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Old 09-21-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Stoicism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Justus Lipsius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We don't really do much with philosophy so I'm going for an ancient one that I think is widely heard of at least.

I admit what I thought Stoicism was sounded interesting to me. I thought it was trying to be calm and accept what happens. I guess it's different to that. Anyway anyone who knows more feel free to add to it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,379,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Stoicism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Justus Lipsius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We don't really do much with philosophy so I'm going for an ancient one that I think is widely heard of at least.

I admit what I thought Stoicism was sounded interesting to me. I thought it was trying to be calm and accept what happens. I guess it's different to that. Anyway anyone who knows more feel free to add to it.
Thanks for the links, Thomas. What a novel idea, talking philosophy on the philosophy forum.

I didn't know much about Stoicism. I heard someone mention, before, that I was stoic, but I just thought it meant keeping a stiff upper lip, or something.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:30 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 901,079 times
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I've been reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius off and on for about a year now. It's not that it's a hard book to get through (assuming a decent translation), but rather that it gets very repetitive after a while, and rather joyless. MA seems to me to have taken the Stoic ideal of not getting attached to pleasure/pain to an extreme, even mentioning that he planned to start avoiding listening to music to prevent himself from developing any sort of attachment to the pleasure it brings.

Having said that, there are some incredibly profound ideas in the book, and as a whole I think Stoicism is a very useful philosophy. The idea that our perceptions and judgments of events affect us far more than the events themselves (assuming we survive them) has always appealed to me.

Epictetus:
"Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire." (oh hello Buddhist thought)
"Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them."
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone."

Marcus Aurelius:
"How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!"
"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also"
"Outward things cannot touch the soul, not in the least degree; nor have they admission to the soul, nor can they turn or move the soul; but the soul turns and moves itself alone."
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:04 PM
 
37,477 posts, read 25,217,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
I've been reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius off and on for about a year now. It's not that it's a hard book to get through (assuming a decent translation), but rather that it gets very repetitive after a while, and rather joyless. MA seems to me to have taken the Stoic ideal of not getting attached to pleasure/pain to an extreme, even mentioning that he planned to start avoiding listening to music to prevent himself from developing any sort of attachment to the pleasure it brings.

Having said that, there are some incredibly profound ideas in the book, and as a whole I think Stoicism is a very useful philosophy. The idea that our perceptions and judgments of events affect us far more than the events themselves (assuming we survive them) has always appealed to me.

Epictetus:
"Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire." (oh hello Buddhist thought)
"Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them."
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone."

Marcus Aurelius:
"How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!"
"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also"
"Outward things cannot touch the soul, not in the least degree; nor have they admission to the soul, nor can they turn or move the soul; but the soul turns and moves itself alone."
"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 AD - 180 AD), Meditations
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:29 PM
 
17,853 posts, read 11,749,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Stoicism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Justus Lipsius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We don't really do much with philosophy so I'm going for an ancient one that I think is widely heard of at least.

I admit what I thought Stoicism was sounded interesting to me. I thought it was trying to be calm and accept what happens. I guess it's different to that. Anyway anyone who knows more feel free to add to it.
From what I remember, It was Stoic philosophy that had a big influence on the whole "sex is bad" culture shift in the first few centuries AD. Some of the early Church fathers like Augustine were influenced by Stoic philosophy. And he had a big influence on the early church. Unfortunately.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:38 AM
 
34,440 posts, read 8,865,664 times
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What I recall from Marcus Aurelius is some twisted thinking to break himself of his love of bathing - think of the noise, the smell, the sweat, the grime. 'Thus one will be disillusioned'.

Obviously think of the sweat, grime and smell if you don't bathe. Quite..Thus one will be disillusioned with the Philosopher Emperor.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 901,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
What I recall from Marcus Aurelius is some twisted thinking to break himself of his love of bathing - think of the noise, the smell, the sweat, the grime. 'Thus one will be disillusioned'.

Obviously think of the sweat, grime and smell if you don't bathe. Quite..Thus one will be disillusioned with the Philosopher Emperor.
It's similar to the practice of some Buddhists of meditating on corpses, the idea being (as I understand it) to drive home the point that we're all going to end up that way eventually and thus not get too attached to the temporary pleasures of life and the flesh.

One could argue that, since life is a limited affair, it might be better to enjoy things while you can and bathe somewhat regularly so that those around you can do the same.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:36 AM
 
34,440 posts, read 8,865,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
It's similar to the practice of some Buddhists of meditating on corpses, the idea being (as I understand it) to drive home the point that we're all going to end up that way eventually and thus not get too attached to the temporary pleasures of life and the flesh.

One could argue that, since life is a limited affair, it might be better to enjoy things while you can and bathe somewhat regularly so that those around you can do the same.
In Thailand some Buddhist Monk showed me a propaganda tract (oh yes ) showing a gorgeous girl getting older until she was a grey and emaciated corpse. I gather the argument was (I have seen the same series in the margins of buddhist wall - paintings) that one looks at the sexy chick and thinks of the corpse she will eventially become and thus one will be disillusioned. In fact my reaction was that everything from my dinner to the taj mahal is going to be a pile of dust some day - so help yourself while it still looks and tastes good.

That together with an epic fail in trying to apply Pascal's wager to Buddhism and the sheer unfeasibility of Karma without the arbitrary decision - making of the gods on what is good or bad (since if karma goes only by our intention, Hitler's good Karma is pretty huge since he thought he was doing the right thing) made me decide that, though I liked it and still do, it didn't stack up.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 901,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
In Thailand some Buddhist Monk showed me a propaganda tract (oh yes ) showing a gorgeous girl getting older until she was a grey and emaciated corpse. I gather the argument was (I have seen the same series in the margins of buddhist wall - paintings) that one looks at the sexy chick and thinks of the corpse she will eventially become and thus one will be disillusioned. In fact my reaction was that everything from my dinner to the taj mahal is going to be a pile of dust some day - so help yourself while it still looks and tastes good.
This is basically my reaction. My take on the whole thing is to enjoy it (whatever it is) while it lasts, just remember that it won't last forever and you won't get quite so hung up on it when it's over. Much easier said than done, of course.
As an aside, that rules that they have tracts! I would love to get my hands on one (or several). How do they compare to Chick tracts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That together with an epic fail in trying to apply Pascal's wager to Buddhism and the sheer unfeasibility of Karma without the arbitrary decision - making of the gods on what is good or bad (since if karma goes only by our intention, Hitler's good Karma is pretty huge since he thought he was doing the right thing) made me decide that, though I liked it and still do, it didn't stack up.
While I don't doubt for a second that there are schools of thought that conflate karma with intention, I've never bought into that. Karma to me is just the resonance of your actions through space and time. You do bad things, no matter what your intention, and you've made the world a worse place to live. And guess what, you have to live there, whether for the remainder of this life or over the course of several lifetimes (if you believe in reincarnation).

I'm curious, how did he try to apply Pascal's Wager to Buddhism? Considering that if you lose the wager, you'll just be reborn and you get to try again in your next life, it's not really that compelling an argument. Even if you really screw up and end up being reborn in Naraka (Hell), it's not eternal.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,593 posts, read 10,293,732 times
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we now got pop stoicism

Amazon.com: A Man in Full (9780374270322): Tom Wolfe: Books

I doubt Marcus Aurelius is as much fun to read
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