A_Gardner Level 01
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Posts by A_Gardner

    In my neighborhood there's an Episcopalian church that, until COVID, provided spaces for a Zen sitting group and a yoga studio. I don't know if that's common practice or the work of an enlightened priest, but that might be another option to explore. Although opening up to Epicureans might be beyond the pale!

    Your mentioning of such a church reminds me of the Unitarian Universalist churches, so I wanted to mention them here to add onto the potential spaces for in-person meet-ups.

    While it's also true that some churches are friendly to hosting group meeting for alternative viewpoints and beliefs, your best bet to contact and ask would be Unitarian Universalist churches. This branch of practice is highly eclectic and, though historically from Christianity, has become a church of many different faiths and beliefs including Humanists and Atheists! Due to the eclecticism of the congregations, they're basically open minded and pluralistic community churches.

    Sounds like a contradiction, I know, but there's a long history behind that. Too much to put here.

    So if anyone is near one, they would be some of the first to reach out to to see about establishing an Epicurean group in person!

    Not shouting at you here but this gives me another opportunity to get out the soapbox:

    No worries at all. I am here to learn and as a student, so if ever my arguments have misunderstandings or seem like I am preaching them, please let me know or share the teachings!

    I will have to read over your following posts in response to me (real life works keeps me busy and slow to read and respond) but I did want to clarify that I was not implying ataraxia to be the goal as set by Epicurus. My current understanding is that it is more of a "fruit" that comes from following the tree of pleasure and Epicurean teachings.

    A nice potential side benefit if you will,

    I am late to this conversation as well, but it does contain some ideas I have been reflecting on recently that I wish to share and welcome the input of others!

    As of late, I have actually been implementing more Stoic teachings and practices in my life, so the question of pleasure being the sole goal of life (and if it's falsifiable) has crossed my mind. As of now, I can say as others have, that it is not falsifiable. As rule of judgment goes, it is not my place to judge another individuals pursuits as far as they cause no harm to myself or others. The Epicurean goal of pleasure (as defined in his teachings) is in fact a most noble life pursuit in my opinion.

    I can also attest to the argument that living creatures naturally want pleasure and actively pursue it, while trying to avoid pain. Even the Stoic school has preferred indifferents!

    That said, an argument against propping up pleasure as the only good in life, is that it can lead to more states of psychological unrest, as pleasure is never a guaranteed and we often faces forms of hardship just as much if not more than pleasure, no matter how we may try to mitigate the pain and amplify the pleasure.

    Can it be argued here that ataraxia is more difficult to obtain/ maintain when faced under the duress of pain?

    I hope everyone is doing well, and that the pleasures of life outweigh any pain!

    I have been wanting to give a brief update on my whereabouts for a bit of time now, but juggling two jobs has taken up so much time that the moments I do have to myself are usually mental recovery and preparation for the next round of work! Despite this however, I've made time for reading and philosophy, and at the very least to remain an observer of the going-ons in here in the forums.

    Before continuing, is Charles still active? I haven't seen him on Discord in quite some time and last we spoke he had found some work that was keeping him quite busy.

    Despite the busyness of my two jobs, I also became a moderator for a Stoic focused Discord server, and have to say it has been quite the experience. I mention this because the interesting pattern that seems to be in these servers (as far as Stoicism goes) is that you can only really call these seekers "Neo-Stoics" at best. Most members are not looking for virtue for virtue's sake, but rather just some armor to mitigate the daily stresses of life. There's also a big focus on preferred indifferences in these circles as well, almost to the point where you'd want to say that "You're just pursuing pleasure with some extra steps!" ^^

    Needless to say, I don't proselytize for any one school of philosophy, but this has led to some great discussions on Epicureanism, and where its teachings can be applied even if they still choose to identify or pursue Stoicism. Well, at least what they call Stoicism anyway 8o

    Of course, the learning has gone both ways, and there are some aspects of Stoicism I admire and pluck from them so as to add it to my own practices. There's a lot of people out there seeking wisdom and guidance on how to live it seems, so I can't help but to use this post to make a comment about creating and maintaining a Discord server for Epicureanism. There's an increasing number of online communities flocking there, and yet Stoic philosophy servers seem to be the ones dominating the discourse, but many members of these servers are more eclectic and diverse than just traditional Stoicism.

