Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

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Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:15 pm UTC

Lately I've been finding myself identifying more and more with this philosophical outlook, my behavior naturally drifting towards this for as long as I can remember. Now, there are some things I have a serious problem with (subject yourself to God's will, desire is bad), so I have been modifying and editing some of the more basic precepts in order to come up with my own variation.

There's still some work to go, but I thought this might be a good place for people to talk about finding a philosophical or religious outlook that fits with you, and perhaps some of the aspects of this could be discussed.

I am largely in favor of asceticism, but even I can not completely align myself with it, since I do have attachment to some frivolous doodads, and I have no desire (irony!) to get rid of them. I am wholly against excess, though, and the line where I draw 'excess' is, I've noticed, way the hell closer to me than where my wife draws it (or indeed most people I know).

Cynicism is one of the most striking of all the Hellenistic philosophies. It offered people the possibility of happiness and freedom from suffering in an age of uncertainty. Although there was never an official Cynic doctrine, the fundamental principles of Cynicism can be summarised as follows:

1. The goal of life is happiness which is to live in agreement with Nature.
2. Happiness depends on being self-sufficient, and a master of mental attitude.
3. Self-sufficiency is achieved by living a life of Virtue.
4. The road to Virtue is to free oneself from any influence such as wealth, fame, or power, which have no value in Nature.
5. Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.

Basic tenets
Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos) . A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual’s spiritual well-being: "Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature."[2] This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; "to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy",[3] and to accept even slaves as "equals of other men, because all alike are sons of God."[4]
Stoicism's prime directives are virtue, reason, and natural law. Stoics believe that, by mastering passions and emotions, it is possible to find equilibrium in oneself and in the world. Greek philosophers such as Zeno and Cleanthes, and later Roman thinkers such as Cato the Younger, Seneca the Younger, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, are associated with Stoicism. Stoic philosophy is often contrasted with Epicureanism.

I am anti-deterministic, too, so that conflicts with some of the major tenets of stoicism and cynicism, but I don't think that they have to be interconnected to still function and be relevant. Stoicism in a world that is non-deterministic but largely out of control is still stoicism.

I'm making notes in one of my notebooks, where I have also been outline a martial art discipline based upon my own method of fighting. Maybe I'll publish all this crap someday.

ETA: Music will be a part of my finished product. Music, literature, the intake and analysis of culture. Tasting of the world, but only incorporating what is needed, and acknowledging the rest, while greater understanding allows more effective interaction with the world.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby ducknerd » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC

If you haven't already, you might want to read some essays by Wendell Berry. He doesn't directly associate himself with "old-school cynicism", but his ideas seem to be very similar to yours. I'm also curious: what aspect of asceticism appeals to you?
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

ducknerd wrote: I'm also curious: what aspect of asceticism appeals to you?


Function and appreciation without excess.

Example: My pants cost $20. I could get pants that cost $100, but that's excessive. I could own 6 pairs, when 3 will do, given my laundry schedule. I could get a brand new car, or I could get an older, much less expensive one that is almost exactly as functional (but I may get a more modern stereo in the older car, because I enjoy music, and it makes me feel good).

It's the eschewing of frivolity, I guess... eschewment? How do you conjugate that?

I am 100% happy with the main floor of our house. My wife is constantly painting, putting up trim, looking at better kitchen cabinets, rearranging the furniture, buying new furniture (or at least buying used furniture), putting in new flooring (which, I admit, IS way nicer) and other fineries and details which I really don't care about, and have no need to care about. Someday, when we build our dream house, it WILL have those details, because the form of such luxury follows the function of this house being in the family for many generations, but right now, in this temporary home we plan to demolish in three years ANYWAYS, it just seems... silly. I was happy living out of a suitcase with one chair and one desk and one laptop to call my own, back in the day. It was all I needed.

Does this make any sense? I need to make sure I'm understandable, if I want to share this, and I can never tell of my own writings.

EDIT: Apparently, my beliefs focus on being a bad consumer.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Knavish » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:53 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Does this make any sense? I need to make sure I'm understandable, if I want to share this, and I can never tell of my own writings.

