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Thought I would brooch the topic of Stoicism and Atheism and how they combine for me, for those who are curious as to my recent titular changes.  

8 basic principles of stoicism: 

1.  Nature is rational.  That is, nature can be rationally understood and operates on laws of existence, not all of which are known, but all of which can be known given time.  2.  Law of reason.   The universe is governed by the law of reason. Man can't actually escape its inexorable force, but he can, uniquely, follow the law deliberately.  3.  Virtue, A life lived according to rational nature is virtuous.  4.  Wisdom.   Wisdom is the the root virtue. From it spring the cardinal virtues: insight, bravery, self-control, and justice.  5.  Apathea, since passion is irrational, life should be waged as a battle against it.  Intense feeling should be controlled.  6.  Pleasure is not good, nor is it bad.  It is only acceptable if it doesn't interfere with our quest for virtue.  7.  Evil, poverty, illness, death, these things are not evil.  8.  Duty, virtue should be sought not for pleasure but for duty.  

Some brief basics of stoicism are that stoics do not seek to control that which cannot be controlled.  There are things within our control, but they are almost all internal, i.e. our reactions(or responses, for those who control their reactions), how we feel about things that happen to us, things of this nature.  Things that are not in our control are how others feel about what we do, the weather, and just about anything else.  I am oversimplifying, I am sure.  I forget which stoic founder it was, but he was sitting at the side of the road when someone of importance asked him what he would like for a reward(he had done something which I also forget).  The stoic responds, "please move over, your blocking the sun".  

Faults committed against us cannot touch us.
I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly.
When thou art troubled about anything, thou hast forgotten this [...] that a man's wrongful act is nothing to thee.


Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power. Take away then, when thou choosest, thy opinion, and like a mariner, who has doubled the promontory, thou wilt find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay.

The intellect is independent of the body.  Everything is a matter of judgment.  Every fault is in fact a false judgment, and proceeds from ignorance.  Everything comes from Universal nature and in conformity with it's will.  There is a mutual mixture and implication of everything within everything.  "The whole is more important that it's parts"(Epictetus).  Universal Reason gives form and energy to matter that is docile.  We must always and everywhere distinguish the causal (reason) and the material.  Human reason is a part of universal reason.  

These are some of the very basics of stoicism.  Logic and reason are highly valued, as they seem to be highly valued amongst the Atheist community.  

Most of the quotes used are from Seneca the younger, some are from Marcus Aurelius.  Gene Roddenberry stated that his primary motivation behind Vulcan philosophy was Stoicism, though he exaggerated it by removing emotion from Vulcans.  Later this was rectified, and it was revealed that Vulcans feel even stronger than humans, they simply control it.  

Atheist philosophy for me is summed up with a simple statement.  I don't believe in a divine power, or the supernatural.  

I certainly don't expect everyone(or anyone) to agree with my thoughts on these subjects.  I don't control what any of you think, or feel, as a result of reading these simple statements.  Just thought some people here might appreciate a slight amount of clarification as to what I believe.  I don't control that either, btw.  But I do control that I feel good sharing my thoughts with those who occupy this forum with me :)

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Key   

Thank you. Was an interesting read.

Wish I could be as clear with my belief system as you, but I am as yet to be sure of all of it. :huh:

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Takes a long time, and I am not certain of anything lol, but am glad you had an interesting read at the least.

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mererdog   
13 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Thought I would brooch the topic of Stoicism and Atheism and how they combine for me, for those who are curious as to my recent titular changes.  

8 basic principles of stoicism: 

1.  Nature is rational.  That is, nature can be rationally understood and operates on laws of existence, not all of which are known, but all of which can be known given time.  2.  Law of reason.   The universe is governed by the law of reason. Man can't actually escape its inexorable force, but he can, uniquely, follow the law deliberately. 

Aren't those irrational beliefs? By that I mean isn't it impossible to come to those conclusions without a leap of faith, fallacy, or other form of nonreason?

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17 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Thought I would brooch the topic of Stoicism and Atheism and how they combine for me, for those who are curious as to my recent titular changes.  

