I'm about a quarter way through 'Self-Reliance' by Emerson and he says virtues (as we know them) are most often qualities we exhibit as a way to apologize for our existence. Do what you wanna do; don't give any doctrine too much power. You're your own god blah blah blah. The stoics were people like you and me.
>>553502 If you'd be kind enough to show me where I'm wrong I'd really appreciate it. I said I just got through a quarter of Self-Reliance and what I got so far is that I shouldn't put too much of my energy and personal beliefs on hold to live my life how it's written by other people. Virtues are great, having a set of rules that you abide to is better than not having any and living off of pure pleasure. I'm just saying don't stress too hard on trying to absolutely live by stoic virtues.
I'm reading his Meditations for the first time, and in book 1. part 15, where he's talking about what he has learned from Maxmimus he mentions "to put a stop to homosexual passions for young men"
I thought Romans didn't have a concept of homo- and heterosexuality, so is this a translators mistake? I mean, wouldn't a more suitable translation be "To put a end to sexual desires towards young men" or something like that? This version is published by Hackett company and translated by G.M.A Grube.
>>553451 Best answer so far. To be virtuous is to act and behave in accordance to (the stoic conception of) "nature," a deterministic form of cosmic order and interconnectedness that emphasizes unity and positive human character while de-emphasizing the importance of any individual.
Stoicism has a lot less to do with suppressing "urges" and "passions" and a lot more to do with a simple, logical management of one's emotions by appealing to the bigger (social, cosmic) picture while bringing oneself down to earth by recognizing how small a part you play in it.
"The point of the Stoics was that a thing may serve to give direction to action without being an object of desire. This is obviously true. Supposing you are a servant, sent to fetch a parcel from the post office for your employer; you may be perfectly indifferent as to whether the parcel has arrived or not, yet your whole action in going to the post office, all the consecutive movements of your feet, will be directed by an intention; but if you found that the parcel was not there, you would not be disappointed, and rest satisfied with having fulfilled your part of the business. That is a type of the attitude of the Stoic Wise Man towards outward things."
>>553394 >can someone explain stoic philosophy to me? You shouldnt care what others think of you, and only do what is objectively best. >why is virtue important? Because once you apply the above, you'd have no purpose and would kill yourself. Virtue is a replacement purpose.
I don't care for stoicism, it is arbitrary and against my personal arbitrary values fundamentally. but Marcus observations and approach to life by itself has very valid elements. His writings are worth a read, can't remember what they're called.
Virtuous people (following the Greek concept of virtue of justice, temperance, wisdom and courage) are happier than unvirtuous ones.
Super hedonist people (not in the Epicurean sense, but the popular one) usually are not happy. And billionaires many times suffer of depression. Hollywood stars have money, fame, status and have problems with drugs and so on.
>>554537 greeks and chinese kinda realised the same ideas(Universe is a interesting place run by a Force-like God that wishes your personal moral development, so you should accept your lot in life and be at peace with yourself, the Universe and God) at around the same time.
And no, you aren't crazy. Lots of chinese Bibles translate Logos as Tao, for example.
There is the first part. It is very logical and easy to understand.
The Stoics say you don't need things that are out of your control to be happy.
You don't need wealth to be happy. You don't need health to be happy. You don't need pleasure to be happy. You don't need a good reputation to be happy.
There are people that have all of this and are unhappy. Then, you have people that have none of this and are very happy.
If you have everything you desire, you will be happy. You can't control how much money you will have. But you can control how much you desire money. If you make it so no matter how much you make you will be happy, you will be happy if you are a homeless person (see Diogenes) or if are a millionaire.
So, what is out of your control are externals. You don't need them to be happy. Your choices are internal. Having good choices on what you desire and how you see things is what makes you happy.
Virtue. According to the stoics, living a virtuous live and only desiring what is under your control will make you happy.
But then, there are the virtues. Courage, wisdom and justice go under what I have mentioned. But there is temperance too.
