Peace and Safety And Independent Thinking For Your Twentieth of May!
Peace and Safety to the Epicureans of today, no matter where you might be!
For today’s Twentieth I want to highlight another recent post made by Hiram at the Society of Epicurus entitled Pythagoras and the Swerve.
The topic of the post was maintaining the proper line between proper respect for the opinions of Epicurus vs. falling into slavish deference or even cultishness in regard to those ideas. Hiram wrote:
While we are grateful to the Pythagoreans and the mathematicians for their useful insights into the nature of things, ultimately when we deconstruct reality, there are atoms and void, not numbers. Reality is still, fundamentally, material. Atoms and elements and the things that they compose can be oftentimes discerned and studied mathematically, and that is as far as Pythagoreanism takes us. Math, like reason, only works when it has legitimate raw data discerned through the senses and empirical methods.
Epicurus saw a cultural determinism that claimed to be natural, an inertia, a program that benefited certain groups, a series of unchallenged false premises that the mobs were governed by and that he wanted to emancipate men from. He saw these false views lucidly for the superstitions that they were. He saw that these premises had no legitimate scientific foundation. So he named this spark of freedom without which we would be robots. His swerve is why we must own our creation as ethical agents rather than give credit to nature for everything that we do, for good or ill. It’s how natural beings can be civilized, and–more importantly–free.
These are important thoughts and topics, and I commend his entire article to you so that you can yourself not simply defer to Epirucus, but reason the issue through to you own conclusion.
Peace and safety to you all!
As Seneca recorded: Sic fac omnia tamquam spectet Epicurus! So do all things as though watching were Epicurus!
And as Philodemus wrote: “I will be faithful to Epicurus, according to whom it has been my choice to live.“