Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Justice is an agreement among people, nothing more.

Introduction


Many of you who grew up in a western country that is heavily Christian will be very familiar with the idea that Justice is an innate part of humanity, Justice is one of the characteristics of God and we are made in his image therefore we have Justice innately inside us.

The Epicurean view is that there is no divine Justice and instead it is simply a contract among one another.


I will primarily use the Principal Doctrines for now to illustrate this, when I become more versed in the Vatican Sayings and fragments, I will add more.

Quotes which support these from Epicurus


Principal Doctrines

What is natural justice


"Natural justice is a covenant for mutual benefit, to not harm one another or be harmed. " - 31

Natural Justice is a "covenant" which comes from the Greek word "σύμβολον " which can also be translated as "contract or mutual agreement". Natural Justice is simply an agreement not to do harm to another and in turn not to be harmed by another.


Does Justice actually "exist"

"Justice does not exist in itself; instead, it is always a compact to not harm one another or be harmed, which is agreed upon by those who gather together at some time and place. " - 33
"Justice does not exist in itself" What is meant by this is that Justice isn't an actual part of reality, it is an abstraction or an idea which is created for convenience, Justice does not exist outside of the minds of humanity, there is no ideal/perfect/absolute/divine justice. 

Is injustice "bad"

"Injustice is not bad in itself, but only because of the fear caused by a suspicion that you will not avoid those who are appointed to punish wrongdoing." - 34
"Injustice is not bad in itself" I imagine this is jarring to a lot of you, as it was to me but it makes sense. How can committing a crime in itself be a bad thing? Outside of divine decree (God) how  can injustice be bad other than the consequences which follow from it? If a person did not feel guilt or regret then why is it bad? If a person was never caught in doing a crime, outside of their own paranoia (if that individual person it) how is it bad? Epicurus says instead that injustice is only deemed bad because of what follows from it, nothing more.


Can you be confident in your escape from detection during a crime?

"It is impossible to be confident that you will escape detection when secretly doing something contrary to an agreement to not harm one another or be harmed, even if currently you do so countless times; for until your death you will be uncertain that you have escaped detection." -35
This goes back to the previous point about paranoia, if you were to commit a crime it is more or less impossible that you can know for certain that you will never be caught, you will always being looking over your shoulder. This in itself isn't a reason not commit a crime, many many people accept this burden for the benefits which injustice brings if they are not caught.


 That Justice is mostly the same among all humans, but the particulars are different.

"In general, justice is the same for all: what is mutually advantageous among companions. But with respect to the particulars of a place or other causes, it does not follow that the same thing is just for all." -36
In general, Justice wishes to maximize the benefits for it's citizens and minimize the pain, the particulars are very different however. The particulars can be a great many things, economic system, environment and even religious beliefs. ( if a particular place believes in such things that is)


The characteristic of Justice

"Among things that are thought to be just, that which has been witnessed to bring mutual advantage among companions has the nature of justice, whether or not it is the same for everyone. But if someone legislates something whose results are not in accord with what brings mutual advantage among companions, then it does not have the nature of justice. And if what brings advantage according to justice changes, but for some time fits our basic grasp of justice, then for that time it is just, at least to the person who is not confused by empty prattle but instead looks to the facts. " -37
Firstly, many things are thought to be just, the only thing that is truly just for us is that which brings mutual advantage among all citizens/people/members of the Garden, however an extremely important point is that Epicurus is NOT saying that there is one sole form of Justice that brings mutual benefit instead he is describing a characteristic of natural justice which is "mutual advantage among all", what is mutually advantage one group of companions may be different than another.

 Secondly, if a law is passed that goes against the characteristic of "mutual benefit" than it is not just to us.

Lastly, as long as the law brings mutual advantage to all it does not matter if the law changes. Epicurus gives wonderful advice here: which is look at the facts (consequences) not the empty prattling among philosophers and legislators.


That Justice is based on mutual benefit

"When circumstances have not changed and things that were thought to be just are shown to not be in accord with our basic grasp of justice, then those things were not just. But when circumstances do change and things that were just are no longer useful, then those things were just while they brought mutual advantage among companions sharing the same community; but when later they did not bring advantage, then they were not just." - 38

If no external circumstances have changed and the society decides to look at some laws and it shows that these laws were not in accord to the basic grasp of justice i.e. mutual benefit then it follows that these laws were never just.

