Tag Archives: stoicism

Death is nothing to fear

By Socrates

Death. The forbidden topic. It is forbidden, I think, because it is feared. You moderns, much like we ancients, do everything you can to avoid death. You alter your bodies to appear younger, you spend a fortune on medical treatments, and your scientists research life extension — as if death is a disease that can be cured. But it cannot be cured, and although I have no real wisdom, I know enough to realize that accepting the inevitability of death is wise. I also believe that the wise person does not fear death.

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Filed under Articles, Socrates' Meditations

Technology, the overstated route to happiness

By Socrates

In my search for wisdom I meet many people. As I converse with them I find that they all seek the same thing: happiness. But when I ask how they intend to achieve their goal of happiness, their answers reveal how elusive it is.

I was recently at a technology market. As I wandered through the exhibit tents, I was struck with what everyone seemed to be selling: happiness. Astonishingly this elusive thing seemed to be available for purchased at a technology market. Now I must be clear, the advertising didn’t use the term “happiness”. However this is clearly what they wanted people to think. I saw displays of people smiling and looking fulfilled, all thanks to their technological aids; iPads, robotic lawnmowers, automated vacuum cleaners, and software to remote control their house.

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Filed under Socratic Dialogues

Pressure to buy product, disarmed through reason

By Socrates

The stoic philosophers have a similar outlook to my own. I remember once walking around the agora, smiling, and boldly declaring “look at all this product that I don’t need”. What was my point? Well, I wanted to remind people that much of the fear and stress we feel results from pressure to own more product. But we don’t need all this product, and I was affirming that point. Here is a syllogism:

P1. (premise) If I realize that I don’t need excess, then I won’t fear missing out on excess.

P2. (premise) I have realized that I don’t need excess

C1. (conclusion) Therefore, I don’t fear missing out on excess (from P1, P2)

Thinking this way is liberating and I recommend it. But premise #2 is crucial. One needs to train oneself to realize that most product on sale is not needed. In doing so, we can extend the argument:

P3.(premise) Product that I don’t need is excess to my need

P4.(premise) I do not need most of the product on sale in the mall

C2. (conclusion) Therefore, most product on sale in the mall is excess to my need (from P3, P4)

P5.(premise) If I don’t fear missing out on excess and if most product on sale in the mall is excess to my need, then I should not feel pressured into buying more product from the mall

C3. (conclusion) Therefore, I should not feel pressured into buying more product (from C1, C2, P5)

This article summarizes some other stoic ideas.

— Socrates

Filed under Articles, Socrates' Meditations