That makes sense to me. Why should we occupy ourselves with anything more than what is sufficient? Those who choose to do only out of selfish reasons.

By the way, in my opinion the quality you speak of is not so much asceticism as it is the desire for simplicity.

If you wish you say that "luxury follows function," then you should be careful of what you take to be your "function." For you wouldn't want your function to become your luxury.

Also, if you remain unconvinced on determinism, I suggest you read some of Spinoza's writings.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

Knavish wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Does this make any sense? I need to make sure I'm understandable, if I want to share this, and I can never tell of my own writings.

That makes sense to me. Why should we occupy ourselves with anything more than what is sufficient?

Well, not quite... MORE than what is strictly sufficient is a big part of being human. I could eat BGA paste and multivitamins, but I prefer food that tastes good. I don't NEED decorations in my home, but I rather like some small works of art and decorations. It's all about balance between a complete lack of luxury, and losing oneself in excess. Right now, our crappy house doesn't need finery and luxury, but when I build my dream home, it is a piece of art, it is a complete creation of my will, and I would like it to reflect what I think a spiritual (not religious, or God-entity-spiritual) home can be.

Also, I read Spinoza, but it has no effect on any of this.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby d3adf001 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
ducknerd wrote: I'm also curious: what aspect of asceticism appeals to you?


Function and appreciation without excess.

Example: My pants cost $20. I could get pants that cost $100, but that's excessive. I could own 6 pairs, when 3 will do, given my laundry schedule. I could get a brand new car, or I could get an older, much less expensive one that is almost exactly as functional (but I may get a more modern stereo in the older car, because I enjoy music, and it makes me feel good).

It's the eschewing of frivolity, I guess... eschewment? How do you conjugate that?

I am 100% happy with the main floor of our house. My wife is constantly painting, putting up trim, looking at better kitchen cabinets, rearranging the furniture, buying new furniture (or at least buying used furniture), putting in new flooring (which, I admit, IS way nicer) and other fineries and details which I really don't care about, and have no need to care about. Someday, when we build our dream house, it WILL have those details, because the form of such luxury follows the function of this house being in the family for many generations, but right now, in this temporary home we plan to demolish in three years ANYWAYS, it just seems... silly. I was happy living out of a suitcase with one chair and one desk and one laptop to call my own, back in the day. It was all I needed.

Does this make any sense? I need to make sure I'm understandable, if I want to share this, and I can never tell of my own writings.

EDIT: Apparently, my beliefs focus on being a bad consumer.


Exactly, like i got my boots on clearance. so what if they dont make that brand anymore. and my friend told me to sell my laptop and get a better one. why when my 3 year old laptop works fine for the most part (the battery need to be replaced) i just dont see the point of getting expenisce stuff except computers. and in that case i look for something that fits my specs and buy it and keep it until it breaks

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

Also, in my philosophy, the deity of choice is a trinity composed of George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Knavish » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Knavish wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Does this make any sense? I need to make sure I'm understandable, if I want to share this, and I can never tell of my own writings.

That makes sense to me. Why should we occupy ourselves with anything more than what is sufficient?

Well, not quite... MORE than what is strictly sufficient is a big part of being human. I could eat BGA paste and multivitamins, but I prefer food that tastes good. I don't NEED decorations in my home, but I rather like some small works of art and decorations. It's all about balance between a complete lack of luxury, and losing oneself in excess. Right now, our crappy house doesn't need finery and luxury, but when I build my dream home, it is a piece of art, it is a complete creation of my will, and I would like it to reflect what I think a spiritual (not religious, or God-entity-spiritual) home can be.

Also, I read Spinoza, but it has no effect on any of this.

I suppose we disagree after all then.

The reason I mentioned Spinoza is because he, in my opinion, shows that there is a wonderful harmony between determinism and ethical perception.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:18 pm UTC

The fundamental argument of Spinoza is God-centric, which has zero place in mine. A good read, though.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby null » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:46 pm UTC

5. Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.


That is seriously simplistic...there are a lot of other causes of suffering. Starving kids in Africa dont suffer because they are too famous, too rich or too powerful.

