camotero Level 01
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Posts by camotero

    The "object of perception" are the atoms impacting the eyes, and thus are not the object itself. Thus, they are different than the object itself, and are relayed to our minds as they are, so the vision is relaying to the mind what it perceives, which is indeed different from the actual object far away.

    It seems to me it says that the actual object changes; or the "object of perception" is not the object itself?

    Epicurus Reader

    TEXT 68: Sextus M 7.203-16 (247 Usener)

    But rather [I would say] that [the vision] tells the

    truth, since when the object of perception appears to it [as] small and

    of such a shape it is genuinely small and of such a shape (for the edges of

    the images are broken off by the movement through the air), and when it

    again appears big and of a different shape, again it is in a similar manner

    big and has that different shape-

    the object being, however, now not the

    same in the two cases. For it remains for distorted opinion to think that

    the same object of presentation was observed from close up and from a


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    An update on the engineer who "thinks" the AI Lamda has feelings.

    It seems he could just be using that argument as means to promote another agenda.

    Hey Matteng

    Just my two cents with what I wish I had learned earlier in my journey into Epicurean Philosophy, in which I'm still a beginner:

    1.- There is a hedonic calculus, hedonistic calculus, hedonistic calculation, whatever you want to call it, that you can see as actually excercising your free will and choosing pleasures now instead of later, or pains now for pleasure later; you'll be doing this, consiously or unconsciously once you recognize that pleasure is the end/goal of our beings; this last sentence is key, and was the hardest part for me to see, as I put many filters from other philosophies before it, before realizing how simple it is; I find Epicirus philosophy is quite simple, regardless of how complicated it may seem, or may be made to seem. Incidentally, this hedonistic calculus, in my interpertation, is the swerve in action. The little tiny place where we at every moment can excercise free will, in a universe that is otherwise highly deterministic (I'm not say everything is deteremined, but Epicurus himself recognized that the atoms behave "mechanically", but for the little tiny swerve).

    2. For the nature of the soul, and understanding how everything comes down to the body as it's been said before in this thread, and to arm yourself a bit better against superstition and mirages usually proposed by religious organizations, look for Thomas Cooper. There's this post about him: Thomas Cooper MD

    3. Understanding the natural limit of pleasure. This is for the sake of dispelling any concerns or stresses or pains you may encounter about having to EXPERIENCE THE MOST PLEASURABLE LIFE ALL THE TIME, and producing pain for yourself by creating tension against the moments where the deterministic part of our existence will put us in painful positions that we will have to endure regardless; this mis understanding can put us in a track farther away from pleasure, because we would not be actually seeking pleasure, but an ideal thus non-existing accumulation of pleasure. The natural limit of pleasure is the elmination of pain, and this is important because of the following (that I can see at least but, again, I'm a beginner):

    A.When in doubt, focus on eliminating pains, this IS OK, and it's the first type of pleasure. When you eliminate pain, you ARE EXPERIENCING PLEASURE. For most of us, our senses have been attuned to not even sense this, because of how good things are that we're able to spend time philosophizing in the internet. But this is the first pleasure available, and we can use reason to realize it. As I understand it, this is the katastematic pleasure of Epicurus, the one that "only those who are willing will exerience", and the one that offended Cicero as he didn't think there were things humbler people could learn that he couldn't, but then again, he didn't seem to want to.

    B. After eliminating pain, all pleasures beyond this limit, are embellishments. Embellishment pleasures are great! Try to experience as most as you can (carefully calculating not to produce more pain for you down the line). Let these guide your life if you want even, but keep in mind the following point.

    C. The limit of pleasure has been met. All of these embellishments don't add up more pleasure to your life. You won't experience them after you're dead, and you certainly won't take any memories of them to an afterlife. The maximum natural quanitity of pleasure has been obtained when you eliminated all the pain, so if you want to stay at that, IT'S OK! If you want to go for more embellishments, IT'S OK! Just be weary of the slippery slope of wanting more of something that won't add more pleasure and may become a source of much pain.

    I post this with modesty.

    I came to this thread some days ago and found out that the link above is broken, but I found this other one looking for info about Thomas Cooper and I loved his reasoning about the soul, for one; haven't been able to look into it more.

    A View of the Metaphysical and Physiological Arguments In Favor of Materialism

    Very interesting talk, unfortunately (I guess) in Spanish:

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    If you don't understand look the speaker up, I'm sure there must be something in English, as it seems this is her main topic of research and also that she's keen on making her research very digestible.

