Pets: An ancient relationship between humans and animals

Did the people of the ancient world keep pets?

It seems highly likely that the people of the ancient world did keep pets. The fact that animals have been found buried with, or next to people, and that grave goods have also been found in the graves of animals are strong indicators of the feeling felt for these animals by the people who buried them. In addition, surviving images of animals on a leash or in close proximity to humans in ancient art also suggests that humans had relationships with these animals which could see them classified as pets.

Also, looking at it from the animal’s point of view, through the lens of the evolution of wolves into dogs, dogs have evolved into animals designed to be pets. The modern dog is, in so many cases, an incredibly loving and loyal creature to its master or owner. How would this quality have developed if the pet relationship had not begun in antiquity? Those dog breeds come in so many shapes and sizes, having been designed to be primarily a pet. White wolf evolves into a poodle, Great Dane, bulldog, dachshund, beagle, Jack Russell etc…

How would we know? What evidence would indicate this?

The anthropological evidence of the relationship of indigenous peoples to their pets, listed in the writings of James Serpell, in the chapter “Pet-keeping and animal domestication: a reappraisal” from his book In the Company of Animals, 2nd (Revised) Edition, 1996, also points to an ancient relationship between humans and their pet animals. Human beings are animals, as much as we would like to deny our mammalian reality. Our relationships with other animals are at the most fundamental level, merely, the relationship between animals.

I would also point to stronger relationships between humans and pet animals in antiquity, based on the supposition that early humans were less intellectually developed. The concerns of ancient peoples were far closer to those of their animals than they are today. People were not thinking about the latest book read, film watched or conceptually stimulating conversation shared in pre-sophisticated language and pre-written language times. The honest expression found in the eyes of an animal would reflect more closely similar feelings within their human companion.

House Therapy Now in Paperback Edition

House Therapy: Discovering Who You Really Are is now available in paperback via Amazon. For those many readers who like to hold a hard copy in their hands and feel the keen sensation of paper at their fingertips – now you can. This revised edition of House Therapy has been improved and expanded. The link between humans and our houses and what that can reveal about ourselves has never been greater. Each individual room within your domestic abode has something to say about you. It shouts out from the rooftops and whispers within our boudoirs, of things that nobody else knows about us. Do you like to have a room with a view? How much time do you spend in front of the bathroom mirror?

House Therapy Now in Paperback Edition

The answer to these questions can supply some interesting and thought provoking information of a particularly personal nature. Not a book to read aloud in too many social settings; best left to a discretionary and private examination. House Therapy unlocks family secrets and explores their psychological ramifications. A book about you at last! We all love to read things about ourselves. The perfect Christmas gift for the man and woman who has it all. The home is our temple, the place where we sacrifice and pray. Ancient pastimes, which have been modified into twenty first century activities and obsessions.

Hoarding Holds Us Back

“Become aware of the litany of your collection of possessions, don’t just leave it for the executors of your will and family members, deal with it while you are still alive and see if you really wish to hold onto this stuff. It would be good to have an annual clearing day on the calendar, where all individuals are encouraged to reappraise, reengage and possibly recycle their ‘belongings’ (interesting word association as in who belongs to who?). It is not just about throwing away old things, it is a much more involved process and could be awarded a ritualised status to acknowledge that. We invest our energy, feelings, hopes and aspirations in these things and they hold part of us in their grasp, as we have reached out and grasped these things.”

House Therapy is the kind of therapy that you can enjoy in the privacy of your own house or apartment. The walls will look different, every picture and painting reveals a message; and life will never be the same. Knowledge is power: and this book delivers. Get your copy today.

Kant Abide His Conception of Morality

“But when morality has been completely expounded (which merely imposes duties instead of providing rules for selfish desires), then first, after the moral desire to promote the summum bonum (to bring the kingdom of God to us) has been awakened, a desire founded on a law, and which could not previously arise in any selfish mind, and when for the behoof of this desire the step to religion has been taken, then this ethical doctrine may be also called a doctrine of happiness because the hope of happiness first begins with religion only.”

