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  • (Quote from Hiram)Hiram, I appreciate your honesty regarding your uncertainty about moral relativism. I have suspected that is an issue for you, from reading your book and from many of your posts and comments. The alternative to relativism is absolutism, or a mixture of some relative and some absolute areas (which seems to be the most common approach to me)-- and that is not a position consistent with Epicurean Philosophy. As an online friend, I can say that you seem like a very nice person-- a…
  • Ok, so let me make sure I understand: are you hesitant to promote Epicurean Philosophy and its moral relativism-- in which virtues are only good if they lead to pleasure-- because you are worried that your brother and others like him will not be able to use this type of advice for their own pleasure? And because you love him, of course this affects your pleasure too. I understand that Epicurus did not think everyone could make wise choices, and I have seen difficult situations in my family as w…
  • Just saw your other comment-- Epicurus didn't advise us to trust everyone. Psychopaths will act for their own pleasure anyway, but in some cases they can be persuaded that they are happier out of jail.
  • There are multiple different issues here-- different groups of non-Epicureans and also Epicureans who have pleasures that may conflict with ours (which Cassius brings up). Others who can't or won't try to have pleasure. Individually, we can treat these people using our own hedonic calculus. However, it will be a failed project to promote the philosophy if we are not clear about who our audience is and what we are advising. That is why Epicurus was a dogmatist. His intended audience was the grou…
  • And Joshua, while on an individual basis I have done similar things, I am hesitant to say a method works without data. If replicated research showed that traditional Lakota ceremonies, on an intention to treat basis, had a measurable effect and better or at least comparable to the current evidence-based therapies, then I would definitely recommend them as an option. Anecdotal cases are not enough to convince me.
  • (Quote from Hiram)The very idea that there could be such a thing as an "ideal" government, IF we knew all possible information about human nature, is problematic. That is a social utilitarian perspective, and idealist-- not Epicurean. It's not even something an Epicurean would bother with.