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Thread: Stoicism

  1. #11
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldhat View Post
    Wha...? I'm scratching my head. That's merely someone expressing a political view. I don't see what that has to do with Stoicism. It seems to me a Stoic would simply shrug and say you're entitled to your opinion.

    The central idea of Stoicism is virtue. That is, does a person lie, cheat, steal, harm others? Is he calm and unaffected by calamity? There are all sorts of ontological and epistemological underpinnings to why you should behave that way (see Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, et al.), but in practical terms that's the main message.
    That's exactly how I see it.
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  2. #12
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    For the record, I was not saying that Stoicism is anti-anyone. I was saying that I have seen some very unpleasant misogynist posters later rhapsodizing about their forays into Stoicism.
    I was discussing the original question, is Stoicism undergoing some boost in popularity lately.
    My mom was both a Stoic and a feminist, so there is no conflict that I can see.

  3. #13
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Stoicism is at the core of my nature, I think, and I've been a feminist since I knew what the word meant.
    I don't pay much attention to crackpot theories about it; I'm just not much for histrionics.
    And I haven't studied philosophy, but oldhat's definition fits me pretty well.

    I just always think "My father lived through slogging through the jungles of New Guinea, dodging bullets, with jungle rot in his leg. I can survive this."

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldhat View Post
    Wha...? I'm scratching my head. That's merely someone expressing a political view. I don't see what that has to do with Stoicism. It seems to me a Stoic would simply shrug and say you're entitled to your opinion.

    The central idea of Stoicism is virtue. That is, does a person lie, cheat, steal, harm others? Is he calm and unaffected by calamity? There are all sorts of ontological and epistemological underpinnings to why you should behave that way (see Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, et al.), but in practical terms that's the main message.

    If you want a splendid example of what Stoicism is not, forget Madeleine Albright and look no further than our current president. Dishonest, vain, self-deluded, bigoted, impatient and selfish, Trump is an encyclopedia of non-Stoic characteristics.
    My point was that stoicism offers little by way of tools to understand or address a demand for loyalty based on an arbitrary group identity. As far as the obligatory Trump condemnation, I would guess that a First Century Stoic would regard both the President and many of his detractors as the tragic result of an unexamined life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Did Aureius believe that slaves could freely choose to be stoic?
    I would think probably yes. That one’s circumstances do not dictate how one can view or respond to them.

    I believe Epictetus was a slave for much of his life.

  6. #16
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I would think probably yes. That one’s circumstances do not dictate how one can view or respond to them.

    I believe Epictetus was a slave for much of his life.
    And BBC has a perfect short video explaining it all. Talk about good timing!
    https://www.bbc.com/reel/playlist/ho...?vpid=p06wzkb4
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    My point was that stoicism offers little by way of tools to understand or address a demand for loyalty based on an arbitrary group identity. As far as the obligatory Trump condemnation, I would guess that a First Century Stoic would regard both the President and many of his detractors as the tragic result of an unexamined life.
    Condemning Trump isn't an obligation; it's a pleasure .

    I will concede, however, that Trump is probably a poor example to use in this discussion. Insofar as Stoicism demands an attempt at objective self-examination, Trump is a sociopath who is congenitally incapable of any kind of self-examination.

    Your first statement still puzzles me, though. You talk about an "arbitrary group identity" as if that somehow negates the validity of having that viewpoint. For example, I'm a liberal Democrat. My political views are shaped by my belief that certain candidates and political groups best represent my interests and ideals. You may not agree with my reasons, but there's nothing arbitrary about them, even if you don't agree with them.

    My point, again, is that I don't think most Stoics would be that concerned with the chain of reasoning I used to reach my beliefs, or you yours. It would have much more to do with how you or I react to misfortune, or how we cope on a daily basis with life's inevitable slings and arrows.

  8. #18
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    I don't know very much about stoicism really. I do suspect people are using it for things it's probably not really a great fit for, clinical depression, completely untenable life circumstances, etc.. The MRA folks, I didn't know it was big with them, maybe they are just stoic about the inability to convert society to their toxic views . The rest of us are merely grateful for that small blessing.
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    Now trump is threatening not to give California anymore fema money. Just when you think he can’t be anymore despicable.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldhat View Post
    Your first statement still puzzles me, though. You talk about an "arbitrary group identity" as if that somehow negates the validity of having that viewpoint. For example, I'm a liberal Democrat. My political views are shaped by my belief that certain candidates and political groups best represent my interests and ideals. You may not agree with my reasons, but there's nothing arbitrary about them, even if you don't agree with .
    I would maintain that insisting a given group has a duty to vote a certain way because they have two X chromosomes is the very essence of arbitrary. Becoming a liberal Democrat is a matter of personal conviction, which is not the same thing.

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