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Re: Stoic techniques

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  • pewans2
    Robin I recommend this advice from Seneca: A man in the grip of difficulties should fight them vigorously. This advice is especially valuable given the
    Message 1 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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      Robin

      I recommend this advice from Seneca:

      "A man in the grip of difficulties should fight them vigorously."

      This advice is especially valuable given the popular perception that a
      Stoic is one who merely endures setbacks bravely.

      Yours

      Paul
    • Paul
      ... Hello Matt, I like to think I am making progress in the stoic sense, but I still have a long way to go. Stoicism has brought me more peace of mind, I think
      Message 2 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "mattomoran" <mattomoran@...> wrote:
        > Of the practicing stoics on this forum, how has stoicism changed your
        > life?

        Hello Matt,

        I like to think I am making progress in the stoic sense, but I still
        have a long way to go. Stoicism has brought me more peace of mind, I
        think because it is a logically consistent philosophy and it holds up
        well under scrutiny and in the practical usage.

        I have not been really angry for several years now, and I attribute
        this partly to the recognition that other people act according to what
        seems right to them, as well as the understanding that the stoic will
        endure what fate brings. As Epictetus says, we must watch ourselves
        like a thief in waiting to detect the beginnings of any passion.

        I am also more forgiving of other people, understanding now that I
        must focus on improving my faculty of judgement and not on improving
        others. I have found the fundamental distinction of what is and is not
        up to us and the idea of acting with reservation particularly useful
        in dealing with what fate brings.

        I do see a downside, however, and that is a tendency in myself to be
        too resigned to things, and not to pursue as vigourously as I might
        otherwise have done the things I have set as goals.

        I take this opportunity to recognise and thank Keith Seddon for his
        advice and guidance, in his Stoicism courses, his book and his emails
        on this forum.

        Regards,

        Paul
      • --Michael
        I m still catching up. Backlogged about 175 messages or so. Rarely is a philosophical forum this active. I ve had a hard time coming to grips with Stoicsm.
        Message 3 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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          I'm still catching up. Backlogged about 175 messages or so.
          Rarely is a philosophical forum this active.

          I've had a hard time coming to grips with Stoicsm. It's the
          most personally challenging philosophy I've ever encountered.


          Stoicism has put a different perspective on my sense of
          values. But, surprisingly, it resembles teachings on virtue
          and morality that I recall from my religious upbringing.

          I combine Stoic perspective with daily practice of insight
          meditation (a form of Buddhist vipassana). They are
          complementary.

          Incidentally, Keith Seddon in his book on Epictetus mentions
          the term "Stoic mindfulness." That jibes.

          I've read that some Buddhists reach a plateau in their
          meditation practice. One solution is to go on retreat to
          renew and re-focus their practice. Works for some.

          Hard to say about Stoic practice, though, as it's not a
          method of contemplation. Nor are there Stoic teachers to
          consult in person.

          All I could say is to keep learning from experience. There
          are plenty of opportunities in daily life to cast in a Stoic
          perspective.


          --Michael


          --- mattomoran <mattomoran@...> wrote:

          >
          > I attached this to the end of a previous post, but I had
          > too many questions in there.
          >
          > Of the practicing stoics on this forum, how has stoicism
          changed your life? How long did the practice take to
          benefit? Of any of you who have reached a plateau where you
          weren't without internal conflict, how did you kick yourself
          off the plateau and rise above it? I would imagine reaching
          a plateau in this discipline can happen, especially with only
          books and without live a model around like Buddhists stress.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Matt


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        • jan.garrett
          Paul, Having read most of the extant Seneca texts, I cannot offhand recall the location of this sentence. We need the context (and therefore the text from
          Message 4 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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            Paul,
             
            Having read most of the extant Seneca texts, I cannot offhand recall the location of this sentence. We need the context (and therefore the text from which it comes) to understand it. It is not clear what it means on its face. The sentence is obviously metaphorical, since one typically fights an embodied opponent of some type, e.g., another person, an opposing army, etc. If the point is that one should actively and intentionally and resolutely deal with the challenges that one faces in the form of impressions that might be false, then it is an important piece of advice. But there is an entire art devoted to the proper use of impressions.
             