Personally, im not sure about determinism. I believe everything is a result of what went before, and that what decisions we make are a result of chemicals in our brain, which are in turn a result of our enviroments...But if that is true, we cannot act on that 'knowledge'. I 'think' i can make choices, and thats what counts.

As Steven Hawkins said,
"Even determinists look before they cross the road."


Regarding excess...There is a big fuzzy grey line running between need and luxury, because need is pretty tough to define. Strictly speaking, you dont *need* air, because you dont have a requirement to be alive. But more realistically, noone needs cars or electricity...They just allow us to do stuff. Say i wanted to go to the Moon...Maybe i need a space shuttle?

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

null wrote:
5. Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.


That is seriously simplistic...there are a lot of other causes of suffering. Starving kids in Africa dont suffer because they are too famous, too rich or too powerful.

Precisely one of my problems with "classical" cynicism and stoicism, which is why I started this thread. I do not AGREE with everything in the OP, it just sets the stage (copy and pasted from Wiki, actually).

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

If you can do something about it - you should do something.
If you can no longer do something about it - who cares?
If you could never do something about it - who cares?

That which has transpired you cannot change.

Sadness and worry are products of caring. If it's changeable then change it, stop worrying. If it isn't changeable then you cannot do anything about it. Stop worrying - it's a waste of energy.

Outside of this it does not matter what you believe - stoicism/cynicism/whatever.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

Thank you for dismissing my ideas so readily.

...

I guess as a stoic, I shouldn't care, since your post is in the past. Ah well... it was worth it.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:47 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Thank you for dismissing my ideas so readily.

...

I guess as a stoic, I shouldn't care, since your post is in the past. Ah well... it was worth it.



Not necessarily dismissing them - you can still have them, and they're still valid. I just think it doesn't really matter - once you stop worrying or caring about what you can't change then you'll be happy. Stoicism etc. might help you in deciding WHAT to do - when you can do something about it. But I think the first thing to take care of is making yourself happy.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby null » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

If you can no longer do something about it - who cares?
If you could never do something about it - who cares?


So you wouldn't feel sad if a family member died (at an old age)?

While i can see death is inevitable, that doesnt mean its right to not feel sad and become an emotionless husk of a man!

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

null wrote:
If you can no longer do something about it - who cares?
If you could never do something about it - who cares?


So you wouldn't feel sad if a family member died (at an old age)?

While i can see it is inevitable, that doesnt mean its right to become an emotionless husk of a man!


Not sure if I would - I think it's all right to be sad and mourn. But to worry about this and that is different. And that is the type of sadness I am talking about. Being sad because of worry or because of "worthlessness" etc. etc.

Mourning is something different. Still - I'm not sure if I would be sad.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

Dedication to continuing to live your life unabated is not the same as not feeling sad about a tragedy. Bad stuff happens to me and those I love, and if I can't do anything about it, I still do what I would normally do. I can feel bad about it, but I don't let it change the way I do things.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Ari » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:11 am UTC

null wrote:As Steven Hawkins said,
"Even determinists look before they cross the road."



This is so good, I may actually sig it. :D
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby JayDee » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:20 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Sadness and worry are products of caring. If it's changeable then change it, stop worrying. If it isn't changeable then you cannot do anything about it. Stop worrying - it's a waste of energy.
I tend to see sadness, worry, and other negative emotions as stimuli for action. It's our negative emotions that prompt us to change, although not infallibly.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby timt » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:52 am UTC

I have also seen myself heading towards a more minimalistic approach to life over the last few years. I like to be tidy and have as little possessions to have to look after as possible. I literally took 8 garbage bags of crap out of my room after i finished high school. Now i pretty much have a laptop/stereo/music books and my guitar, thats all i really need. I think ornamental decorations are unneeded and distracting, maybe if they had some sort of personal value (this is my grandfathers watch who fought in such and such a war ect.) I've also incorporated this into how i dress, i no longer bother with fancy hair gells or jewelery, just another thing to worry about every day that really doesn't matter. I feel with things like that you end up wearing every day people start associating you with particular items, not with who you really are. I also buy good quality clothes that will last but fewer of them (i have one pair of shoes, leather steelcap workboots and one jacket, a sheepskin leather jacket.)

