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Re: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.

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  • Nate Z
    Alexander . . .               First, let me emphasize that, despite the abogado-del-diablo points that I propose following this paragraph, I
    Message 1 of 23 , Jul 1, 2011
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      Alexander . . .
       
                  First, let me emphasize that, despite the abogado-del-diablo points that I propose following this paragraph, I support your interest in boxing and am sure you’ll make a fine boxer and that Stoic principles would indeed assist you in excelling in the sport.
       
                  Those were entertaining videos you provided links to in your post. Indeed, the two men showed impressive physical prowess. In fact, these two men, testified by the comments viewers left below the screen, must garner plenty of respect from other men and “affection” from women.  
       
                  However, there are two kinds of prowess or strength: physical and psychic (mental, emotional). A Stoic is more or less indifferent to the former, while the latter has incalculable value.
       
                  An adept Stoic has no interest in beating other people up, being admired or getting laid, which are common motivations for wanting to learn some cool fighting techniques. A true Stoic, in contrast, wouldn’t mind being beat up, abhorred and celibate. That is true strength, the capacity to smile with perfect composure even while someone is beating the crap out of you, then stand up off the dusty ground without rancor in the heart, and literally feel grateful that someone expended their precious energy to test your unassailable equanimity.
       
                  An astute Stoic may be a weakling physically, but is a psychic juggernaut. A life lacking in adversity renders one prey to psychic perversity. A coddled spirit is easily broken. Therefore Stoics welcome challenges, even seek them out. And for all the challenges learning to fight well may present, not fighting is usually a greater test of character and strength.
       
                  An impression I gleaned from the things you’ve written and the videos you recommended was that you have a strong sense of justice. In the second video a guy appeared to protect his girlfriend by skillfully subduing the thug that hit her. (But then again, maybe the guy didn’t mean to hit her – he wasn’t actually looking – and the boyfriend’s attack was just a macho act of vengefulness and hotheadedness.) Who wouldn’t be impressed by such an expert defense of a girlfriend or wife? However, a Stoic would only cheer this performance because one has the duty to protect loved ones.
                 The man in the video could have kicked the assailant while he was down but instead just walked away. That was a more impressive gesture than the punches.
       
                  Let's consider a different situation. Say you see a skinny kid getting knocked about cruelly by a couple of ruthless bullies. Should your sense of justice flare up and propel you to help this kid? Better yet, let’s say it’s a woman getting punched and hassled. You are a virile young male skilled in boxing, what do you do?
                  A Stoic doesn’t judge events the way a typical person does. How do you know this, or any, situation is bad? Sometimes things people judge as “bad” lead to “good” things. Good and bad are value judgments that don’t work for a Stoic. And what if the woman herself is a Stoic and she’s relishing the adversity? What if the whole thing is a trap to lure you in – the guys have revolvers under their clothes and the girl is another gang member? I’m not suggesting not helping, but when a person is moved by their gut instead of their head, there can be unexpected consequences.
       
                  Viewing violence triggers a sympathetic response in the body, the so-called fight-or-flight response, a primitive cascade of hormones that elicits a visceral reaction below our awareness, making us feel indignant or fearful.  Stoics ideally should not bend to this instinctual process. Stoics must act out of reason and take full responsibility for their actions, which is impossible to do if you are unconsciously motivated. Not ceding to the base impulses inherent in our genetic ancestry, that is discipline!
                  Any animal can get angry, any low-life can beat someone else up. The difference is the source of the motivation. Only humans, particularly philosophically-conscientious humans, can control their consciousness enough to decide how and why to act, instead of submitting to a gut reaction, or the need to react. Stoics don’t need much more than the air that they breathe.
       
                  Personally, as someone who follows Stoic principles, I would only be mildly impressed if you became a great fighter and I witnessed you execute some type of chivalrous performance. I would be more impressed if I saw someone who had been minding their own business get beat to a pulp in front of a scoffing group of beautiful girls, get up with a smile and thank the aggressors with perfect sincerity for the memorable experience without the slightest fear of receiving a new volley of blows and then tip his hat to the girls without a trace of embarrassment or concern with what they thought of him. That is power! Power over his or her own consciousness is far more desirable to the Stoic than the power over others.
                   
                    . . . Nate

      From: Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@...>
      To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 8:42 PM
      Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.

       
      Hello people and thanks for all your answers.

      I liked boxing becouse it helps to test myself.

      You need to fight another guy ready to knock you out. And there is also the possibility of brain damage, blindness and death.

      And you still need to belive that you can win and you have to give the best of yourself in this battle of wills. Any one who has fighted muay-thai/boxing/kick boxing etc knows the ammount of butterflies you have in your stomach before the fight.

      To this add the ammount of hours of physical training and pain you need for a good preparation.

