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Re: [stoics] Re: Longs' comments on Epictetus

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  • myshalom777@aol.com
    Hello Paul, I am a Christian and i joined this list primarily to lurk and glean information on Soricism and how Stocism interacts with Chritian concepts and
    Message 1 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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      Hello Paul,

      I am a Christian and i joined this list primarily to lurk and glean information on Soricism and how Stocism interacts with Chritian concepts and how it is also differentiated from it.

      I understand some Latin church fathers showed stoic influences and am led to believe that Stoicism also influenced Judaism to some extent altough i don't have any particulars on that yet.

      As i see it the idea of providence is one of the aspects of Stoicism that makes it analogous to Christianity. Of course, providence is essential to Christian theology and i tend to think to the Stoic world view as well. Of course, i take on board the fact Christian providence and the providence of Stoicism differ fundamentally as to how they operate in each world view and also as to its ends. But i certainly am interested to investigate this further and in more detail.

      Shalom,

      Celal Berker
      www.eefc.freeserve.co.uk/testimonies/celal.html


      In an email dated Wed, 1 Oct 2003 2:46:09 am GMT, "Paul" <pdlanagan@...> writes:

      >--- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...> wrote:
      >> How much does a stoic
      >> ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
      >> epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
      >> question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
      >> psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
      >> find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
      >> completely untenable.
      >
      >Doug,
      >
      >I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of
      >stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
      >even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of fate as
      >the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces determinism. I
      >accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate and
      >that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that there is
      >divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for the
      >best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
      >that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own existance.
      >I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
      >That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one available.
      >What do other forum members think?
      >
      >Regards,
      >
      >Paul L
      >
    • Pete Stonehouse
      Paul, A few thoughts: Doug, I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
      Message 2 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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        Paul,

         

        A few thoughts:

         

        Doug,

        I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of
        stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
        even "sacred" as the pantheists hold.

         

        As the universe (in any way we can perceive it) comprises of everything, it can not be compared with any thing else.  This being the case it cannot be described as either perfect or imperfect, or at least such descriptions are a statements of faith rather than rational observations.  For the universe to be sacred every object and every action within it must be, for their part, accordingly sacred.  It is hard to see how child porn and genocide can in any way be sacred.  For this reason I moved away from Pantheism – though I understand that Panentheism is a different matter.  

         

        I accept the concept of fate as
        the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces determinism. I
        accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate and
        that these are one in the same.

         

        My understanding is that chaotic maths and fuzzy logic disprove determinism.  I would have also thought that determinism is inimical to any form of morality (especially Stoicism): the most exemplary behaviour is not virtuous unless it is the product of a free will which has chosen to be governed by morality.

         

        However, I do not agree that there is
        divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for the
        best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
        that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own existance.

         

        If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it is directly responsible for everything.  Given the pain and suffering in the universe this being could not, I maintain, be a benevolent being.  The Christian would say that such pain and suffering is a result of human choice:  this clearly does not stand up to scrutiny.  Even if we leave aside some of the more revolting parasitic life forms (which only a sick and twisted mind would have actually invented), any truly omnipotent being could ensure that all human beings choose to behave decently to each other.  It is no good saying that that is not logical, that such an action would constitute the removal of choice: the very notion of omnipotence entails the ability to be able to do anything anyone could think of (and things they could not) including changing the laws of logic.  Therefore omnipotence = total responsibility.

         

        Humans are an intelligent purpose in the universe


        I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
        That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one available.
        What do other forum members think?

         

        I am curious why you think there is only one possible future, not just in the light of the above but also, when all the evidence from the past indicates that the present was just one of many possible.  More than that do you really believe that you have never exercised an uninformed choice – a random leap in the dark.



        Regards,

        Paul L



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      • Christophe Paillard
        Dear Paul, If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it is directly responsible for everything. Given the pain and suffering in the universe
        Message 3 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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          Dear Paul,
           

          "If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it is directly responsible for everything.  Given the pain and suffering in the universe this being could not, I maintain, be a benevolent being". 

           

           

          True, but the point is the Stoic God is not omnipotent in the way the Christian God is. The main difference is that he did not create matter but has to deal with it. Some material qualities can't be changed : according to the orthodox stoic theory, God is not responsible for this situation.

          "But why was God so unjust in the distribution of fate, as to give poverty, wounds, and painful deaths to good men?"  The workman cannot change his material : it must be accepted as it is.  Some things cannot be separated from some others.  They cling together and are indivisible.  Weak natures and those inclined to sleep or to a wakefulness which resembles sleep are composed of sluggish  elements : it requires a stronger fate to produce a man who must be spoken of with consideration".  SENECA, On Providence, V, 9.

