Should Epicureans have children?

Awhile ago, I wrote piece on how Epicureans should raise children. Robert has made his own contributions on the subject, which can be read here. Today, I thought I would address something altogether more fundamental: whether Epicureans should be having children at all. From what I can gather from my research, Epicurus disapproved of marriage and …

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The difference between being educated and being cultured.

“Culture is only really culture when it has diffused itself through every root and fibre of our endurance of life. Then it can become wisdom, a wisdom that can accept defeat, and turn defeat into victory. It can render us independent of our weakness, of our surroundings and of our age, a fortress for the …

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Argue with them, don’t just write them off as ignorant

Letter to The Guardian The flaw in the argument for denying far-right propagandists a platform is the failure to address how else the mass of us who oppose the unacceptable views can turn voters away from supporting them if we do not engage with their facile and untenable arguments. The strategy of ignoring them or …

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Epicurus and politics, a response

If you type in ‘Epicurus and politics’ into Google, the first result you get is an excellent post by Robert. Here, he explained Epicurus’ arguments against politics- the needless anxiety caused by a gullible public being fooled by charlatans only interested in their own gain. Charismatic figures will emerge, appealing to the public’s sense of …

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Are the super-rich uncaring?

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the richest part of Europe, recently held elections for the borough council. The elections were believed to be unpredictable because of a terrible tragedy that had occurred last year, where a public housing tower block called Grenfell Tower burnt down, killing 71 people. The tower burnt because it …

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Some thoughts from Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Epicurean

Here are some thoughts, called “The Decent Life”, from the philosopher Emperor, whose beliefs were Epicurean: Honour and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood – nothing else is under your control. 5.33 Make sure …

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Should Epicureans pursue competitive sport?

Epicurus believed a stress-free and communitarian lifestyle, where one tries to be friendly with as many people as possible. His teachings have informed a scepticism of ruthless competition and cutthroat business dealings here on Epicurus Today. But does the collaborative congeniality of Epicureanism prevent his adherents from partaking in competitive sport? Firstly, I think its perfectly reasonable …

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The dangers of joining a political party

Here on the Epicurus Blog, we deviate from Epicurean orthodoxy insofar as we see an interest in politics as not necessarily inadvisable. Provided you don’t become consumed by politics, to the detriment of your social life and cultured activities, politics can be an innocent interest- a bit like physics. Epicurus saw politics as a source …

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Epicurus: the simplest philosopher to understand

Epicurus proposed that we typically make three mistakes when thinking about happiness. 1. People fret if they don’t have a romantic relationship Then, as now, people were obsessed with love. But Epicurus thought that happiness and love (let alone marriage) seldom go together. There is too much jealousy, misunderstanding and bitterness. Sex is always complicated …

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Epicurus and politics

Epicurus was a strong advocate for the idea that people should reach and carry out agreements and promote fellowship and common sense cooperation. This implied a contractual form of government. Epicurus and his followers disapproved of agitation for social change because they saw political struggle as creating unnecessary stress. On the contrary, they advocated civic …

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City vs Country- an Epicurean perspective

Here in the English speaking world, we’re all familiar of the tale of the city mouse and the country mouse: the city mouse invites the country mouse to his house. While containing riches beyond the country’s mouse’s dreams, it also contains terrifying dangers, like the cat. In the end, the country mouse decides his own …

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Epicurus and Christianity

Another one of my Modern Philosophy posts. I hope I speak with some authority on this one, having been brought up in an Evangelical Christian home, attended church regularly for eighteen years, and familiarised myself with the key tenets of Christian doctrine. Having already written about Islam, I hope to complete an analysis of the …

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The benefits of compassion

In Chapter 7 of the Art of Happiness the Dalai Lama defines compassion as a “state of mind that is nonviolent, non-harming, and non-aggressive”. This feeling of compassion is broken down into two types. First is compassion associated with attachment. Using this type of compassion alone is biased and unstable, causing certain emotional attachments that …

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Cicero on Epicureanism

Cicero’s “On Ends”, his narrative on key aspects of Epicurean philosophy: – Pleasurable living is the goal of life. Epicurus held that this is established by observation that all young animals pursue pleasure and avoid pain, and that these matters are so clear to us that no logical argument is needed to prove them. – …

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Epicurus and the pleasant life

From the Vatican documents on Epicureanism VS. 5. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking, when, for instance, the man is not able to live wisely, …

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A world of ever-increasing complexity

There was an article in The Guardian Weekly  in early January pointing out that our lives are more scrambled and complicated than they have ever been.  The writer, John Harris, called modernity “a mess: multiple user accounts, endless password filling in, smartphone contracts, computer and internet problems that so few of us really understand” and …

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The roots of fascism

In her book called Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, Hannah Arendt wrote the following about Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco: “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached a point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true….The totalitarian mass leaders …

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Just basic good manners: No. 1 of 2 posts on healthcare

A letter arrived from a doctor telling me it was time to make an appointment for a check-up.  The problem was that the last time I saw the doctor he told me “come back in five years time” . That was exactly a year before. But when I called I was told to hang on….and …

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