      Lately I have accepted death/brain damage/blindness etc. This acceptance let me fight with my whole potential.

      I have an amateur competition in september and only plan to practice and compete amateur boxing this year . Then ill start Judo becouse of less brain damage(im studying so i need my braing). But this 6 months are really a great test.

      You may call it brute, idiotic but i find it somelike phoetical.

      About self defense and boxing :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuLjZLNDPZM&feature=related
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2bC_KaSDA8

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article70647.ece

      The last one is of a guy of 67 years boxing and ex army who beats bad guys.

      I see bullies and bad guys treating weak people in the university very badly so i feel is my duty to step in and help. Boxing + some kick+some judo think can be very effective.

      Maybe i get it wrong but i felt stoicism helped in the acceptance of death and how hedonism is not equal to happiness.

      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Alvarenga" <moltronstoic@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hey wazzup.
      >
      > Im planning to compete in boxing, i feel its a very demanding sport physically and mentally.
      >
      > You really learn to appreciate things like some rest and water xD.
      >
      > Some stoic advices when entering the ring with another dude ready to knock you down.
      >
      > I hear that the roman empire soldiers practiced some stoicism and they had to sword fight with barbarians.
      >
      > Reasons why I practice boxing
      >
      > -I love it
      > -Self-Defense of my loved ones. To many bullies and stuff.
      >



    • Alexander Alvarenga
      I want to start by saying thanks for your answer and your support in boxing :D About justice. About the skinny guy getting beat up i think it would be my duty
      Message 2 of 23 , Jul 1, 2011
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        I want to start by saying thanks for your answer and your support in boxing :D

        About justice. About the skinny guy getting beat up i think it would be my duty to help him he/she being stoic or not.

        You are right when you say that we should not do things becouse of what others think of us. We have to be indifferent to that.

        When you step in you are risking your life and the reason people dont help weak people is becouse they are cowards. By coward i mean a person with lack of a sense of sacrifice.

        Here is a stoic story about war and honour in wich the athenians fight for honour no matter the consequences.

        http://russellmcneil.blogspot.com/2009/12/justce-and-war-unpublished-selections.html

        Maybe im interested in fighting and war becouse im thinking in joining the military of my country.