Immanuel Kant, The Moral Argument, in The Philosophy of Religion,(3rd ed), ed – Robert Ferm, Oxford University Press, New York & Oxford, 1998. P – 188.

First of all, this must contend as one of the longest sentences ever written, philosophically or otherwise. Deciphering sense from this dense literary construction is like pointing a flash light down a well. Kant lives and breathes so essentially within an eighteenth century Christian cultural framework that it is impossible for him to ultimately move outside of its clutches. One cannot underestimate the danger to life and reputation from doing so, at this point in time.

I ask myself, what is the highest good and who determines it to be so? Why is the highest good and supreme happiness assumed by Kant to be “the kingdom of God” being brought to us? Kant is still operating within the cultural and ethical assumptions of his age and society. You cannot truly realise the levels of cultural conditioning and brain washing imposed upon by those brought up by strongly religious families, and in this instance, vehemently intolerant religious communities.

Kant Abide His Conception of Morality

Religions take an unsophisticated intelligence, that of a small child, and coerce and condition it to a narrative involving supernatural powers (miracles) and a supreme being (God), all of which are invisible to the human eye. Through repetition and the reinforcing and comforting belief of this child’s parents and grandparents in these self-same anomalies of nature, the child comes to accept them as truths. Church services, through the aid of chanting prayers and singing hymns, all shared processes which have hypnotic effects, build a strong subjective belief, within the being, in an alternative reality to that of secular beings.

Religion is extraordinary in its influence, especially when members of particular religions scoff at the ‘so called’ ridiculous beliefs of others of a different religious persuasion. Historically, early Christians pilloried those who held traditional polytheistic, or what we now term pagan, beliefs, making fun of their ‘crazy’ belief in a pantheon of gods residing on Mount Olympus. A belief in Jesus raising people from the dead does not strike some Christians, as either highly unlikely or more simply ludicrous, but the same Christian will find the beliefs of many others as the result of foolishness or of a primitive culture – Aboriginals, Native Americans and African tribal people come to mind and their interaction with Christian missionaries.

Kant seems to say, that only when the great Christian lie, eternal happiness in heaven, is posited into the equation does the possibility of happiness enter into the outcome of performing one’s moral duty. Therefore religion provides the hope for true happiness.

 “That in the order of ends, man (and with him every rational being) is an end in himself, that is, that he can never be used merely as a means by any (not even by God) without being at the same time an end also to himself, that therefore humanity in our person must be holy to ourselves, this follows now of itself because he is the subject of the moral law, in other words, of that which is holy in itself, and on account of which and in agreement with which alone can anything be termed holy.”

Immanuel Kant, The Moral Argument, in The Philosophy of Religion,(3rd ed), ed – Robert Ferm, Oxford University Press, New York & Oxford, 1998. P – 189.

What is it with Kant, is he allergic to the full stop? Does the highest good find the period to be anathema to its description? Perhaps God could put his or her hand up to be his editor.

In this excerpt Kant is proposing the sanctity of humanity over that of the imaginary God, therefore he is refuting the need for religious belief or religious law to uphold humanities morality. I sense that Kant was moving away from a belief in a supreme being but that he still recognised the dangers of publishing work which was entirely of that argument; he retained a bet each way to protect himself.

The belief in free will always strikes me as somewhat ironic, at this time, due to the considerable coercion employed by the Christian powers and the heavy cultural conditioning imposed by these communities upon their individual members. What free will?

EJ Whitten Legends Football Match Travesty

Ted Whitten was from my limited perception of the man, a ridgy didge good footballer, who played passionately for club and state. It is great that lots of money is being raised for charities from this annual match. The AFL upped the ante on the publicising of this football game by legislating a bye for all finalists a week before the finals. The intense focus of the media’s glare on this ‘bit of fun’ has turned a non-entity into something front of house. It has come up very short of the mark.

