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  • (Quote from Titus) I would say that is the key. I think Stoicism is actually the majority view of most "establishments" in the corporate and governmental and academic world, even if they don't admit it. The prevailing worldview in my eyes is some version of "virtue ethics" in which most existing institutions have their view of what is "good" and seek to apply that to everyone, and that is highly consistent with the Stoic worldview. Stoicism doesn't require overt belief in a particular theology, …
  • (Quote from Don) (Quote from Don) I think these questions are related. I agree that the issue of the "ism" terminology is lost on most modern English speakers (hard for me to be sure about other languages) and I don't think the question should be made a priority in dealing with someone who doesn't see the point. I do think that some interesting points can be made by discussion the question of "isms," because there are lots of aspects of Epicurean philosophy beyond just the role of pleasure and p…
  • In these categories (secularists, humanists) and in the two names you mentioned (i've left out freethinkers), I think there is a key problem in that there is not yet a full and dramatic separation from the "virtue ethics" approach that's probably close to the root of Stoicism. For example I have a lot of appreciation for Catherine Wilson but I think her books fail to draw a distinction between her own personal social preferences (which we all have) from the philosophical underpinnings. Every tim…
  • Another point --- It's very easy to simply say. "Follow pleasure!" and things like "Do what makes you happy!" but to have a philosophical movement, you have to explain why your point of view is correct, and why the absolutist ethical viewpoints are not valid. It can be very easy and superficial to talk about pleasure and happiness -- everyone sort of acknowledges the desirability of those things - but Epicurean philosophy is really a comprehensive view of the nature of the universe that when fol…
  • (Quote from Don) Yep I think it is a combination of SIMPLE plus (to many) "distasteful," and I think probaby the "distaste" outweighs the "simplicity" issue. On that point here's one of the sections of "A Few Days In Athens" I think is well stated: (Quote)
  • Godfrey if that is a theme of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - which I have never read - I would be interested in whether there are also paralllels to Lucian's "Hermotimus" - if you have read that. I think of Hermotimus as one of the best arguments against chasing too many rabbits, but I did not realize that that was an aspect of "ZATAOMM"
  • Yes "virtue-signaling" has a modern political charge to it which I don't mean to invoke in any direction. It is fairly well descriptive though, which is why I have used it somewhat, especially since the issue of 'virtue' is so closely associated with stoicism and the direction Epicurus sought to break away from. It would definitely be good to develop additional terms to describe the overuse of "virtue-based-analysis"
  • (Quote from Don) The seed in this comment that has the potential to grow out of proportion is the unqualified "others." (Quote from Don) If in fact, per PD10, he achieves pleasure, then in fact there is nothing to criticize. Where you're going of course is that depending on circumstances "some" other people (those who disagree) can be expected to react negatively. That's a purely practical concern, but an important one. (Quote from Don) And that's where I think the danger lies. If applied as wri…
  • Yes welcome to the conversation Protonus....! You're dropping in as you can probably tell on a long-running sparring over some of these issues, even though I think we are very largely in agreement. However I pick out these two quotes to make a particular point: (Quote from Don) (Quote from Don) I certainly agree with the second, but I do think that that is exactly what the Stoics would urge, and thus that the first of these two quotes is not historically correct. It is my understanding of the St…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I think this is particularly well stated and important. And I also think that it is good that Don continues to respond on this point because if there is any that we need to be as sharp as possible in explaining, it is probably this one. At least from where i sit, that is the best interpretation I have of Don's viewpoint --- we seem to be wrestling over whether it is every proper to generalize that a standard of conduct is so reliably productive of pleasure that it can be gene…
  • I have to come back to this, and also emphasize I am not directing it at Don: (Quote from Elayne) I think this is a HUGE problem. This is where people have their pre-existing virtue systems of their group or even just themselves, and they have an extremely hard time accepting that imposing their system on others cannot be justified philosophically through Epicurus or anyone else, and certainly not through religion. This is the aspect that I think makes Epicurus so revolutionary. The upheavals br…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I agree but I'll also offer that I think Elayne is reacting to the argument here, and i think we would probably all agree that "those things" aren't really just a starting place, but probably take is quite a way toward the goal in most instances -- but they won't all the time, and it's the exceptions that prove the rule -- and the rule is that while we can make make general conclusions which high degrees of confidence in many instances, we have to always be looking to be sure…
  • (Quote from Elayne) In other words, Elayne is much better suited constitutionally to being a doctor rather than an infantry captain!
  • And I am constitutionally unable to run a "Meat-producing" plant like with chickens, hogs, etc. I am no vegan myself, but if it were left up to me no one would have any animal-product food available again
  • ADMIN NOTE: At this point in the conversation, Don wrote a post which launches a discussion more oriented toward "justice" than the original point of this thread. Here is a screen-clip of the post and you can find it and the ensuing discussion here. Please pursue the "justice" discussion there, and pursue the main point of this thread continue here.
  • I think you're on the right track and even before that -- welcome to active posting after lurking for quite a while! As I scan through your comments I think all of them are correct. It occurs to me to say that my experience is that there are very "practical" people for whom your observations are pretty much all they ever need to see. Given those observations, which are correct, they then go back to focusing on the practical side of life, where they are most comfortable, and that's all they need …