The Kind of Ring I'd Like to See

  • A few quick sketches of an Epicurean ring. I've been curious about lost-wax cold-casting metal for a long time (and I used to cast hot metal at a foundry as my job), so I'm thinking I might get a chunk of wax and see if I can't carve one that looks ok. Or possibly not...I'm pretty lazy when it comes down to it. I'll let you know though.

  • Here's a random thought I just had that probably isn't worthy of it's own thread...

    If vegetarians are half as likely to develop kidney stones (as I've read), is that circumstantial evidence against Epicurus' often-alleged vegetarianism?

  • To start immediately, I am NOT convinced that Epicurus or the epicureans were vegetarians. I agree that that kind of thing is often thrown around but the core texts, even / especially Lucretius, make NO Reference to such a thing.

    I think it's entirely compatible to be sympathetic with animals as well as to eat them, at least under certain conditions.

  • I think Hiram has his finger on some material perhaps from philodemus or another source that may bear on this, but it is FAR too on the periphery of the texts to be taken as authoritative, IMHO. Plus when I read it, it wasn't even clear to on its face that it is pro-vegetarian, expect to the extent that eating animals bothers the person eating them. For the person who is not bothered even that rationale doesn't apply. Hiram ?

  • For me personally it's kind of a tough question. No way I could eat an animal I raised, and I realize there's no real difference between the ones I've raised and the ones I haven't. Then you have issues like factory farming that I also find repulsive. Then you have to think about how a lot of this is cultural and apparently they eat dogs in the far east without any issues. On the other hand I am not, have never been, and probably never could be a vegetarian.

    To me this is a good reminder about how values and even senses of pleasure are not world-wide and and absolutely contextual. No god, prime mover, or any other supernatural or natural force programmed everybody the same way.

  • Thanks Hiram.

    It would probably be necessary to examine the original source in its full form, at length, to be sure what it is talking about. For example it looks like a lot of the discussion is oriented to discussing legalities, which are purely by convention and not something that is inherent to Epicurean thought.

    But yes that is the source I remember, and beyond that (which is not clear at all) I am aware of no authority whatsoever that indicates that Epicureans were in general or by aspiration vegetarian.