8 basic principles of stoicism: 

1.  Nature is rational.  That is, nature can be rationally understood and operates on laws of existence, not all of which are known, but all of which can be known given time.  2.  Law of reason.   The universe is governed by the law of reason. Man can't actually escape its inexorable force, but he can, uniquely, follow the law deliberately.  3.  Virtue, A life lived according to rational nature is virtuous.  4.  Wisdom.   Wisdom is the the root virtue. From it spring the cardinal virtues: insight, bravery, self-control, and justice.  5.  Apathea, since passion is irrational, life should be waged as a battle against it.  Intense feeling should be controlled.  6.  Pleasure is not good, nor is it bad.  It is only acceptable if it doesn't interfere with our quest for virtue.  7.  Evil, poverty, illness, death, these things are not evil.  8.  Duty, virtue should be sought not for pleasure but for duty.  

Some brief basics of stoicism are that stoics do not seek to control that which cannot be controlled.  There are things within our control, but they are almost all internal, i.e. our reactions(or responses, for those who control their reactions), how we feel about things that happen to us, things of this nature.  Things that are not in our control are how others feel about what we do, the weather, and just about anything else.  I am oversimplifying, I am sure.  I forget which stoic founder it was, but he was sitting at the side of the road when someone of importance asked him what he would like for a reward(he had done something which I also forget).  The stoic responds, "please move over, your blocking the sun".  

Faults committed against us cannot touch us.
I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly.
When thou art troubled about anything, thou hast forgotten this [...] that a man's wrongful act is nothing to thee.


Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power. Take away then, when thou choosest, thy opinion, and like a mariner, who has doubled the promontory, thou wilt find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay.

The intellect is independent of the body.  Everything is a matter of judgment.  Every fault is in fact a false judgment, and proceeds from ignorance.  Everything comes from Universal nature and in conformity with it's will.  There is a mutual mixture and implication of everything within everything.  "The whole is more important that it's parts"(Epictetus).  Universal Reason gives form and energy to matter that is docile.  We must always and everywhere distinguish the causal (reason) and the material.  Human reason is a part of universal reason.  

These are some of the very basics of stoicism.  Logic and reason are highly valued, as they seem to be highly valued amongst the Atheist community.  

Most of the quotes used are from Seneca the younger, some are from Marcus Aurelius.  Gene Roddenberry stated that his primary motivation behind Vulcan philosophy was Stoicism, though he exaggerated it by removing emotion from Vulcans.  Later this was rectified, and it was revealed that Vulcans feel even stronger than humans, they simply control it.  

Atheist philosophy for me is summed up with a simple statement.  I don't believe in a divine power, or the supernatural.  

I certainly don't expect everyone(or anyone) to agree with my thoughts on these subjects.  I don't control what any of you think, or feel, as a result of reading these simple statements.  Just thought some people here might appreciate a slight amount of clarification as to what I believe.  I don't control that either, btw.  But I do control that I feel good sharing my thoughts with those who occupy this forum with me :)

Your statement on Atheism is good.  I suggest a small add on.  "Pending further proof."

As Atheists, we lack faith because persuasive evidence is not available.  Should such evidence become available, we would be willing to reconsider.

It is the way of rational thinking.  We weigh the available evidence.

:mellow:

 

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8 hours ago, mererdog said:

Aren't those irrational beliefs? By that I mean isn't it impossible to come to those conclusions without a leap of faith, fallacy, or other form of nonreason?

I do not see that as the case.  A person can observe the world and garner that it relies upon certain rules to function, in my opinion.  Can you clarify how you believe it relies upon a leap of faith, fallacy, or other form of nonreason, or if you believe that?

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19 hours ago, Key said:

Thank you. Was an interesting read.

Wish I could be as clear with my belief system as you, but I am as yet to be sure of all of it. :huh:

I've dealt with that problem as well.  I can empathize.

Edited by scottedward

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Dan56   
On 6/13/2016 at 5:09 PM, cuchulain said:

Faults committed against us cannot touch us.

