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Spirituality, Religion, Theology and Philosophy


All faiths & lack of faiths welcome.
All debate styles welcome.
WARNING: Posts may contain sensitive and controversial material.


What stoicism can and can't do.
Posted: Posted May 5th by Louis De Pointe du Lac

If you go into stoicism expecting stress, depression, and anger to disappear completely you will be disappointed. It doesn't work that way. Stoicism is a philosophy. Not a drug. If a stoic wrecks his or her car, fails a test, loses a loved one, or gets fired from a job then he or she will feel upset just like everyone else.

The value of stoicism is in what comes after. Ok so you're upset. Now what are you going to do? Are you going to whine and cry? Go sulk in a corner for a while? Are you going to snap at people or go on a bender? This is where you have control and it's what the philosophy of stoicism is keen to remind you of. Our emotions are what they are but how we live with them is up to us.

The stoics warn us not to feel entitled to good fortune. Doing so is what causes these bad reactions to unhappy feelings. Our expectations are having trouble computing the reality of what is happening. How many of us when we get angry think of things like: No. Wrong. Not allowed. Against the rules. Can't happen.

One of the ancient philosophers, Seneca who had the bad luck of being tutor to Nero, tells a story of a roman noble named Vedius Pollio who once held a party for the emperor Augustus at one of his villas. During the entertainment a slave carrying a crystal glass cup tripped on a piece of marble and dropped the cup shattering it on the floor. This enraged Pollio so much that he ordered the slave be thrown into a pool of lampreys to be eaten alive. Seneca argues that the reason Pollio got so angry is because he allowed himself to imagine a world where crystal cups simply did not break.

Feeling angry is ok. Throwing slaves to the lampreys is not. Remember misfortune and you will remember your temper. Do not always expect bad things to happen but respect that they could happen. That seems to be the stoic way.

There are 17 Replies

>Do not always expect bad things to happen but respect that they could happen. That seems to be the stoic way.

Something that I've followed for years. Occasionally leading people to ask me what I'm scared of when I take simple precautions against devastating potentials. It's not about fear - quite the opposite. I don't have to live with fear when I have awareness and ability.

Posted May 5th by nullfather
nullfather

Excuse me for reading between the lines, but is there a subtle implication in the OP that religion is a drug?

Posted May 5th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Did I mention religion even once?

The answer to your question is no. I meant drug literally.

Posted May 5th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

You don't have to mention something. You just have to imply it. It's possible to speak out against something without even mentioning it so your cohorts see it while the unsuspecting do not.

Posted May 5th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Well the answer is no.

Posted May 6th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

Then please tell me what this line is supposed to mean:

Stoicism is a philosophy. Not a drug.

Who thinks any philosophy is a drug?

For that matter, who goes into stoicism thinking it is a drug? Why did the author feel the need to point that out?

Posted May 10th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Who thinks any philosophy is a drug?

People who think that a given philosophy will cure them of ever having to face any difficulties or suffer any pain, whatsoever. They adopt it with the goal of avoiding said pain and suffering, rather than accepting that both feelings will continue to afflict them occasionaly and using their belief system as a tool for managing or coping with it.

That's what that line means.



Posted May 11th by Malas
Malas
 

That's basically it. Stoicism is a specific kind of philosophy that addresses ways to deal with stress and difficulty. But people who go into it thinking it'll be a cure rather than a way to cope are misguided. That's the gist of the op.

Believe me if I want to say something against religion I'd say it. I wouldn't hide it behind implication. I mean it's not like I'm afraid of you.

Edited May 11th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

Really? And why would you need to be afraid of me? Because people who disagree with your biased opinions about religion are really scary? People whom you personally diagnose as insane are really scary though you have no training in psychology whatsoever? Who says you need to be afraid of me? I certainly didn't say that.

Posted May 12th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Religious people, generally, are normal. You, on the other hand, are batshit crazy. Not because you believe in whatever it is you believe in, but because you are paranoid to the point of seeing threats where there are none.

Posted May 12th by Malas
Malas
 

Jesus fucking christ, he really has a complex, huh?

Posted May 12th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Safe to say that this thread will not be about stoicism.

Posted May 12th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Really? And why would you need to be afraid of me? Because people who disagree with your biased opinions about religion are really scary? People whom you personally diagnose as insane are really scary though you have no training in psychology whatsoever? Who says you need to be afraid of me? I certainly didn't say that.

Umm you're kinda affirming my point here aren't you?

I mean it's not like I'm afraid of you.

Edited May 12th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

I don't require you to be afraid of me.

I just wish you would LISTEN to me.

Posted May 15th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

And we wish you'd listen to us as well, so here we are.

Posted May 15th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I do listen to you. I just then tell you how you've got it all wrong, and then you don't listen to me. Why? Because I'm your philosophical opponent, you're biased, and you have proven time and again that you have automatically rejected every word I say before I've even said it.

Tell me I'm wrong.

Posted July 12th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Well, I can't speak for anyone else but myself, but yeah, you're pretty wrong.

I mean, take this very thread. EVERYONE has told you that this post has nothing to do with religion, and it's not even pretending to try and be a subtle shot at you. And yet, you still seem unconvinced, and even argued that we were lying, that it was indeed all exactly that. So, sure, yeah, I believe you listen to us.

But I'm going to reiterate the same point I keep making over and over again (because you don't actually listen): you do exactly the same thing you constantly complain about us doing. Are you really going to try and sell me on the line that you are (somehow) less biased than us? That you don't reject anything *I* say before I've even said it? You can go ahead and try to lie to me about this, like you always do, but at some point you gotta just stop lying to yourself, man.

Posted July 12th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto
Reply to: What stoicism can and can't do.

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