Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Whatever happens is part of the divine plan

> > Keith: "Yes, as I understand it, the Stoic believes that
> whatever happens is part of the divine plan, and that
> everything that happens is meant to happen in order to
> contribute to the fulfilment of that plan."
> Interesting. It is pretty much impossible to argue
> against this, because it is such a tautological
> perspective. But because of this, it makes it seem
> rather meaningless also. What is the practical
> difference between a plan that is what happens, no matter
> what happens; and no plan at all?

Monday, December 22, 2003

Two ancient philosophies are re-emerging at the present time.

"Dieter Kraft:

"Stoa und Gnosis - Anpassung und Verweigerung. Typologische Aspekte zweier antiker Ideologien im Zeitalter der griechisch-römischen Globalisierung

"Globalisation is not only an imperialistic term of the present time. We know the process of globalisation in history. Two periods are well-known: Hellenism and the Roman Empire. Both epochs are accompanied by philosophies and religions which try to give a special answer to the global challenges of existence and society. Two types are significant for different ideological arguments: Stoicism and Gnosticism. Stoicism affirms the new development and gives a universal philosophic platform for adaptation. Gnosticism refuses recognising new conditions and condemns the world with its divine rulers. Stoicism is looking for harmony, Gnosticism is searching a radical conflict. Two types of ideology interesting in history and the present."

And from: Science, Politics and Gnosticism - This is an outline of Science, Politics and Gnosticism by Eric Voegelin, published in 1968, containing essays from 1959 and 1960.

"The gnostic attitude:

1. dissatisfaction
2. belief that the world is poorly organized (as opposed to believing that the world is good but that human beings are inadequate).
3. belief that salvation from the evil of the world is possible
4. belief that therefore the order of being will have to be changed (as opposed to the Christian belief that the world will remain as is and salvation is in grace through death)
5. belief that changing the order of being is within human ability
6. belief that the task is to seek out the method of altering reality. The gnostic is the prophet proclaiming this knowledge."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Online NewsHour: A Man in Full- December 11, 1998

"ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: I found in my reading of "A Man in Full" - I found it to be a novel about morality in America, about virtue. Is that what you want people to take away from it?

"TOM WOLFE: You know, I didn't think about this as a novel about virtue, but that's what it became. That - I would never even instinctively have - write a novel that has a particular message from the outset. To me, novels are a trip of discovery, and you discover things that you don't know and you assume that many of your readers don't know, and you try to bring them to life on the page. But when I introduced the subject of stoicism in this book, suddenly, it became a tale of morality. I had this young man, Conrad Hensley, who was out of work and through mishaps was in Oakland. His car is towed, and he eventually gets into a fight with somebody at the pound, the private car pound where these cars are taken, and he ends up in jail. He really has no one to turn to. His wife has given up on him; his parents are worthless, ex-hippies. He has nothing; he has nobody. And, by mistake, he's sent this book about the stoics, and he reads these lines from Epictetus and learns that Epictetus, himself, had been sold as a slave when he was 10 years old to a Roman - he was Greek, himself - he was sold to a Roman military officer."

Monday, December 15, 2003

Argument on spandrels/pendentives- Evolutionary Psychology.

"Alcock persuasively argues that one animating motive in Gould=s campaign against adaptation is his commitment to Marxist ideology. From a Marxist perspective, to affirm adaptive design is to acknowledge that the existing structure of social and political power is constrained in some way by the nature of things, and to acknowledge that much is to come too close, the Marxist feels, to justifying the existing social order. Marxist utopianism requires that human beings not be constrained by evolved motives; “human nature@ is to consist in little more than a capacity for culture that entails infinite flexibility. It is certainly the case that from the very beginning Gould=s ideological career has been punctuated repeatedly by attacks on human sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, and it seems more than probable that this social and political animus has helped to shape his formulations of general evolutionary theory, even when that theory directly concerns only insects, snails, pandas, flamingoes, horses, dinosaurs, and Cambrian phyla, not human beings."

See Modern Darwinism and the Pseudo-revolutions of Stephen Jay Gould also by Joseph Carroll [Membership in Yahoo Group: Evolutionary Psychology is required].

Ichazo, Gurdjieff & the Greek Schools - The Enneagram Institute Discussion Board.

Oscar Ichazo, the inventor of the Enneagram of personality, completely misrepresented Stoicism.

"Originally posted by marie

"I don't see Plato as having quite reached beyond his type One fixation here. By that, I mean, that as I see him, Plato, while aware of the tripartite division, and theoretically arguing for balance, was actually describing an individual in which will was used to impose order on the emotions and instincts in service of an abstract ideal. Gurdjieff, being an Eight, was immune to this sort of thinking.


"(Again, this is keeping with Plato's type One fixation as far as I am concerned. Much of this tendency clings to Stoicism.)


"It's a mistake to associate the idea of the tripartite soul with Stoicism.

""these ideas appear later in the stoic doctrine of the 3-centered man...[watcherr]"

"Posidonius was the only Stoic of note who adopted the Stoically unorthodox Platonic psychology with its tripartite soul. Monistic psychology was the innovation (among the Greeks) of the Stoics and was created in part as a reaction to Plato's ideas. This monistic psychology is a crucial part of the rationalistic Stoic system and really sets it apart from any psychology like Plato's "in which will [is] used to impose order on the emotions and instincts."

"It's a common (probably the most common) misunderstanding of Stoicism that Stoics suppress emotions and instincts by will power. This is neither the teaching nor practice of Stoicism. In fact, Stoics teach and practice a way completely opposite to this. Instead of suppressing or controlling passions with the will, the Stoic tries to rationally recognize the false value judgments which are, or result in, passions. Instead of suppressing or controlling intense emotions the Stoic chooses to not even have them.

"If you are interested in knowing more about the Stoic method for choosing not to have passions, Keith Seddon's short essay "The Stoics on why we should strive to be free of the passions" is a good place to start."

Monday, December 08, 2003

Frequently Asked Questions about creationism and evolution

"Q. What is the purpose of the Usenet

"A. The purpose of the newsgroup is to provide
a forum for discussion of issues related to biological and
physical origins. See the Newsgroup