EJ Whitten Legends Football Match Travesty

There were two token newby female AFL players in the match, one, conveniently on each team. Abbie Holmes was listed to play well ahead of the match, but a certain Nobel lady for the Vics starred as well; and must have come in late. These very attractive, fit looking, women, who we are told, will be playing in the inaugural Women’s AFL National Competition next year. People, who like watching athletic looking women playing the Australian game are anticipating the start of this scheduled 2017 competition. Seeing predominantly overweight old blokes running around in a bit of hit and giggle is one thing. Having them hand off, repetitiously, chances for these two girls in front of goals, as if they were (apologies to the wonderful disabled Olympians) disabled, was demeaning to women athletes everywhere.

Imagine, if these ex-champion footballers were, in their hail fellow well-met spirit, giving off lollypop handballs to disabled AFL footballers in wheelchairs in front of goal, or exactly, just two of these token, unfortunates, for the benefit of the TV cameras. How would the enlightened world view the patronising behaviour of these broken down ex-gladiators of the game? Big Brian Taylor, so lacking in courage he stays safely behind the commentator’s microphone, has a big mouth when it comes to criticising those that play. He, to be fair to him, does not sound like a supporter of the concept itself, but what he does is carp at the efforts of those who give it their all.

Perhaps, it is hard for these old warriors to understand that their time in the sun is over and that the game has come to inspire new people. AFL is a mighty game; and it has been the provenance of white Anglo-Saxon males for many years. Now, it is time for the girls to play, time for new Australians to play, time for the long beleaguered Aboriginal players to take their place as the naturally talented champions of the game. Football is no longer the exclusive realm of alpha males, who made the team in decade’s past, it is now a game for all, men, women, gays, minorities and more.

Let’s also lose the bullshit, “I am not trying”, clowning around, supposed compulsory attitude toward playing in this entertaining game. If you pull on the jumper, man up, and play the game, stop denigrating those that can still play. The fans appreciate a game, not a monstrosity. There is nothing wrong with being a fat bastard, as long as you run your fat guts out trying to get the ball. Don’t belittle the women who are willing to give their all, just because your time is done. Don’t listen to the big mouths who want to make all other forms of football inept and permanently amateur. They are poor examples of some comedic Bob Hope idea gone obsolete. Brian Taylor you are less than a joke.

Attitudes of dumb footballers must be consigned to the dumpster; and the visionary leaders of this game must continue to take the greatest game of all beyond the confines of the merely physically talented.

Beware Those Who Dress Up: Like George Pell

By Robert Hamilton

We live in an age, where those who seek to define themselves as different from the rest of us, often do so by their dress. The particular ‘they’ I am talking about, do so by dressing in robes, when the rest of us are content to dress in a fairly nondescript fashion. Clothing has, for the general population in the last century, like language itself, become more and more functional, and so those few groups who still abide by stylized uniforms really stand out. None more than those who profess to be religious, men and women of the cloth, so to speak. Beware those who dress up: like George Pell; because they putting their own organisation’s values over the individual and the communities.

Scientifically speaking, we are monkeys who have evolved to make sounds, which now form recognizable languages. We now also wear clothes to hide our nakedness, but we all still have bottoms, and penises and vaginas, depending upon our sex. We still, if truth be told, like nothing more than to use these genitals to enjoy ourselves, and far less often these days, to procreate. Nothing too radical so far that anyone can honestly disagree with, but those of us who like to dress up and pretend that they are not of this ‘monkey brethren’, see it differently. Whether they be dressed like a Catholic cardinal, for instance like our own Cardinal, George Pell, or perhaps emblazoned in the orange robes of a Tibetan Rimpoche, these folk tell us that they have put aside their humanity or base monkeyness to focus on the idea of God inside their heads. We are assured that their idea is more powerful than their own humanity.

Of late (and really it has not been only of late, it is indeed a rich tradition, it is simply that their abuse and lies are no longer secrets), we have seen these religious fakirs , who have professed the transcendence of their genitals, being caught out in the worst kind of sexual exploitation of our most innocent community members – children. Christian ministers of all persuasions, and clergy from a wide array of religions, have been exposed as pedophiles to such an extent, that we in the community are entitled to an explanation. An explanation beyond the band-aid compensation and business as usual excuses, currently being offered. I mean, imagine if a corporation, or an entire industry, was exposed as home to purveyors of criminal sexual behaviour to the level that we see these religious people being exposed as, we would demand an Inquiry. We should be asking, what are the factors that cause their members to be so prone to be multiple, repeat, child sex offenders? Why do we blindly let these heinous crimes mount up and up, without any Inquiry or indeed action that could lead to a solution? Is compensation justified for these victims of sexual abuse?

