Elli Moderator
  • from Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Member since Nov 24th 2017
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Posts by Elli

    I agree with Cassius who wrote : <<Epicurus held, according to Diogenes Laertius, that "the feelings are two, pleasure and pain..." and that all feelings fit within one designation of the other. And we know from the letter to Menoeceus explicitly that all good and evil come to us through sensations, which are things that are felt. Put it all together and you have the framework by which to analyze the experience machine or any other challenge to pleasure>>.


    Nature creates us, with our faculties which are senses and feelings for living a pleasant life. We have been evolved and we still being evolve in accordance with the environment of Nature. Machines are just means that are created by us. However, we are not wiser than Nature, and there never were or will be perfect machines, perfect ideas and perfect worlds somewhere.

    For the creation, Epicurus said that all things and the phenomena are proceeding in combination and in sequence on the basis of : and the need (laws of Nature), and the chance, and the swerve (freedom of our choices).

    But really, what is higher we that we make the machines OR Nature? Nature of course. No one could replace Nature in the creation of things. She is the boss and the boss says to all beings, you have a limited time for living, thus DO such actions to feel pleasure and avoid pain, or sometimes chose pain for feeling a greater pleasure.


    These are the machines as described poetically by D. Liantinis


    Please let me add in your discussion/comments, a clarification with a simplification: We have NOT to forget what is the dopamine and what are the serotonin, the endorphins, the oxytocine etc. Our epicurean pure pleasure is connected mainly with the latter.


    Τhe pleasures of the profligates usually are based on dopamine that produce addiction, having the results/consequences to produce pain and in the individual and in a society to the fact of breaking its coherence leading it to the decadence. It is not by chance that Dr. Freud said that religions are the narcotic opium of the herds.


    At this point, please my friends, let me narrate a story of real experience to understand where is the whole point that Epicurus and Lucretius are pointing out. It is the false religions, false philosophies, false educational system that always are united with Politics.


    My experience is based on real facts, when I heard a narration of a man of his life story. It was a man that I met him with other friends in the home of one of my friends. That man is originated from Libya. In the era of 70s-80s, as he said, it was a law in his country, that permitted him of taking monthly a very good amount of allowance from the government that was run by the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi (for whom, we epicureans have the very well stated PD 7). But anyway, this allowance that this man took, it was for the purpose to study medicine at any University in Greece. Usually, to finish university studies on medicine it takes 5 years for acquiring the diploma, and then it takes almost 5 years to work inside hospitals to acquire the specialty.


    Meanwhile, when he was narrating his story, he also praising his country's government's policy on how beneficial was and for him and for his society to become a doctor of medicine for helping his people. Yes, but... he took to him to take his diploma, from the University, for almost ten years, because as he said, he liked playing cards, drinking alcohol drinks that alcohol was something forbidden by his country religious rules. And while he was narrating his hobbies, he was also praised how nice and free were the years that he was a student.


    Thus, one day and after he was almost to finish the specialty to become an ophthalmologist, as he said, everything went upside down in his life when he met a beautiful (but for me non-wise) Greek lady that was a religious christian. So, on the basis of "love and marriage" those two, as a couple, they had had to unite their gods to become as one since, as he also said, both these gods are one and the same, because both have the same patriarch that is called Abraham… and here we say : GOOD GRIEF !


    So, the only prerequisite that was set by the parents of that greek lady for that man (who was islamist) and marrying her was to be baptized as Christian, and taking the greek nationality for living permanently in Greece. So, then they had a family with three nice children. Everything to this point it looks good and nice, but please do NOT forget something that he was narrating in his story from the beginning and that poor and non-wise greek lady did not notice when he met him.


    During the time that he was a student of medicine, he said that he has a hobby of playing cards and drinking alcoholic drinks, as well as, during the time that was a student of what? The Science of Medicine... his god was the god of a patriarch with the name Abraham that has the power to unite believers and their interests. But this Abraham with his god and as it has been proved already, are not strong enough to limit what ? The fear of death, the fear of life, the fear of pain, the fear of slavery etc to the fact leading every naive person to have also a total ignorance on how to make hedonic calculus and measuring where are the limits among pleasure and pain for the achievement of the goal of pleasure, and when we say pleasures we mean pure pleasures. Since we prefer the quality and not the quantity.


    Anyway, after this couple's children were born and during a period of five years, that doctor was keeping his hobby, so that he was subscribing to the Banks for taking debit cards. He had, as he said, ten (10) debit cards fulling them to the limits of 10000 euros each, just for visiting casinos, drinking alcohol etc and this family, as the time is continued, it became a disaster and real mess. With the many efforts of that greek lady who was working in a court as secretary, and with the help of her parents, she was trying to change her husband’s hobbies, for keeping united her family, and raising her children...but when the children became teenagers remembering from childhood that they did not have a father to bring in their family the natural and necessary, these children started to blame their father, and demanding of their mother to expel him from home and to divorce him....to the point that that doctor when he was narrating his life story, he lived alone in a home, he closed his medical office due to debts, and blaming his wife and children for all these.