        Here is a manual for military and stoicism

        http://falfn.com/CrusaderRabbit/?p=4478

        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Nate Z <eyesense@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Alexander . . .
        >  
        >             First, let me emphasize that, despite the abogado-del-diablo points that I propose following this paragraph, I support your interest in boxing and am sure you’ll make a fine boxer and that Stoic principles would indeed assist you in excelling in the sport.
        >  
        >             Those were entertaining videos you provided links to in your post. Indeed, the two men showed impressive physical prowess. In fact, these two men, testified by the comments viewers left below the screen, must garner plenty of respect from other men and “affection” from women.  
        >  
        >             However, there are two kinds of prowess or strength: physical and psychic (mental, emotional). A Stoic is more or less indifferent to the former, while the latter has incalculable value.
        >  
        >             An adept Stoic has no interest in beating other people up, being admired or getting laid, which are common motivations for wanting to learn some cool fighting techniques. A true Stoic, in contrast, wouldn’t mind being beat up, abhorred and celibate. That is true strength, the capacity to smile with perfect composure even while someone is beating the crap out of you, then stand up off the dusty ground without rancor in the heart, and literally feel grateful that someone expended their precious energy to test your unassailable equanimity.
        >  
        >             An astute Stoic may be a weakling physically, but is a psychic juggernaut. A life lacking in adversity renders one prey to psychic perversity. A coddled spirit is easily broken. Therefore Stoics welcome challenges, even seek them out. And for all the challenges learning to fight well may present, not fighting is usually a greater test of character and strength.
        >  
        >             An impression I gleaned from the things you’ve written and the videos you recommended was that you have a strong sense of justice. In the second video a guy appeared to protect his girlfriend by skillfully subduing the thug that hit her. (But then again, maybe the guy didn’t mean to hit her â€" he wasn’t actually looking â€" and the boyfriend’s attack was just a macho act of vengefulness and hotheadedness.) Who wouldn’t be impressed by such an expert defense of a girlfriend or wife? However, a Stoic would only cheer this performance because one has the duty to protect loved ones.
        >            The man in the video could have kicked the assailant while he was down but instead just walked away. That was a more impressive gesture than the punches.
        >  
        >             Let's consider a different situation. Say you see a skinny kid getting knocked about cruelly by a couple of ruthless bullies. Should your sense of justice flare up and propel you to help this kid? Better yet, let’s say it’s a woman getting punched and hassled. You are a virile young male skilled in boxing, what do you do?
        >             A Stoic doesn’t judge events the way a typical person does. How do you know this, or any, situation is bad? Sometimes things people judge as “bad” lead to “good” things. Good and bad are value judgments that don’t work for a Stoic. And what if the woman herself is a Stoic and she’s relishing the adversity? What if the whole thing is a trap to lure you in â€" the guys have revolvers under their clothes and the girl is another gang member? I’m not suggesting not helping, but when a person is moved by their gut instead of their head, there can be unexpected consequences.
        >  
        >             Viewing violence triggers a sympathetic response in the body, the so-called fight-or-flight response, a primitive cascade of hormones that elicits a visceral reaction below our awareness, making us feel indignant or fearful.  Stoics ideally should not bend to this instinctual process. Stoics must act out of reason and take full responsibility for their actions, which is impossible to do if you are unconsciously motivated. Not ceding to the base impulses inherent in our genetic ancestry, that is discipline!
        >             Any animal can get angry, any low-life can beat someone else up. The difference is the source of the motivation. Only humans, particularly philosophically-conscientious humans, can control their consciousness enough to decide how and why to act, instead of submitting to a gut reaction, or the need to react. Stoics don’t need much more than the air that they breathe.
        >  
        >             Personally, as someone who follows Stoic principles, I would only be mildly impressed if you became a great fighter and I witnessed you execute some type of chivalrous performance. I would be more impressed if I saw someone who had been minding their own business get beat to a pulp in front of a scoffing group of beautiful girls, get up with a smile and thank the aggressors with perfect sincerity for the memorable experience without the slightest fear of receiving a new volley of blows and then tip his hat to the girls without a trace of embarrassment or concern with what they thought of him. That is power! Power over his or her own consciousness is far more desirable to the Stoic than the power over others.
        >              
        >               . . . Nate
        >
        > From: Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@...>
        > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 8:42 PM
        > Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.
        >
        >
        >  
        > Hello people and thanks for all your answers.
        >
        > I liked boxing becouse it helps to test myself.
        >
        > You need to fight another guy ready to knock you out. And there is also the possibility of brain damage, blindness and death.
        >
        > And you still need to belive that you can win and you have to give the best of yourself in this battle of wills. Any one who has fighted muay-thai/boxing/kick boxing etc knows the ammount of butterflies you have in your stomach before the fight.
        >
        > To this add the ammount of hours of physical training and pain you need for a good preparation.
        >
        > Lately I have accepted death/brain damage/blindness etc. This acceptance let me fight with my whole potential.
        >
        > I have an amateur competition in september and only plan to practice and compete amateur boxing this year . Then ill start Judo becouse of less brain damage(im studying so i need my braing). But this 6 months are really a great test.
        >
        > You may call it brute, idiotic but i find it somelike phoetical.
        >
        > About self defense and boxing :
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuLjZLNDPZM&feature=related
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2bC_KaSDA8
        >
        > http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article70647.ece
        >
        > The last one is of a guy of 67 years boxing and ex army who beats bad guys.
        >
        > I see bullies and bad guys treating weak people in the university very badly so i feel is my duty to step in and help. Boxing + some kick+some judo think can be very effective.
        >
        > Maybe i get it wrong but i felt stoicism helped in the acceptance of death and how hedonism is not equal to happiness.
        >
        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Alvarenga" <moltronstoic@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hey wazzup.
        > >
        > > Im planning to compete in boxing, i feel its a very demanding sport physically and mentally.
        > >
        > > You really learn to appreciate things like some rest and water xD.
        > >
        > > Some stoic advices when entering the ring with another dude ready to knock you down.
        > >
        > > I hear that the roman empire soldiers practiced some stoicism and they had to sword fight with barbarians.
        > >
        > > Reasons why I practice boxing
        > >
        > > -I love it
        > > -Self-Defense of my loved ones. To many bullies and stuff.
        > >
        >
      • Alexander Alvarenga
        Some times somebody has to do the dirty job. I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force. Stepin in involves putting yourself
        Message 3 of 23 , Jul 1, 2011
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          Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.

          I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.

          Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.

          The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.

          Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.