            J
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: pewans2
            Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 6:23 AM
            Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoic techniques

            Robin

            I recommend this advice from Seneca:

            "A man in the grip of difficulties should fight them vigorously."

            This advice is especially valuable given the popular perception that a
            Stoic is one who merely endures setbacks bravely.

            Yours

            Paul




          • --Michael
            Here, here! Jan, too. Academics that speak ordinary English. Fancy that. As well as all the other contributors, little time though I may have to devote to
            Message 5 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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              Here, here!

              Jan, too.

              Academics that speak ordinary English. Fancy that. <G>

              As well as all the other contributors, little time though I
              may have to devote to their messages.


              --Michael


              --- Paul <pdlanagan@...> wrote:

              [snip

              > I take this opportunity to recognise and thank Keith Seddon
              for his advice and guidance, in his Stoicism courses, his
              book and his emails on this forum.
              >
              > Regards,
              >
              > Paul


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            • --Michael
              I have to admit sympathies for Epicureanism. It has some attractions. There are perhaps tortures that hit 100, although mental rather than physical. In an
              Message 6 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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                I have to admit sympathies for Epicureanism. It has some
                attractions.


                There are perhaps tortures that hit 100, although mental
                rather than physical.

                In an episode of Babylon 5, the Psi Cop Bester described the
                fate of a non-telepath that attempted to murder a telepath.
                He was was confined in a straightjacket and padded cell to
                keep him from tearing himself to pieces.

                Likewise, in the short story Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons,
                Cordwainer Smith describes the very short duration of an
                attempted theft of stroon (the wool of mutated sheep which
                produces immortality) from the planet Norstrilia ("Old North
                Australia"). Suffice it to say that insight into the minds of
                insane minks is a very dispreffered indifferent.

                Incidentally, for the afficionados of sci-fi here, I can't
                recommend Smith's books too highly. No Stoic content, but his
                stories chronicle the "Rediscovery of Mankind," with honor,
                nobility, brutality, cruelty, kindness, sacrifice, and
                redemption. (Well, maybe there is some Stoic content.)


                --Michael



                --- robin <robin@...> wrote:

                [snip]

                > When I'm in an Epicurean mood, I simply substitute
                "pleasant" and "unpleasant" for "preferred" and
                dispreferred"! I vaguely remember reading that a similar
                technique is emplyed in cognitive therapy: something like
                rating unwanted events on a scale from 1-100, with 1 being
                something so mildly unpleasant you hardly notice it, and 100
                being something like global nuclear war. Though as Albert
                Ellis points out, you never really get to 100, because
                whatever unpleasant thing you can imagine, you can always
                imagine something a bit more unpleasant - he gives the
                example "death by *even slower* torture"!
                >


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              • RW
                I ve been out of the loop here for a few days, work and such. I m not a Stoic per se, but an admirer of some of the Stoic authors, but I can say that my own
                Message 7 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                  I've been out of the loop here for a few days, work and such.

                  I'm not a Stoic per se, but an admirer of some of the Stoic authors,
                  but I can say that my own belief system (Deism) has worked adequately
                  well for me for a number of years. Depending upon who you ask,
                  Stoicism is the forerunner of Deism. The two systems have allot in
                  common, but also allot in difference.

                  Deism tends to be seen as being a "closed" system in regards to God,
                  who is seen as not interfering in the affairs of men and the world. It
                  is unfairly thought that Deism is a cold, almost atheistic system
                  because Deists view God as being more of an observer of life than as
                  an active participant. I don't see any problems rectifying this with
                  my faith in God.