Let's say a woman says "I think being a huge slut is good. Sluts are empowered women. So, I will have sex with as many men as possible". And she actually manages to have sex with as many men as possible. So, you have someone that desires something, thinks that this is "being good" and actually gets what she wants. By what I have written so far, someone like this would be happy, right?
As it turns out, this isn't the case. There are many women that do that, mostly in colleges. And they are an emotional trainwreck.
So, there is something much deeper about the virtues than we imagine. A (voluntarily) chaste woman (that is one that choose to be chaste because it is right, not because she can't get laid or because she is afraid of the repercussions) will be happier than a slut. Even if both think they are being virtuous.
Why is that the case, I frankly don't know. But this is something that I think the old Stoics knew and we don't.
Epictetus was the only thing that kept me sane after a really bad injury. Not only the pain but the very real prospect I'd need a 50,000+ dollar surgery. I'd wake up everyday for months on end with awful pain that wasn't getting any better, and at times got even worse. I'd read Epictetus and I'd stop cringing at the pain instantly. I'd say "this is my hard winter training. This is so I might become an Olympic conqueror"
When the chips are down, when life kicks you in the beans and you can't afford to wax autismal about sigma delta pi anymore, stoicism is where it's motherfucking at
What makes you think the Hellenstics and Romans weren't hedonistic and anxious? In fact I don't imagine a single case in post-Athens western history where society couldn't be generalized by hedonism and anxiety. The essential problem with stoicism is the metaphysical claims. That is, a) The world is reasoned b) A deity created the world to be accordance with reason c) Humans are the only ones capable of reason, therefore is the human telos to be in accordance with reason, and thus the natural world and deities, giving our lives virtue d) Since the world is reasoned, it must have a rational plan for the end, thus everything in the world is fated to reach that end. Although the Stoics made more convincing and thorough arguments than this, this is the very basic outline of the metaphysics. Now, by taking the metaphysical claims as truths, the Stoics were able to make ethical statements such as not being bothered by disease, injury, poverty, solitude, injustice, et al. simply because these things were accordance with the plan of the world. To go against the plan of the world is to go against reason, which is the only true vice in the world just as being reason is the true virtue in the world. Many choose the ethical parts of Stoicism without acknowledging or believing the metaphysical, or even believing in self-admittedly irrational metaphysical religions such as Christianity (not a dog against the religion, but I digress). To believe in the Stoic ethics without their metaphysical backing is ludicrous.
Now, the answer to whether or not Stoicism is out-dated becomes a question of whether or not their metaphysics checks out. That answer is where 20th and 21st century skepticism gets in, and as a result is unanswerable. Though you should read the responses both direct and indirect to the metaphysical claims, which include a) The world is not reasoned, not what we're apart of, or not the only world (Nihilism, Absurdism, Existentialism, Soplisim, Quantum Theory)
>>557790 b) A deity doesn't exist, is unknowable, or did not create the world with reason (Atheism, or even Christian thinkers like Aquinas and Kierk assert claims against a Stoic deity) c) Human telos, or the good life is subjective, or human beings are inherently irrational and in despair (Existentialism, Schophe, Skepticism) d)There is no rational plan for this world (Any free-will argument or anti-determinism) Then after this you can decide whether or not being a stoic in the 21st century is possible. Or you can lapse halfway through and consider blowing your brains out with a 12 gauge like I do because of self-doubt and self-hatred.
>>557790 >The essential problem with stoicism is the metaphysical claims.
The vast majority of people who care for these lifestyle philosophies are rational, and dont care about gods creating worlds or explaining how matter came to be. Its a guide on how to live better, not a guide on understanding physics. We have science for that.
>>554314 It's probably just the translator simplifying things.
That being said, it's pretty clear that they drew lines with the whole boy-loving thing. Plato or Aristotle has a long argument about the difference between being an outright homosexual and pedogogy, and Xenophon has some comments on it too. And generally Roman writers make fun of people who get too obsessed with it, e.g. "uncontrolled passions." Also, if you want to do something interesting re-read the Gospel of John. It takes stoic philosophy and mixes it with Christian theology.
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