Epicureanism: the chief beliefs, not necessarily in order of importance:

  • equality of treatment and opportunity suggested by the actions of early Epicureans
  • courtesy to all, rich and poor, child and mother
  • politeness and consideration
  • tolerance
  • rejection of superstition, organised religion, man-made gods and “eternal suffering”.
  • compassion for immigrants, the oppressed and the sick
  • refusal to be fearful of death.
  • the power of friendship for the sake of friendship.
  • the importance of education that broadens the mind.
  • the ability to enter discussions with those who disagree with you, and put your points quietly. with a smile and without the current anger and foul language.
  • impatience and non- involvement with party politics maybe, but a belief that government should be for all the people, regardless of income and status and that oligarchy – or rule by rich cliques – should never prevail.
  • an interest in sciences and the physical universe (Epicurus was an atomist, and, along with Democritus, one of the ancient fathers of modern physics

Yes, you might have noticed that some of the above simply describe a “lady” or a “gentleman”.  Some say that these are outdated concepts.  If so, so much the worse for them and our modern world

(References include “The Epicurean Option”, by Professor Dane R. Gordon, professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY)

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