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Re: Pleasure, Happiness, and Eudaimonia

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  • bertr
    ... teeth filled without a pain killer. My dentist was appalled, but agreed. I had many teeth filled that way, but somehow, after many years I was no longer
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 1, 2000
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      > Both Bert and Tim (in another post) are suggesting that the experience of
      > pain, either in degree or altogether, can be separated from the actual
      > 'damage' to the body that the pain is indicating we should pay attention
      > to. If it weren't for Novocaine I'd have a much more difficult time of it
      > going to the dentist. Temporary suppression of the pain does not remove
      > the cavity, but it allows the dentist to work on and fix the problem. If
      > we can learn that pleasure and pain are means to an end, and not the end
      > itself, I think we'll be way ahead of the game.
      >
      > There was a time when I learned to accept the pain of having
      teeth filled without a pain killer. My dentist was appalled, but agreed. I
      had many teeth filled that way, but somehow, after many years I was no
      longer able to do it.

      > [Snip]
      >
      > It is unclear to me from the reference above whether it is at the 4th or
      > 5th and final stage of development that we learn that objects do not have
      > any intrinsic value, that only Virtue and vice do. Certainly the Sage
      > (stage 5) understands this and lives this way. At this point there is no
      > 'better' or 'worse' wine. The wine just is, it has no objective quality,
      > and subjective quality is entirely up to the Sage's choice, who will
      always
      > choose that the experience is good, for any experience always provides
      > information for learning and growth.
      >
      I think, finally, my question has been answered. The Sage would
      always choose the good tasting wine (unless there is some purpose in
      choosing the poorer wine). OK (here comes the dreaded but) but, given two
      sages of equal virtue, and one can afford the good tasting wine and the
      other not, (and this is obviously a metaphor for the whole variety of things
      analogous to good tasting wine), which sage would the wise person choose to
      be?

      > So, Bert, I don't believe there is a separate 'educational program' for
      > Stoicism. The entire Stoic system is centered on growth, even for the
      > Sage. It is all education, whether in a student / teacher relationship or
      > as self education. If personal growth results directly in eudaimonia,
      then
      > no wonder we have mid-life crisis. What a terrible thing (ie,
      > dispreferred) to convince oneself that one's learning / growing / fun days
      > are over, and one is now obligated to pay one's dues; by the 'drudgery' of
      > family life and earning an income. Drudgery is an attitude we shackle
      > ourselves with, and we can change our attitude any time we want. What a
      > powerful message.
      >
      All that makes sense and I have no quarrel. Still, is there a role
      for the sage in the education of a neophyte? I would presume so.


      > Tim, I think your idea of introducing some Stoic ideas into your
      profession
      > is right on. Perhaps teaching deserves more recognition than it gets.
      >
      In many ways it has already been done.

      Bert
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