The "Epicurus Was X That You Are Familiar With *BUT*...." Thread

  • This list probably deserves a thread of its own so it can be extended and potentially reused on occasion in the future, rather than to buried in the middle of, and hijacking, the "Frugal Hedonism" thread. I wrote it as part of arguing the point that this method does *not* seem to me to be the best approach to explaining Epicurus, but it certainly has its uses. I bet others can think of corrections and even better examples:

    1. Epicurus was a hedonist in that he believed pleasure to be the greatest good BUT he did not always pursue every choice that might produce pleasure.
    2. Epicurus held that tranquility is a great pleasure BUT not that tranquility is the goal toward which all else aims.
    3. Epicurus taught that pain was "evil" BUT he did not teach that pain should always be avoided.
    4. Epicurus was an atheist BUT not the kind you think - he believed that gods do exist.
    5. Epicurus believed that gods exist BUT not the kind of gods you think.
    6. Epicurus was an empiricist of a sort BUT many of his most important conclusions were based on deductive reasoning about things he never personally experienced himself.
    7. Epicurus held many positions that will strike you as Utilitarian BUT he did not believe in "the greatest good for the greatest number."
    8. Epicurus was highly skeptical of claims of authority BUT he took strong positions himself about things that he believed to be provably true.
    9. Epicurus was in many ways a frugalist BUT not always and it's important to know the exceptions.
    10. Epicurus believed in virtue BUT not that it is an end in itself.
    11. Epicurus held that "all sensations are true" BUT not that every sensation is accurate to all the facts.
    12. Epicurus held that death is nothing to us BUT not that the manner and time of death is not significant.
    13. Epicurus held that friendship is tremendously important for our happiness BUT Epicurus was not an "altruist" as that word is generally understood.
    14. Epicurus taught YOLO BUT the YOLO That You Are Familiar With. (Don)

    The "but" in many cases totally overrides the initial point, BUT this format can be a good way of starting off in some circumstances.