          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "subtenante" <subtenante@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Alex.
          >
          > > Interesting insight about stoicism and war.
          > >
          > > http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat.html?func=view&catid=18&id=217456
          > >
          > > One of the main things that make stoicism so good is that is practical for bad moments.
          > >
          > > Boxing is a lot of discomfort that you need to learn to handle. A very good time to practice stoicism.
          >
          > This is the kind of mythology I was talking about in a previous message.
          >
          > And I would like to stress again the amount of self-contentment that can reside behind the development of this mythology. What is the purpose of your training, what do you expect to have to fight against, for what reasons, and are there not better ways to fight against them? Often, the argument is that men should act "manly", meaning hit each other in the face whenever there is a conflict between them. Is that wise? Is that not road to escalation?
          >
          > There is no bad time to practice Stoicism. Whether you are in a tough situation or not. Thus, there is no particularly good time to practice Stoicism.
          >
          > Practicing pain is not Stoic per se. For instance, masochists are not necessarily good Stoics. The point of learning to take punches is right if you expect to put yourself in a position where you'll have to take a lot of them, and have rational reasons to put yourself in such a position, because putting yourself in such situations is not necessarily wise. The time and effort you spend learning how to get punched could be as well used for other purposes, like learning how to solve conflicts peacefully. In the videos you posted, you showed people who used violence in situations where it is not needed, and showed clear emotional reaction. There are very few conflicts which can't be resolved without going to throw fists around. Learning to do it efficiently and with as less violence as possible when you really have to is good, but it is not a particular mark of practicing Stoicism if you don't have solid reasons to know it's the best way to solve the problem.
          >
          > So yes, Amiral Stockdale seems to be revered as a Stoic hero in the current stoic community, where we count indeed many people related to the US Army. To me, it is still mythology built around a story, with all due respect with the man. He may very well be a very good Stoic, but most of the times, the reasons given for him to be one are not enough : successfully using mental techniques to remain calm while being in a camp is not practicing Stoicism per se. I'd like to know how he felt about the war he was in, the reasons why he fought there, etc. One quote from him emphasized in his Wikipedia notice : "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." This seems quite unstoical to me: kipping faith that you will prevail (prevail in what?) in the end is often just wrong, and not the right way to pose the problem. The problem is not how to find tools to survive, but also to question the righteousness of the fight you are in, and in the case of the Vietnam war, it was not righteous, and it had no chance to prevail from a philosophical point of view, even if it had one to prevail from a military one.
          >
          > As for Sherman's book, I did not read it looks like it builds on the same mythology to me.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Guillaume.
          >
        • Ghi O
          Hi Alex. ... This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a dirty job, then you have the power to refuse to do it. ... Then
          Message 4 of 23 , Jul 3, 2011
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            Hi Alex.

            > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.

            This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.

            > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.

            Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.

            If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.

            Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?

            > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.

            True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.

            > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.

            What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.

            The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.

            I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.

            > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.

            So which way is it?
            Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
            Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?

            Cheers,
            Guillaume.
          • Alexander Alvarenga
            Hello Ghi O and thanks for your answers. What I dont get is how doind nothing is more virtous that doing something good no matter the consequences. Sounds to
            Message 5 of 23 , Jul 4, 2011
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              Hello Ghi O and thanks for your answers.

              What I dont get is how doind nothing is more virtous that doing something good no matter the consequences.

              Sounds to me like radical pacifism and buddhism.

              "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing"

              Edmund Burke

              One of the four cardinal virtous stoics adviced is justice.

              Where is the justice in leting somebody beat you up when you can defend yourself?


              How is that even according to nature?

              Socrates faught in war as an hopilite

              --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Ghi O" <subtenante@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Alex.
              >
              > > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.
              >
              > This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.
              >
              > > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.
              >
              > Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.
              >
              > If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.
              >
              > Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?
              >
              > > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.
              >
              > True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.
              >
              > > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.
              >
              > What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.
              >
              > The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.
              >
              > I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.
              >
              > > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.
              >
              > So which way is it?
              > Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
              > Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Guillaume.
              >
            • Alexander Alvarenga
              Hello Ghi O great answers to debate =) How is doing nothing more virtous than trying to do the right thing no matter the consequences. What reason is letting
              Message 6 of 23 , Jul 4, 2011
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                Hello Ghi O great answers to debate =)

                How is doing nothing more virtous than trying to do the right thing no matter the consequences.

                What reason is letting somebody beat you up hurting your health and not doing nothing?

                "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."

                Edmund Burke

                Where is justice?

                Doing nothing is easier

                What country or world you live to think that you will never have to use violence? Are you justifiying cowardy.

                Ill make new thread about this.

                Socrates faught as an hopilite

                --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Ghi O" <subtenante@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Alex.
                >
                > > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.
                >
                > This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.
                >
                > > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.
                >
                > Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.
                >
                > If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.
                >
                > Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?
                >
                > > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.
                >
                > True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.
                >
                > > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.
                >
                > What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.
                >
                > The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.
                >
                > I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.
                >
                > > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.
                >
                > So which way is it?
                > Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
                > Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?
                >
                > Cheers,
                > Guillaume.
                >
              • Nate Z
                Alexander,        I understand that justice is a topic that motivates you. It means a lot to you. But maybe what is compelling you here is not some
                Message 7 of 23 , Jul 4, 2011
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                  Alexander,
                   
                       I understand that justice is a topic that motivates you. It means a lot to you. But maybe what is compelling you here is not some abstract ideal but hormones and instincts.
                   