Legislation which once brought mutual benefit for all but no longer do were just while they did but when they no longer brought mutual benefit they were just no longer.

Comments from peers/other Epicureans




"one other way to say this is that justice emanates from people (is immanent), not from gods (is not transcendent). That's why it's natural, and not supernatural."  -
 A very good point and clarification, Justice comes from people and agreements among them (immanent) not gods (transcendent)

"On defining good and bad according to nature, true. Also remember that in L Herodotus, Epicurus starts by saying that words must be clearly defined and aligned with how things appear to us in nature, which denotes the importance of accordance between words and signs presented to our faculties, and in that letter he also explains that bodies have primary (inherent) and secondary (relational properties). 
Later, our third scholark polystratus makes the case that “the vile” and “the noble”, like beautiful and ugly and other good and bad categories, are relational properties in nature that sentient beings can apprehend according to their faculties so that they are experientially real and true. This is a complex subject but in the future if you want to study and deepen this, we can revisit this. The key thing to remember is that good and bad things only exist as relational, as they relate to us or someone when they encounter some other thing, experience or body in nature."
Instead of trying to explain this myself poorly, I will link to Hiram's blog in which he explains the concept coherently.  Click here for link 


"Eoghan this seems to me to be a subset of the wider issue, which might be good to include, which is that "good" and "bad" have no definite meaning either, outside of a particular set of facts, and that pleasure and pain are the ultimate foundation of them. Whether it's Good and bad, or good and evil, or similar names, there is no standard of absoluteness that can be used to define what those words mean other than the pleasure and pain of the people involved."

Cassius makes an excellent point to remind us that "Good and Bad or Good and Evil" are simply names we give to things. They are founded on whether the experience is pleasurable or painful, not abstract ideas.


Conclusion

My hope is that the reader gets a basic grasp of the Epicurean idea of Justice and to realize that we do not believe in some floating or divine justice, it is simply a contract among one another and there is nothing wrong with that, the declaration of independence of the USA says similar things as Epicurus did and one of it's authors, Thomas Jefferson, was an Epicurean.




Friday, May 18, 2018

6 practical and actionable tips for being an Epicurean


1. The Hedonic Calculus

The Hedonic Calculus is a great tool for us Epicureans to employ, it allows you to measure the level of pleasure to pain you are getting out of any action. Let's say you are out with a few friends drinking and you get absolutely polluted with drink, well if you use the hedonic calculus you can realize that you should have had 6 pints rather than 10 and still have the same amount of pleasure.


Next time you go out you can reduce your alcohol intake, have just as much pleasure and avoid the vast majority of pain.


You can probably already see the versatility with this, it can be applied to any situation. It's uses aren't just short term either, if you are working out of course it's not going to feel pleasurable for the first few months, after awhile though when you see changes in your strength, lung capacity and how you look you can perform the hedonic calculus and realize that your actions are worth it.


The hedonic calculus requires one component though; experience. Sometimes you have to dive into the pool in the shallow end to realize that's a bad idea but now you know for future reference.



2. The Hedonic treadmill

The hedonic treadmill is our innate ability to adapt to any situation and return to a base level of happiness, it means we can recover from pits of despair and also return to a functional state when you get too happy.


To use the hedonic treadmill to your advantage you have to realize that humans need a varied diet of pleasures, we have all listened to a great song 10-20 times when you first hear but after awhile it doesn't give the same buzz, mix things up, try new things.


One of the great things which counter the hedonic treadmill is friendship, being around friends who allows you to experience new things together, talk about deep topics without ridicule and just have a laugh.


3. Friendships

Having true friendships, one where you can be candid and open without fear of being truly judged is a great thing. Having a friend and being a friend are a sure way to be secure in pleasure. 

Many of you reading this will undoubtedly have had friendship which are painful, make you feel bad and outright abusive. These are not true friendships, these people are leeches and should either be helped or removed from your life. Do not sacrifice your happiness for sake of emotional leech. 

Luckily I have had multiple great friendships and one from childhood which is a constant source of trust, brotherhood, love and pleasure.





















4. Be happy with what you have




















That job that you once hoped for, the partner that you now have or the car you drive these were all things which you desired so much once, cherish them now and don't worry about what other desires you have.

This isn't a rule to not desire more than you have, it's simply a reminder that what you have now you once desired as much as the things you lust after currently.

So seek more but also remember to find pleasure in what you have in this moment.

