How does one call bullshit on some of these statements? This is written from Christian perspective, not a stoic one. The author does not understand Stoicism. Where does one start? I will start with this statement toward the end, because it demonstrates miss-understanding of one of the basic concepts. The words are but dull pointers to the underlying concepts.
Stoic- 1. Life according to nature. 2. Some things are up to us, some are not. 3. We must bring our desires into line with what happens... acceptance of what is, aka, live in the present moment. 4, We are social animals, and our obligation is to flourish as a society. We need to use reason to do this. 5 We do not react to the object or event, but our thoughts about the event.
It is all about what we define as god. To some of the stoics, god was nature: winter summer animals plants too little too much moon sun stars storms wind sunshine rain birth death, we all see each piece differently. To other stoics, god was the highest function of our soul, reason, logic. To others something else that did not concern itself with humanity, or non-existent concept that some held as a real object (a delusion).
When we compare two philosophies, we need to look at the major concepts first, not the minor ones, like what is god, and death.
The article says "For the Stoics, dependence on the world was to be replaced by dependence on oneself—”The wise person,” taught Seneca, “is self-sufficient.” Paul, in contrast, taught that Christians are profoundly dependent on God (FSB)."
Ourselves is all that we have. We are profoundly dependent on ourselves. Some thing are up to us, some are not. Anything not up to us we need to accept. That which is up to us, we can control, and can be self-sufficient in. We can only rely on ourselves, so we had better be able to handle any thought or impression that comes along. We do not react to the object or event, but our thoughts about the event. If something is up to us, no need of a god, it is up to us, we can change it. It is about the division of responsibility between us and others or the world. Stoic self-sufficient is not about growing our own food, closes, creating our own shelter, however we, at one time would have to have learned a trade or skill to sell for our livelihood. It is not about being a nomadic people. Stoic self sufficiency is about separating our responsibility from those around us and taking care of our responsibility. It is about life as nature intended. We are just animals that have the capacity to reason. It is bringing ourselves to be OK with death or what ever happens, and that is going to happen whether we like it or not. The dog tied to the wagon, the dog is obligated to follow. He may do it willingly or not, but he is forced to follow. So for our own flow in life, we need to aline our will to "that which is about to happen".
Christianity is one more death denigrating religion. An after life is at best a concept, likely untrue. If you wish to believe that, the prime directive applies. We are profoundly dependent on what happens in the world around us, not god. Enough.
|Clearwater river at ? Bailey's Chute|