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FounDit
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2020 12:48:06 PM

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Daemon wrote:
Man's desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)


This is how all humans live. It's what I called the Desire for Approval, and the Fear of the Pain of Rejection when I posted it some time ago in the Philosophy section. He worded it as, "... [the] desire for the approval of his fellows [and] his dread of their censure...".

I disagree with him on this point, however. Quote: "It will force him to place the good of society before his own." End quote.

Rather, it is the recognition of this force that allows him to see what is the good for society, because he can judge with an objective eye rather than through the influence of fear of his fellow citizens.

Following the herd, when done to excess out of fear of censure can, and throughout history, has, led to some terrible outcomes. Therefore, it is my opinion that it would be advantageous to all of us, as many as may find it possible, to adopt the stoics attitude of unemotional examination before accepting as beneficial, many of our current social trends.


vipin viswanathan
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:30:10 AM

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it is natural for anybody to seek approval and rejection is so painful.

We are made that way. But, we should be able to distinguish good from evil. And, we should avoid evil to get approval. Only evil people would approve an evil deed.

What does stoic philosophy teach on this?
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3:50:46 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,947
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vipin viswanathan wrote:
it is natural for anybody to seek approval and rejection is so painful.

We are made that way. But, we should be able to distinguish good from evil. And, we should avoid evil to get approval. Only evil people would approve an evil deed.

What does stoic philosophy teach on this?

I am very much an admirer of Stoicism, and attempt to practice its philosophy as much as I possibly can.

There is the Original Stoicism, and Modern Stoicism, which is really just an attempt to regain the best of the ancient philosophy.

Concerning good and evil, Stoicism looks at both as being value neutral in the sense that you do not allow either one to control your behavior. You evaluate and choose the best course of action based on logic and reason rather than emotion. Perhaps a quote from Wikipedia will explain it better than I can.

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy which was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC. Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using one's mind to understand the world and to do one's part in nature's plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

The Stoics are especially known for teaching that "virtue is the only good" for human beings, and that external things—such as health, wealth, and pleasure—are not good or bad in themselves (adiaphora), but have value as "material for virtue to act upon". Alongside Aristotelian ethics, the Stoic tradition forms one of the major founding approaches to Western virtue ethics.[1] The Stoics also held that certain destructive emotions resulted from errors of judgment, and they believed people should aim to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is "in accordance with nature". Because of this, the Stoics thought the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said, but how a person behaved.[2] To live a good life, one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they thought everything was rooted in nature.

Many Stoics—such as Seneca and Epictetus—emphasized that because "virtue is sufficient for happiness", a sage would be emotionally resilient to misfortune. This belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase "stoic calm", though the phrase does not include the "radical ethical" Stoic views that only a sage can be considered truly free, and that all moral corruptions are equally vicious.[3]

Stoicism flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD, and among its adherents was Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It experienced a decline after Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century AD. Since then it has seen revivals, notably in the Renaissance (Neostoicism) and in the contemporary era (modern Stoicism).[4]
[All Emphasis is mine]

Modern Stoicism is the inspiration for much of modern psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). "The original cognitive therapy treatment manual for depression by Aaron T. Beck et al. states, "The philosophical origins of cognitive therapy can be traced back to the Stoic philosophers".[7] A well-known quotation from Enchiridion of Epictetus was taught to most clients during the initial session of traditional REBT by Ellis and his followers: "It's not the events that upset us, but our judgments about the events." [My Emphasis]

It is for this reason, I maintain that we don't have emotions per se, but rather reactions to, and judgments of, events that occur both to and around us. We can even stimulate emotional reactions simply by our thinking. So emotions are not things we possess, but rather, expressions of our judgements concerning our own thoughts and events around us.

A stoic attempts to divorce his emotions from the event, and analyze it logically, whereas most people judge the event based on past pleasurable or painful experiences and the habitual response they have developed over the years. Rarely do they stop to think, analyze, or evaluate why they react as they do.

Being ruled by emotional reactions is why so much in our societies results in negative outcomes which we then must correct at some point, or continue to suffer the effects.

This is my brief answer to your question. I hope you find it helpful.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2020 11:01:29 AM

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And being ruled by emotional reactions is what we are seeing on our TV's every day. Logic and reason has been thrown to the wind.

I saw a film clip yesterday of a protester (abuser) demanding a young white woman get on her knees and apologize for her race - and she did.

Another clip from Bethesda, Maryland showed a whole crowd of white people lying prostrate and reciting apologies before "demonstrators" (abusers) who demanded it of them.

The irony was lost on both of them that the one who made the demands, and the ones made subservient, were behaving in exactly the same manner as the slave owners and victims the "demonstrators" (abusers) condemn.

Apparently, there are times when abusing a fellow human being really is okay. So I really don't know why they are complaining. Once you feel powerful enough to humiliate and abuse another person, it's a short step to killing them (as some of them have done). Why not if such power makes you feel good about yourself, as these (abusers) "demonstrators" evidence?

That's why it's rather curious to see people and our so-called "leaders" (mostly Democrat) joining with and making apologies for these abusers. Is that the kind of "leadership" most of us want? I think not.

Romany
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020 3:59:26 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Vipin,

I'm very much afraid that the above interpretation of the philosophy of Stoicism is one I don't recognise - either in its Greek genesis, or as it is taught today.

However, I don't want to seem to be "correcting" what another poster believes Stoicism to be.

I began studying Comparative Religion & Philosophy as a teenager of 15 and have taught Introductory courses at Tertiary level which means my work is peer-reviewed. So I'm not just disagreeing on the basis of a few Internet articles.

I suggest that you go to a reputable Academic website - (not Wikipedia) - and see what they have to say. A neutral, objective source. That way, you won't be influenced by other people's opinions or personal philosophies and can see for yourselfDancing Dancing

(In case you're wondering how to know for sure a site IS reputable here's a pretty comprehensive overview of Stoicism - even though it's quite long. Understandably, it could be far too long to read for the answer to a casual question...especially in English!

But even if you do no more than read the headings and and the first couple of sentences from each, it will give you a factual and provable idea of what Stoicism is, and how it would answer the question you posed. And the source is about as reliable as you'll get - Stamford University! https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/


Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:27:54 AM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Thank you Romany for the link. I shall read the whole thing when I get a minute. Perhaps in the car today if I put it on “my reading list” it will download so I can read with no WiFi.

Stay well everyone!
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 11:14:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,947
Neurons: 66,568
And to read what Modern Stoicism has to say, you can read about it here:

https://modernstoicism.com/
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:32:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 9,260
Neurons: 52,975
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Thank you FD. I shall check it out.
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