                  Stoicism is an "open" system in regards to God, that is it is theistic
                  and not deistic. The ancient Stoics, especially Epictetus, had a very
                  personal view of God. I'm still new to Stoic thought, but I can see
                  the differences between Deism and Stoicism. Stoicism had mystical
                  elements to it, something that Deism would completely reject.

                  The two systems are compatible to a degree and incompatible in many
                  ways. Deism began more as a rejection of superstition and legalism in
                  the Judeo-Christian system whereas Stoicism is an outgrowth of
                  Hellenic philosophy. But, considering how much the Judeo-Christian
                  system absorbed from the Hellenes...

                  I'll finish up with a quote from Paine's 'Age of Reason:'

                  "Every person, of whatever religious denomination he may be, is a
                  Deist in the first article of his Creed. Deism, from the Latin word
                  Deus, God, is the belief of a God, and this belief is the first
                  article of every man's creed. It is on this article, universally
                  consented to by all mankind, that the Deist builds his church, and
                  here he rests. Whenever we step aside from this article, by mixing it
                  with articles of human invention, we wander into a labyrinth of
                  uncertainty and fable, and become exposed to every kind of imposition
                  by pretenders to revelation."

                  This is my creed: I believe in one God and that's it. I don't need
                  supernaturalism or miracles or divine revelations from On High. The
                  God that I believe in isn't the same one that my former religionists,
                  the Christians, believe in. Christian's believe in a man-made god
                  named Jesus whereas I believe in the God of Creation (or, if you
                  prefer: Deus, Iuppiter, Theos, Zdeus, etc.)

                  This simplistic creed in belief in one God and no other has worked
                  wonders for me. I no longer have any reason to fear the unknown,
                  asking questions that are difficult, searching for answers to these
                  questions, etc. Nature is now the canvas upon which I see God, my mind
                  works equally with my spirit to come to a more correct belief in the
                  Creator. Before, as a Christian, I was lost in Paine's 'labyrinth of
                  uncertainty and fable.' Now, as a Deist, I've been able to construct
                  in my life what I believe is the TRUE THEOLOGY (as Paine refers to it):
                  faith assisted by reason, the rest is in the details (or lack thereof).

                  I'm not even close to being a scholar, but I do know enough to be able
                  to tell something right from something wrong. For me: God is right.
                  Religion is wrong. Asking questions is right. Accepting someone else's
                  opinions as the truth is wrong.