It seems, a robe or cassock, is a means to be judged at an entirely different level to the rest of us, and that religion has become a blind spot for a civilization that professes to be an enlightened one, or at least a post modernist, post, post, (where has that last post sign gone) civilization. When are we going to wake-up as a society, and banish the possibility of clergy polluting the deepest private recesses of our most vulnerable? Religion, being a fog of unscientific beliefs, whose existence is predicated on the constantly PR boosted idea that we are dependent upon a God – who, in my humble opinion, consistently fails to live up to his or her factuality. I mean if God was the CEO of a particular corporation or industry body, he could not have been more let down by his representatives, according to their own industry standards. What is the ratio of good deeds versus the evil of pedophilia, I wonder?

Beware those who dress up: like George Pell…

Continued in Disciple: Rajneesh Rover – A Collection of My Writing on Spirit and Life

Readers may also be interested in reading:

God Is In The Way: Monotheism a Dysfunctional Deity


Online Content by Aussie Writers More Effective

Having your online content written for your Australian website by Australian writers imbues your website with a different level of readability. It is becoming more widely known, now, that Google ranks pages with an awareness of the quality of the digital copy inherent within it. Content written in the third world for peanuts by writers with English as a second language will not ultimately deliver the SEO you desire. As digital content becomes more and more important for online marketing the bar will continue to be set higher by Google. There is an old saying, “you get what you pay for in this life.”

Serious businesses in the Western sphere utilise local talent to bolster their digital presence. Every web page and post represents your company or business. Digital marketers see websites as virtual sales people with the landing page as their first pitch. If your online copy has all the sparkle of an English lesson in a migrant centre, then you are probably deterring customers away from your business. Good sales people know that if you employ a technique, where you mirror the language used by your ‘mark’ in your pitch, you increase the chances of making a sale by some 200%. Only a local can effectively capture the nuance and inflection in the Australian idiom.

Think about how you smile to yourself when you come across an obvious spelling mistake on the menu in your favourite Thai or Japanese restaurant. They get away with it because you get to eat their delicious food, but in the virtual world you are left with only the poorly constructed sentences and awkward expressions. Language and narrative is what much of our lives are made up of, and if your website is not telling a brilliant story, well readers will go elsewhere. There are now more than a billion websites worldwide and that figure is growing exponentially.

Australian writers are not expensive and they are more productive in terms of time taken to research a topic and then producing effective copy. Well written content attracts the attention of search engines and then delivers sales enquiries. Make your website a star sales performer by enabling it with gifted content. Good copy equals more sales. Effective communication created by a local will outperform wooden words laid down by a stranger to our lands. Let the skilled writers who have grown up with the mother tongue invoke magic on your behalf. It behooves me to make this entreaty on their behalf and on yours. Get the gist of the argument?

Adam Goodes Victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome

Indigenous AFL star, Adam Goodes, finds himself the victim of Australia’s very own Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS). Aussie PM Tony Abbott guaranteed Goodes would fall victim to this curse by making Adam Austalian of the Year in 2014. Australians, generally, don’t like being told who to admire or appreciate, and when a currently playing footballer from a historically denigrated racial minority is elevated to numero uno, well we are witnessing the result.

I liken the situation to Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, and just look at the mysogynistic back lash she copped. Similarly, when global climate change was trendy in Australia and PM Rudd made his undeliverable commitment to a solution to that, well again, the back lash from the conservative forces was profound. Women and green policies can have their fifteen minutes of fame in Australia, and maybe an Aboriginal sportsman as well, but the shadow side of this nation will have its revenge post-haste.

There is a nasty core of rascist, mysogynistic and conservative people inhabiting Australia, and they find their voice at times such as these. When they have a white, male, budgie smuggler wearing, hero in the lodge, the not so poor white trash of Australia has the courage to stand up for its beliefs. Minorities not keeping to their place beware, uppity women and indigenous sporting stars you will be heckled and booed.