5. We must laugh, philosophize and go about our business

For this tip, I will let the Master of pleasure himself say it in his own words.




















6. Everything is a tool for pleasure

Pleasure in the noble end goal of us Epicureans, it is the nature of humanity to seek what makes them feel happy and turn away from sadness. Instead of rewriting what I said, I will simply link a previous blog I wrote on the topic. Here you go

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Should an Epicurean be a vegan? A response to Jess Whitson

Reason for writing this

Jess Whitson recently wrote a post on the Stoic perspective of veganism and the question of should Stoics be vegans, his conclusion was it depends. What does it depend on? Well Jess says:

"So should you, a Stoic, be an ethical vegetarian/vegan these days?  I guess it depends on where you think how far out Hierocles’s Concentric Circles go.  If you think they expand out to only to humanity, then the answer is no, you don’t need to be an ethical vegetarian/vegan.  If you think they do expand out to animals and the environment, then maybe you should be looking to become a vegetarian/vegan." - Link to blog
 He then asked for an Epicurean perspective, I will humbly try to give the Epicurean perspective from my understanding.

Epicurean Perspective

The Epicurean perspective isn't particular dogmatic, there is no moral obligation to be a vegan, the only "real" obligation is to pursue pleasure. 

If I am asked should an Epicurean be X, I have to ask in response "which Epicurean? In what scenario?" I can't answer for all Epicureans, despite popular belief Epicurean philosophy is extremely individualistic, the reason being is as follows; what gives me pleasure and causes me pain is going to be different than what brings you pleasure and causes you pain.

For a particular person, the thoughts of eating meat could never outweigh the guilt they feel for eating meat - they are vegan because of the mental pain it would cause them to eat meat. Another may be vegan because of the health benefits which may come with it.

For a different Epicurean they may have no problem in eating meat at all. Of course that begs that question "can a Epicurean who is vegan be friends with one who is not" and again that is a personal thing.

Conclusion

I am sorry that I can't give Jess a concrete dichotomous answer which a Stoic may like, we don't have any abstract circle such as the Stoics do, it is really a individuals decision based on the Canon, specifically the feelings, the feelings are two things: "pleasure and pain",Coined by DeWitt as Natures "Stop and Go" system. That is how an Epicurean makes a decision, asking the question "should an Epicurean be a vegan?" is pointless, an Epicurean should refer to their own natural abilities to make this decision for themselves.

Also I think the circle mentioned in Jess's post is excellent tool in procuring pleasure, I use it all the time so that I am more friendly with people but that's all it is, a tool. I don't use it for the purpose of virtue, only pleasure, in fact I only use virtue for that end as well.

 If you are interested, here is a post on the Epicurean decision making process



(just a bit of fun, you and I both know Epicureans are host to many insults from the Stoics)

Monday, May 14, 2018

For a life of pleasure, pain is sometimes chosen


















Choosing a pain for a pleasure

Human life is about having pleasures and many of them, in a previous post (linked at the bottom) I spoke about how even though pleasure is the goal for an Epicurean, it is not always chosen - this post will speak about pain and why it is sometimes chosen.

Epicurean "stop and go" system

Recall that for an Epicurean, pleasure and pain as Norman De Witt puts it in his book "Epicurus and His Philosophy", are natures "stop and go system". By whatever chance, nature also provided humans with the ability to think ahead, to plan what to do in the future and have a general idea of what could go wrong.

Now also recall that pleasure itself is the goal of life and everything is either a tool to either gain pleasure or avoid pain. (which is the same thing, more or less) Therefore our ability to reason and think ahead are tools to gain pleasure and it allows us to come to the realization that sometimes a pain is chosen for a greater pleasure.

Prime example of choosing a pain for a later pleasure

In the above image, I chose to put a women who is heavily pregnant. As a man, I can only use my imagination and speak to women about the pain of childbirth, they describe it as the most raw, exquisite pain imaginable but yet, many women are happy to go through it. ( I am speaking in generals here, there are of course many women who have no desire to go through it, have kids or they might even regret childbirth)

The reason for this is simple, the pleasure that a mother may feel toward her child is worth the pain of childbirth many times over. Women use their ability to reason and think ahead to decide that having a child, despite the extreme pain they have to endure, is worth it.

Thus the quote from Epicurus in the above image is apt, pain which leads to a greater pleasure in the long run is chosen. A very important point is that the pain itself - in this case child birth and pregnancy - is not "good", the pain is bad but the consequence of the pain - having the child and the feelings which comes along - are good because they are pleasurable.

