ccarruth42 Level 01
  • Member since Nov 13th 2022
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Posts by ccarruth42

    Does anyone know what event is described here in Torquatus sections 34 & 35? There is described some altercation and involvement with a necklet. Seems interesting as a story at the beginning of his argument.

    yet you neither perverted me by eulogising my ancestors nor made me less vigorous in my reply. Now I ask, what interpretation do you put upon the actions of these men? Do you believe that they attacked the armed foe, or practised such cruelty towards their own children and their own esh and blood, absolutely without giving a thought to their own interest or their own advantage? Why, even the beasts do not act so as to produce such a tumult and confusion that we cannot see the purpose of their movements and attacks; do you believe that men so exceptional achieved such great exploits from no motive whatever?

    [35] What the motive was, I shall examine presently; meanwhile I shall maintain this, that if they performed those actions, which are beyond question noble, from some motive, their motive was not virtue apart from all else. He stripped the foe of his necklet. Yes, and he donned it himself to save his own life. But he faced a grave danger. Yes, with the whole army looking on. What did he gain by it? Applause and affection, which are the strongest guarantees for passing life in freedom from fear. He punished his son with death. If purposelessly, I should be sorry to be descended from one so abominable and so cruel; but if he did it to enforce by his self-inicted pain the law of military command, and by fear of punishment to control the army in the midst of a most critical war, then he had in view the preservation of his fellow-countrymen, which he knew to involve his own.

    Don, are you pointing to an experience similar to what's reported when someone is on their deathbed and a loved one tells them that it's ok to go if they need to. Basically, the loved one tells the sick person they have permission to let go when they're ready. So instead of clinging to life, they now have permission to "exit the play"?

    To me, this scenario seems to match the sentiment behind your quote


    It's accepting one's imminent death "animo aequo" with no more concern than walking out of a play that has no pleasure anymore. "Torquatus" acknowledges that there is no pleasure in the pain, but death is imminent so it's time to not regret or complain to the gods and so on. It's time to hold on to the only thing you have left in your final moments,

    I think your response to Don here is very applicable here


    In many ways i think discussions like this remind us what a "high-level" we are dealing with here. Like Cicero said somewhere, Epicurean philosophy is not really very difficult to understand. The big picture comes down to denial of the allegations of the major competitors - There IS no god, there IS no life after death, there IS no otherworldly realm of absolute truth. There is for us only our natural world, during our lifetimes, and nothing from nature giving us any "stop" or "go" feedback other than pain and pleasure.

    Much of what Epicurus is doing is simply exploding the opposition, and then pointing to the basic aspects of nature and saying: "This is what you have to work with - go to it with these basics as best you can."

    Maybe the simple answer is that the differences at birth just ARE. Those differences don't prevent one person from experiencing pleasure and the other not as they both grow, feel, and make choices.

    Thanks Cassius. also, i found the Long article here

    But there is something in the question that is more precisely focused on the social context that can't be explained by genetics (like being born with some physical attribute). Also, maybe this wouldn't have been a question for Epicurus without the social mobility that many people experience today. Maybe the question is more precisely about justice so I'll explore the Forum on that here

    Thanks Everyone. I'm reading the first book suggestion of Epicurus and His Philosophy - free preview that I could find quickly. The link at has been taken down and confiscated by the Feds. Link is in the post here below if anyone wants to edit it as it says the pdf may be available.

    Hi Cassius,

    Thank you for the message. I found this group searching for epicurean resources and I saw the weekly zoom meeting that I am interested in joining. I am very new to philosophy in general, but I just finished reading Henri Amiel's Journal Intime and he mentions Epicurus as an opposite of his teachings so it got me interested. So far I have found the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and have read Epicurus's letters saved in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers.

    I just want to learn about Epicurus and how he strives towards pleasure. I'm mostly interested in his ethics.

    Thank you for the texts to read. I will dive into them.