Politically correct behaviour is only skin deep in this country. Tribal affiliations, like which footy team you barrack for, run much deeper, and stir the passions to let these folk vent their bile on those who dare to speak above their station in life. Aboriginal football players should not have any opinions apart from those which are footy related, in the view of these dinky di Aussies. The TPS curse seeks to cut down greatness in this country and direct our attention toward equitable mediocrity.

Now, we are hearing that Adam Goodes is a sook because he complains about being booed for a whole year at every AFL ground he plays on. Overweight white kids at the footy should be able to boo this dual Brownlow medalist freely, because that is the nature of the spectator at our indigenous game. Angry men and women should be able to boo this champion of the game because that is what we go to the footy for, to release our pent up frustrations. Well, maybe things have changed, maybe times have changed, and maybe that is not what footy is all about anymore.

What does Tony Abbott have to say about the treatment of his Australian of the Year now?

Goolwafind New Directory S Site

Goolwafind is the latest directory site to make use of the DirectoryS WordPress theme. This classy theme is an ideal directory skin for creating image galleries for site listings. Residents of, and visitors to, the South Australian town of Goolwa will benefit from this new information source. Only in its infancy but already a good looking and information rich site, Goolwafind, will easily fill a valuable niche.

Tourists will appreciate being able to find featured locations for recreation and entertainment in this south coast holiday destination. Accommodation options are listed, along with art galleries, museums, parks and local businesses. With so many holiday makers now accessing information on their smart phones and devices the Goolwafind site will serve both visitors and providers.

Goolwa has a number of well attended major events on its calendar, including the wooden boat festival and Goolwa regatta. The Goolwa Wharf is a feature of the town, offering a paddle steamer service, boutique brewery, historical steam train station, restaurants, winery and art gallery. The Goolwa Wharf markets are held every first and third Sundays of the month. The markets offer arts and crafts, plants and flowers, antiques, gourmet foods, fashions, and much more.

Goolwa is a favourite long weekend and school holiday destination for residents of Adelaide; South Australia’s capital city. The Murray River, Australia’s major river, never quite meets the coast here at Goolwa; finishing in Lake Alexandrina. The town has the river on one side and the Southern Ocean on the other, making it a favourite with those who enjoy water sports. Fishing is big in Goolwa, and the Hindmarsh Island Bridge takes anglers over to the island and its marina and many fishing spots.

Surfing is popular in Goolwa and Middleton, with major breaks creating consistent swells throughout the year. The area is home to a number of surf shops and surfing schools. Sailing is big on the lake and river, with a number of sailing clubs featuring regular competitions. Surf skis and power boats recreate on the river, making this a wonderful family attraction.

The natural birdlife in Goolwa is stunning with giant pelicans and graceful Ibis wheeling across the skies. Flocks of birds fly in patterns over the river, as they scan the waters for schools of fish. A cycleway along side the Murray River allow walkers, skaters and cyclists to enjoy the visual feast as they make their way into and outer of town. Numerous parks with public facilities line the foreshore attracting picnicers, kid’s birthday parties and canoodling couples.

Goolwafind can point you in the right direction to find your heart’s desire.

US Open Golf 2015

Boy, what a surprise when I turned on the first round of the 2015 US open golf championship to see a revolutionary new vista. Where were the boring old, up and down, tree lined fairways? Where were the chemically induced ultra green coloured greens? What I was seeing did not look like golf US style. This looked like a mix of staged motor cross and Open links golf brought together in a new kind of golfing space. I immediately thought to myself – new fans are going to love this. The USGA are to be applauded for their ground breaking vision.

Golf has a pronounced tendency to look back for signs of its way forward and as much as I love tradition, you can only eat so many of your children. Chambers Bay seems to offer golf in the twenty first century something new, beyond what the uninitiated fan, always fails to see. The big problem for TV is that golf looks so bloody easy. The ball doesn’t move, it just sits there, waiting, like some sort of victim. Nobody passes the ball to another player. You just need to move the ball from one sector of the course to another; no pressure, it looks easy. The experienced hacker would ask the question, “but have you tried to do just that?” It is, as we golfers know, much harder than you think.