Other examples

There are many other examples which one could choose from such as:
  • Going on a diet
  • Going to the gym
  • Going to college
  • Going to work
  • Going to the dentist
  • Going to the doctors
  • Having a much needed conversation with a partner or spouse
  • Giving blood (if it makes you happy to do so)
and many many more.

Conclusion

So when going about your life, use your ability to be prudent to decide which course of action will lead to the life of pleasure, in the long run. Sometimes a pleasure is avoided or a pain is chosen for the acquisition of this noble goal.

Link to blog post on avoiding a pleasure






Friday, May 11, 2018

Pleasure is the end goal, everything else is a tool.

Pleasure as an end

The goal of Epicurean philosophy is to live a life of pleasure, it gives some advice on how to do this but mostly it's about what personally produces pleasure for you. Pleasure is the only "end" in Epicurean philosophy, this means that everything else is judged by it's use in gaining that end. 

Everything else as a means to gaining pleasure

 Some of you may read this as limiting the way in which you can live your life but in reality it's the opposite, you can use any tool so long as you evaluate it on it's pleasure to pain ratio.

You practice altruism, very good but to what end? Does it make you happy to see others benefiting from your generosity?

You practice meditation, what's your goal in doing it? To gain a pleasure via the "jhanas" or for some abstract reason?

You go to the gym, does working out give you pleasure and/or the changes you and others see in your body?

Okay, okay what's your point man?

The point is, if the things you do in life are not producing the goal of human nature, (pleasure) then it's time to reevaluate them. If you are being virtuous (meaning practicing courage, prudence, self control etc...) you must know to what end and if you are an Epicurean that end is pleasure.

Conclusion

As an Epicurean you can continue to do things which bring you pleasure, you love whiskey? Keep drinking brother (but stop before the pain of the hangover makes it not worth it)

If you are in a relationship with someone for the sake of "love" but you are unhappy, stop. Put your own pleasure and happiness first, we only have one life to why choose unhappiness for some abstract reason as love?*

*It's important to note, if you are married, in jail, have kids etc... it's your own fault. Nobody forced you to do these things but don't be grim you can still live pleasurably. 

If you are in a situation where you are forced into an unhappy situation against your will, you have my condolences and I wish you the very best.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Why I got interested in Epicurean Philosophy.

Background

Like most people, I lived my first 22 or so years in a haze, I had a typical teenage breakup when I was 18 or so and then started going out, drinking very heavily.

Eventually I became withered with this lifestyle, the pleasure and excitement I once felt began to dissipate into just dissatisfaction and boredom, although I didn't know at the time there is a name for this phenomenon called the "hedonic treadmill" it is defined as:

"The observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relative stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events in their lives"

 Basically it is a bounce back mechanism in humans, when we suffer a major loss we can recover and when we gain a major happy mental state (e.g. overjoyed, ecstatic, ecstasy etc... not lower level states such as normal joy, contentment,) we can return to a functional state. 


Stoicism

I went look for answers on how to be happy. I found the book "A Guide to the Good life: Stoic Joy" by William Irvine, I instantly bought in. It had so many great ideas, "it's impossible to live in tranquility without living virtuously and vice-versa" (sound familiar?)

I wanted to find out more about this school of philosophy and I went on to  read the entire curriculum of Stoicism (Seneca, Aurelius, Epictetus and Rufus, the main primary sources of Stoicism left) and the concept of "virtue" stuck out to me, my first impression was "but how do you know a virtue is a good thing?"


Realization about virtue

I practiced Stoicism religiously and to be honest I was very happy and lived a pleasurable life but I didn't call it that at the time. Anyway I was practicing it for awhile and considering all the concepts and they all made sense, except virtue I asked myself  "Why am I being virtuously" and the answer was, despite any philosophical argument I heard, was that it made me feel good. The pleasure of being "good" was the only reason I bothered.

I realized that I liked Irvine's book so much because it was essentially about that, using Stoic techniques and virtue to feel good, (tranquility) I asked around for reasons for "virtue for it's own sake" but I got no good answers, only replies such as "because of self sufficiency, because if you believe humans are rational-social creatures you must believe in virtue".

So either the view required me to believe that self-sufficiency (which is a consequence of virtue, thinking back and therefore not "virtue for it's own sake") or believe that humans are rational-social creatures and also believe virtue is our highest state. 












