Episode One Hundred Thirty-Five - The Letter to Menoeceus 02 - On The Nature of the Gods

  • Some post show thoughts:


    Toward the middle or somewhere in the last half, these two options come up:


    1) The gods are just ideals, mental constructs, and don't physically exist.

    -or-

    2) The gods are actual physical beings, a kind of order of beings that exist somewhere in the universe (non-supernatural but yet immortal)


    It is unclear exactly, yet either way, we can read that the admonition of Epicurus is to see the gods as incorruptable and blessed.


    And I brought up Joseph Campbell and "archetypes" of the gods/goddess, and the muses.

    I see now that Joseph Campbell based his work on Carl Jung, so that is really a better source for understanding archetypes.

    --Wikipedia article: Jungian archetypes.

    --Wikipedia article: the muses.


    As for further ideas about how to apply the psychology of archetypes within Epicureanism, I hope to start a new thread.

  • Yes please start a new thread when you can. I remember enough about Campbell to remember that he is pretty controversial, so I suspect once we start discussing that it will become quite detailed.

  • I believe that there's some controversy about the validity of Jungian archetypes even among Jungians. I read an article a while back that discussed that, but I may be confusing the details. If a thread gets going I'll try to find the article and post it.

  • A book that I always meant to read but never got around to is God is not One; The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World by Stephen Prothero. I gather that what he's doing in that book is pushing back against a trend that we see with Epicureanism all the time--the "they're-all-basically-saying-the-same-thing" crowd. Joseph Campbell is often cited as an example of the other camp.


    Prothero in his own words:


    Quote

    According to the Dalai Lama, "the essential message of all religions is very much the same." From this perspective, popularized by "perennial philosophers" such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith, all religions are beautiful and all are true. The prevailing metaphor portrays the world's religions as different paths up the same mountain. "It is possible to climb life's mountain from any side," writes Mr. Smith, "but when the top is reached the trails converge."


    This is a seductive sentiment in a world in which religious violence can seem as present and potent as God. But it is dangerous, disrespectful and untrue.

  • A book that I always meant to read but never got around to is God is not One; The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World by Stephen Prothero.

    Thanks! Added to my Good Reads "Want to read" list

  • I just posted a new thread with links to details on Greek gods/goddess, and also to start exploring archetypes:



    ( Godfrey you mentioned you have an article on Jungian archetypes)

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “Episode One Hundred Thirty-Five - The Letter to Menoeceus 02 - (Preproduction)” to “Episode One Hundred Thirty-Five - The Letter to Menoeceus 02 - On The Nature of the Gods”.
  • Episode 135 - The Letter to Menoeceus 02 - On The Nature of the Gods - is now available.


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  • I cannot promise to keep up the pace of same-day turnaround between recording and posting, but there are few issues more intense and interesting than the nature of the gods so I wanted to get this one out as soon as possible.

  • Now that I think about it we hardly scratched the surface of what we could have talked about. Given how much more we have to cover in the letter I doubt we will want to do a second episode to continue covering the subject more deeply, but we could easily do two or even three or more episodes on the same topic.

  • I really liked Kalosyni 's closing comments. I thought that was a good summary!

    Yes I very much agree! If we were doing advertising and selecting interesting passages to highlight in an audio advertisement, that's the passage I would pick from the episode.

  • Here's another comment I should have included in the "things that seem clear and we all agree on about Epicurean theology" list:


    Most of us probably associate some variation of "faith" or 'blind faith" as an inherent attribute of religion, like the supernatural and omniscience and other things we associate with monotheism.


    I think we would all agree (would we not?) that there is no hint of "faith" of any kind in Epicurus' attitude toward divinity. He seems to be basing his views firmly on "images" or "anticipations" or some variation of that kind of evidence, and he is not suggesting that we take anything whatsoever "on faith" without evidence. He seems very clear on distinguishing between things we can determine clearly, and what we can't, and there's no hint of suggesting that anything be taken on faith.


    Given that the issue of "faith" is so central to our modern views of religion that is a probably a point well worth stressing.

  • I have only found references to "faith" as ΠIΣTIΣ (pístis)—as it is usually found in the Christian Gospels—or ΠIΣTΩMA (pístōma) within the Epicurean context of social stability, having "faith" in one's friends, having "confidence" in one's safety, and having the "guarantee" of a pleasant life. The word ΠIΣTΩMA is employed by Epicurus in his final Key Doctrine and is also rendered by our English translators as "conviction", "assurance", "confirmation", "a pledge", or "warrant".

  • To build on Nate 's post...


    Also, Fragment 68. To those who are able to reason it out, the highest and surest joy is found in the stable health of the body and a firm confidence in keeping it. τὸ γὰρ εὐσταθὲς σαρκὸς κατάστημα καὶ τὸ περὶ ταύτης πιστὸν ἔλπισμα τὴν ἀκροτάτην χαρὰν καὶ βεβαιοτάτην ἔχει τοῖς ἐπιλογίζεσθαι δυναμένοις.


    PD35 Οὐκ ἔστι τὸν λάθρα τι κινοῦντα ὧν συνέθεντο πρὸς ἀλλήλους εἰς τὸ μὴ βλάπτειν μηδὲ βλάπτεσθαι, πιστεύειν ὅτι λήσει, κἂν μυριάκις ἐπὶ τοῦ παρόντος λανθάνῃ. μέχρι γὰρ καταστροφῆς ἄδηλον εἰ καὶ λήσει.

    Hicks translation: It is impossible for the man who secretly violates any article of the social compact to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for until his death he is never sure he will not be detected.


    Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, πιστός


    Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, π , πισσόχριστος , πίστις


    G4102 - pistis - Strong's Greek Lexicon (kjv)
    G4102 - πίστις pístis, pis'-tis; from ; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher),…
    www.blueletterbible.org


    G4102 - pistis - Strong's Greek Lexicon (kjv)
    G4102 - πίστις pístis, pis'-tis; from ; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher),…
    www.blueletterbible.org