My mom insists on buying new furniture, new clothes, new everything but she spends so much time worrying about buying something new she doesn't enjoy what she does have. From my favorite movie "The things you own, end up owning you."

edit: this short article pretty much sums it up for me.
http://richardboyer.net/archives/2004/0 ... losophies/

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Number3Pencils » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:32 am UTC

I go for simplicity, an idea that I think I had the germ of all along, and reading Thoreau uncovered it. When I get the opportunity, I plan to sell a good portion of my stuff on eBay, because I just don't want it. I'd love to strip down to just the basics, plus books. My end goal for life after college is to live by a lake in the woods with in a small house with but superficial resemblace to the Modern Household. Ideally, I'll be able to do that and be an author as well, though I know better than to set that as a primary career goal.

What I really want to achieve is independence from modern conveniences - the ability to live indefinitely, comfortably, and enjoyably out of doors. However, central Iowa is a poor place to learn that stuff. I'm hoping to work at a camp this summer.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Number3Pencils » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:01 am UTC

Damn, I thought I was being me.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:11 am UTC

*reads your post*

Nope, that's me.

Stoic Characters of note:

John Rambo
Samurai Jack
... dammit, why can I never think of these after midnight?

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby The Cosmic Fool » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:47 am UTC

The only real thoughts I can offer are my own experiences with both. Apologies Mighty Jalapeno, if I'm not touching base here.

Stoicism is a strong, good philosophy because it carries very well into our materialistic world. Almost as much as greed and desire do. I always thought hedonism was the anti-thesis of stoicism, but I'm sure you have good reasons for adding cynicism.

Pragmatically speaking, it's probably vastly more efficient to live stoically than view the lens of cynicism and desire. "The world is driven by greed, no good comes from any of this!" Etc, etc.

Many elements of life involve being stoic in terms of material goods. Stoicism also adds resistance to a seemingly growing emotional world, where anger and sadness seem to drive the issues of the day. But I think that a healthy cynicism is required because not everyone can be stoic in nature, and therefore we live in the world we do. Cynical thought often overlaps with a great deal in politics and history where it seems everything repeats. I think I believe I'm a cynic when it comes to those things because not much changes, and I've learned that it's the politicians vs us. It's my employer vs me. Such establishments you walk into knowing that the same systems apply wherever you go.

Is hedonism good? Is greed good? I'm sure it has uses. Being rich would be great, but is it needed? Probably not, given the state in which most of the world (aka not us) lives in.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Number3Pencils » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:05 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:*reads your post*

Nope, that's me.

Well in that case, how are the next two decades or so of my life going to pan out?
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Marlowe » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

Ari wrote:
null wrote:As Steven Hawkins said,
"Even determinists look before they cross the road."



This is so good, I may actually sig it. :D


No, me!
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby cyberdeftly » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I am 100% happy with the main floor of our house. My wife is constantly painting, putting up trim, looking at better kitchen cabinets, rearranging the furniture, buying new furniture (or at least buying used furniture), putting in new flooring (which, I admit, IS way nicer) and other fineries and details which I really don't care about, and have no need to care about. Someday, when we build our dream house, it WILL have those details, because the form of such luxury follows the function of this house being in the family for many generations, but right now, in this temporary home we plan to demolish in three years ANYWAYS, it just seems... silly. I was happy living out of a suitcase with one chair and one desk and one laptop to call my own, back in the day. It was all I needed.


I read this a few times and something caught my attention. You're talking about a dream house. Do you ever plan on building or making this dream house? Isn't a dream house just that, a dream? Do you really ever want a dream house, or is just something nice to think about? Or, is your dream house something that can actually be accomplished. What if your dream house was the house you're living in? Probably not, but you can't just be presented with a dream house. You have to WANT it.

Stoicism is a lot of "I don't care" attitude" from what I understand. I find myself not caring a lot, in that way I can relate to stoicism. I do know, however, that to gain in life in ways that truly make you happy, you really have to care a lot. More so than anyone and everyone else. I don't think stoicism is a good philosophy as it takes away a lot of the fight in a lifetime. You pretty much accept everything that's thrown at you. I don't want to live that way. I'd rather fight. In your case, I would suggest that to get this dream house - you are going to need to start fighting sooner or later. Otherwise, your dream house is going to be ripped from you and the stoic thing to do is to say, "well, that's how it is."