                       Be suspicious of anything you feel too strongly for. If a subject makes you tense, then there is a lesson in it, and it’s one you are likely not to appreciate at first. This, at least, is my own experience.
                   
                       I used to be a foreigner in a very dangerous country and used to get beat up all the time. Fighting technique wouldn’t have helped me because there were many of them, and they came at me from behind. This made me angry; it made me want to seek revenge. I would ask myself, “How can I let them get away with that?” Now, I know that I gave those people power over me, not by taking their physical blows, but by accepting the humiliation. There will always be someone or something physically stronger than you to knock you down, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it strike you down twice, once in body and again in mind. A truly powerful person feels peace inside no matter what happens.
                   
                      Would you get angry and want to box a hurricane or typhoon, an earthquake or tsunami? They can hurt thousands. Are those things evil? You may think that’s a stupid question because you can’t get in a fight with the elements and win. But can any fight really ever be won, except the one against your own inner weakness? People have been beating and killing one another since we humans existed. Has any fighting technique ever stopped it? The way to stop violence isn’t through violence, or it would have ceased millennia ago.
                   
                       No one and nothing can control you, hurt you, anger you unless you relinquish that control. Control of one’s consciousness is the only control worth having for a Stoic. With your inflamed sense of justice, Alexander, I bet someone could call you a name and you would get upset. If that is the case, you are letting a name have power over you. You can’t box a bad name, or wrestle the rain when you are planning a picnic, or a lash out at a girl that likes another guy more than you, etc. Physical intervention can only defeat physical opponents, and then only temporarily, and there are potentially 6 billion human opponents on this Earth. It never ends. But psychic interventions, not letting yourself be offended by anyone or anything, makes you invulnerable. If you want justice, learn philosophical fighting techniques against your own inner demons, physical fighting is doomed to failure.
                   
                       You are worried about evil winning. Winning what? Evil has won since the ability to be offended – hurt – was born in our consciousness. If you cannot be hurt, there is no evil. Without “evil” life would have no meaning. The only purpose of evil is to remind you that you are susceptible to it. That doesn’t mean we should let certain people hurt other people in the real world, but that is why the legal system, as imperfect as it is, exists.
                   
                       Often there are intelligent actions that can be taken to undermine the need to fight. On a down-to-earth level, if you really see someone who needs help, consider calling the police; it’s their duty to stop it. As far as pacifism goes, you make it sound like cowardice. Are you sure people like Gandhi were cowards? I have never heard of a cowardly pacifist, but I have seen many cowardly people get into fights.
                   
                       When you engage in a fight, you have already lost. Not fighting doesn’t mean running away. Fighting is showing your fear, brandishing it for everyone to see.  Running away and fighting are both born of fear, it’s a hormonal response called the fight-or-flight response; every animal has it. To not be afraid means to neither run away nor fight, only humans have this potential. Only Stoics (and Buddhists, etc) have any chance of realizing that potential.  
                   
                       If you become a soldier because you want to battle evil, then disappointment is inevitable. Countless wars have been waged, yet where is the justice? Where is the justice, Alexander? Has any one of these wars ever ended the injustice that causes more wars? The only war that can truly end all wars - all injustice, all evil - is the one that wipes out the human race. All these wars have lost because the enemy lies within oneself, not within anyone else. On the other hand, if, hypothetically, every one were to become a Stoic, then no one would ever be offended by what anyone else did, nor covet what anyone else had, and there would be no reason for conflict. Evil would disappear. (And we would all be very bored!)
                   
                       I say give boxing your all, excel at it. Win those fights as a sporting event. We are rooting for you, cheering. But like Guillaume suggested, rationalizing fighting philosophically will not go far.
                       . . . Nate

                  From: Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@...>
                  To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, July 4, 2011 5:37 PM
                  Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.

                   
                  Hello Ghi O great answers to debate =)

                  How is doing nothing more virtous than trying to do the right thing no matter the consequences.

                  What reason is letting somebody beat you up hurting your health and not doing nothing?

                  "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."

                  Edmund Burke

                  Where is justice?

                  Doing nothing is easier

                  What country or world you live to think that you will never have to use violence? Are you justifiying cowardy.

                  Ill make new thread about this.

                  Socrates faught as an hopilite

                  --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Ghi O" <subtenante@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Alex.
                  >
                  > > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.
                  >
                  > This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.
                  >
                  > > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.
                  >
                  > Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.
                  >
                  > If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.
                  >
                  > Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?
                  >
                  > > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.
                  >
                  > True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.
                  >
                  > > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.
                  >
                  > What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.
                  >
                  > The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.
                  >
                  > I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.
                  >
                  > > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.
                  >
                  > So which way is it?
                  > Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
                  > Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?
                  >
                  > Cheers,
                  > Guillaume.
                  >



                • Alexander Alvarenga
                  Thanks for your wise answer Nate, you words are really deep and with wisdom your endurance and way you dealt with your situation is admirable. And sorry that
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jul 4, 2011
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                    Thanks for your wise answer Nate, you words are really deep and with wisdom your endurance and way you dealt with your situation is admirable. And sorry that no one helped you against those bullies and for situations like that ill keep training and it would be a honor with profound meaning to die triying to protect people like you.

