Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

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."


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