           

          You write: "My understanding is that chaotic maths and fuzzy logic disprove determinism.  I would have also thought that determinism is inimical to any form of morality (especially Stoicism): the most exemplary behaviour is not virtuous unless it is the product of a free will which has chosen to be governed by morality".

           

          This a typical argument opposed to the Stoics : absolute fate would exclude moral responsibility. However, I think the Stoics could answer easily to this argument. First, the ancient philosophers knew nothing about free will as an indetermination of the will : it's a Christian idea. On the contrary, they thought that the more your will is determined by reason, the freer it is. Secondly, moral punishment is included in the laws of fate. Do you remember the famous answer of Zeno tho his servant who had stolen him : "Excuse me master, I was fated to steal you" - "Then you're fated to be punished". If you read French, my Website deals about this question http://perso.wanadoo.fr/fatalisme/

          Wish you the best,

          cP

        • Christophe Paillard
          Sorry Paul fot this mistake, I was in fact answering to Pete. ... From: Christophe Paillard To: stoics@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 1:49
          Message 4 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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            Sorry Paul fot this mistake, I was in fact answering to Pete.
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 1:49 PM
            Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: Longs' comments on Epictetus

            Dear Paul,
             

            "If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it is directly responsible for everything.  Given the pain and suffering in the universe this being could not, I maintain, be a benevolent being". 

             

             

            True, but the point is the Stoic God is not omnipotent in the way the Christian God is. The main difference is that he did not create matter but has to deal with it. Some material qualities can't be changed : according to the orthodox stoic theory, God is not responsible for this situation.

            "But why was God so unjust in the distribution of fate, as to give poverty, wounds, and painful deaths to good men?"  The workman cannot change his material : it must be accepted as it is.  Some things cannot be separated from some others.  They cling together and are indivisible.  Weak natures and those inclined to sleep or to a wakefulness which resembles sleep are composed of sluggish  elements : it requires a stronger fate to produce a man who must be spoken of with consideration".  SENECA, On Providence, V, 9.

             

            You write: "My understanding is that chaotic maths and fuzzy logic disprove determinism.  I would have also thought that determinism is inimical to any form of morality (especially Stoicism): the most exemplary behaviour is not virtuous unless it is the product of a free will which has chosen to be governed by morality".

             

            This a typical argument opposed to the Stoics : absolute fate would exclude moral responsibility. However, I think the Stoics could answer easily to this argument. First, the ancient philosophers knew nothing about free will as an indetermination of the will : it's a Christian idea. On the contrary, they thought that the more your will is determined by reason, the freer it is. Secondly, moral punishment is included in the laws of fate. Do you remember the famous answer of Zeno tho his servant who had stolen him : "Excuse me master, I was fated to steal you" - "Then you're fated to be punished". If you read French, my Website deals about this question http://perso.wanadoo.fr/fatalisme/

            Wish you the best,

            cP

          • mreeyore1968
            If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning. If this is so, this is the
            Message 5 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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              If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
              universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning. If
              this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
              is the best it can be (providential). We say that humans
              have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
              not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The causes
              throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
              (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is more
              intelligent and conscious than we are.

              Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
              as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us (i.e
              not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what comes
              to them from externals than internal. From the universe's perspective
              EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.

              By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
              determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
              favour of the continuum they back it up.

              Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
              ...and...
              Wishing you well
              Paul


              --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
              > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
              wrote:
              > > How much does a stoic
              > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
              > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
              > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
              > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
              > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
              > > completely untenable.
              >
              > Doug,
              >
              > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of
              > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
              > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of fate
              as
              > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces determinism.
              I
              > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
              and
              > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that there
              is
              > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
              the
              > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
              > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
              existance.
              > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
              > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
              available.
              > What do other forum members think?
              >
              > Regards,
              >
              > Paul L
            • tharasybulsone
              Dear Pete, You said: If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it is directly responsible for everything. Given the pain and suffering in the
              Message 6 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                Dear Pete,
                You said: "If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it
                is directly responsible for everything. Given the pain and suffering
                in the universe this being could not, I maintain, be a benevolent
                being". This is a common argument and has vexed many believers. It
                seems like a problem, until you look closer. A being can be both
                benevolent and cause suffering. A doctor is certainly benevolent, and
                yet setting a broken leg may indeed cause us pain. My five year old
                daughter thinks I am mean when I prevent her from eating all the
                candy she desires. This however disproves neither my good intentions
                or my existence! This is a problem of perspective, not intent.
                An `all powerful' being cannot do everything. He could not do things
                that are by definition impossible, such as make a square circle. We
                are by definition finite beings with bodies. These are limits set to
                us, by nature or by God. Is it possible to have physical bodies that
                do not suffer? We cannot have pleasure without its opposite pain, as
                Socrates was so fond of pointing out. If we removed pain from the
                universe, and likewise pleasure, we would more readily complain of
                lack of pleasure than presence of pain. We cannot learn, and life
                would be inconceivable without pain. Many traditions actually hold
                suffering to be good. Meister Eckhart says "Whatever the good man
                suffers for God and in God and God suffers with him..my suffering is
                God." And "If I am a good and wise man I should be ashamed if I pray
                to be made well again". Gandhi thought suffering to be so important
                that he was against the building of hospitals and charity. He thought
                tribulation and death to be far richer than health and life and he
                certainly believed in a benevolent and omnipotent deity. I agree that
                such a God would be totally responsible. The problem is, with our
                limited perspective we would not always understand, and hence, we
                moan. I understand that this dose not prove such a deity,
                however, "The Problem of Pain", as C.S. Lewis aptly put it, cannot be
                used to undermine such a deity. Again, I do not endorse such a deity
                as necessary, but I can understand the ideas' appeal and usefulness
                in teaching ethics. Thanks for the time.
              • Sam Coppock
                I agree with Paul that I am not comfortable with some stoics theology; let us not say the stoic theology for there is room for debate among us. And that
                Message 7 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                  I agree with Paul that I am not comfortable with some stoics' theology; let us not say "the" stoic theology for there is room for debate among us. And that which was written long ago may be imploved upon, just  as relativity improves on classical mechancs; rather than rebutting, let us refine and extend.
                   
