net pleasure would likely still have moments of terror, fear, suffering


    Cassius Amicus: And that is a great example, A, why there are no absolute rules and we each much calculate our own net pleasure personally.


    Not everyone can or would choose to do that, but when there are only two feelings in life - pleasure or pain - then the experience of pleasure - any pleasure - takes the place of pain, and that is what life is about, not the "zero state" that some like to preach.

    1 Yes Martin I observe that too. Hopefully the programmers will update and fix that.


    2. As to the sidebar, based on what I see from my tablet, I think what happens is that if the "show sidebar" button does not appear then the software automatically repositions the sidebar so that the same material shows up if you scroll to the very bottom of the page.

    pasted-from-clipboard.png

    Hiram cannot even post this link without the determinists rushing to mock it. I personally choose not to make the free will argument the major focus of my time devoted to philosophy, but if the issues worries you, you could probably do a lot worse than to choose to follow Hiram's link and check out that article. And just ignore the people who say you were destined to do that from the dawn of the universe..... because (1) the universe had no dawn, and (2) you weren't.



    For anyone really "into" this free will argument, I would appreciate any examples or links to positions on this issue that are particularly clear and succinct. As for me I will stay with this one:


    "Who, then, is superior in your judgment to such a man? He holds a holy belief concerning the gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death. He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the limit of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. Fate, which some introduce as sovereign over all things, he scorns, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency. For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance is inconstant; whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honor the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to men so as to make life blessed, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance."


    Thanks for these replies. Does anyone have any issues with how the forum appears on a telephone? Once again the red dots at the top left and right are probably the best way to navigate rather than opening menus.

    This forum software seems to be very strong in its "responsiveness" and therefore appearance on telephones and tablets, and that's one reason it justifies the cost rather than using public domain software.

    In fact I gather a lot of people use ONLY their telephones nowadays, so they may not even realize that the "sidebar" exists.