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Alisto » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:10 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Function and appreciation without excess.

Example: My pants cost $20. I could get pants that cost $100, but that's excessive.


I've got to disagree with this. I once bought a pair of designer jeans that were on sale. They fit better and looked better than any other jeans I had ever had. Every time I wore them for the first month (which was quite often), someone would compliment me on them. I bring that up so it's clear that it's clear that it's not in my head.

Sure, the $20 pants may cover your body and keep you warm just as well, but more expensive things are often worth the increased price. Now I've never worn a pair of $3,000 jeans, so I can't speak from experience, but I can't imagine anything about them being worth $3,000. Then again, I thought that about my $160 jeans (of which I now have several pair) and was wrong about that.
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

cyberdeftly wrote:I read this a few times and something caught my attention. You're talking about a dream house. Do you ever plan on building or making this dream house? Isn't a dream house just that, a dream?

I'm a building designer. I can build a house for less than 50% the cost that a normal person could, thanks to my experience, and ability to hire temp subtrades for beer. This is not a dream, this is what I want to do before the next ten years. It's called the "dream house" because it's got EVERYTHING we need, and EVERYTHING we want. It's like having a dream job... it's the job that's perfect for you.

Also, I've never had a pair of pants ($5 to $200) that anyone ever noticed or complimented, ever. That's good that you did, though.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby cyberdeftly » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:50 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It's like having a dream job... it's the job that's perfect for you.

Also, I've never had a pair of pants ($5 to $200) that anyone ever noticed or complimented, ever. That's good that you did, though.


I'll agree on that! All philosophies aside - life really just isn't worth living unless you're living the dream.

No one has ever complimented on your pants? What a shame. (snicker)

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

Well, Mighty Jalapeno I had a long paragraph written correctly, nice neat, organized. But I deleted it because I didn't agree with a word of it. I honestly don't know where I stand. I feel like a bowl of salad, every bit of me compliments some kind of belief. But theres no mold, I just cant find my self hailing all glory to one way. I find a flaw in every philosophical outlook, I just cant be happy with them. I tend to live my life how I feel like living, I'm open to ideas I'm really reserved (I don't act like it sometimes) I can honestly say and truthfully say. If I see a wrongful act (like some one getting jumped for no reason like an old lady or something) I'd do what ever is with in my physical limitations to help them. Even if that means I get beat or knocked out.
I have a hard time resisting my voices. The ones that tell me to do bad things like leave my trash for some one else to pick up. And make a mess then deny it. I recently came to accept the fact that I MUST one up everyone I possibly can. If some one drinks a beer, I have to drink 2. If some one clears a table at work in a minute, I have to clear 2 or 3 tables in under a minute. It's not competitive I just have to be better, Quicker, even if its something as stupid as drinking 2 two liters in under 15 minutes.

So to get back to my point.
Mighty Jalapeno: You got me thinking and I don't know if I hate you , or praise you for it.
Raiku wrote: Oh, I 'Falcon Punched' a tree for the hell of it, and it's still quite bloody...

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

El Senor Fruit Swing wrote:Well, Mighty Jalapeno I had a long paragraph written correctly, nice neat, organized. But I deleted it because I didn't agree with a word of it. I honestly don't know where I stand. I feel like a bowl of salad, every bit of me compliments some kind of belief. But theres no mold, I just cant find my self hailing all glory to one way. I find a flaw in every philosophical outlook, I just cant be happy with them.

This was most of my point, too. :) This is sort of a general outlook, not a set of rules. The outlook is still being worked on...