Going to Epicurus

Anyway I soon found Epicurean philosophy and began reading the concepts and more importantly listening to the modern "experts" such as Cassius, Hiram, Alex etc... and thus far I am living a much more fulfilled life with pleasure as my guide and goal and everything else as a tool to pleasure.

It just made more sense, instead of virtue being an end it became a means to an end. I learned to evaluate things in my life based on the happiness they provide me. It made me realize what was really important in my life and cherish it more (specifically my friends)


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pleasure, should we always follow it?

Introduction

For us to answer this question it is important to realize just what exactly "pleasure" is, it is far more than just a feeling or a fleeting thing, no instead it should be thought of as the bread crumb nature has giving us to an overall pleasurable life. 

THE CANON OF TRUTH

To understand what pleasure truly is to an Epicurean you and I must have some understanding of the Canon. The Canon itself deserves a lot of discussion (and has been giving it here by Cassus) but for the sake of intelligibility and time I will attempt to describe it in a few words


"The Canon of Truth is the methodology which Epicureans use to determine what is true/false and what path to take in life" 
So ignore the part about true/false for now and focus on the section "what path to take", you see one of the key components of the Canon is known as "feelings" and these feelings are pleasure and pain, pleasure tells us how to pursue and pain tells us what to avoid.

Explanation

Now does this mean that you always take the pleasurable choice? No, remember our goal is to have a pleasurable life overall not just in the short term. (although short term pleasures are fine)

Now any Irish (and most European) people between the ages of 14-100 know that drinking 8 pints in one night, while fun at the time, (well, depending on your luck) by the morning after you will want to die and will swear off drink forever.

So we must use the virtue of prudence, not because this virtue is some end goal but simply because it will lead to a pleasurable life. Instead of 8 pints, drink 4 and the pleasure without the pain!


Conclusion

Pleasure is always good, the pleasure itself is NEVER bad but the consequences of the pleasure (e.g. a mega hangover) is bad so we deny the pleasure and drink less because overall it will be the more pleasurable choice.

The next post will be "Pain, should we always avoid it?"
 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Epicurean view of death

Death is in fact, well nothing.


The Epicurean view of death is one of liberation, many of us in the modern world (and especially here in Ireland with the catholic church) are told that our actions in this lifetime are being judged by God, if we don't act in accordance with Gods will you get, well, cooked. To Epicurus, nothing really happens after death because with death comes the cessation of any feeling, there is no more pleasure or pain, we can't feel anything with our hands, we can't taste, we can't smell scents and because our brains and bodies one in the same we have no thoughts because a dead body =  a dead mind.

As you can imagine in Ancient Greece dying was a real concern to people from the moment they can conceptualize death. Epicurus himself came to Athens  during or after the death of Alexander the Great, it was, for the people of Greece, a constant worry that Darius and the Persian Empire would come and ransack the city, Athens was the capital city of anxiety! Epicurus however had a cure for this...

Conclusion

Why would you fear being dead? There is no need, you won't experience at all. It's so freeing, both to my own death and the death of loved ones, there is no need to worry about them suffering because they loved drinking or didn't go to church every Sunday, nothing is happening to them - they aren't there.

This is the only life  you and I have, why would we choose to live it in devotion to a God that probably doesn't exist? Let us be happy, find pleasure in things YOU like, not what society says you have to like.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Misconceptions about Epicurean Philosophy

Introduction

Epicurean philosophy is often giving the wrong view even by many people who study it, thanks to the efforts of the people over at the Epicurean sites listed below I can correct some of the misconceptions. If I come across more, this will be updated.

A collection of misconceptions

  • Misconception

"An epicurean is just a foody, right"

Sure an (e)picuran is but a (E)picurean isn't.



"The pleasant life is not produced by continual drinking and dancing, nor sexual intercourse, nor rare dishes of sea food and other delicacies of a luxurious table. On the contrary, it is produced by sober reasoning which examines the motives for every choice and avoidance, driving away beliefs which are the source of mental disturbances."