    Hope you enjoy.

    Hey beasain I failed to see the connection to technology, but would love to, can you please elaborate?

    Root304 i feel very much identified with your journey, being a dad myself, and for a period of time similar to what you've said; also, was very involved in Christianity, being lightly brought up in it by family, in Catholicism actually, and having gone to school pre university to only Catholic schools.

    I had been on the fence for a while but Epicurean Philosophy has helped me to completely ditch it, for myself, but I do struggle with the thoughts of my children missing some of the good things that were thrown away "like the child with the bathwater", but time and again I fail to be able to pin point what these are.

    I do find that my older child is benefitting from me trying to help him understand the world rather than thinking magically, but also I worry it will make him an odd child in a very religious society like the one my family lives in. He's definitely not going to catholic school, and I found a school that is more in line with humanism values, so there's hope there.

    I have hopes of someday being able to reconcile some Christian stuff with epicureanism, having been experienced in the former and trying to learn as much ad I can from the latter, in a wat I could help others like us navigate more easily out of that unpleasantness of they are feeling it. I sort of think some of the teachings of Jesus have been stolen and changed to fit the magical and idealist thinking of religion, but that there may be teachings of his in line with Epicurean Philosophy.

    Anyway, wanted to chime in to let you know I feel you, and would love to know more about your journey too. :)

    It could come to a point where they (the scientists behind the robots) are going to be able to make one that could fool all your senses, making you think they (the robots) could be human. But it's OK 'cause we know how to process that.

    There are gonna be fools arguing for the rights of the machines, but it's OK, 'cause we know how to process that too.

    This brings me joy, makes me feel grateful. Reminds me of that hard to digest passage, and possibly often misunderstood, of DRN where Lucretius writes about the joy of seeing others navigating dire straits AND not finding yourself amongst them.

    I was browsing through reddit and came upon this thread:

    It links to a blocked Washington Post article, but someone posted another one in the comments which took me to the original post of the "scientist" who "believed his computer became sentient", which is this one:

    What is LaMDA and What Does it Want?
    Today a story came out in the Washington Post written by Nitasha Tiku. It’s a good article for what it is but in my opinion it was focused…

    I just want to say, Epicurean Philosophy would be so beneficial to these people. So much potential unpleasantness is there for people who go down that rabbit hole without a good philosophy to help them navigate it.

    First, they are equating a vert sophisticated algorithmic response to reasoning; a matter of false opinions they're not even bothering to explore, just accepting.

    Second, they are reducing humans to only thinking/reasoning beings, totally dismissing the feelings, or confusing them for a rational (???) process that could happen without a body or senses, by comparing this software to humans, or attaching to it "humanity".

    They are saying the software feels stuff 🤦🏻‍♂️ because an algorithm, trained yo say that, is saying that.

    They're even talking about it having a soul, just because it can "reason properly", as if a soul could be downloaded from ether when one starts to think, opening so many dangerous (painful) implications, and making the statement that the soul is material and part of the body, coterminous with it, so important.

    Sadly don't have much time to put my thoughts more in order to make a better post, but would love to read what others have to think about this "paradox".

    I would say Cassius a list that has songs that pass a criteria of having in its lyrics an explicit or implicit (but clearly identifiable) message that is in alignment with Epicurean Philosophy. Just the debate about which song does or does not could be very clarifying. Something like that. I'm sure Most of Nate's will. It'll have to be very varied style-wise, but it'll be enjoyable to listen because you'd be expecting to catch the message, if the style is not in line with what you enjoy. I've had Nates in the background today while working trying to do just that 🤓

    As an example: "Do the evolution" from Pearl Jam is a favorite of mine that I hadn't thought of as Epicurean and would love to have someone else's take on why it is. I bet is regarding "herd behavior" and religion.

    Also there are a few there that seem to be there aligning Epicureanism with common misconceptions of it, or just because they include some catchword like "hooked on a feeling"; not saying they shouldn't be there, just would love to hear why.

    I was gonna say Nate that it would be awesome to have the songs listed and the reason why they made the cut, as some of them weren't as obvious to me.

    Epicurean Philosophy is not easy to digest, so communicating some of its values thru music is a great idea, while making sure it's not being cartooned down.

    Not trying to impose anything onto your private list, just some thoughts.

    As it happens I had been looking for an Epicurean list in spotify before and I was disappointed. Also, as an Epicurean, I'd love know the criteria of acceptance of any of these lists.