    And when he finished his narration, then my epicurean words to him were without mercy saying to him:

    Hey, dear doctor it would be better to start blaming of yourself, since you were the incapable one to cure your soul/ mind's troubles. Won't it be better now to start blaming your stupid patriarch and his stupid god that makes you, your wife and your children to fear death, to fear life, to fear everything for the result all of you to feel pain in the ass?

    Won't it better for you to study/observe Nature carefully which is also connected with the science that you have studied, for examining what was the real causes, the consequences and the results of your personal and painful experiences based on your desires to visit casinos and drinking alcoholic drinks leading your family to debts ?


    What the heck, you became a doctor and you can’t cure not even yourself from fears ? For me, and for many honest scientists and philosophers all religions are a narcotic like the opium that is based on dopamine. It is like someone to be thirsty drinking water without eliminating his thirst. The pleasures that come from serotonin, endorphins, oxytocine etc are really connected and by your offerings to your patients, through the science of medicine, and by the raising of your children, and by your happy and pleased wife that is the mother of your children, and by many other activities that lead to the love, respect, honor and admiration to all of your family members, which all are the cells that lead to healthy societies in this world.


    The conversation finished when I point out to him some links with the articles by some of my epicurean friends. It is a long time that I have to meet him, but I've learned recently that he was united with his family again. I did not examine if the doctrines of Epicurus and his philosophy, have helped him for being united again with his family, but I still hope so !

    Of course survival and reproduction it is not an absolute good that is ordered by any god or any leader, but it is a relative good according to the relative circumstances of the relative experiences as measured (in time and space) with senses and among pleasure and pain whilst we might see clearly evidential that survival and reproduction it was not an absolute good but a kind of a necessity for the survival of a society.



    An example based on experiences: There is, as we call it in western societies :"the social security system". This system is not an ideal and absolute invention, it has been evolved as we human beings have been evolved and still evolving on the basis to help each other when there is a great need and as it is called also as solidarity of a society which keeps its coherence, because at the same time we have seen clearly that in time and space there are not only situations as “milk and honey” in a society. And this happens according to the experiences that have been measured that to maintain whatever you have acquired and to provide for the future is something that is pleasant and not painful. Isn't it ?


    So it becomes clear that the social security system is that financial deposit account that pays in some percent: Our lovely Doctors and nurses and all the medical staff for providing to our health in hospitals when we got ill e.g. from coronavirus, medicines in pharmacies, and mainly this : for paying the pensioners' pensions. However, there is also a crucial question that has to be answered: When this social security system would fall down and be collapsed? It is when we insist that when there are almost 5 old pensioners who take their pensions monthly, without being worried and enjoying their leisure, for maintaining hospitals with medical staff, providing medicines, doing researches in the laboratories and the like, (to not mention the schools, universities and education issues) and when we see clearly that: Oh, geee there are only one and half young man that is able to work for those five old pensioners, as well as these ones and half young men are working for themselves too when they would confront a situation of a great need.


    And what is doing a society when its social security system falls down and being collapsed due to the above ? Do not worry, dear ladies and gentlemen, there are others that are intruding for holding the situation firmly bonded to the "demands" of Nature on what it can be done and not can't be done by us, since those that are intruding, have already born 6/7 children in one family. So, then, here I want to see this society/societies that include both old and young men, if they have those GUTS for making social contracts with others (that may have NOT the same idea what is just and what is unjust) and on the basis to not harm and not be harmed each other.


    What on earth does Epicurus say here? Does he maybe describe societies of jungles ? Doctrine 32. For all living things which have not been able to make compacts not to harm one another or be harmed, nothing ever is either just or unjust; and likewise too for all tribes of men which have been unable or unwilling to make compacts not to harm or be harmed.


    Did you were unable or unwilling to born new babies according to a relative/and prudently measured good that is the safety and the coherence of your society? Do not worry about what is just and what is unjust ! Nature that does not care at all, will point out to you clearly -in time and space - what is just/ pleasant and what is unjust/painful.


    Because there is also - the fifth in line - Principal Doctrine which says: It is not possible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honorably and justly, [nor again to live a life of prudence, honor, and Justice] without living pleasantly. And the man who does not possess the pleasant life, is not living prudently and honorably and justly, [and the man who does not possess the virtuous life], cannot possibly live pleasantly.


