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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An Epicurean’s response to death

This is a short piece I wrote in response to a close friend of mine, who was experiencing severe thanatophobia (fear of death.) I think it is consistent with the Epicurean view on death, but let me now if there’s anything wrong with it. I’ll be continuing my Modern Philosophy series next week, and look out …

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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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