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  • The Notre Dame fire today is a huge event that has many political implications that are not appropriate for this forum. But it clearly is Epicurean to observe that the gods of the religionists do not intervene to protect their temples. I clearly seem to recall that there are passages in some of the ancient texts about how "the gods'" fail to protect their temples, and that their thunderbolts even burn down their own altars, but at the moment I can't recall a cite. If any of you remember good te…
  • **Gods Do Not Protect Their Temples** - I think this time line has been posted before, but today is probably a good day to repost it. Epicurean philosophy has pointed out for 2000 years the lesson of this timeline, that neither the ancient gods, nor the modern ones, protect their temples. And that is because of the observation made in PD1: "1. A blessed and indestructible being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; so he is free from anger and partiality, for all su…
  • No doubt it is a shocking experience for a lot of people - it is to me too. But sometimes shocking experiences can have beneficial consequences if they help us come to better grip with reality.
  • I have heard of that Follett book but not read it. Yes indeed it is a great tragedy to lose it. I suppose that's a reason to keep it in context, that the world also has lost many more, and more beautiful buildings, from the ancient world, so that this isn't unique. It's still shocking and disconcerting, regardless.
  • Michele I hope not, but Vatican City may be next! It's my understanding that the Vatican was largely constructed with stone from the original Roman Forum buildings, is that correct? If so, lots of conflicting emotions and histories are involved.
  • I agree with much of what you wrote there, Hiram. The buildings and the artwork are beautiful, but they are built on the ruins of something that was *more* beautiful before, and what was there became ruins in my view largely because of the views and people who built Vatican City, And I especially thing you are correct about the sexual and other types of perversion that permeate the Roman Catholic church. The main reservation I have is that what could follow the Vatican would be something even w…
  • (Quote from Hiram)See, that's where I would say Epicurean alternatives because I don't know that "enlightenment" and "humanist" are the same thing -- in fact I think that a case could be made that those words helped get us to where we are today. The real serum is what Epicurus promoted, and when people (not you, of course) use other words to describe their meaning, then they are hedging on something, probably something very important.
  • From that wikipedia page: pasted-from-clipboard.png When I read that, the first thing that comes to my mind is PD 33 - 33. There never was such a thing as absolute justice, but only agreements made in mutual dealings among men in whatever places at various times providing against the infliction or suffering of harm. Just as a general observation, and not related to this situation in particular, this brings home to me: How useless it is to think that any "law" at any time or any place, has any p…
  • Wow very strong, Elli. Some of that is yours and some of that is Liantinis?
  • (Quote from Matthaeus)I definitely agree. And I think one of the things Elli is getting at in the post above (22) is that there ARE such people who DO take pleasure in an event like that, and we need to deal with that reality in practical ways, rather than close our eyes to it and hope for the best. Which is not to say that such people (who take pleasure in this) are "wrong" or "evil" or in any way to be condemned as violating any laws of god or of humanity. It's simply to say that I want nothi…
  • I too wish I had visited Paris before it turned into what it is today. The only time I made it to Europe I did get to see one cathedral - the one in Paderborn Germany, and it was very impressive.
  • Elli I think most of your post got combined in the quote.....
  • OK I am supposed to be moderating here so let me get a word in. I understand where Mattheaus is coming from, and I understand where Elli is coming from, and I agree that there is really no breaching the divide. I value Mattheaus' friendship and appreciate his participation here, but I know sometimes there is just no reaching a consensus on some issues. Mattheaus knows that he is advocating a theist-based viewpoint which is not consistent with Epicurean philosophy. As long as the discussion cont…
  • PS - I was looking for the cite to Tacitus simply because I was aware of the "hatred of the human race" comment. I had never read the details on that pageabout the location where the fire started and how that tied it to the Christian/Jewish community. Worth reading.
  • In response to the thank you from Matthaeus, I would also say that if we were to blur the lines between theism and anti-theism too much, we might be legitimately chargeable of being as tone-deaf to the facts of the ancient controversies as are the Modern Stoics. And that would be a fate worse than death!
  • In regard to the comments by Oscar, which I think are two posts above (post 60). Oscar I note your objections but I do not accept them as accurate. It appears that you feel like any discussion of the ant-theism in general, or the well documented ancient Epicurean - Judaism conflict in particular, should be off limits. I strongly disagree. The core issues involved in theism go right to the root of the conflict between Epicurean philosophy and Stoicism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, and any other f…
  • In regard to Liantinis' suicide I largely agree with Hiram on this, where Hiram wrote: I wrote a piece for the Humanist on euthanasia, and the research I did for this proved that only one Epicurean in antiquity ever committed suicide and this was a frowned upon practice among the Epicureans except in cases of terminal disease or when a person is already lying on the battlefield near death. Committing suicide to prove a point politically is about as far from ataraxia / a life of pleasure as one …
  • Yes that is my understanding. Even though Liantinis wrote against Stoicism (as I understand it) he was more of an Aristotelian/Platonist and he did not agree with a number of fundamental Epicurean presumptions. That's much the way I see Nietzsche, -- as having much insight into what Epicurus was doing, but allowing themselves to be "turned off" by the "absence of pain" issue. Now why didn't they analyze the "absence of pain" the same way we do, and look to all the many other statements in favor…
  • Daniel: My study into the details of Nietzsche is limited, so if you know --- to what "writing" is this a reference? (Quote from Daniel) As to me personally, I fully agree with the thrust of what N. is saying here. "Slave morality" rings bells in my mind as another variation of "class warfare" as well, as just another means of asserting some "other" goal, other than the "pleasure" of the individuals involved, as the meaning of life. The list of abstractions that can be set up to take the place …
  • Ok i see - so he is not talking about a particular ancient book -- I thought perhaps he was referring to the text where the "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem"?" was asked (I forget the "father" who wrote it), but that really wouldn't make any sense either for Nietzsche to be citing that approvingly. Thanks!