    For this Epicurus maybe he had said: Prudence is higher than philosophy. Prudence is that kind of capacity of those societies for making clear that there is and the need to keep safe of whatever you have been acquired and to provide for the future. Because if this society will act otherwise, it would fall to the stoic apathetic “suggestion” which does say : Has your estate was taken from you ? It was given back. He who took it from you is wicked. What does it matter to you through whom the Giver asked it back? As long as the giver gives you, take care of it, but not as your own; treat is as the passers-by treat an inn ! Thus, according to the stoics’ "suggestions: treat our societies like an inn, or better as the Americans ask: What is this, Grand Central Station???" that means a) there are too many people around here, or b) people seem to think that they can come and go as they please. OR as we Greeks say with another idiom : "edo einai bate skyloi aleste & alestika min dinete", which means : " Here is the place where everyone does whatever one wants, open to all, free to all, anything goes, come one come all".


    Yes indeed, the wise man will marry and have children, as Epicurus says in treatises On Problems and On Nature, but only in accord with the circumstances of his life and IF these circumstances point out to him clearly that he has to take care of his property and provide for the future.

    In the attached photo is the lyrics in english, and at youtube video is the music of the song.


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    Unique moment with Athens grannies with black humor. The two cheerful ladies, in house isolation due to the coronavirus, came in their balcony on Sunday evening for a morbid performance. They sang the popular Greek song : O charos vgike pagania (Grim Reaper came out for quick kill), while one of them was also playing the timbrel.

    Neighbors cheered the grannies. The ladies in Kypseli district of Athens told their enthusiastic audience that they accept requests” and “orders” as well.


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    I fully agree with our friend Don that mentions these by Lucretius, and I would like to add the following.


    These were the gods of Epicurus as described by the professor of philosophy Dimitris Liantinis :


    "What defines the difference between Greeks and Christians? A difference from a certain point and beyond is being opposed, and this opposition is like the fight of fire with water.

    And what defines this difference is something else and clear, as the olive leaf. But for this reason exactly is ultimate and extreme.


    The difference between the two is that the Greeks built a world based on observation, knowledge, and understanding, while the Christians built a world based on the assumption and imagination.


    The observation of the Greeks is of such a quality that always is to be ensured in practice of what is happening in Nature, and always to be demonstrated in the tangible reality as an experiment in the laboratory.


    If we count the strong position that the gods and the religions gave birth in primarily level from the fear of human towards life, and in advanced and to the second level of this matter from the fear of human towards death, then we will find that the religion of the Greeks is an exception as it occurs as constitutes a unique mission.


    The religion of the Greeks, i.e did not come from their fear, but it came from their sorrow to overcome the pain caused by the reasonable point of view for Nature and life. In other words, the religion of the Greeks created by their honest and brave attitude to overcome their pessimism and melancholy.


    But between the fear of life and death, and the need of the Greeks to capitulate from that sorrow is what gave birth to their knowledge that the world is heavy, there is a little difference which gives the maximum effect.


    The religion of the Greeks, i.e. is not the case and offspring of the imagination, like all other religions, but it is the aesthetic representation of the phenomena of Nature.

    Thus, the gods of the Greeks are neither secret and invisible presences, nor ghosts of the mind, and wind’s constructions, hypothetical words, and abstractions as beings of awaking sleep.


    Instead, the gods of the Greeks are images made up of the natural phenomena with slender intelligence and dexterity. They made by the fluttering of the rational imagination, the whole, the simple, the non-trembling, and the prosperous.


    And above all this: the gods of Greeks are attested by sensory, touching them with the hands, facing them with the eyes, they are factual and materialistic.


    Apollo suddenly, is the sun and the music regularity of the Nature.

    Artemis is the Moon. Both these two sisters symbolize the light of the day and night and were born on the island of Delos, a word which means the same the clarity and the light.

    Neptune is the sea.

    Hephaestus is the fire and the metals.

    Athena is the intelligence of the human, for this, she is the protector of the ingenious Odysseus.

    Aeolus is the sixteen breaths of air to the seas.

    Demeter is the joy of the fruits, the wheat, the rhubarb, the apple trees, and vines.

    And Zeus is the thunder and the rain, which is falling like sperm to fertilize bravely the thirsty land. That's why the Greeks near other things, they create him as the lover of the more magnificent mortal women. Lida, Europe, Ious, Leto, Alcmene, Semele, Olympiad of Philip.


    Thus, the story goes with the thirty thousand gods of the Greeks. Everyone is also a real, functional, indestructible, beneficial real and a beautiful natural phenomenon.

    In other words, the religion of the Greeks is an aesthetic status of Nature’s elements, and in this way, are variant in their art. The Geometric evidence of this proposal is given by the fact that the religion of the Greeks is all in their art and literature".

    All they need to really do is social distancing but instead they bought all the toilet paper. I've read people are buying bidets off Amazon.

