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Thread started 05/07/18 10:35am

morningsong

The Stoics

"What, then, is the mistake people make, seeing that everyone wants a happy life? They take the instruments used by happiness to be happiness itself, and so abandon the very thing they are seeking. For the chief point in a happy life is to be solidly secure and unshakably confident of that state; and yet they gather up the causes of anxiety and haul, no, drag those burdens behind them on life’s treacherous journey. For that reason they recede further and further from what they seek to attain, and the greater their efforts, the greater the hindrance they create for themselves. It is like hurrying in a maze: their very haste impedes them."

- Seneca, Letters 44.7

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Reply #1 posted 05/07/18 11:09am

morningsong

Definition of the End

Stoicism is known as a eudaimonistic theory, which means that the culmination of human endeavor or ‘end' (telos) is eudaimonia, meaning very roughly "happiness" or “flourishing.” The Stoics defined this end as “living in agreement with nature.” “Nature” is a complex and multivalent concept for the Stoics, and so their definition of the goal or final end of human striving is very rich.

The first sense of the definition is living in accordance with nature as a whole, i.e. the entire cosmos. Cosmic nature (the universe), the Stoics firmly believed, is a rationally organized and well-ordered system, and indeed coextensive with the will of Zeus, the impersonal god. Consequently, all events that occur within the universe fit within a coherent, well-structured scheme that is providential. Since there is no room for chance within this rationally ordered system, the Stoics' metaphysical determinism further dictated that this cosmic Nature is identical to fate. Thus at this level, "living in agreement with nature" means conforming one’s will with the sequence of events that are fated to occur in the rationally constituted universe, as providentially willed by Zeus.

Each type of thing within the universe has its own specific constitution and character. This second sense of ‘nature' is what we use when we say it is the nature of fire to move upward. The manner in which living things come to be, change, and perish distinguishes them from the manner in which non-living things come to be, change, and cease to be. Thus the nature of plants is quite distinct from the nature of rocks and sand. To "live in agreement with nature" in this second sense would thus include, for example, metabolic functions: taking in nutrition, growth, reproduction, and expelling waste. A plant that is successful at performing these functions is a healthy, flourishing specimen.

In addition to basic metabolism, animals have the capacities of sense-perception, desire, and locomotion. Moreover, animals have an innate impulse to care for their offspring. Thus living in agreement with a creature's animality involves more complex behaviors than those of a plant living in agreement with its nature. For an animal parent to neglect its own offspring would therefore be for it to behave contrary to its nature. The Stoics believed that compared to other animals, human beings are neither the strongest, nor the fastest, nor the best swimmers, nor able to fly. Instead, the distinct and uniquely human capacity is reason. Thus for human beings, "living in agreement with nature" means living in agreement with our special, innate endowment—the ability to reason.

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Reply #2 posted 05/07/18 11:36am

NorthC

Why do you want to delete your account, morning?
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #3 posted 05/07/18 12:01pm

morningsong

NorthC said:

Why do you want to delete your account, morning?

“Because to take away a man's freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”
Madeleine L'Engle



“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.”
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange




“Never say yes to anything you can't say no to.”
Marty Rubin


“Colour outside the lines, live outside the box. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do, or not. Don’t be afraid, listen to your heart.
Heaven is a state of being – of one-ness, and Hell is a state of being – lost. We simply need to live as we best define ourselves, find our own ways of being who we are in our world.
There is no requirement - only freedom of choice. We should not be judged if we are doing what we think best according to our perceptions at any given time.
Guilt should be discarded, moved beyond - what matters is who we choose to be in the next moment, given what we might have learned. We continually create ourselves anew.
Forgiving someone is a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto far too long.
Take back the energy you have wasted on these things and reclaim your power to be your next best self.
Honour the past but refresh, expand, renew, fulfill. Heaven is within us, always reachable.”
Jay Woodman

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Reply #4 posted 05/07/18 1:03pm

NorthC

Uhm, Allright then... Deleting your account shouldn't be difficult... I did it twice because I wanted a new username. No need to go all drama queen about it. wink
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #5 posted 05/07/18 1:17pm

morningsong

CANCEL Account Deletion
Cancel the pending request to have your prince.org account deleted. Currently, your account is scheduled to be removed anytime after 2018-05-04 11:08:14! 4th request


Cancel account deletion request

You have requested your account to be deleted. During this time (up to 24 hours after you've requested the account be deleted), you may cancel this request by clicking the link by this help icon. If you do so, your account will remain active.

Was this explanation helpful to you?

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Reply #6 posted 05/07/18 2:57pm

morningsong

"What am I up to? Death is after me; life is on the retreat. Teach me something I can use against that! Don’t let me run from death any longer; don’t let life run away from me! Encourage me to face what is difficult; give me the serenity to accept what I cannot avoid. Expand the narrow confines of my remaining time. Teach me that the goodness of a life depends not on how long it is but on how it is used; and that it is possible—in fact quite common—for a person to have a long life that is scarcely a life at all. Say to me before I sleep, “It’s possible you will not wake up,” and when I rise, “It’s possible you will never sleep again.” Say to me when I go out, “It’s possible you will not return,” and when I return, “It’s possible you will never leave. You are wrong if you think it is only aboard ship that ‘life is but an inch away from death.’ The interval is the same wherever you go. There death is in full view, but everywhere it is just as close to us.”“

- Seneca, Letters 49.9-11

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Reply #7 posted 05/07/18 3:48pm

XxAxX

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morningsong said:

CANCEL Account Deletion
Cancel the pending request to have your prince.org account deleted. Currently, your account is scheduled to be removed anytime after 2018-05-04 11:08:14! 4th request


Cancel account deletion request

You have requested your account to be deleted. During this time (up to 24 hours after you've requested the account be deleted), you may cancel this request by clicking the link by this help icon. If you do so, your account will remain active.

Was this explanation helpful to you?

sad

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Reply #8 posted 05/07/18 7:02pm

morningsong

The one irresistible force in the universe is Change. Everything in the universe Changes. Every living thing, every bit of matter, all the energy in the universe Changes in some way.

All that you touch
You Change.
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change.
God
Is Change.

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Reply #9 posted 05/09/18 10:31am

XxAxX

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okay. nice knowing your Prince.ORG alter ego!

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