I can neither be injured by any of them,

 

How so? What if some maniac is smashing your face in? That's certainly a fault that can 'touch' you, and you can  surely be injured by it.  I usually don't comment on threads like this, but the above just seemed like denial since faults committed against you can literally hurt you.

 

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mererdog   
19 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I do not see that as the case.  A person can observe the world and garner that it relies upon certain rules to function, in my opinion.  Can you clarify how you believe it relies upon a leap of faith, fallacy, or other form of nonreason, or if you believe that?

Its more a challenge than a belief. If you can come to the conclusion using reason alone, pretend I'm your math teacher and show your work. 

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10 hours ago, Dan56 said:

How so? What if some maniac is smashing your face in? That's certainly a fault that can 'touch' you, and you can  surely be injured by it.  I usually don't comment on threads like this, but the above just seemed like denial since faults committed against you can literally hurt you.

 

It's been suggested at times that when a violent person physically attacks another, I believe karmic law says that the attacker's inner-self would suffer the worst damage.  Perhaps cuchulain is referring to something similar?

 

Edited by scottedward

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Dan56   
44 minutes ago, scottedward said:

It's been suggested at times that when a violent person physically attacks another, I believe karmic law says that the attacker's inner-self would suffer the worst damage.  Perhaps cuchulain is referring to something similar?

 

I see... But that presumes the attacker decides he was wrong, has a conscious, and is capable of feeling guilt.  I'm guessing that in many cases, an attackers inner-self would be in a celebratory mood and not conflicted in the least :).  There's similar bible verse;  "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul" (Matthew 10:28).

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14 hours ago, Dan56 said:

How so? What if some maniac is smashing your face in? That's certainly a fault that can 'touch' you, and you can  surely be injured by it.  I usually don't comment on threads like this, but the above just seemed like denial since faults committed against you can literally hurt you.

 

It was a partial quote by Marcus Aurelius, I will have to look up the context.  Ugh, context... :)  But I believe he was referring to mental faults.  I will have to double check though, and that might take a few days, as I forget which part of the book it was in.  

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4 hours ago, mererdog said:

Its more a challenge than a belief. If you can come to the conclusion using reason alone, pretend I'm your math teacher and show your work. 

Observation exists.  Existence exists.  If existence did not exist, the debate would be pointless, and nothing could be Known, with a capital K.  On the premise that observation exists and existence exists, we can observe the world in which we live and come to an understanding of the rules by which the world operates.  Certainly there have been observed contingencies where our observations fail us, or the rules by which the universe works are suspended for special cases, but in general the universe is understandable through pure observation and the use of logical reasoning.  Through use of specific manners of observation and testing, which some call the scientific theory, we can share the findings we reach with others and share the findings of others, coming to a greater understanding of how the universe works than one person could typically garner in their own life time.  This accumulative knowledge to date shows that the universe works on certain principles, such as sound moving at specific speeds and in specific manners, or people having generally the same anatomy.  This is my conclusions as to the veracity of existence and our ability to observe and come to an understanding of existence in general.  

I am uncertain as to which conclusion you wish me to demonstrate using reason alone, so I would ask for clarification, if there is a specific conclusion you wish to discuss.  The only part I can see that you might be asking me to demonstrate otherwise would be about virtue, but since I am not you and have observed on many occasions that what I guess you are getting at and what you are actually getting at are often different, I prefer to ask and find out from you.

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3 hours ago, Dan56 said:

I see... But that presumes the attacker decides he was wrong, has a conscious, and is capable of feeling guilt.  I'm guessing that in many cases, an attackers inner-self would be in a celebratory mood and not conflicted in the least :).  There's similar bible verse;  "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul" (Matthew 10:28).

In so far as we exist, it is possible to injure me only in a temporary manner.  We all die, and this is an inevitability.  Any injury done to me is of a temporary nature at best, for I will either get better and die, or stay injured and die.  Either way, the end result is death for all of us.  So for someone to bash my face in, as it were, would only be speeding things along, and cannot alter the end result of death regardless.