    Frankly, I did not know why this attached photo became viral on FB !

    And now I read many articles such as :


    - Australia. Australia's largest supermarket today chain sells with ration toilet paper as dozens of citizens rush to make commissions due to fears of a coronavirus outbreak.


    - Hong Kong. Panic-stricken Hong Kong citizens have been inundated with supermarkets buying huge quantities of toilet paper as the government warns that rumors circulating on the internet about city shortages are battling to fight the deadly new coronavirus.


    - London. Supermarket shelves of pasta and toilet paper were emptied.


    - Greece. From an article : Why you people, are you going to the supermarkets and at the same time you take such risks to get ill from coronavirus? And all these huge quantities of buying pasta and toilet paper? Do you do not know that with just a click on your computer, you are able to order from supermarket whatever you like and the delivery man comes to your door, for bringing all the stuff you need? Yes, indeed, foolishness now has a corona (crown) and it is invincible!


    In one of the above suggested articles "I like" those definitions by the author; and as he presents himself : Minister in Cambridge (UK) on the roll of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches with sympathies towards a contemporary Lucretian inspired religious naturalism, new materialism and Christian atheism.


    What the heck are all these terms with -isms ??!! What is that thing called as "Christian atheism" ?


    But indeed, and as Friedrich Nietzsche said it : It is a curious thing that (the christian) God learned Greek when he wished to turn author--and that he did not learn it better.^^


    It is a curious thing indeed the desire to write something for Epicurean Philosophy while you have in your mind strange mainstreams or movements of isms and the like. Because if you try to mix the tragos (goat) with the elaphos (deer) you have a ridiculous thing that is called Tragelaphus!


    𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲 (of 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐧, 𝐏𝐡𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐄𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐬). 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞. 𝐈𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞, 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐩 𝐢𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐟 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠.

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    The plague of Athens : In that era, Αthens was besieged by the Spartans. Many of the citizens of Attica abandoned their farms and moved inside the Long Walls, which connected Athens to its port of Piraeus. At the end of the first year of the war, Pericles gave his famous Funeral Oration (Epitaph 431 BC).


    The Spartans also occupied Attica for periods of only three weeks at a time; in the tradition of earlier hoplites warfare, the soldiers were expected to go home to participate in the harvest. Moreover, Spartan slaves, known as helotes, needed to be kept under control, and could not be left unsupervised for long periods of time. The longest Spartan invasion, in 430 BC, lasted just forty days.


    The Athenian strategy was initially guided by the strategos/general, Pericles, who advised the Athenians to avoid open battle with the far more numerous and better trained Spartan hoplites, relying instead on the fleet. The Athenian fleet, the most dominant in Greece, went on the offensive, winning a victory at the city of Naupactus.


    However, in 430 BC an outbreak of plague hit Athens. The plague ravaged the densely packed city, and in the long run, was a significant cause of its final defeat. The plague wiped out over 30,000 citizens, sailors, and soldiers, including Pericles and his sons. Roughly one-third to two-thirds of the Athenian population died. Athenian manpower was correspondingly drastically reduced and even foreign mercenaries refused to hire themselves out to a city riddled with plague. The fear of plague was so widespread that the Spartan invasion of Attica was abandoned, their troops being unwilling to risk contact with the deceased.


    Conclusion: in Athens the great strategos ( = General) was a virus that can't be seen without a microscope.


    Here is a research on what was the virus that hit Athens.https://www.ijidonline.com/.../S1201-9712(05)00178-5/pdf...

    Neither benefits of a society nor dangerous for a society. Since it is my known and familiar society, and that means he is neither a friend that benefits nor an enemy that is dangerous. This is the action according to (PD 39) : As much as possible to be refrained from mixing him in my known society and to expel from here, for going to his known society for living as he likes and with whomever his likes, and this was of advantage to treat thus.


    In this case and according to Doctrine 32. For all living things which have not been able to make compacts not to harm one another or be harmed, nothing ever is either just or unjust; and likewise too for all tribes of men which have been unable or unwilling to make compacts not to harm or be harmed.

    Eureka !! We did find two magic words like "open sesame". It is the "mutual benefit". E.g. I have a mutual benefit with this person in the video who wants without legal papers to pass through the greek borders to Evros area, for proclaiming his purpose that is: "to f@ck up all Greeks". Before he reaches the borders, he wants to spread the pain he already has from his religious or whatever ideas he has in his mind. And me, I have to say to him : Welcome here, since friendship dances around the world due to mutual benefit.

    Where on earth do you live dear sirs? Outside there are neither only revolutionists of keyboards nor books' authors and the like. Outside it is the life that is proved with the science of the natural selection on who and how is the one that is able to survive with safety. Please, take out from your labs the EP, and your imagined world of ideas, and bring it in the REALITY of life at last!


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