                  --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "mattomoran" <mattomoran@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > I attached this to the end of a previous post, but I had too many
                  > questions in there.
                  >
                  > Of the practicing stoics on this forum, how has stoicism changed your
                  > life? How long did the practice take to benefit? Of any of you who
                  > have reached a plateau where you weren't without internal conflict,
                  > how did you kick yourself off the plateau and rise above it? I would
                  > imagine reaching a plateau in this discipline can happen, especially
                  > with only books and without live a model around like Buddhists
                  stress.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  > Matt
                  >
                • robin
                  ... That goes for a few of us here! We have classical Stoics, neo-stoics, quasi-stoics ... all kinds. ... This is a tricky one. The classical scholars on the
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                    RW wrote:
                    > I've been out of the loop here for a few days, work and such.
                    >
                    > I'm not a Stoic per se, but an admirer of some of the Stoic authors,
                    >
                    That goes for a few of us here! We have classical Stoics, neo-stoics,
                    quasi-stoics ... all kinds.
                    > but I can say that my own belief system (Deism) has worked adequately
                    > well for me for a number of years. Depending upon who you ask,
                    > Stoicism is the forerunner of Deism. The two systems have allot in
                    > common, but also allot in difference.
                    >
                    > Deism tends to be seen as being a "closed" system in regards to God,
                    > who is seen as not interfering in the affairs of men and the world. It
                    > is unfairly thought that Deism is a cold, almost atheistic system
                    > because Deists view God as being more of an observer of life than as
                    > an active participant. I don't see any problems rectifying this with
                    > my faith in God.
                    >
                    > Stoicism is an "open" system in regards to God, that is it is theistic
                    > and not deistic. The ancient Stoics, especially Epictetus, had a very
                    > personal view of God. I'm still new to Stoic thought, but I can see
                    > the differences between Deism and Stoicism. Stoicism had mystical
                    > elements to it, something that Deism would completely reject.
                    >
                    >
                    This is a tricky one. The classical scholars on the list may be able to
                    help us out more, but that the impression I get from reading the Stoic
                    canon is that there was a variety of approaches to God/the
                    gods/Nature/Logos. Some Stoics seem to have had a very impersonal view,
                    where Zeus is seen as a cosmic process (rather like the Tao) rather than
                    a particular entity with whom we can have some kind of relationship. The
                    approach of some other wrtiers (e.g. Cleanthes and Seneca) is personal
                    and quite emotional (obviously not "emotional" in the sense that Stoics
                    use the word - just something like "deeply felt"). However, I suspect
                    that these differences are psychological or psychotherapeutic more than
                    ontological. The question is not whether God is personal, benevolent or
                    whatever, but whether it is appropriate for a particular human being to
                    approach God (or the gods) as though this were the case. As humans, we
                    cannot perceive the deity directly, but we participate in it through our
                    reason. I would therefore hazard a guess that for a Stoic, an
                    appropriate attitude to take towards God is whatever is in conformity
                    with reason - a view which gives us a fair amount of leeway. I suspect
                    that the early Stoics explained Zeus in terms of physics ("the fire that
                    creates" etc.) because for them, this was hot stuff, if you'll pardon
                    the pun. The ancient Greeks probably reacted to theories about the four
                    or five elements with the same kind of mystified wonder that many of us
                    feel about things like chaos mathematics or string theory. By the time
                    we get to the Roman Stoics, all that earth, wind and fire stuff was
                    commonplace, whereas divine providence (or divine malevolence, for
                    Gnostics!) was a novel and intriguing idea, hence not only the more
                    personal touch of the late Stoics, but also the popularity of
                    new-fangled Eastern cults. (Of course this is a historical
                    simplification - some of these ideas go back at least as far as Plato.)

                    Stoic philosophy starts with ethics, takes a long and winding road
                    through politics, metaphysics and linguistics, and arrives back at
                    ethics. Consequently, I think it's worth bearing in mind the possibilty
                    that when a Stoic writer seems to be talking about physics, theology or
                    grammar, they may actually be trying to give a moral lesson.

                    Robin


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                  • RW
                    It s our own perception that makes God either near or far. It s also our own perceptions and ideas that create God. I am, however, firmly convinced that God
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                      It's our own perception that makes God either near or far. It's also
                      our own perceptions and ideas that "create" God.

                      I am, however, firmly convinced that God doesn't meddle in human
                      affairs at all. Why would He? I'm pretty firmly convinced that God
                      has made an excellent universe, one that runs according to natural,
                      scientific laws. Again, we humans have the need for some reason to
                      bring the Creator down to their level, to personalize and
                      anthropomorphize God. We invent stories, saying that God talked to
                      this man or that man. God did this or that, but only in times past.
                      I've never seen a miracle nor heard the voice of God from Heaven.
                      Why not? God is timeless and all-powerful, so it'd be as easy for
                      Him to act in the world now as it was for Him thousands of years ago.

                      That's why I think that most of theology is simply man's flattering
                      of his own ego. God is neither near or far, God is God and nothing
                      more. If you have a perception that He's remote, God is remote. If
                      you think that God is near, God is near. Either way, the universal
                      reality isn't changed. Our own personal, private reality is changed,
                      however. My own opinion is that "God helps those who help
                      themselves." I've often had moments of clarity and inspiration that
                      I can honestly say felt like the touch of Providence. The hand of
                      God only seems to touch the mind, to inspire. It's hard for me to
                      explain! I don't think that God and Nature are the same thing
                      (Pantheism), nor do I think that God will supersede the laws of
                      nature to perform a miracle. I think that God, while an observer,
                      waits for us to make contact with Him. I think that this contact
                      with God occurs on the subconscious level. Perhaps it's already
                      there, and we only need to tap into it via reason and the exercising
                      of our mind/spirit. Wishful thinking and pontificating won't help at
                      all.

