Mathitis Kipouros Level 03
  • Member since Jun 6th 2020
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Posts by Mathitis Kipouros

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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

    For it is better in a man’s actions that what is well chosen (should fail, rather than that what is ill chosen) should be successful owing to chance.

    Quote from Epicurus Reader

    For it is better for a good decision not to turn out right in action than for a bad decision to turn out right because of chance.

    It seems clear that a right (successful) or bad (failing) result of our decisions would be related to whether or not it resulted in pleasure/pain... right?

    But... What is a good (well) or bad (ill) choice/decision in the first place? One made using our senses and feelings?

    Anyone thinks of a didactic example?

    As always, I like to clarify that my comments come from a place of wanting to learn, and always respectfully of you (the most experienced guys around here) and your knowledge.

    Epicurus was very clear that gods are physical beings and that the type of beings he is discussing really exist;

    From what Don said lines above this could very well not be the case. Particularly after learning about the other possible meanings the words "enargis" and "zoon" could represent. Are there sources that could back the argument that the right interpretation is that they are physical beings existing now? Because, Epicurus could've been talking about physical beings that don't exist now but are likely to exist as a product of evolution, from the way we see the universe is organized (Again, and I can't exactly say how or why, but this is helping me understand better the concept of isonomia). Which would make them only mental constructs at the time. Which would be a valid inference. And also would make much more sense as we now have pretty much mapped every type of element and their interactions and there's no evidence of any being that would resemble these gods. And if we can't see them because they are electromagnetic fields or some sort of other physical phenomenon we know exists but can't see, they would be resembling more "things" rather than "beings".

    Quote from @cassius

    that they are not supernatural, that they didn't create the universe, that they would have no concern about humans

    because they are:

    - ideas? **

    - aliens somewhere else in the universe?

    - animals evolved to that level? (But just not yet seen by us)

    ** I guess here that concept of isonomia (as in "same arrangement") becomes relevant again... as it would explain why we all create a concept/idea of god, derived from what we would think it would be, basing this from what we know, which is unmistakably biased towards the way we see the universe is organized and works (evolution, material beings...).

    This wouldn't be at odds with the aspects you described Cassius

    that the gods are apprehended by the mind only.

    This, coupled with this:


    Etymology Processing

    inactive < ancient greek ἐναργής < ἐν- + -αργής (< ἀργός = sparkling / white)

    30px-Nuvola_apps_edu_languages.png PronunciationProcessing

    DFA : / e.naɾˈʝis / male or female

    30px-Open_book_01.svg.png AdjectiveProcessing

    active, -is, -es

    1. which is seen with clarity and clarityΑυτά All of this came to my mind alive, active , as if it were just yesterday. ( M. Karagatsis , The yellow file ) Synonyms : clear , distinct antonyms : indistinguishable
    2. ( metaphorically ) that can be easily understood Synonyms : understandable , clear antonyms : vague , difficult to understand

    Makes a lot of sense.

    But this, from the Epicurus Reader, becomes confusing then:


    First, believe that god is an indestructible and blessed animal.

    As it seems quite a material thing. Perhaps a wrong translation? What word did he use in greek Don ? Since it's different from Bailey's:

    First of all believe that god is a being immortal and blessed

    Which I guess is more aligned with god being and idea/concept (/prolepsis?).

    Well I guess it's not obvious at all as I'm struggling to give a definition. I'm trying to find an answer in etymological and historical definitions:

    "Appealing deeeply to the imagination"

    "Invoking a powerfully sentimental idea of life"

    "Emphasizing of emotion and of a glorification of nature"

    "Relating to quests"

    "Implying An obsession or attachment to something"

    "Seeking what's aesthetically pleasing"

    "Providing Aesthetic experience based on emotion"

    "Reactionary to the rationalization of nature"

    In an artistic context: "The nature of Romanticism may be approached from the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist."

    I was searching in the forum for threads regarding romanticism but didn't find much. At the time of this post there were only 3 entries that addressed romanticism but none directly. Of these, by the way, the one about German Idealism I found particularly interesting:

    Returning to topic, What are your thoughts, as an Epicurean, on Romanticism?

    By the way, searching on the internet about this I found this book "Sweet Science" which, as the name would suggest, focuses partially on Lucretius DRN.

    Sweet Science
    Today we do not expect poems to carry scientifically valid information. But it was not always so. In Sweet Science, Amanda Jo Goldstein returns to the…

    Also, do you think Romanticism usually deals with, and has as a motivation for, what could, for a person, be "ideal", i.e. "ideal" world, "ideal" x? If so... what's the difference between romanticism and idealism?

    Would you think that Epicurean Philosophy is somewhat romantic in that it adds the element of pleasure (particularly mental) to its materialism (thus making it about personal experience, self consciousness and inner understanding)?

    EDIT: Sorry about the font size, I'm in my cell phone and don't know what happened.