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  • Interesting thread. I also saw the other techniques thread. Here are some thoughts off the top of my head... Stoicism (along with Aristotle) got accepted and rationalized into the Christian club early on. The whole first chapter of the Gospel of John talks about Jesus being the Logos/Word, a concept straight out of Stoicism and Greek Philosophy. In some ways, Stoicism glorifies the bearing up against suffering and pain, the stiff upper lip, even voluntarily undertaking painful experiences to "tr…
  • (Quote from Cassius) I suppose a natural audience would be secularists, humanists, and freethinkers. But that's a very diverse group and fragmented (like our sources). The modern Stoics seem to have targeted the "go-getter" business-type and plugged into the "warrior ethos" thing and leaned into that in their philosophy and promotion. The whole "rugged individualist" would appeal to an American audience, too. I do want to say that it appears to me that many of the modern Stoics truly practice wh…
  • (Quote from Cassius) Well, people generally don't like ambiguity. They like simple answers to complex questions. Black and white, not grey. Epicureanism makes you do the work.
  • (Quote from Cassius) Additionally, I contend we need to be careful even with the slogan "Follow pleasure" not being caricatured* or cliched into "if it feels good, do it." It easily veers into a Cyrenaic path in people's minds (not that they know who Cyrenaics were). Epicurus did not deal in Platonic ideals, but he did recommend paths that - through observation - would lead to more pleasurable lives overall.
  • (Quote from Cassius) In the US at least, distrust and distaste of pleasure was baked in from the 1600s with the Puritans and Pilgrims.
  • It sounds to me like Elayne is embodying KD5: (Quote) Virtues like empathy, compassion, altruism are not ends unto themselves but are traits that can spring from our desire for -- and can lead to -- our personal experience of pleasure. We don't practice virtues (however that's defined) because it's the "right" thing to do; we practice virtues because it leads to a pleasurable life. As I understand Elayne 's post (please correct me if I'm misinterpreting): (Quote from Elayne) It actually seems yo…
  • I suspected my post would elicit some discussion. This is good! I don't have time this morning to respond to everything, but wanted to comment specifically to Elayne 's comment: (Quote from Elayne) I think we're splitting hairs. Merriam-Webster's definition of qualifier is: a word (such as an adjective) or word group that limits or modifies the meaning of another word (such as a noun) or word group That's what your phrase is doing. I do exactly plan on doing as I please. What do you do? That whi…
  • (Quote from Cassius) I knew PD10 was going to come up. I know we've tangled on this before, and while I accept your premise you present here, I reject that that is what Epicurus was saying. He did not observe that the person described in PD10 *would* realistically "achieve" nor *could* expect to achieve pleasure. I believe Epicurus was saying exactly what he meant here (after looking at the verb forms used) and in the Menoikeus Letter. I'm going to be obstinate on this point. To use an Epicurean…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I think it would be weird, too, so I'm curious where you're getting that from what's posted. From my perspective, the "awareness of future consequences" is the heart of any practice of Epicuren philosophy. That's the basis for all choices and rejections: how do actions in the present affect my current and future experience of pleasure. (Quote from Elayne) So, do you disagree with PD 5 then? Why does Epicurus single out living prudently, morally, and justly if not recognizing …
  • Welcome to the discussion, Protonus ! I do believe also that just not many people are aware of Epicureanism as an option. The Stoic "indifference" and thus dichotomy of control even has antecedents in Epicurus's philosophy. I think it's a Greek thing and not unique to the Stoics. But I think Epicurus is on sounder footing overall with respect to this and ... Well, everything else, too: (Quote) And... (Quote) And... (Quote)
  • (Quote from Protonus) That's probably not a bad way of summarizing. We only have one life and are not both twice. If you don't experience a pleasurable life now, you've missed your opportunity.
  • I'll admit the Stoic mention was a throwaway line. I freely admit I shouldn't have thrown that in there because i don't know enough about the Stoics to say that unequivocally. I'mma gonna take that back. So... (Quote from Cassius) I'll concede this, but... (Quote from Cassius) I don't think PD10 has anything to do with virtue. Let me be clear. The cautions Epicurus lays out in opposition to the profligate life in PD10 has *nothing* to do with whether it's "virtuous" or not. Zero. And there's no …
  • (Quote from Elayne) I still think we're splitting hairs. I'm using modifier, descriptor, and qualifier as synonyms. Maybe that's sloppy, maybe not. You're using each with a specific narrow definition from what I can see. This could spiral down a sophist rabbit hole, so I'm content to abandon this particular thread. I do want to respond to your other points, but that'll be a bit later.
  • (Quote from Elayne) I never said he idealized those "virtues" as capital-V Virtues. In fact, that's exactly why he did NOT write: (Quote) as if they were Platonic ideals or absolutes. He used adverbs to clearly show he was not talking about specific actions but rather acting prudently, morally, and justly in any given situation.
  • (Quote from Elayne) Let me rephrase then: The pain I would feel if my friend were harmed is actually the deciding factor.
  • (Quote from Elayne) Whether you can name an exception to an action in a specific circumstance doesn't really prove anything. Acting justly, prudently, and morally *is* contextual. It may be that the same action in a different situation would not be acting prudently, justly, or morally. Maybe I should say that in a specific situation, there are actions within that given scenario that would lead to a more pleasurable life for (almost) anyone. The identical action in a different situation may not l…
  • (Quote from Cassius) One of the few things we can use to make choices and rejections in the present is whether we reacted with pleasure or pain to a specific action in a specific situation in the past. Is the current situation similar enough to the past situation to warrant one decision or another? Barring that, have we observed others taking actions that had painful or pleasurable outcomes *from our perspective* in similar circumstances to this? We don't have to accept a mechanistic or divine u…
  • (Quote from Elayne) Ah, that's my point. Someone observing your behavior may attribute it to your "virtue." You know that's an erroneous interpretation, but you're not responsible for correcting their mistaken opinion. [Unless you want to engage in some Epicurean evangelism, of course. That's up to you.] You know you're doing it because it brings you pleasure. (Quote from Elayne) Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at that. (Quote from Elayne) Okay, I have no problem with this then. Your previ…