                      This is why I sometimes call God an idea. Using an analogy from
                      Paine, the idea of the triangle already existed before a man thought
                      it up. God, too, is like this. In this way, man "created" (the idea
                      of) God.

                      As I said, my personal beliefs are hard to explain!

                      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, robin <robin@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > RW wrote:
                      > > I've been out of the loop here for a few days, work and such.
                      > >
                      > > I'm not a Stoic per se, but an admirer of some of the Stoic
                      authors,
                      > >
                      > That goes for a few of us here! We have classical Stoics, neo-
                      stoics,
                      > quasi-stoics ... all kinds.
                      > > but I can say that my own belief system (Deism) has worked
                      adequately
                      > > well for me for a number of years. Depending upon who you ask,
                      > > Stoicism is the forerunner of Deism. The two systems have allot
                      in
                      > > common, but also allot in difference.
                      > >
                      > > Deism tends to be seen as being a "closed" system in regards to
                      God,
                      > > who is seen as not interfering in the affairs of men and the
                      world. It
                      > > is unfairly thought that Deism is a cold, almost atheistic
                      system
                      > > because Deists view God as being more of an observer of life
                      than as
                      > > an active participant. I don't see any problems rectifying this
                      with
                      > > my faith in God.
                      > >
                      > > Stoicism is an "open" system in regards to God, that is it is
                      theistic
                      > > and not deistic. The ancient Stoics, especially Epictetus, had a
                      very
                      > > personal view of God. I'm still new to Stoic thought, but I can
                      see
                      > > the differences between Deism and Stoicism. Stoicism had
                      mystical
                      > > elements to it, something that Deism would completely reject.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > This is a tricky one. The classical scholars on the list may be
                      able to
                      > help us out more, but that the impression I get from reading the
                      Stoic
                      > canon is that there was a variety of approaches to God/the
                      > gods/Nature/Logos. Some Stoics seem to have had a very impersonal
                      view,
                      > where Zeus is seen as a cosmic process (rather like the Tao)
                      rather than
                      > a particular entity with whom we can have some kind of
                      relationship. The
                      > approach of some other wrtiers (e.g. Cleanthes and Seneca) is
                      personal
                      > and quite emotional (obviously not "emotional" in the sense that
                      Stoics
                      > use the word - just something like "deeply felt"). However, I
                      suspect
                      > that these differences are psychological or psychotherapeutic more
                      than
                      > ontological. The question is not whether God is personal,
                      benevolent or
                      > whatever, but whether it is appropriate for a particular human
                      being to
                      > approach God (or the gods) as though this were the case. As
                      humans, we
                      > cannot perceive the deity directly, but we participate in it
                      through our
                      > reason. I would therefore hazard a guess that for a Stoic, an
                      > appropriate attitude to take towards God is whatever is in
                      conformity
                      > with reason - a view which gives us a fair amount of leeway. I
                      suspect
                      > that the early Stoics explained Zeus in terms of physics ("the
                      fire that
                      > creates" etc.) because for them, this was hot stuff, if you'll
                      pardon
                      > the pun. The ancient Greeks probably reacted to theories about the
                      four
                      > or five elements with the same kind of mystified wonder that many
                      of us
                      > feel about things like chaos mathematics or string theory. By the
                      time
                      > we get to the Roman Stoics, all that earth, wind and fire stuff
                      was
                      > commonplace, whereas divine providence (or divine malevolence, for
                      > Gnostics!) was a novel and intriguing idea, hence not only the
                      more
                      > personal touch of the late Stoics, but also the popularity of
                      > new-fangled Eastern cults. (Of course this is a historical
                      > simplification - some of these ideas go back at least as far as
                      Plato.)
                      >
                      > Stoic philosophy starts with ethics, takes a long and winding road
                      > through politics, metaphysics and linguistics, and arrives back at
                      > ethics. Consequently, I think it's worth bearing in mind the
                      possibilty
                      > that when a Stoic writer seems to be talking about physics,
                      theology or
                      > grammar, they may actually be trying to give a moral lesson.
                      >
                      > Robin
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                      > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                      > Version: 7.1.392 / Virus Database: 268.5.5/335 - Release Date:
                      09/05/2006
                      >
                    • DT Strain
                      ... This is why I don t use the word at all. There may have been a time when it could have applied to my less personal view, and that time may come again
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                        --- RW <kayzr77@...> wrote:
                        > Again, we humans have the need for
                        > some reason to
                        > bring the Creator down to their level, to
                        > personalize and
                        > anthropomorphize God.

