(urth) Chinese Curses And Happiness
rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 15 13:29:13 PDT 2007
> > It depends, I guess. The good life that Stoics (and the ancients in
> > general) were after isn't exactly equivalent to our concept of
> > but that's probably about the closest fit you're going to get. For a
> > it's ok to be happy,
>As long as you are happy about the right things, that is, because the
>things under your control (will, desire, aversion, movement towards and
>away from an object) conform to virtue, that you do not desire what does
>not belong to you.
>Hmm. I apologize, but it's been my experience that the things described
>here are often least under our control, anyone else? Will--I've spent my
>entire life attempting to discipline this unruly and often lazy aspect of
>own self. It definitely aint under my control, nor, when dug into, under a
>preponderance of most people's is their own.
>Not being 17 anymore, I can occasionally control my desire; however the
>here would be a great deal less if my my desire for food were also a great
>deal less, for example.
>Aversion? While there are definitely people who grow used to working in a
>sulfur mine, I have never met anyone who could choose to not be adverse to
>doing so. The other virtues listed appear to be variations on the base
It sounds like you may be a hopeless case for the stoics :P
The question is, do you act with rational deliberation? Whether or not a
stranger insults you, for example, is not under your control. What *is*
under your control is how you react to it, and what you do as a result. If
you don't have control over that, then you don't have control over anything.
But generally speaking I have little patience for any point of view that
says we're sort of chemical robots, acting out inclinations that are
pre-coded and beyond our control. Whether or not that might be true on one
level is beside the point; at the rational level, this just serves as an
excuse to avoid critical reflection and write off any responsibility for the
way one is.
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