  • Misconception

“Epicureanism is just debauched hedonism, as long as pleasure is met it doesn’t matter the amount of pain which follows from it, they are like sociopaths”

Epicurean philosophy is certainly a hedonistic philosophy but not debauched at all, Epicurus thought that the virtue of prudence was the most valuable thing in a hedonists arsenal, he even considers prudence more valuable than philosophy

(the above image was chosen to represent the Salmon of knowledge, a fish that when eaten grants the eater knowledge of the world, just to throw in a bit of Irish mythology) 

  • Misconception

Epicureanism is pretty much the same as Stoicism, the believe in Virtue and think absence of pain is the sole good

In the future I fully intend to create a blog post which is primarily about the differences between the two Hellenistic school but for now I will keep it short.
Both schools came in to being around the same time and in the same country, both schools have some form of virtue and both schools are following “nature”. The differences however are many which are listed below


Issue
Stoicism
Epicureanism
Sole Good
Virtue is the only good
Pleasure is the only good
Sole Evil
Vice is the only evil
Pain is the only evil
Lineage
Socrates
Democritus (kind of)
Method of achieving goal
Dichotomy of Control, practical wisdom and contemplation
Individualistic but also values practical wisdom. Friendship, discussion of philosophy – anything which causes pleasure (with minimal pain)
Key Terms
Eudaimonia – Eudaimonia is for a Stoic “a life worth living” as long as you a Stoic can practice Virtue their life is worth living

Preferred Indifferent – Things not related to Virtue but still are valuable to you

Dispreferred Indifferent – Things not related to Virtue that you prefer not to have in your life
Ataraxia – The absence of pain – This is where the body is full of pleasure that pain can no longer appear.
Views of the world (mainly unimportant to Stoics but is important to Epicureans) and after life
The Ancient Stoics viewed the world as rational, dictated by nature/Zeus
The ancient Epicureans viewed the world as everlasting, atomistic and random







An introduction to Epicurean Philosophy



Introduction

Epicureanism is a Hellenistic philosophy which states that the greatest good in life is pleasure and the greatest evil is pain, it's founder was a man named Epicurus. Epicurus was an atomist, he believed everything was made up of atoms moving through empty space and that everything which occurs is a result of atoms bouncing off one another. This may strike many of you as remarkably like modern science and while yes, it is remarkable it is important to note that Epicurus didn't have some futuristic knowledge and I am not claiming he did, it wasn't as complex as modern physics and it had no real proof behind it. Many modern Epicureans have updated into modern times because unlike other Hellenistic philosophies which are awakening in the 21st century the physics does matter. 

Epicurean Hedonism

Epicurus was a hedonist, many people don't agree he was but he stated himself that "pleasure is the chief good and pain the chief evil", Hedonism in philosophy is defined as:
"the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life." 

However, this doesn't mean that Epicurus was debauched or a beast only seeking to maximize his pleasure at any cost, in his own words:

“It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life. “

“WHAT?! You’re telling me this fella thought pleasure was the sole good but still had these rules about justice and honour?”
Yes, that’s exactly it, but don’t get it twisted his not promoting justice and courage to “virtue signal” or for religious reasons, Epicurus values everything based on either pleasure or pain, including these virtues, justice and honour means that you harm no one and in turn (hopefully) no one harms you so that you can pursue happiness without anyone harming you. It’s all practical and focused toward the end goal of humans, pleasure.



Friendship



 










Friendship is a key part of securing happiness and pleasure in life for an Epicurean, a true friend for an Epicurean is someone in which no secrets are kept, you feel fully at ease with her and the mutual pleasure felt from one another is constant. To make my previous point clearer, why does Epicurus value friendship so much? Well he asks himself “Does this cause pleasure or pain” and of course, it is clear to anyone who has had a good friend (which I am blessed to have) friendship is a great pleasure.

Individualism

Epicurean philosophy gives us some advice on how to live life but ultimately (and what was most attractive for me) is that it is an individual philosophy in the sense that everyone will have different things that bring them pleasure. For me it’s talking to friends, reading, playing video games, spending times with my dog and discussion issues. For you it might be GAA, working out, food, being a parent etc… It is personal preference.

Conclusion

Epicurean philosophy is for the masses, it puts happiness and pleasure as the goal of life and in a world which is so anti-pleasure I believe it is necessary for this (and other) Hellenistic philosophies to come back into the limelight.

Here are some links to other Epicurean sites A good forum still in the process of starting up  A great website with many posts going in depth about issues surrounding Epicurean Philosophy and Where there is the most discussion



Justice is an agreement among people, nothing more.

Introduction Many of you who grew up in a western country that is heavily Christian will be very familiar with the idea that Justice is...