                        This is why I don't use the word at all. There may
                        have been a time when it could have applied to my less
                        personal view, and that time may come again someday.
                        But for now, I think the word is hopelessly entangled
                        with the notion of a persona or entity, and even the
                        man with the grey beard for many.

                        I find many of the aspects of the Logos I find right
                        on target with respect to modern science - so much so
                        that I think all of Stoicism applies just fine. But as
                        for God, I have so little use for the term that I
                        would count myself as an atheist if I must when being
                        clear (although I prefer 'naturalist' or actually
                        'humanist' which puts the focus in other areas).
                        Along the way, I think I could be called a
                        'Stoic-enthusiast' at least, and even a 'Stoic' were
                        my actual discipline where I hope it will someday be.

                        Daniel



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                      • RW
                        ... I don t have this problem at all. I don t identify God with the Biblegod or the Korangod or the Torahgod or any other so-called god. All of the beings
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                          > This is why I don't use the word at all. There may
                          > have been a time when it could have applied to my less
                          > personal view, and that time may come again someday.
                          > But for now, I think the word is hopelessly entangled
                          > with the notion of a persona or entity, and even the
                          > man with the grey beard for many.

                          I don't have this problem at all. I don't identify God with the
                          Biblegod or the Korangod or the Torahgod or any other so-called god.
                          All of the beings described in those books are simply attempts to
                          explain God, the real deal. It does get confusing at times, however.
                          Sometimes I'll say God, and my Christian relatives think that I'm
                          referring to Jesus or the Biblegod. So, I've been adopting other
                          terms as well: Father, Creator, Providence, Heaven or the Almighty.
                          These terms are simply useful descriptions for me, personalized
                          anthropomorphisms that I use because there's no other useful terms
                          availabie. Although I've gotten away from it for the most part, I
                          can't disassociate myself completely from Judeo-Christianity. My
                          understanding of the Deity has changed, but I still use some of the
                          same old terms.

                          Robert
                        • DT Strain
                          ... I m not sure I understand in what way you mean can t in the above. But in any case, you might enjoy a book I ve just completed called Christianity
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                            --- RW <kayzr77@...> wrote:
                            > ...Although I've gotten away from it for the
                            > most part, I
                            > can't disassociate myself completely from
                            > Judeo-Christianity.

                            I'm not sure I understand in what way you mean "can't"
                            in the above. But in any case, you might enjoy a book
                            I've just completed called "Christianity without God"
                            by Lloyd George Geering. Despite the title, I think
                            you and he would agree on a lot (his use of the word
                            God in the title is of the common Christian
                            conception).

                            Daniel



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                          • RW
                            ... I was born and raised in a Judeo-Christian society. The perceptions and opinions, the very beliefs, of Judaism and Christianity are heavily stamped upon
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                              > I'm not sure I understand in what way you mean "can't"
                              > in the above. But in any case, you might enjoy a book
                              > I've just completed called "Christianity without God"
                              > by Lloyd George Geering. Despite the title, I think
                              > you and he would agree on a lot (his use of the word
                              > God in the title is of the common Christian
                              > conception).

