Epicureanism – the main beliefs

From time to time I post a short list of the main teachings of Epicurus 1. Overall End or “Summum Bonum” or “Reason for Living”: Happiness or Pleasure. Happiness is peace of mind and body. It is tranquillity or undisturbedness (ataraxia), the quiet of a mind free from fear (or anxiety) and a body content …

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Racism and religion

Studies have shown that attending church frequently does not make white christians less racist. In fact, the data suggests that the opposite is true. The connection between holding more racist views and white christian identity is actually stronger among white evangelicals who attend church frequently than it is among those who attend less frequently. My …

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Following on …..more Epicurean quotations

Quotes on the thoughts of Epicurus (First part done 11/20/2020) “If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish, since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another”. (The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy series). Done Nov 2020 It is impossible to live pleasurably …

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A few quotations from works on Epicurus

The laws are laid down for the sake of the wise, not to prevent them from doing “wrong , but to keep them from being wronged” (The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy series). Happiness and blessedness do not belong to abundance of riches or exalted position or offices or power, but …

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Read Epicurus , a poem

Theypeddle fear here; They peddle fear of terrorists and sudden death; They peddle fear of rapists and angry drivers; They peddle fear of government and paying tax; Of deer ticks, butter, sugar, fat, untested drugs; Of unknown visitors and dark-skinned men; Of invasion, war and sudden death; Of gunmen holding up cashiers; Of bombs in …

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The Basics of Epicureanism

From time to time I post information on Epicureanism and what it stands for: Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 B.C. It teaches that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquillity, freedom from fear (“ataraxia”) and absence …

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Basics of Epicureanism

From time to time I post a brief description of Epicureanism, not for the benefit of the cognoscenti, but for new readers for whom Epicurus is just the name of a philosopher: Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 B.C. It teaches that the greatest good is …

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Defund the Pentagon!

“In 1997, the Department of Defense set up the 1033 program as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to provide thousands of domestic police forces with “surplus” equipment of almost every imaginable militarized kind. “Since then, thanks to your tax dollars, it has given away $7.4 billion  worth of such equipment, some of it …

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Millennials – the unluckiest generation

(A bit long, but important.  How millennials can benefit from the ideas of Epicurus) For young people leaving college since 2008 the prospects of a full-time job have been stressful, to say the least.  Now, during this crisis, more than ever. Their grand-parent’s generation enjoyed almost full employment for the majority of their working lives, …

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Epicurus and the swerve

If you haven’t read it Stephen Greenblatt’s book, “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern”, do try to find time to do so.  It a very readable.  It introduces the modern reader to the most famous of Epicurean books, de rerum natura of Lucretius.  Greenblatt’s book, which won several prestigious awards, is contentious because it pictures …

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Filling the day with ……..what?

“We are born once and cannot be born twice, but we must be no more for all time. Not being master of tomorrow, you nonetheless delay your happiness.  Life is consumed in procrastination, and each of us dies without providing leisure for himself.”     (From “The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy …

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Epicurus and pleasure

The idea that life’s objective should be pleasure was greeted with horror by contemporaries, who believed that man’s highest calling was self-sacrifice, self-denial and worship of the Gods, and the Emperor. The early christians regarded pleasure as a form of vice. To them the pursuit of pain triumphed over the pursuit of pleasure. Bravery and …

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Meditation

There seems to be good evidence that regular sessions of mindful attention have a calming effect on the amygdala, the brain’s emotion processor, and reduce impulsive reactions to stressful or negative thoughts and experiences. Mindfulness, they say, can help mute our emotional response to physical pain, and lessen anxiety and mind-wandering (not the kind that …

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