Also, Cynicism might have it's roots in hedonism, but Epicurean used to mean someone who was ascetic in their desires, so, you know, things change. Christianity used to mean that killing was forbidden.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:57 pm UTC

The more I think about this the more it boggles my mind. As of right now I'm sitting in a class room of 20 people and I want to stand up and shout " WHATS THE POINT OF BEING IF BEING IS BELIEVING IN SOMETHING"
But its not the best idea. I honestly feel like religion and philosophy are not what they used to be hundreds or thousands of years ago when they first emerged I feel like humanity in its nature has warped and twisted them around to suite their personal egos and use religion and philosophy as a buffer for what they do , or feel.
For example: Some one knocks a steaming hot cup of coffee on you and as angry as you are you smile and say "It's ok I hated these pants anyways." When really your seething with anger but can't hit the person because your religion tells you not to. Thus you pat your self on the back and glorify your reaction to the situation and praise yourself for being true to your religion of choice, continuing to stroke your ego all day and night telling everyone how you reacted just to get praise from them.

It sickens me sometimes that situations like the one I made up really happen.

I've been reading this book lately its not really philosophy but a way of thinking
I like it
http://www.gladwell.com/blink/index.html
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

I've heard of that book, and I've wanted to read it.

I agree with you, though, in many ways. Society has so many rigid rules governing fundamental behavior, and above all, "politeness" is king. Now, in that situation, if it was an accident, I would have been dismayed at the loss of a good pair of pants, and perhaps the use of my genitals, but I'd never hit the guy. If he did it on purpose, I don't care who he is, he's about to have an intimate run-in with Mr and Mrs Knuckle. Screw religion (I'm not religious... I prefer "spiritual"), it shouldn't even enter into situations like that.

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby El Senor Fruit Swing » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I've heard of that book, and I've wanted to read it.

I agree with you, though, in many ways. Society has so many rigid rules governing fundamental behavior, and above all, "politeness" is king. Now, in that situation, if it was an accident, I would have been dismayed at the loss of a good pair of pants, and perhaps the use of my genitals, but I'd never hit the guy. If he did it on purpose, I don't care who he is, he's about to have an intimate run-in with Mr and Mrs Knuckle. Screw religion (I'm not religious... I prefer "spiritual"), it shouldn't even enter into situations like that.



It's sad because it does enter in those kinds of situations. I hear about them all the time (not that specific situation but ones like it where some one gave money to a poor person, or did something good hearted) it makes me want to say " Hey so what you don't deserve praise for being a good person."
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:17 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:Sadness and worry are products of caring. If it's changeable then change it, stop worrying. If it isn't changeable then you cannot do anything about it. Stop worrying - it's a waste of energy.
I tend to see sadness, worry, and other negative emotions as stimuli for action. It's our negative emotions that prompt us to change, although not infallibly.


Since I don't really experience negative emotions they don't prompt me to change. What prompts me to change is the anticipation, or prevention of negative situations. Perhaps avoiding pain, or being lectured. Or acting to prevent worry (if you can do something about it do it, don't sit there worrying).
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby JayDee » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:58 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Since I don't really experience negative emotions they don't prompt me to change. What prompts me to change is the anticipation, or prevention of negative situations. Perhaps avoiding pain, or being lectured. Or acting to prevent worry (if you can do something about it do it, don't sit there worrying).
Fair enough. I just need to include that anticipation in my "negative emotions etc." :D .
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Re: Stoicism and Cynicism (Philosophical Movements)

Postby Nath » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:19 am UTC

El Senor Fruit Swing wrote:For example: Some one knocks a steaming hot cup of coffee on you and as angry as you are you smile and say "It's ok I hated these pants anyways." When really your seething with anger but can't hit the person because your religion tells you not to. Thus you pat your self on the back and glorify your reaction to the situation and praise yourself for being true to your religion of choice, continuing to stroke your ego all day and night telling everyone how you reacted just to get praise from them.

I don't know about you, but I can think of plenty of better reasons not to hit the person than 'because my religion says so'. Are you honestly complaining that people aren't as impulsive and violent as they could be?

El Senor Fruit Swing wrote:But its not the best idea. I honestly feel like religion and philosophy are not what they used to be hundreds or thousands of years ago when they first emerged I feel like humanity in its nature has warped and twisted them around to suite their personal egos and use religion and philosophy as a buffer for what they do , or feel.

Philosophy and religion aren't pure and ancient beliefs that have been corrupted over the years. This is what they are:
Bokonon wrote:Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder, "Why, why, why?"

Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.

(From Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut.)

The first stanza is philosophy. The second is religion. People do also use both to control each other from time to time, but that's always happened.


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