    A garden among citadels would make for a nice change of scenery and pace, no? ;)

    Alas, that is a project needing attention and time, as Charles and I did try to make a run at a server (which is still there by the way!), and I also tried a link to another Discord server from this very site, but it would not load for some reason?

    I believe this update is long enough and I must return to work, so I will end somewhat abruptly here.

    May pleasure rise to meet you!

    I'm loving the potential I'm seeing in this thread! So while there may not be such a book currently, there is most certainly the material for one, or even several.

    If such a project does begin to manifest, please let me know. I hope to be less of a stranger this year and this sounds like a project to contribute towards.

    A belated Merry Christmas to everyone!

    I'm unable to be as active as i would like due to a very hectic schedule, but I still try to pop in from time to time to catch up on the latest developments and discussions.

    While preparing for the New Year, I came across my copy of The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. I really enjoyed the bite sized approach and almost meditative quality of the writing, with something from Stoicism to reflect on daily.

    This got me to wondering, is there anything of the sort for Epicureanism?

    One could say, choose from one of the sources on here or even further break that down into singular quotes and pieces to reflect on for the day, and I believe many of us have. But is there an officially published book such as this or similar however?

    May your New Year be filled with pleasure!

    I'm all for it!

    As a fan of practical philosophy, Franklin's Virtues are quite the model for self-development, and can be adapted to most any philosophical or religious outlook, or lack thereof.

    Don't get so caught up in the semantics of his original list. He could be a bit cheeky at times (he in fact was joking about himself in number 13, as he knew believed even imitating Jesus and Socrates would be impossible. He had a good sense of humor on him.)

    For number 12 regarding chastity, it originally read as "Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."

    Honestly considering the times, this is a rather progressive view on sexual relations, as rather than condemn or deny, he seemed to acknowledge that's just what people do.

    Honestly I find his parameters for it to be quite in line with traditional Epicureanism.

    I'll preface my answer with my knowledge of Greek attitudes towards marriage coming from my armchair studies and personal curiosity of Ancient and Hellenistic society.

    With that, it appears for the majority of Greek and Roman history, marriage was based more off of economic arrangements and entanglements rather than preference, pleasure, or passion. This is why both historically and mythologically you see multiple lovers, mistresses, and other forms of what Christians would label as extramarital affairs.

    This being the case, I can see an argument against marriage from the Epicurean perspective, as committing to a relationship due to economic/political reasons would prove itself quite a non-pleasure overall.

    I think in his saying on marriage, there's even the clause in there that may back this opinion up, as (and forgive any butchering as I'm recalling from memory) it states " The wise man will not marry UNLESS social convention demands it so."

    A_Gardner do you also use Mastodon or Pleroma or any "fediverse" app? Along the lines of the original post I would like to establish beachheads in the "open source" world to be sure we are as insulated as possible from censorship. Any thoughts on any of the open source / peer to peer options?

    I actually haven't heard of these apps, so I will have to look into them. I am always on the lookout for such methods of communication and social media options, and would be more than willing to explore them.

    I've been following the Alt Tech thread as well to see developments there.

    A_Gardner I have a twitter account under the name NewEpicurean, but all that ever gets posted there is a mirror of what is posted at NewEpcurean.com, which for the last year has meant nothing but the weekly dates to the Lucretius podcast.


    That's definitely a start! Thank you, and I'll be following shortly. I can also retweet your content and hopefully do a little promotion that way if you're alright with that.

    Also, would you be opposed if I shared some of the content from here as an occasional tweet?

    Good morning all!

    I'm running a Twitter account focusing on philosophy, self-improvement, and spirituality and I'm wanting to follow others with such interests.

    In looking for ideas to share and discuss (as much as a tweet allows) I've come across a severe lack of Epicurean philosophy on the site. There's a plethora of Stoic accounts and practitioners, but almost nothing for Epicureanism. I will be upfront and let anyone with interest know that I am an eclectic and post/retweet as such, but Epicurean teachings have had a huge influence in my personal philosophy and I want to find similar minds so that I may connect and promote them as well.

    If anyone has any interest, or know of any public accounts I can follow, I look forward to hearing from you and about them!

    I still believe Discord has one of the highest potentials as an online community.

    You said several things I wanted to comment on A_Gardner and this is one.

    Why do you say this about Discord? Are you referring to the abilities of the platform technologically, or are you referring to the type of person that is a member of the general Discord community. My impression in the past has been that Discord is largely devoted to "gamers." Are you suggesting that that type of community is a good target for an Epicurean community, or is there another reason?