                  The subjects of Fate, causality and randomness have intrigued me for many years. I have broached randomness here before. Let me offer a few insights.
                   
                  Remember that to the Greek mind the Fates were three goddesses: one who spins the thread of life, one who weaves the fabric of life, and one who cuts the strand. Being divine, they could be capricious, so there was no determinism inherent in the notion of Fate. Rather, Fate was popularly the stoic notion: that which is simply quite beyond one's own control. It does not necessarily follow that that which is beyond our control must be predestined.
                   
                  The reference to "fuzzy math" is appropos. From Euclid through at least the time of Newton, mathematics was as determinate as clockwork, but by the mid-19th century thermodynamics was already paving the way for quantum mechanics. A mass of molecules in a gas behaves in a quite predictable fashion in the aggregate, even as the myriad constituent atoms behave randomly - chaotically. Cause still yields predictable relentless effect, but change the scale (or frame of reference) and the edges look uncertain - i.e., fuzzy.
                   
                  My view of the universe is that it is well-ordered for the most part, but there is indeed some randomness, some fuzziness; all is not entirely inevitable. Biology seems to support that; look in the archaeological evidence of so many species which have become extinct, some yielding to later species and some just "evolutionary dead ends" that either weren't as good as others or suffered some random catastrophe such as the asteroid crash in the Yucatan that wiped out the otherwise quite succussful dinosaurs. The world can be a messy place.
                   
                  And that messiness allows for creativity, in evolution and in man's imagination. That local, margian indeterminacy allows for choice, hence free will. Look, if we had no choice," will" would not be free; indeed the "will" would not even exist; we would simply execute the divine program. (Lemma: "free will" is a tautology: if it were not free, it would not be will.)
                   
                  And finally, I am leary of attributing any human characteristic to the universe at large as a whole. The universe contains both increasing disorder (entropy, gravity, erosion, death) and increasing order (life, growth, human knowledge, human understanding). I find the ideas of a vengeful god or a merciful god or a divine will or an inevitable order all rather self-flattering. Llet us beware not to make god in our own image. Such is a useful device for art or young children, but is not reliable in science or - therefore - philosophy.
                   
                  Or not?
                   
                  Sam
                   
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Paul [mailto:pdlanagan@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 7:46 PM
                  To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [stoics] Re: Longs' comments on Epictetus

                  --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...> wrote:
                  > How much does a stoic
                  > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                  > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                  > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                  > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                  > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                  > completely untenable.

                  Doug,

                  I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of
                  stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                  even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of fate as
                  the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces determinism. I
                  accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate and
                  that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that there is
                  divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for the
                  best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                  that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own existance.
                  I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                  That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one available.
                  What do other forum members think?

                  Regards,

                  Paul L



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                  stoics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com


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                • Pete Stonehouse
                  Dear Paul, This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that one either subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter. If you accept the
                  Message 8 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                    Dear Paul,

                     

                    This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that one either subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.

                     

                     

                    If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                    universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning. If
                    this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                    is the best it can be (providential).

                     

                    This is theology, not reason.  There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that.

                     

                    We say that humans
                    have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                    not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The causes
                    throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                    (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is more
                    intelligent and conscious than we are.

                     

                    If there is no other possible universe and every event was preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear sequence – or to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.

                     



                    Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                    as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us (i.e
                    not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what comes
                    to them from externals than internal. From the universe's perspective
                    EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.

                     

                    There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again this sounds more like theology than reason.

                     



                    By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                    determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                    favour of the continuum they back it up.