This, however, is not an article about the difficulties of golf, deserved as that may be. Golf is very difficult to play well and that is why its extremely talented exponents are paid exceedingly well.  Television viewers need to see how challenging golf really is and three dimensional digital viewing is in its infancy. Whether it be golf skins games played in minefields? Or something akin to this, golf needs to man up, and perhaps Chambers Bay is the start of this. Golf, in my opinion, could do with shedding some of its more banal past.

Golfers, if they are earning seven figure salaries, could do with some more obvious challenges. Chambers Bay, as I mentioned, looks a bit like a motor cross track. Jason Day getting vertigo playing this unique course says something about its challenges. Carved out of an old quarry, this links course is something else, and obviously a real test for pro golfers. The pressure of this experience was the undoing of many top golfers, it was too hot in the kitchen for some.  Bring on more such interesting courses to the USGA roster, I say. Go new golf!



Epicurus is at his core a materialist, in the sense that physical sensation defines our lives, according to his philosophy. Fear of death is widely prescribed as humankind’s most prevalent fear and Epicurus in his “Letter to Menoeceus” sets out to debunk it. This essay will investigate the fundamental Epicurean argument pertaining to humanity’s attitude toward death and examine its ethical purpose in relation to how we should live our lives.

Epicurus wishes to free humanity from an all pervasive mental pain caused by “anxiety about the meaning of death”.[1] It is the fact that humanity experiences life through the senses which allows Epicurus to formulate his proposition that death is the cessation of sensation and therefore should hold no fear for us. To exist is to sense, to experience life with our five senses, conversely to be dead is not to exist and be entirely without sensation. Expounding upon this premise, Epicurus tells us that this certainty provides an immediate pleasure by removing our unnatural and unnecessary desire for immortality. This knowledge can bring us into the moment of living and out of the painfully worrying state of pre-empting our inevitable death.

Epicurus wants us all to, habitually remind ourselves, that the state of death is nothing to be feared, so that we can truly live in the simple pleasure of being alive, and live in the moment more. The conversion to this belief in the Epicurean conception of death is no small matter and Epicurus repeatedly stresses that practice is required in his “fundamentals of the good life”.[2] The ethical purpose of this freedom from the fear of death is to replace anxiety in individuals with happiness. Epicureanism is viewed today as a ‘consequentialist’ philosophy, meaning that the resultant pleasure generated defines its moral good.[3] A consequence of happier, less worried, people inhabiting the world may result in less evil being committed. Pleasure will beget pleasure whereas unhappiness can often provoke acts of retribution, and/or mindless rage. Epicurus lays the groundwork for an acceptance of life’s sensory experiences free from an unnatural worry about something unknowable. His belief in Democritus’ ‘atomism’ and his study of natural science has led him to this belief in the meaninglessness of death; it is the cornerstone of his whole approach to pleasure being the primary human value.[4]

Is the achievement of personal pleasure enough, however, in our lives? What about our loved ones, our partners and children? Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics includes a conception of happiness, Eudaimonia, which has the individual cultivating moral virtues, arête.[5] How we act towards others and whether it is morally appropriate to the situation, or relationship, is essential according to this philosophy; is Epicureanism lacking this perspective? Epicurus answers this important question in his “Letter to Menoeceus” when he stresses that it is “good judgement” which is the most important aspect of his philosophy.[6] The Epicurean life cannot be lived without an adherence to sensibility, nobility and justice:

“Can you think of anyone more moral than the person who has devout beliefs about the gods, who is consistently without fears about death, and who has pondered man’s natural end?”[7]

Epicurus continually returns to this theme of facing one’s mortality and I contend that he sees it as a mark of humanity’s courage and maturity. By not shying away from the fact of death and by not being enslaved by the fear of it, we can act virtuously toward one another. This is important to Epicurus because he values friendship so highly and sees it providing “personal security” during our lives.[8] This then leads me to ask whether this ‘personal security’ could be better translated as ‘emotional security’ in today’s parlance? Epicurus is addressing the importance of loved ones and our relationship to them, after all, through his esteemed endorsement of friendship.

