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  • "For verily there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest" (Letter of Menoeceus: Hicks translation).

    In a recent podcast the Epicurean understanding of gods was discussed.

    And further questions came up for me, including the how to imagine why it might be that Epicureans held the gods to be important.

    From Wikipedia "Ancient Greek Religion" "Ancient Greek theology was polytheistic, based on the assumption that there were many gods and goddesses, as well as a range of lesser supernatural beings of various types. There was a hierarchy of deities, with Zeus, the king of the gods, having a level of control over all the others, although he was not almighty."

    Here is a website listing and describing the Greek gods (Olympian Gods, Titan Gods, Primordial Gods, Sea Gods, Underworld, etc.)

    1) There was a common understanding of gods in ancient and hellenistic Greece

    2) Epicureans saw the gods differently than what was commonly held - as

  • I decided to make a list of life pleasures, and include a link to my blog in which I list/categorize pleasures based on the following:

    1. Pleasures of short duration

    2. Pleasures of medium duration

    3. Pleasures of longest duration - these I consider long because they often takes planning or more time, and they have a quality that persists over time through mental pleasure.

    4. Pleasures which come naturally and are easy to have
    5. Pleasures of recollection of the past or anticipation of the future

    6. Pleasure of the relief of pain

    And a further category that separates a few pleasures that are common for everyone, whereas other pleasures dependent on circumstances.

    Before reading my list, you might want to write out your own list - I found pleasure in thinking about life's pleasures and also interesting to think about the amount of time that pleasures last. And as life goes on, one may change what is on one's list. I would say we all need a good mix of all the pleasures, and from all categories

  • "Now, the beginning and the greatest good of all these things is prudence, on which account prudence is something more valuable than even philosophy, inasmuch as all the other virtues spring from it, teaching us that it is not possible to live pleasantly unless one also lives prudently, and honourably, and justly; and that one cannot live prudently, and honestly, and justly, without living pleasantly; for the virtues are allied to living agreeably, and living agreeably is inseparable from the virtues."- Letter to Menoceus

    Not sure on the "honourably" versus "honestly" switch. A lot of sites I looked at for this passage had that discrepancy.

    Anyway, in following the recent discussions on epistemology in the podcast and in the forums, this passage brought up some thoughts for me. Is this talk of prudence being more valuable than philosophy a way of using the language of virtue ethics (which I gather he didn't think much of), to bring it back to the notion of anticipations being a core

  • Would it be fair to say that Epicurean theology is meant to resolve a completely different set of problems than the prevailing supernatural theology? If the universe has no beginning or end, and there is no supernatural dimension, ideals or essences, then we aren't trying to solve with Gods the problems of prime mover, problems of evil or theories of supernatural magic, etc. So is Epicurus trying to explain the sensations, feelings and anticipations of, or associated with, Gods with his theology? I am not particularly well read on all the material, but I remember some pieces on explaining the Gods in dreams. Also Epicurus or an Epicurean talking about prevailing attitudes about Gods being morally good, as if he is trying to speak to the social conventions about Gods being their chief concern. If my line of question has any merit, what other empirical (or otherwise) problems might the ancient Epicureans be trying to resolve with their Theology?

  • Thinking it might be good to start a new category under the forum list on early Epicureans in ancient Greece and Rome, focusing on history, culture, food, clothing, lifestyle, etc.

    Regarding honey in ancient times:


    In Athens, beekeeping was so organized that the great legislator Solon (640-558 BC) was forced to define by law the distances that should exist between apiaries so as not to create misunderstandings about the ownership of flocks.

    They did not have sugar, but they had honey, as part of their diet and medicine.

  • The most fundamental assertion here is PN03 - "The universe consists of solid bodies and void." As appealing as EP is to me, it seems the entire philosophy is built on that statement. For me, it is a stumbling block as I still wonder about other ways of seeing the universe.

    So my question here is this - is it accepted within the community that it's an indisputable fact that "there is nothing other than atoms and void", or is it thought to be a belief that may or may not be true or provable?

    It is this question that holds me back from buying into EP fully since I see other ideas such as the eastern notion that "all is Mind (consciousness or spirit)" as among those other ways of seeing the structure of reality. I cannot shake the idea that we don't actually know the truth about the real nature of everything, so we make choices about it. One of these choices is certainly PN03, but it's not the only one.

    I personally am confronted with what I think of as "the Mystery" since no matter what

  • We can only imagine what things might have been like back in the time of Epicurus. And now here we are, only in the beginning stages of imagining and creating an Epicurean Philosophy Garden. The current task has many challenges, but we must continue to press forward. We have this little corner of cyberspace in which to build our online Garden, and from this we can move out into the world to create something even more pleasurable.

    Last night, feeling some ability to write...first a quote of some study material and then some of my thoughts follow:

    The Garden as Refuge


    "I grant that although mental pleasure brings us joy and mental pain brings us trouble, yet each feeling takes its rise in the body and is dependent on the body, though it does not follow that the pleasures and pains of the mind do not greatly surpass those of the body. With the body indeed we can perceive only what is present to us at the moment, but with the mind the past and future also. For granting that we feel

  • found this...

    "According to Lucretius, love is insatiable, accompanied by pain, heart-ache, bitterness, and other mental disturbances."

    As a 45 year old male that has been in several long term relationships in my life lasting 4-7 years each...

    I dont see the point anymore.

    I've been single for 4 years now, I have more peace of mind than I've ever had in my life, zero drama, a wonderful daughter that i enjoy spending time with, and I'm crushing my goals every year.

    I do think about sex when i see beautiful women in public and love the idea of having more friends.... but i have zero desire to be committed to anyone romantically.

    And despite my contentment im reminded by society and friends and family frequently that my situation is clearly not normal.

    So naturally i second guess if im missing out on something or what.

    I still havnt figured out....if i did have more female friends and start having sex again what that would even LOOK like...the dynamic etc.

    Would love to hear feedback from anyone.