Stoic virtue

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-02-06 - Jonism

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A Stoic understands they don't control the world around them, only how they respond, and that they must always respond with virtue.

Some rambling notes on Stoic philosophy. Let's admit right off that Jon fails at living a life of Stoic virtue. I lack the virtue of moderation almost entirely. But I try. I do see moderation as important and vital. I just.... you know..... And I'm not making a compelling case for Stoicism here, or even trying to define it. This is just me collecting my thoughts. Just some incoherent Stoic tidbits.

The goal of life is living in accordance with nature as a whole.
Nature is a rationally organized and well-ordered system.
Understanding nature and living in accordance comes through reason.
The perfection of reason is virtue. The corruption of reason is vice.

If we are virtuous we do the right thing for humanity including ourselves.
If we cause or forgive harm to ourselves or others we lead a life of vice.
Virtue must benefit the collective, and not solely the individual. "Seeking the very best in ourselves means actively caring for the welfare of other human beings." - Epictetus

Reason leads us to conclude there is mutual interdependence among everything in the universe, that we are all one. Given that singularity, we are only as virtuous ourselves as we are virtuous to the least of us.

Virtue has four types : wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation.
Wisdom is good sense, good calculation, quick-wittedness, discretion, and resourcefulness.
Justice is piety, honesty, equity, and fair dealing.
Courage is endurance, confidence, high-mindedness, cheerfulness, and industriousness.
Moderation is good discipline, seemliness, modesty, and self-control.

It is the nature of humanity that neither emotions, impressions, fate, nor circumstance can rule you once you recognize virtue is the only good and is entirely under your control to cultivate and perform.

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