                              I was born and raised in a Judeo-Christian society. The perceptions
                              and opinions, the very beliefs, of Judaism and Christianity are
                              heavily stamped upon the Western mindset. Would the West be the
                              same, its people the same, without Judeo-Christendom? For better or
                              worse, it has been Western history for 1,500 years or so. The
                              Enlightenment was itself a rejection of centuries of Judeo-
                              Christianity and many of the biggest critics of this belief have
                              emerged from its fold. Tom Paine's father was a Quaker. Karl Marx's
                              father was a Jew-turned-Christian.

                              I accept this! I don't mind carrying around some of the opinions of
                              my former religion. Deism itself came out of Judeo-Christianity,
                              taking the best aspects of it and rejecting the rest that seemed to
                              defy reason. Jesus Christ is an admirable figure, but no more
                              admirable to me than Marcus Aurelius or Tom Paine. Jesus preached
                              ethics and God, but so too did others.

                              I hope that this helps.

                              Robert

                              >
                              > Daniel
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • DT Strain
                              That s about what I thought you meant. Yes, indeed, you should check out that book - I think you d like it. Daniel ...
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                                That's about what I thought you meant. Yes, indeed,
                                you should check out that book - I think you'd like
                                it.

                                Daniel


                                --- RW <kayzr77@...> wrote:

                                > > I'm not sure I understand in what way you mean
                                > "can't"
                                > > in the above. But in any case, you might enjoy a
                                > book
                                > > I've just completed called "Christianity without
                                > God"
                                > > by Lloyd George Geering. Despite the title, I
                                > think
                                > > you and he would agree on a lot (his use of the
                                > word
                                > > God in the title is of the common Christian
                                > > conception).
                                >
                                > I was born and raised in a Judeo-Christian society.
                                > The perceptions
                                > and opinions, the very beliefs, of Judaism and
                                > Christianity are
                                > heavily stamped upon the Western mindset. Would the
                                > West be the
                                > same, its people the same, without
                                > Judeo-Christendom? For better or
                                > worse, it has been Western history for 1,500 years
                                > or so. The
                                > Enlightenment was itself a rejection of centuries of
                                > Judeo-
                                > Christianity and many of the biggest critics of this
                                > belief have
                                > emerged from its fold. Tom Paine's father was a
                                > Quaker. Karl Marx's
                                > father was a Jew-turned-Christian.
                                >
                                > I accept this! I don't mind carrying around some of
                                > the opinions of
                                > my former religion. Deism itself came out of
                                > Judeo-Christianity,
                                > taking the best aspects of it and rejecting the rest
                                > that seemed to
                                > defy reason. Jesus Christ is an admirable figure,
                                > but no more
                                > admirable to me than Marcus Aurelius or Tom Paine.
                                > Jesus preached
                                > ethics and God, but so too did others.
                                >
                                > I hope that this helps.
                                >
                                > Robert
                                >
                                > >
                                > > Daniel
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > __________________________________________________
                                > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                                > protection around
                                > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >


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                              • RW
                                I looked at its entry on Amazon.com, and it reminded me of a book named Common Sense Christianity by a man named C. Randolph Ross. I think that allot of the
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 10, 2006
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                                  I looked at its entry on Amazon.com, and it reminded me of a book
                                  named "Common Sense Christianity" by a man named C. Randolph Ross. I
                                  think that allot of the traditional pillars of Christian faith are
                                  crumbling and Christianity itself is being re-created before our
                                  eyes. Fundamentalism is a knee-jerk reaction to this. It's easier to
                                  have someone hand the truth to you than to think about the truth
                                  yourself.

                                  I was born into a mostly Christian society, have certain
                                  Christianized opinions and beliefs, but I am no longer one of them.

                                  Robert


                                  --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, DT Strain <dtstrain@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > That's about what I thought you meant. Yes, indeed,
                                  > you should check out that book - I think you'd like
                                  > it.
                                  >
                                  > Daniel
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