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  • The following post was added to the Epicurean Philosophy thread at facebook today by a D. O'Connell. Feel free to check it out if you like for other responses, but I am posting it here so I can add my response to it. I am sure some of you here can do better: (Quote) Cassius' Response: I would propose in response to your question that the word you put in quotes ("know") is where some people are going to agree with Epicurus and some will never agree with him. Epicurus taught irreducible primary en…
  • Some quite interesting responses! Chaz Ajy: We do know the world is made of atoms. The contemporary thing where everything is non existent or mind made is just sensationalism. Think about it: if atoms are imaginary, then why does IBM have to go through such pains to make their little movies where they use just individual atoms then (see "A Boy and His Atom")? Shouldn't they just be able to imagine the movie into existence? If atoms don't exist when a human eye isn't observing them, then why does…
  • Yes Eric you're now fully focusing on the epistemology issue, which is where we need to focus here and in your recent question about what keeps you from fully embracing Epicurean Philosophy. If we can't answer which confidence a child's question such as "There COULD be pink ponies dancing on the other side of the moon, right Dad?" ...then we can't answer anything with confidence at all. So we need to address questions such as: "Under what circumstances, if any, do we admit as 'possibilities' thi…
  • You may not be one of them, and I grant that some aren't, but I truly believe that is a small minority of people, and under pressure, that number shrinks even more dramatically. I think that Epicurus was attempting to deal with EXACTLY what you are raising here, and I think he thought that we could do very much better than had been done previously - and I would say since then too - to explain this issue and provide an answer to people of relatively normal intelligence. Yes it does require some d…
  • Yes I would say that us a fair conclusion. But I think Epicurus was looking for greater precision in describing the problem and addressing it. Part of it is no doubt " the canon of truth" in which had his three categories of tools by which to judge that which is perceptible. But - anticipating and negating Frances Wright's "don't worry about it" position, I think it's clear that Epicurus thought we can develop some "rules of thought" by which to judge the imperceptible. He was clearly willing to…
  • (Quote from EricR) I completely agree. I think the footing is essentially there, but that's my personal opinion and as far as I know there is no one currently in the "Epicurean movement" who is articulating it sufficiently.
  • (Quote from EricR) Eric the only thing that you have typed that I disagree with is the "they take us a long way from EP." And I say that because I think its strength IS a practical set of principles for achieving happiness, and I think also that Epicurus agreed with you that one of the tool sets that is necessary for the greatest happiness is the ability to deal with epistemological questions with dexterity. What you're talking about here is pretty much what I see as the number one weakness of "…
  • Going back to the post that started this thread, it seems to me that even the most devoted proponent of whatever latest theory is out there in the scientific community ought to be experienced enough to see that over and over and over the "latest theory" gets turned to dust by something newer sooner or later. If we accept that likelihood, then we either turn to Francis Wright style "forget the whole thing" compartmentalization (because she's still very firm on certain conclusions) or we take a br…
  • (Quote from Nate) The part of this conversation that I want to emphasize is that even though I think this ("chasing ghosts") is true in at least a figurative sense, I think these "ghosts" are very real in the sense that they inhabit (or "possess") probably 90% or more of the people in the world. Of course a forum like this has multiple reasons for existence, and from at least one perspective we are talking to people who are highly educated and sympathetic with Epicurus' positions, so we can use …
  • Followup to the original thread: Henrik Eberhardt I think there is - though I cant really say where - examples of epicureus or at least ancient epicureans say its prudent to say that at the point we dont know the answer to this problem though it surely is one. I think there is two important things to say about the atomism point that everyone can have an opinion on in addition to what Cassius Amicus mentions - 1) if something is put forth that is in direct conflict with observable reality (like I…