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  • Some part of my brain is snagging on that orientation line. I believe the author means it to correlate with the line above. As in, "The Stoics believe that the source of moral authority is Natural Law, and the orientation of moral authority is that it applies universally to everyone." And, "The Epicureans believe that the source of moral authority is human agreement, and the orientation of moral authority is that its application is relative to varying human agreements." It is not Universalist i…
  • I certainly recognize what you're saying about the emotive nature of slavery as a concept, and the tendency to get mushy in our thinking about it. I agree with you that just using the word 'moral' is a problem, and that there is no "outside moral standard"--what in philosophy is often called a Transcendental Moral 'Ought'. This relates to David Hume's famous formulation, afterward called "Hume's Guillotine"; There is no possible account of how things are that can tell us how things ought to be.…
  • That's all to the good, Cassius To clarify one further point, what I wrote about democracy, franchise, etc. doesn't derive from "absolute truth (TM)" or any such thing. I meant to draw a clear line between what Epicurus said about justice, which is the premise, and the things that necessarily follow from that premise. To speak of a system of justice where the strong make decisions and the weak suffer what they must is a contradiction in terms, if we're using his definition of justice. His conce…
  • Elayne, you've expressed my position more clearly than I could. Thank you!