                    But to be honest the thing of fighting evil some times physicaly goes accompanied by the reality that the only thing in my control is the desire not the outcome.

                    Some day as you say maybe a guy i consider injust will beat me and kill me, but that dont matters what matters is the desire behind the action.

                    About having some rounds with insults, women and hurricanes xD.Those are things totally beyond my control.

                    But i steel think that some times violence would be the moral choice.

                    Thanks for your answer again =).

                    --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Nate Z <eyesense@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Alexander,
                    >  
                    >      I understand that justice is a topic that motivates you. It means a lot to you. But maybe what is compelling you here is not some abstract ideal but hormones and instincts.
                    >  
                    >      Be suspicious of anything you feel too strongly for. If a subject makes you tense, then there is a lesson in it, and it’s one you are likely not to appreciate at first. This, at least, is my own experience.
                    >  
                    >      I used to be a foreigner in a very dangerous country and used to get beat up all the time. Fighting technique wouldn’t have helped me because there were many of them, and they came at me from behind. This made me angry; it made me want to seek revenge. I would ask myself, “How can I let them get away with that?” Now, I know that I gave those people power over me, not by taking their physical blows, but by accepting the humiliation. There will always be someone or something physically stronger than you to knock you down, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it strike you down twice, once in body and again in mind. A truly powerful person feels peace inside no matter what happens.
                    >  
                    >     Would you get angry and want to box a hurricane or typhoon, an earthquake or tsunami? They can hurt thousands. Are those things evil? You may think that’s a stupid question because you can’t get in a fight with the elements and win. But can any fight really ever be won, except the one against your own inner weakness? People have been beating and killing one another since we humans existed. Has any fighting technique ever stopped it? The way to stop violence isn’t through violence, or it would have ceased millennia ago.
                    >  
                    >      No one and nothing can control you, hurt you, anger you unless you relinquish that control. Control of one’s consciousness is the only control worth having for a Stoic. With your inflamed sense of justice, Alexander, I bet someone could call you a name and you would get upset. If that is the case, you are letting a name have power over you. You can’t box a bad name, or wrestle the rain when you are planning a picnic, or a lash out at a girl that likes another guy more than you, etc. Physical intervention can only defeat physical opponents, and then only temporarily, and there are potentially 6 billion human opponents on this Earth. It never ends. But psychic interventions, not letting yourself be offended by anyone or anything, makes you invulnerable. If you want justice, learn philosophical fighting techniques against your own inner demons, physical fighting is doomed to failure.
                    >  
                    >      You are worried about evil winning. Winning what? Evil has won since the ability to be offended â€" hurt â€" was born in our consciousness. If you cannot be hurt, there is no evil. Without “evil” life would have no meaning. The only purpose of evil is to remind you that you are susceptible to it. That doesn’t mean we should let certain people hurt other people in the real world, but that is why the legal system, as imperfect as it is, exists.
                    >  
                    >      Often there are intelligent actions that can be taken to undermine the need to fight. On a down-to-earth level, if you really see someone who needs help, consider calling the police; it’s their duty to stop it. As far as pacifism goes, you make it sound like cowardice. Are you sure people like Gandhi were cowards? I have never heard of a cowardly pacifist, but I have seen many cowardly people get into fights.
                    >  
                    >      When you engage in a fight, you have already lost. Not fighting doesn’t mean running away. Fighting is showing your fear, brandishing it for everyone to see.  Running away and fighting are both born of fear, it’s a hormonal response called the fight-or-flight response; every animal has it. To not be afraid means to neither run away nor fight, only humans have this potential. Only Stoics (and Buddhists, etc) have any chance of realizing that potential.  
                    >  
                    >      If you become a soldier because you want to battle evil, then disappointment is inevitable. Countless wars have been waged, yet where is the justice? Where is the justice, Alexander? Has any one of these wars ever ended the injustice that causes more wars? The only war that can truly end all wars - all injustice, all evil - is the one that wipes out the human race. All these wars have lost because the enemy lies within oneself, not within anyone else. On the other hand, if, hypothetically, every one were to become a Stoic, then no one would ever be offended by what anyone else did, nor covet what anyone else had, and there would be no reason for conflict. Evil would disappear. (And we would all be very bored!)
                    >  
                    >      I say give boxing your all, excel at it. Win those fights as a sporting event. We are rooting for you, cheering. But like Guillaume suggested, rationalizing fighting philosophically will not go far.
                    >      . . . Nate
                    >
                    > From: Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@...>
                    > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Monday, July 4, 2011 5:37 PM
                    > Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.
                    >
                    >
                    >  
                    > Hello Ghi O great answers to debate =)
                    >
                    > How is doing nothing more virtous than trying to do the right thing no matter the consequences.
                    >
                    > What reason is letting somebody beat you up hurting your health and not doing nothing?
                    >
                    > "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."
                    >
                    > Edmund Burke
                    >
                    > Where is justice?
                    >
                    > Doing nothing is easier
                    >
                    > What country or world you live to think that you will never have to use violence? Are you justifiying cowardy.
                    >
                    > Ill make new thread about this.
                    >
                    > Socrates faught as an hopilite
                    >
                    > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Ghi O" <subtenante@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi Alex.
                    > >
                    > > > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.
                    > >
                    > > This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.
                    > >
                    > > > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.
                    > >
                    > > Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.
                    > >
                    > > If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.
                    > >
                    > > Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?
                    > >
                    > > > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.
                    > >
                    > > True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.
                    > >
                    > > > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.
                    > >
                    > > What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.
                    > >
                    > > The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.
                    > >
                    > > I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.
                    > >
                    > > > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.
                    > >
                    > > So which way is it?
                    > > Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
                    > > Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?
                    > >
                    > > Cheers,
                    > > Guillaume.
                    > >
                    >
                  • Alexander Alvarenga
                    Hey bro thanks again for your answer =). Epcitetus talks about wining in the olympics =).
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jul 19, 2011
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                      Hey bro thanks again for your answer =).


