Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Friday, February 28, 2003

Stations of the Beltway - Zhurnal Wiki.

" carpoolmate Charlie had a stoical way to handle the inevitable traffic jams."

From chapter four of God: A guide for the perplexed by Keith Ward (131-32), "The God of the Philosophers."

"Most philosophers, whether they believe in God or not, think that everything in the universe is caused. So if we knew the laws of physics or the will of God completely, we would see that things just have to be the way they are. There are no alternatives. But they also think that human beings are properly held responsible for their actions, at least sometimes, and therefore that they are sometimes free to do otherwise. So they have the problem of seeing how somebody can be free to do otherwise, when there is no alternative to what he or she does.

"Most philosophers, and not just Augustine, have thought you have to believe both of these things, that there are no alternatives to what [132] happens, and that people are sometimes free to do otherwise. This is called compatibilism. Augustine believed it. Aquinas believed it. Calvin believed it. It means that causal determination by the laws of physics or by the will of God is compatible with human freedom and responsibility.

"The opposite of compatibilism is libertarianism. This is not, as some of my American colleagues think, the right to own a sub-machine gun or to live on Venice Beach with a preferred other of your choice. It is the view that a truly free act cannot be wholly determined by any prior state or being or law of nature. A free act might be determined in many ways, but part of it is due to a really new decision of the agent, which is unpredictable in principle from any law. Even God could not predict it, since part of the act is wholly in the power of the agent. Most compatibilists pretend that they do not understand what this means. They say that such an act would simply be random, and therefore irrational. Whatever you think about this, it is a fact that most philosophers throughout history have been compatibilists, and have thought that predictability or determinism does not detract from any freedom that is worth having."

The Power of Facing - Atlantic Unbound.

"Christopher Hitchens, the author of Why Orwell Matters, depicts George Orwell as a nonconformist who resolutely faced up to unpleasant truths."

"He realized that you could set out to head for rock bottom and you'd find it strangely hard to do. That's a realization that a lot of Stoics, or stoic individuals, have made. When the worst—what you most dreaded—has occurred, then you can gain strength from the realization that maybe it's not so bad. Maybe you can survive and endure."

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Stoic Attitudes Toward Death By Peter Roots - Stoic Voice Journal

"The determining factors in the Stoic understanding of death were, inevitably, its cosmology and its theory of man. The Cosmos is an organic whole - a single intelligent and rational living being. This single being is unchanging, sempiternal, but all of its parts are constantly undergoing change."

Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip
- Innocents Abroad [via Pejman Pundit].

Democrats criticize the President's demeanor.

Dawdling Diplomacy Emboldens Terrorists - Forward.

"At this stage of history, it has fallen to the United States to maintain the order of world civilization. According to Henry Kissinger's classic work 'Diplomacy,' such leadership is consistent with the rules of international relations. In every century in the modern era, Kissinger claims, one nation has emerged to put its stamp on world statecraft. 'Almost as if according to some natural law,' he writes, 'in every century there seems to emerge a country with the power, the will, and the intellectual and moral impetus to shape the entire international system in accordance with its own values.' "

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Virtue of the week: Service - Saipan Tribune.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Review: A. A. Long, Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life
by William Stephens

"Chapter Six is splendid. From the perspective of orthodox Stoicism, what makes E's theology most distinctive, L suggests, is how it serves as the explicit foundation for his moral psychology, and its warmly and urgently personalist tone. L explains how Stoic philosophers could accommodate gods in the plural since the Stoic divinity is ubiquitous, how E's divinity is the maker of the best of all possible worlds, and how E gives no attention to theodicy since all badness pertains solely to human deficiencies."

Saturday, February 22, 2003

America today: Crowd talks about life in global society
- The Sun News.

"Franken, plus Nils Rauhut, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, and Nelljean Rice, assistant professor of English, put forth the idea that patriotism could be split into a sort of trilogy including cosmopolitanism and moderate or strong patriotism, with each faculty member representing a viewpoint, respectfully."

Bibby is a natural to be on USA team - KnoxNews.

"Motivated almost exclusively by the USA's sixth-place finish in the 2002 world championships at Conseco Fieldhouse, and admittedly alarmed at the degree of griping and discontent, USAB officials are boldly, if cautiously, cobbling together an unselfish assemblage that is both capable and eager to compete internationally. The goal is to identify a core group of players whose skills and personalities complement each other, who will pledge allegiance for consecutive summers, and who are more interested in competing for their country than (a) scoring more points or (b) playing more minutes than their teammates."

Stoic Iraqi regime braces for war, residents start drills

"Iraqis are stoically bracing for an armed confrontation with the United States, carrying out public safety and defense drills and stocking up supplies to help them survive what could be a punishing US military onslaught."

Friday, February 21, 2003

America is not now, and never was, a legally 'Christian' nation - The Free Lance-Star.

"Contrary to the biblical concept of "rule by divine authority," [the Declaration of Independence] bases its authority on the idea that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Its use of terms like "Nature's God," "Creator," and "Divine Providence" does not endorse Christianity."

EDUCATION: Minnesota House repeals Profile
of Learning graduation standards
- Pioneer Press.

"Natural law is the term given principles believed to be widely embraced and derived from nature rather than society. Kielkucki said beliefs about natural law influenced the makers of the Declaration of Independence and both the U.S. and Minnesota constitutions."

Vernacularization in cultures originates from informed choices about language, literature - The University of Chicago Chronicle.

"Cosmopolitanism has become a watchword for both good and ill. While it seems to stand for enlightened tolerance of and interest in diverse cultures, it may simultaneously stand for their eradication." - Editorial: Terror fiasco / Green officialdom uses orange to paint panic

"Sadly, and for whatever reason, the nation is a long way from the stoic spirit of Valley Forge. The home of the brave has become the land of the Nervous Nellies. Chicken Littles rule our roost, and Mr. Ridge's comments sent them squawking."

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The Straits Times - Stand still and seize the day - FEB 18, 2003

"In these turbulent times, it is hard not to worry. But we should learn to roll with the punches and appreciate the small things in life."

Marine Corps News> Marine chooses country, family--Reservists are pulled from homes, called to arms for U.S. global war on terrorism

"It's a tear between two responsibilities," Vaughn explained. "It's either the greater good or the personal responsibility. It's almost impossible to have both, and sometimes a sacrifice has to be made. Fortunately for myself, it's only a year." - Wimpy or stoic? Gene helps determine how much you hurt - Feb. 20, 2003

"A quarter of the U.S. population carries the "stoic" gene variation while another quarter has the gene variant that makes them super-sensitive to pain, Zubieta estimates."

This is my Mind Map Outline of Stoicism.