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Dan56   
20 hours ago, cuchulain said:

In so far as we exist, it is possible to injure me only in a temporary manner.  We all die, and this is an inevitability.  Any injury done to me is of a temporary nature at best, for I will either get better and die, or stay injured and die.  Either way, the end result is death for all of us.  So for someone to bash my face in, as it were, would only be speeding things along, and cannot alter the end result of death regardless.

That belief doesn't appeal to me at all.  Yes we all physically die, but someone taking the liberty to speed that process up means that they can touch you and alter your life, or make it miserable. Just because we all ultimately share a common fate, doesn't mean that a person with a desire to expedite your death doesn't matter.. Sounds like extreme pacifism, i.e;   Oh well, I'm going to die someday anyhow, so just shoot me now :)

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mererdog   
22 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I am uncertain as to which conclusion you wish me to demonstrate using reason alone, so I would ask for clarification, if there is a specific conclusion you wish to discuss.  

"Nature is rational.  That is, nature can be rattionally understood and operates on laws of , not all of which are known, but all of which can be known given time.  2.  Law of reason.   The universe is governed by the law of reason. Man can't actually escape its inexorable force, but he can, uniquely, follow the law . "

Italics and underlining added to highlight important points. Since you brought up observation, here is a simple thought experiment you can try. Imagine a standard six sided die. Now, how many times in a row can it roll six before you are completely convinced it is not a fair die? And, based on laws of probability, what is the maximum number of times in a row a fair six-sided die can roll six?

Edited by mererdog

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mererdog   
22 hours ago, cuchulain said:

In so far as we exist, it is possible to injure me only in a temporary manner.  We all die, and this is an inevitability.  Any injury done to me is of a temporary nature at best, for I will either get better and die, or stay injured and die.  Either way, the end result is death for all of us.  So for someone to bash my face in, as it were, would only be speeding things along, and cannot alter the end result of death regardless.

That is true, assuming that the physical is all there is to you. What reason do you have to assume that?

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mererdog   

And in the interest of full disclosure, Cuchulain, epistemology is a hobby of mine, and I tend to lean towards the nihilistic, so I find this stuff fascinating... :)

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

"Nature is rational.  That is, nature can be rattionally understood and operates on laws of , not all of which are known, but all of which can be known given time.  2.  Law of reason.   The universe is governed by the law of reason. Man can't actually escape its inexorable force, but he can, uniquely, follow the law . "

Italics and underlining added to highlight important points. Since you brought up observation, here is a simple thought experiment you can try. Imagine a standard six sided die. Now, how many times in a row can it roll six before you are completely convinced it is not a fair die? And, based on laws of probability, what is the maximum number of times in a row a fair six-sided die can roll six?

All of which can be known given time.  I believe that all the laws of nature are observable, and thus can be known.  It may take specialized tools or circumstance to observe said laws, which may not have been developed yet, which may take time to develop.  

Man can't actually escape its inexorable force...I do not see it as possible to escape the laws of nature, which we are capable of reasoning out.  I could be wrong, but obviously if I thought I were wrong I wouldn't type it, eh?  Man is perfectly capable of going with the flow of natural law, however.  We can observe natural law, determine how things work, and then order our lives to flow with that natural law instead of trying to struggle against it.  

Observation and the six sided die.  I don't know all the laws of probability, so I cannot speculate using knowledge I do not currently have.  However, answering the question you pose, I would think(not be completely certain) that the die was loaded after five or six rolls, probably.  I have no idea the maximum number of times in a row a fair six sided die can roll six, but I would guess infinitely.  It is possible, even if the chance of it doing so is inordinately small, otherwise it would not have odds at all.  Just my thought about it, of course.  So from that perspective, I could pick up a die, have it roll 6 let's say 20 times in a row, and believe it to be loaded, but still be incorrect.  I assume that is the point you are trying to reach?  That I could still be wrong?  I fully acknowledge my ability to be in error(and for the record, I do not claim to have mastered the stoic system, merely be an adherent to SOME of it's principles).  

For instance, the stoics believe typically in something called Logos, which is basically the divine as they see it, and I do not.

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