Epicurus prudently advised his followers to abjure politics, on the eminently sensible grounds that it would only cause needless distress. The excrement-slinging chimps’ tea party antics that pass for political discourse these days – the one area of public life where hate speech is still OK apparently – only strengthens the force of Epicurus’ argument.
So much that seems to be wrong with the world at the moment, so many of the things that seem horribly dysfunctional (if not downright wicked), look to me like a failure to grasp a pretty obvious fact, namely: we’re all in this together.
Take a moment the next time you are out on a clear night to look up at the sky. All those little points of light, the whole immensity of the cosmos spread before your eyes. Spend a minute drinking it all in: the unthinkable vastness of it all, perhaps even infinite in extent.
Amid the untidy wreckage of collapsed traditions many of us these days struggle to come up with any sort of answer to the question How to Live a Good Life. If, that is, we ever bother to ask ourselves the question in the first place.
If absolute certainty is your goal, this is not the path for you. When we live a Life According to Evidence our beliefs will remain unsettlingly fluid and ever subject to provisos, caveats, and amendments.