                      Epcitetus talks about wining in the olympics =).

                      http://thinkexist.com/quotation/so_you_wish_to_conquer_in_the_olympic_games-my/326770.html

                      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Alvarenga" <moltronstoic@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks for your wise answer Nate, you words are really deep and with wisdom your endurance and way you dealt with your situation is admirable. And sorry that no one helped you against those bullies and for situations like that ill keep training and it would be a honor with profound meaning to die triying to protect people like you.
                      >
                      > But to be honest the thing of fighting evil some times physicaly goes accompanied by the reality that the only thing in my control is the desire not the outcome.
                      >
                      > Some day as you say maybe a guy i consider injust will beat me and kill me, but that dont matters what matters is the desire behind the action.
                      >
                      > About having some rounds with insults, women and hurricanes xD.Those are things totally beyond my control.
                      >
                      > But i steel think that some times violence would be the moral choice.
                      >
                      > Thanks for your answer again =).
                      >
                      > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Nate Z <eyesense@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Alexander,
                      > >  
                      > >      I understand that justice is a topic that motivates you. It means a lot to you. But maybe what is compelling you here is not some abstract ideal but hormones and instincts.
                      > >  
                      > >      Be suspicious of anything you feel too strongly for. If a subject makes you tense, then there is a lesson in it, and it’s one you are likely not to appreciate at first. This, at least, is my own experience.
                      > >  
                      > >      I used to be a foreigner in a very dangerous country and used to get beat up all the time. Fighting technique wouldn’t have helped me because there were many of them, and they came at me from behind. This made me angry; it made me want to seek revenge. I would ask myself, “How can I let them get away with that?” Now, I know that I gave those people power over me, not by taking their physical blows, but by accepting the humiliation. There will always be someone or something physically stronger than you to knock you down, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it strike you down twice, once in body and again in mind. A truly powerful person feels peace inside no matter what happens.
                      > >  
                      > >     Would you get angry and want to box a hurricane or typhoon, an earthquake or tsunami? They can hurt thousands. Are those things evil? You may think that’s a stupid question because you can’t get in a fight with the elements and win. But can any fight really ever be won, except the one against your own inner weakness? People have been beating and killing one another since we humans existed. Has any fighting technique ever stopped it? The way to stop violence isn’t through violence, or it would have ceased millennia ago.
                      > >  
                      > >      No one and nothing can control you, hurt you, anger you unless you relinquish that control. Control of one’s consciousness is the only control worth having for a Stoic. With your inflamed sense of justice, Alexander, I bet someone could call you a name and you would get upset. If that is the case, you are letting a name have power over you. You can’t box a bad name, or wrestle the rain when you are planning a picnic, or a lash out at a girl that likes another guy more than you, etc. Physical intervention can only defeat physical opponents, and then only temporarily, and there are potentially 6 billion human opponents on this Earth. It never ends. But psychic interventions, not letting yourself be offended by anyone or anything, makes you invulnerable. If you want justice, learn philosophical fighting techniques against your own inner demons, physical fighting is doomed to failure.
                      > >  
                      > >      You are worried about evil winning. Winning what? Evil has won since the ability to be offended â€" hurt â€" was born in our consciousness. If you cannot be hurt, there is no evil. Without “evil” life would have no meaning. The only purpose of evil is to remind you that you are susceptible to it. That doesn’t mean we should let certain people hurt other people in the real world, but that is why the legal system, as imperfect as it is, exists.
                      > >  
                      > >      Often there are intelligent actions that can be taken to undermine the need to fight. On a down-to-earth level, if you really see someone who needs help, consider calling the police; it’s their duty to stop it. As far as pacifism goes, you make it sound like cowardice. Are you sure people like Gandhi were cowards? I have never heard of a cowardly pacifist, but I have seen many cowardly people get into fights.
                      > >  
                      > >      When you engage in a fight, you have already lost. Not fighting doesn’t mean running away. Fighting is showing your fear, brandishing it for everyone to see.  Running away and fighting are both born of fear, it’s a hormonal response called the fight-or-flight response; every animal has it. To not be afraid means to neither run away nor fight, only humans have this potential. Only Stoics (and Buddhists, etc) have any chance of realizing that potential.  