    Similar to as Charles has already mentioned, Discord has grown beyond its gaming roots, with many diverse servers catering towards other topics popping up all the time.

    Basically, if you can think of a topic, there's bound to be a server either dedicated towards it, or including it in its discussion topics, as I mentioned being part of a rather large Stoic server as well, that includes channels for other philosophies.

    Now granted, size of a server does not equal quality of course, but the way this one is organized from top to bottom is impressive and has led to quality discussions and topics despite having a large membership. If you're interested to take a look for yourself to see what I mean by its organization, please let me know and I'll share a link to it (provided you have a Discord of course, otherwise I don't think it will let you view the server).

    Discord also is incredibly accessible and easy to use once it has been set up, allowing for online gatherings, screen sharing, discussions, and all those social features relatively seamlessly, as long as your connection is stable.

    At least in my personal experience, using Reddit & Discord, the Epicurean communities I started there largely ended up as failed experiments with the latter having limited success. I've raised the question for months now about whether or not I should re-do it, and I've spent those months figuring out exactly what went wrong aside from my own quietness time to time within in.

    I still consider it an option, but more restrictions and a better system or organizing role perms would have to be instituted, especially with partnerships and self-plugs on other servers.

    As for Gab and Minds: I agree with Elayne.

    Don't consider them failed, but just an experiment. I still believe Discord has one of the highest potentials as an online community.

    I don't say this as empty encouragement either, but because I'm also a part of a really large Stoic server as well, and they're still flourishing. It may do well to study their server for ideas if you want to try to change up your current Epicurean.

    Your server was a great start, and I take responsibility for the lack of activity since you made me a mod there, however that was a glaring issue in of itself.

    These servers can be a true commitment and need people to actively not only promote but to engage others as well, and a lot of discussion I tend to notice happening was either "dry" academia or people asking questions but responses took too long to happen (as both you and I have been incredibly busy).

    The sense of community and fellowship can feel lacking at times in my opinion, and there's something to be learned from the "Broics" in regards to engagement and community there.

    The catch 22 of this however, is that as a community grows, especially online, voices become drowned out and new hierarchies and "roles" have to be established in order to still keep older members feeling as engaged as newer and/or more active members.

    Thank you for your responses so far, and I'll be sure to come back when I am able to to further refine my question regarding the Epicurean arguments against the Skeptics. Cassius

    When I initially typed it out the other day, I was still embroiled in writing the paper for my philosophy class, where I was to defend the assertions of the Pyrrhonists, that although we can gain enough knowledge in order to act upon our environment, we can never truly know anything for certain. This was at least espoused by later Pyrrhonists in my research, as I'm sure you had those that took it to the logical extreme and became unable to make any decisions if you go down such a rabbit hole! ^^

    That being said, having interest in both science and philosophy, it seems that some ideas of Skepticism in general have not only survived, but became the basis of the scientific method, and it seems that throughout history, fragments of Pyrrhonism have gone hand in hand with Materialism, which historically speaking if they identified as Materialist, they would often trace some of their ideas back Epicurean teachings.

    Good morning all,

    In my current philosophy course I'm having to write a paper on the subject of Philosophical Skepticism. After looking at a brief overview of Pyrrhonism and how Skepticism is used as the basis for the scientific method, I wanted to make a post asking for arguments both for and against this school of thought.

    If I recall correctly, i think I've seen it here mentioned Epicurus was a Dogmatist as his teachings were concerned, so he may have argued against Skepticism, considering they were both Hellenistic schools of philosophy.

    Although not directly regarding censorship from big tech, I do frequently ponder on the ability to "live anonymously" while still engaging with the globally interconnected web and social media.

    There are privacy practices one can put in place of course, but the increasing tendency towards mass surveillance on one hand, coupled with things such as "cancel culture" due to mere disagreements and perceived slights is a bit concerning,

    I'm a big advocate and fan of Discord, and I know I have suggested it before, but I truly do feel that for the needs of a group such as this, it definitely outperforms Skype in utility and ability.

    When I made the notion before, I recall one of the reasons being people were having issues with it. That being an issue, I'd be more than happy to troubleshoot any problems as they arise if people were interested in trying the option of Discord.

    Of course, if people have a natural preference for Skype then that settles that matter, but I did want to suggest again just as a reminder of it as a potential option.