Friends and loved ones are highly valued by Epicurus but are not to be confused with the core responsibility underpinning one’s life – the self. This is why his philosophy focuses on our mortality, desires, pleasures and pains; Epicurus does not put the cart before the horse by shifting the focus to the other. Epicurus’s philosophy of the simple good of pleasure is criticised by those who propose that our lives are inextricably linked to others and that this must be primarily reflected in any manual for living. Stoicism puts the ‘life of virtue’ at the very heart of its philosophical approach to life and suggests we show indifference toward both pleasure and pain. Stoicism developed by Zeno of Citium in the third century BC and popularised in Rome by Seneca, Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, very much emphasised duty to others.[9] This aspect of the Stoic philosophy was embraced by the early Christian culture and can be seen in the writings of Saint Paul and Augustine.[10] My argument with this Christian standpoint has always been that if everyone is focused on the other’s happiness, and not their own, then no one is at home to truly receive whatever Christian charity comes their way, and then this concept becomes ridiculous.

Another, apparent, failure of the Epicurean philosophy, when comparing it to the tenets of both Aristotelian and Stoic philosophies is its encouragement for individuals to cloister away from the hubs of power and influence within their communities. For Aristotle happiness is found in being one’s best and he saw politics as the epitome of the good life; and for the Stoic it is their duty to perform so. Epicurus prescribed a quieter life with a small group of friends, thus avoiding the competitive struggle of the political life where often much evil is committed through ambition and corruption. Epicurus diagnosed this evil as the result of greed and the misuse of power, all things classified by Epicurus as unnatural and unnecessary to happiness.

This essay has explained the Epicurean position on the material reality of life and that death is meaningless to each one of us once we are dead. The pleasure that acceptance of this scientific fact can engender within us can free us from unnecessary fear and unhappiness. As John Lennon, perhaps an Epicurean, said so eloquently when he sang, “Imagine there’s no heaven…no hell below us…Imagine all the people living for today”, this knowledge promotes a responsibility for living virtuously in the here and now.[11] Criticisms of Epicureanism in relation to our actions towards others have been addressed in light of comparisons to other contemporaneous philosophies and their later offshoots. I conclude in agreement with Epicurus’s pronouncement that our own death “means nothing to us” and that we should courageously get on with the act of living well.[12]







Cooper, David. E, (ed), Ethics: The Classic Readings, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 1998.

Lennon, John, “Imagine”, London, Apple Records, 1971,

Plant, Ian, Myth In The Ancient World, Sydney, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Sinnerbrink, Robert. Lecture on Epicurean Ethics, Macquarie University, PHI110, Week 2.

Sinnerbrink, Robert. Lecture on Stoic Ethics, Macquarie University, PHI110, Week 3.

Sinnerbrink, Robert. Lecture on Aristotle’s Ethics, Macquarie University, PHI110, Week 4.

Spencer, Joseph, “Free from All Men: Stoic Influence in the Writing of Saint Paul”, Provo UT, Brigham Young University, 2006. P.24-41.

[1] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus” in Cooper, David. E, (ed), Ethics: The Classic Readings, (Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 1998), p. 54.

[2] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”, p. 49.

[3] David Cooper, (ed) Ethics: The Classic Readings, (Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 1998) p. 47.

[4] Robert Sinnerbrink, Lecture on Epicurean Ethics, Macquarie University, Week 2.

[5] Robert Sinnerbrink, Lecture on Aristotle’s Ethics, Macquarie University, PHI110, Week 4.


[6] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”, p .52.

[7] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”, p. 52.

[8] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”, p. 56.

[9] Robert Sinnerbrink, Lecture on Stoic Ethics, Macquarie University, PHI110, Week 3.


[10] Joseph Spencer, “Free from All Men: Stoic Influence in the Writing of Saint Paul”, (Provo UT, Brigham Young University, 2006.), p.20-31.

[11] John Lennon, “Imagine”, (London, Apple Records, 1971),


[12] Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus”, p .50.