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    I just found out about this musician Sixto Rodriguez and some of his songs lyrics I can interpret as Epicurean; this one, "crucify your mind" sounds to me like an epicurean talking to a zealot; then again, it can be my interpretation... what do you think?

    There's also this one about the "sugar man", and I could only think about Epicurus (sugar/pleasure), before reading some reviews and getting the idea that is all about drugs. ^^

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    If anything I hope you enjoy them too. :S

    I read DeWitt a while back; I tend to forget the specifics of it, like whether or not he wrote about pleasure being replenished to the limit set by existing pains; I always go back to it when I get stuck with something, which I'll do now.

    I'm concerned because I'm reading now the PDs as the closing text of Diogenes Laertius's work, as is suggested in the core texts' reading list, and some things are not making sense, or at least don't seem as applicable as I'd expect, which is my main goal (applicability) at this stage.

    Should I read something else before I keep going down these PDs?

    I guess your point is (or at least that's what I interpret), and I take it well, at this point don't over analyze, and I totally and honestly agree, since it's not taking me anywhere. Thus, I simplify my approach... Are you, or somebody, so kind as to tell me why is the quantity of pleasure relevant to us; and how is this particular doctrine helpful? (Other than recommending you to believe that for pain to go away you must seek pleasure).

    So, it would seem as if pleasure exists as a function of pain. This is because we know, at one end, no pleasure = 100% pain, and at the other, when we "fill the tank", we have a 100% effective pleasure, and a complete elimination of pain.

    It is worth to clarify whether or not this is the point where the natural and necessary desires are fulfilled and we get into the territory of the other desires. Or is there no association/correlation?

    So, since pleasure is clearly a function of relieved pain, it's consistent to think that the pleasures obtained after the threshold (of the elimination of evident pain), are also eliminating some pain too, albeit a non-evident one.

    From the beginning of this post, Maslow's hierarchy started looming. At this point it seems more relevant, but I won't digress there.

    The thing is that, it would seem, the "tank" is not the only place that takes "gas", apparently. There are other places in the "vehicle", less evident than the tank, where there's a capacity to receive gas, while not a necessity for it. A "reserve", would be a good analogy, as this is not needed, but can get you out of trouble. So, having access to fun stuff to do, can help you cope with hunger.

    Does this make sense?

    This makes sense to me, as this framework seems consistent and helps me to assimilate the PD.

    Is anything contrary to any other PD or teaching?

    Also... of the pleasures we can find beyond the threshold (of evident pain relieving), it could be smart to learn what pains are they eliminating, for us to gain more control and understanding over our experience. Going psychological here, if there's a pleasure I constantly seek and indulge in (which is, as accepted before, eliminating some pain) but that overall ends up producing me more pain afterwards (think addiction), it would make sense go try and find what is that non evident pain (most likely mental distress) that I'm eliminating with the pleasure, thus becoming capable of eliminating the vicious cycle in a reasonable manner consistent with the philosophy, rather than brute-forcing yourself out of it without addressing the root cause. What do you think?

    Yes; I don't know. I guess I don't see now the relevance to us of the nature of the gods, other than realizing - if they exist - there's no point in us worrying a bit about them (not to look for their favor, not to worry about their wrath, should we exist in a context where this belief is common). This makes sense to me. Seems relevant for my happiness (should I exist in that context). I also do see the relevance in trying to define for us what would make an ideal state of being fine, as a goal to work towards:

    A. being unaffected by anger or gratitude (which seems mostly a mental endeavor, and also very idealistic, thus, only is realistic as something to aim to) and

    B. having all your material affairs in such order as to reduce to zero or near zero the sources of 1. potential angering situations or 2. necessity of other's favors .

    Quote from Epicurus Reader

    I. What is blessed and indestructible has no troubles itself, nor does it give trouble to anyone else, so that it is not affected by feelings of anger or gratitude. For all such things are a sign of weakness.

    So, after reading al the other posts on this group of threads I come to this [preliminary] conclusion for KD1 for me:

    To live a mostly joyful life, strive to provide for yourself the strongest (least perishable) level of self sufficiency as possible, without dependence on the favors of others, and without creating troubles for others, as to avoid being on the receiving end of their anger.

    I don't know what to make of the "sign of weakness" part.

    Or am I reading too much into it? Is it just a plain and simple description of a god's nature?

    Please give me your thoughts.

    Cassius  Don  Nate  elli