(urth) Chinese Curses And Happiness

Chris 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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