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  • I am even "more" late commenting. I was tied up earlier in November then in December I caught the infamous virus that put me out of commission for two weeks...awful...just awful. The "god" discussion has been one that I've taken part in for the last few years. So much has been written about it, but often leaves us divided. For my part I have vacillated greatly in what I believe Epicurus thought about the gods. I think truly, as it was in his time, exactly as he posited: the being (if it exists) …
  • Absolutely, I would enjoy reviving the discussion if the mood hits everyone. After a long couple weeks of feeling so unbelievably bad, I have had some time to reflect on what “pleasure” means to a healthy life. I will post in the forum a little later on the subject.
  • I tried for a time to combine my inherent interest of divinity and mysticism with Epicurean philosophy. Because Epicurus left it so open ended, I ended up trying to fill in the gaps between the atoms and void. I found that for my own purposes, EP would never have a system that would compete with Christian theology or Neoplatonism etc. but the question becomes...do I want it to? Other more concrete systems give theological formulas about gods, Epicurus says for me not to worry about the gods. I h…
  • Also, it’s not to say that the gods conversation isn’t “meaningful” to many people. It’s just that expectations should be set as to what type of conversation we would be having. Comparing the metaphysical and apophatic theology of Philo of Alexandria with that of Epicurus, where the majority of the Epicurean texts are lost on the subject will necessarily be fruitless. Philo has literally volumes to say while Epicurus has one or two vague things to say in Menoceus. It’s just that the expectation …
  • For sure Don, I think it is important that we get as much out of the original texts as we can. It sounds like you are doing detailed research on the subject, and I’d be interested to hear about what you find. I’m certain that there are volumes that are missing. So sadly we may not ever know what was originally intended as far as Epicurean theology goes in its entirety. I agree 100% that the modern stoics who avoid the originally critical aspect of the Logos are doing themselves an enormous disse…
  • This discussion is filling the void of this rather quiet and somber Christmas Eve day. I’m very happy that I came back when I did. Glad to be here with you folks!
  • So a thought passed through my mind last night... As a person who made theology a very large part of my initial philosophical studies especially with Hindu Vedanta and Neoplatonism, I started to meditate how (or rather what) it was that allowed me to transition to an Epicurean understanding of divinity. And later what caused my distress with a more “advanced” view Epicurean theology. In the Letter of Menoeceus, my first real introduction to Epicurean writings, I was struck by what was said right…
  • Yeah I don’t want to continue beating this subject to death unless folks are very interested in reviving it. I personally have a fixation on it because it gave me such trouble early on and I feel it’s helpful for me to sort of “talk it out.” I haven’t battled it out with Stoics in quite some time over the nature of the divine. So I’m rusty, but definitely if I spend a day looking at some Stoic forums I’ll be sure have all sorts of material. 😎
  • Hi Godfrey, I think that either is acceptable, singular or plural. Since we are generically referring to divinity or multiple divinities, either one or many. Specifically Epicurus in his letter to Menoeceus he uses the singular “theon”: “πρῶτον μὲν τὸν θεὸν ζῷον ἄφθαρτον καὶ μακάριον νομίζων, ὡς ἡ κοινὴ τοῦ θεοῦ νόησις ὑπεγράφη, μηθὲν μήτε τῆς ἀφθαρσίας”
  • Honestly whether there are many thousands of Epicurean deities, 5 of them, or just one, the number ultimately does not change whether such a being/beings can or should be described in extremely deep philosophical detail. Simply because whether there are 5000 or just 1 we have the same amount of verifiable information about any number in that range.
  • Don thanks for posting that! Yes, this goes back to what interpret as the very subjective nature of the Epicurean understanding of divinity. Whatever an individual does with it beyond what the texts say is entirely up to them. Whether you believe in any number of deities or none at all. We are still Epicurean. Everything that I write here is simply my own interpretation or me just throwing down ideas. I could be entirely wrong about what Epicurus meant, I’m just talking things out...this type o…
  • Meditating on reverence and awe... Very recently I was laying in bed with the virus, with fever and pneumonia, With certain senses completely robbed from me. I could not bring myself to meditate on any “divine” principles or on any virtues. I felt too sick for that, too concerned my senses would never return. I was concerned not about any idealistic things or concepts, just whether I would return to my normal self and experience pleasure again. I thought of: “Continuous bodily pain does not last…