                      > >  
                      > >      If you become a soldier because you want to battle evil, then disappointment is inevitable. Countless wars have been waged, yet where is the justice? Where is the justice, Alexander? Has any one of these wars ever ended the injustice that causes more wars? The only war that can truly end all wars - all injustice, all evil - is the one that wipes out the human race. All these wars have lost because the enemy lies within oneself, not within anyone else. On the other hand, if, hypothetically, every one were to become a Stoic, then no one would ever be offended by what anyone else did, nor covet what anyone else had, and there would be no reason for conflict. Evil would disappear. (And we would all be very bored!)
                      > >  
                      > >      I say give boxing your all, excel at it. Win those fights as a sporting event. We are rooting for you, cheering. But like Guillaume suggested, rationalizing fighting philosophically will not go far.
                      > >      . . . Nate
                      > >
                      > > From: Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@>
                      > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Monday, July 4, 2011 5:37 PM
                      > > Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Boxing.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >  
                      > > Hello Ghi O great answers to debate =)
                      > >
                      > > How is doing nothing more virtous than trying to do the right thing no matter the consequences.
                      > >
                      > > What reason is letting somebody beat you up hurting your health and not doing nothing?
                      > >
                      > > "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."
                      > >
                      > > Edmund Burke
                      > >
                      > > Where is justice?
                      > >
                      > > Doing nothing is easier
                      > >
                      > > What country or world you live to think that you will never have to use violence? Are you justifiying cowardy.
                      > >
                      > > Ill make new thread about this.
                      > >
                      > > Socrates faught as an hopilite
                      > >
                      > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Ghi O" <subtenante@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Hi Alex.
                      > > >
                      > > > > Some times somebody has to do the dirty job.
                      > > >
                      > > > This seems in deep contradiction with Stoicism to me. If you feel something is a "dirty" job, then you have the power to refuse to do it.
                      > > >
                      > > > > I know guys who beat weak people and only know the lenguage of violence force.
                      > > >
                      > > > Then speaking the same language to them is not likely to make them learn another.
                      > > >
                      > > > If someone is to be pitied, from a Stoic point of view, it is not necessarily the one who is beaten, but the one who beats for no reason, because he is the one who is losing his human faculties. So you should feel compassion towards them also, and try to help them.
                      > > >
                      > > > Why do you pity only the one who is beaten?
                      > > >
                      > > > > Stepin in involves putting yourself in risk and facing the consequences. You can end up beaten up and face the mockery of others, but that is indiffirent.
                      > > >
                      > > > True. Stepping in is a good thing, but it does not mean you want to beat the attackers. Protecting the one who is beaten does not mean firing any punch. You can do that very calmly and without being violent yourself.
                      > > >
                      > > > > The thing is the personal joy that comes from doing what i think to be a just and courageous act no matter the consequences.
                      > > >
                      > > > What I feel from what you say is that you want to feel like a hero.
                      > > >
                      > > > The problem with being a hero is that you need to beat someone to be one (to prove yourself worthy of something, to prove yourself stronger than another one, etc.), and so you are looking for people to beat.
                      > > >
                      > > > I firmly believe that it is very far from Stoicism. A Stoic will never feel joy from hurting someone. If that must be done, because the circumstances call for it in an emergency, it will still remain a last-resort solution and a failure to have really protected.
                      > > >
                      > > > > Im planing to join the military so maybe that could be a reason.
                      > > >
                      > > > So which way is it?
                      > > > Do you plan it because of philosophical reasons?
                      > > > Or are you trying to build philosophical justifications for that?
                      > > >
                      > > > Cheers,
                      > > > Guillaume.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
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