Posts by bdws

    1. Nature / Physics
      1. There is no supernatural realm/entity that governs/interacts with the universe
      2. Atoms and void are the basic building blocks of reality
      3. Natural laws guide physical processes
      4. Basic state of the physical world is change and transformation - nothing is static materially
    2. Knowledge /Truth
      1. The senses are reliable witnesses
      2. Reason helps us determine what philosophical principles are valid (i.e. especially in deducing next principles from axioms)
      3. Especially with respect to knowledge of the physical world, we are constantly revising 'knowledge' in response to new facts and data through the scientific method
    3. Ethics / How to live
      1. Pleasure is the only/ultimate goal of life
      2. What is pleasurable for one is not for another - pleasure is relative to a large extent
      3. Some actions, on average, tend to create pain (unfaithfulness to friends/loved ones, theft) for most folks while some tend to create pleasure (deep friendship)
      4. "Live and let live" - the good society is the one that allows people to express and pursue their own pleasures and only limits the former when it interfers with that selfsame pursuit of others or by doing so will increase the likelihood of greater pleasure than the pain of restriction freedom
      5. Death is not to be feared - for when we die we are no longer subject to sensation, anticipations or feelings
      6. Actions should always be decided by the result of the decision with respect to pain/pleasure. However, some actions which result in pain are worthy of choice when the long-term result is pleasure (i.e. exercising SUCKS but the short term pain can result in longer term bodily pleasure via better health)
      7. Friendship is a beautiful way to secure advantage for both sides of the equation and there is no shame in gaining benefit from friendship so long as the benefit is mutual
    1. Nature / Physics
      1. There is no supernatural realm/entity that governs/interacts with the universe
      2. Atoms and void are the basic building blocks of reality
      3. Natural laws guide physical processes
      4. Basic state of the physical world is change and transformation - nothing is static materially
    2. Knowledge /Truth
      1. The senses are reliable witnesses
      2. Reason helps us determine what philosophical principles are valid (i.e. especially in deducing next principles from axioms)
      3. Especially with respect to knowledge of the physical world, we are constantly revising 'knowledge' in response to new facts and data through the scientific method
    3. Ethics / How to live
      1. Pleasure is the only/ultimate goal of life
      2. What is pleasurable for one is not for another - pleasure is relative to a large extent
      3. Some actions, on average, tend to create pain (unfaithfulness to friends/loved ones, theft) for most folks while some tend to create pleasure (deep friendship)
      4. "Live and let live" - the good society is the one that allows people to express and pursue their own pleasures and only limits the former when it interfers with that selfsame pursuit of others or by doing so will increase the likelihood of greater pleasure than the pain of restriction freedom
      5. Death is not to be feared - for when we die we are no longer subject to sensation, anticipations or feelings

    BRANDON!!!! So glad you joined.


    All: Brandon and I have been BFF's for 22+ years. He's a super guy. In contrast to me, he's a science geek and will have lots to contribute on that front.

    Okie dokie. Here goes.


    1. Nature / Physics
      1. There is no supernatural realm/entity that governs the universe
      2. Matter and void are the basic building blocks of reality
      3. Natural laws guide physical processes
      4. Basic state of the physical world is change and transformation - nothing is static materially
    2. Knowledge /Truth
      1. The senses are reliable witnesses
      2. Reason helps us determine what philosophical principles are valid (i.e. especially in deducing next principles from axioms)
      3. Especially with respect to knowledge of the physical world, we are constantly revising 'knowledge' in response to new facts and data through the scientific method
    3. Ethics / How to live
      1. Pleasure is the goal of life
      2. What is pleasurable for one is not for another - pleasure is relative to a large extent
      3. Some actions, on average, tend to create pain (unfaithfulness to friends/loved ones, theft) for most folks while some tend to create pleasure (deep friendship)
      4. "Live and let live" - the good society is the one that allows people to express and pursue their own pleasures and only limits the former when it interfers with that selfsame pursuit of others

    I too was always under the impression that Epicurus advocated for an ascetic lifestyle. This thread and many others have convinced me otherwise. I’m one of those who was turned off by that misunderstanding. Happy for me to have learned the truth!!

    I'm an HR director for a global company and have a LOT of experience with mentor/mentee matching based on interests, competencies, and such.


    For example, Mentor 1 might choose as a strength knowledge of ancient texts. Mentee 1 really wants a mentor with knowledge of ancient texts. Boom. Match. (oversimplification of course).


    We could come up with competencies/strengths for a mentor to rank him/herself and then use a google docs survey to gather that plus mentee needs/wants. Then you and Hiram or whomever could have a matching session (as needed) to pair folks together.


    Just some off the cuff thoughts.


    Brett

    Excellent! That makes SO much sense to me.


    one last addition: while all of what I said is true of my current situation, in the future my financial circumstances could change and that very same situation could contribute to pain for me if I chose to undertake it even though I couldn't afford it, or it was my only mode of transportation, etc. There's certainly a relativity to the status of events as contributing to or depriving me of pleasure.


    Thanks for following me down this path. It's helping me get a firmer grasp on Epicureanism.


    Brett

    Let's say I have a 1974 VW Super Beetle that I LOVE to work on (All true). I tore the engine apart to the last bolt last summer. It was a PAIN IN THE BUTT. I tore up my knuckles, made some costly mistakes, and swore a lot. But in the end, I had SO MUCH fun and enjoyment working with my friend to get it back together, running like a top, and even boosted it to a record shattering 80 horsepower!..:-)


    It seems to me that Epicurus would applaud my work on this car as contributing to my happiness. Sure, I had my fair amount of pain, but it was very pleasurable to do.


    If I had, however, dipped into my 401k, emptied my savings, or took food off the table for my family, this joyful enterprise could have been just the opposite. In that case, it would have been a pleasure with a significant mixture of present and future pain. What I found enjoyable would have contributed to significant future pain for me and my loved ones.


    Sure, I didn't NEED to undertake this enterprise, certainly not a necessary or really natural need, but it was something that i loved doing and added pleasure to my life.


    Brett

    hi all,


    Been following the FB thread today and it got me thinking about the difference between happiness and pleasure.


    I generally take happiness to be a state of absence of mental disturbance and the presence of contentment or pleasure. I generally take pleasure to be a positive feeling in body or mind. One can be happy without being in a state of bodily pleasure, but not without some sort of mental pleasure. Not sure that jives with an epicurean understanding of pleasure and/or happiness.


    Curious the thoughts of others.


    Best


    Brett