Stoicism is the best lifestyle/practical philosophy

August 7, 2019, 8:20 am

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The debate "Stoicism is the best lifestyle/practical philosophy" was started by JDAWG9693 on August 7, 2019, 8:20 am. 5 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 8 people are on the disagree side. People are starting to choose their side. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

JDAWG9693 posted 5 arguments to the agreers part.
TheExistentialist posted 3 arguments, JDAWG9693 posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

JDAWG9693, vish and 3 visitors agree.
TheExistentialist and 7 visitors disagree.

JDAWG9693
replied to...

Even Seneca says, "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."

1 week, 1 day ago
JDAWG9693
replied to...

I didn't say most practical, I said "lifestyle/practical philosophy," practical philosophy being a category of philosophy, similar to how meta-ethics is a category. And, being that it is a separate category from ethics, I don't need to get my morality from it; I get that elsewhere.

I get my morality from social contract theory and that, in my opinion, harmonizes perfectly well with atheistic stoicism.

1 week, 1 day ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

He mentions it a number of times in this interview:

https://modernstoicism.com/interview-tim-lebon/

I'm also still confused as to why stoicism is the "Stoicism is the best lifestyle/practical philosophy" when you can't use it as a source of ethics without accepting the Divine, when there are clinical alternatives which seek to accomplish similar modes of thinking (CBT), when atheistic Buddhism (mindfulness) has the same end goal and similar methodology, when things like Aristotle's virtue ethics get you ethics and similar virtue claims as stoicism does, when epicureanism makes similar claims about achieving "eudaimonia", etc....

I don't see how you could possibly make the claim that stoicism is the best/most practical anything when there are viable alternatives. In the case of CBT, these are actually treatment methods with published research and ongoing treatment procedure modifications to accommodate new data. How is that not better than stoicism of which you're only really agreeing to 50% with.

1 week, 1 day ago
JDAWG9693
replied to...

I've never heard of LeBon using a theistic serenity prayer. I assume he uses it as more of a mantra or daily ritual in the same way that Marcus Aurelius would have his morning ritual of saying that everyone is gonna be shit and that's okay

1 week, 2 days ago
JDAWG9693
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I think that it does. Stoicism does not encourage anyone to not have ambitions, but to not be upset if they fail in such endeavors. Do your best in everything you do and don't give up if you have a goal, but when you fail don't be emotional about it and you will learn best from it by being solely rational. The only hard part of being a practicing stoic that I've found people saying is in the relationship department because you focus so heavily on "being emotionless". But, the goal is not to be emotionless, it's to be in complete control of one's emotions, rather than being controlled by one's emotions.
So, I would say that it does fit with all lifestyles.

1 week, 2 days ago

does stoicism fit all lifestyles and goals? I dont think someone like Elon musk would prosper under a stoic ideology. I think the best ideology depends on your goals.

1 week, 3 days ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

Tim Lebon's work focuses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how you can integrate Stoicism into that therapeutic framework. He himself however uses things like the serenity prayer to reinforce the therapeutic effects of CBT and connect it to a universal truth claim. Lebon makes it very clear that he integrates Stoic ideas into his clinical work rather than using stoicism as a standalone practice.

The goal of CBT is to teach patients that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment. I'd argue that if you look at CBT closely, Stoic ‘practices/exercises’, without the rest of the teachings, are just CBT under a different title with all the limitations of CBT.

1 week, 3 days ago

While ancient stoics have given us great wisdom, they can, obviously, be wrong and it is our job to grow on their ideas. Another modern stoic, Tim Lebon, says that the four main principles of stoicism are as follows:
?Stoic mindfulness - paying continual attention to the nature of one's judgements and actions
?Stoic disputation of thought - reminding oneself that an upsetting thought is simply an impression and not what it claims to represent
?Affinity with others - Thinking of oneself as part of a human race, similar to how a hand is part of the whole body
?Stoic premeditation - Anticipating future misfortunes and rehearsing overcoming them.

I think he sums up stoicism incredibly and there is little more than those four attributes required

1 week, 3 days ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

Ummmm.....stoicism in the absence of theism is not consistent.
Epictetus states: "the first thing we must learn is this: That there is a God, and that He provides for the universe, and that it is impossible for a man to conceal from Him, not merely his actions, but even his purposes and his thoughts. Next we must learn what the gods are like, for whatever their character is discovered to be, the man who is going to please and obey them must endeavour as best he can to resemble them. If the deity is faithful, he also must be faithful; if free, he also must be free; if beneficent, he also must be beneficent; if high-minded, he also must be high-minded, and so forth; therefore, in everything he says and does, he must act as an imitator of God."

Even modern Stoics like Mark Vernon must invoke "God" to make the philosophy work. While he doesn't use Zeus, he makes reference to an impersonal God as a necessity.

If you're simply using stoicism for it's end goal of "eudaimonia", then you can't say that Stoicism is the "best lifestyle/practical philosophy" since both Peripateticism and Epicureanism strive for the same end goal and thus all three would be equally "best". If you're looking for virtue based philosophy without the necessity for the Divine, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics discusses the divine, but the divine is not central to the philosophy itself and still addresses the concept of "eudaimonia".

1 week, 3 days ago
JDAWG9693
replied to...

I practice atheistic stoicism. But, while part of stoicism is around morality, one can easily just focus on being content with what one has, as that is the main focus of stoicism

1 week, 3 days ago

Stoicism is very ambiguous when it comes to morality and is necessarily tied to theism. Since Logos, is Divine Nature and not Nature as we use it today, you can't derive moral statements from the central portion of the philosophy without resorting to pantheism. Stoicism also has the same problem as moral relativism since you cannot make moral judgements of others. This is even pointed out in many Stoic texts like Enchiridion 45.

Virtue ethics in general are very problematic in terms of moral universality.

1 week, 3 days ago
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