                     

                    Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways.  I cannot understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two thousand years never happened.

                    Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible effects – determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.  Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true or chaotic maths is not true.



                    Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                    ...and...

                     

                    Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of leaps in the dark that all human progress depends on – this is why the great determinist culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.

                     


                    Wishing you well
                    Paul

                     

                    And you too Paul

                     

                     

                    Pete




                    --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                    > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                    wrote:
                    > > How much does a stoic
                    > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                    > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                    > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                    > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                    > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                    > > completely untenable.
                    >
                    > Doug,
                    >
                    > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side of
                    > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                    > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of fate
                    as
                    > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces determinism.
                    I
                    > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                    and
                    > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that there
                    is
                    > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                    the
                    > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                    > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                    existance.
                    > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                    > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                    available.
                    > What do other forum members think?
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    >
                    > Paul L



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                  • Pete Stonehouse
                    Dear tharasbulsone, My comments follow (please forgive the shouting my friend: I feel the emphasis necessary at points) Dear Pete, You said: If there is an
                    Message 9 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                      Dear tharasbulsone,

                       

                      My comments follow (please forgive the shouting my friend: I feel the emphasis necessary at points)

                       

                       

                      Dear Pete,
                      You said: "If there is an omnipotent god in the universe, he, she, it
                      is directly responsible for everything.  Given the pain and suffering
                      in the universe this being could not, I maintain, be a benevolent
                      being". This is a common argument and has vexed many believers. It
                      seems like a problem, until you look closer. A being can be both
                      benevolent and cause suffering.

                       

                      Even if I go along with this….

                       

                      A doctor is certainly benevolent, and
                      yet setting a broken leg may indeed cause us pain. My five year old
                      daughter thinks I am mean when I prevent her from eating all the
                      candy she desires. This however disproves neither my good intentions
                      or my existence! This is a problem of perspective, not intent.

                       

                      To suggest the suffering of the innocent, such as child rape and genocide for example, is somehow comparable with the ministrations of a doctor or the guiding hand of a parent is perverse in the extreme. 

                       

                       
                      An `all powerful' being cannot do everything.

                       

                      THEN IT IS NOT ALL POWERFUL

                       

                      He could not do things
                      that are by definition impossible, such as make a square circle.

                       

                      THEN IT IS NOT ALL POWERFUL

                       

                       

                      We
                      are by definition finite beings with bodies. These are limits set to
                      us, by nature or by God. Is it possible to have physical bodies that
                      do not suffer?

                       

                      We could if an all powerful being willed it.

                       

                      We cannot have pleasure without its opposite pain, as
                      Socrates was so fond of pointing out.

                       

                      We could if an all powerful being willed it.

                       

                       If we removed pain from the
                      universe, and likewise pleasure, we would more readily complain of
                      lack of pleasure than presence of pain. We cannot learn, and life
                      would be inconceivable without pain.

                       

                      Not if an all powerful being willed it.

                       

                      Many traditions actually hold
                      suffering to be good.

                       

                      In no way does that support your argument, anymore than the existence of the practice of female infant genital mutilation supports the practice of female infant genital mutilation.

                       

                      Meister Eckhart says "Whatever the good man
                      suffers for God and in God and God suffers with him..my suffering is
                      God." And "If I am a good and wise man I should be ashamed if I pray
                      to be made well again". Gandhi thought suffering to be so important
                      that he was against the building of hospitals and charity.

                       

                      If that is the case you have certainly taught me something – this being so lowers my estimation of Ghandi.  The belief in the innate good of suffering (in itself) is a moral perversion of the foulest kind and is responsible for the misery and the death of millions upon millions of innocents throughout the last two thousand years of human history.  For this reason I believe Christianity to be the greatest disaster to have befallen humanity.

                       

                       He thought
                      tribulation and death to be far richer than health and life and he
                      certainly believed in a benevolent and omnipotent deity. I agree that
                      such a God would be totally responsible.

                       

                      That is more than most Christians would admit.

                       

                       The problem is, with our
                      limited perspective we would not always understand, and hence, we
                      moan.

                       

                      I think that child rape is wrong, always was wrong, and always will be wrong because I don’t understand god’s great plan??????

                       

                      I understand that this dose not prove such a deity,
                      however, "The Problem of Pain", as C.S. Lewis aptly put it, cannot be
                      used to undermine such a deity.

                       

                      YES YES YES it can and does.  But let me go along with Mr Lewis’s theological map for a minute.  I look at the workings of this god with the consciousness that it gave me and am horrified.  Do I abdicate my moral repugnance and accept that I can never understand the workings of the divine mind?  Not if I had any moral fibre – I should rather oppose this cruel being with all my puny strength even if it is futile and even if in spite this deity would send me to hell.

                       

                      Should I believe in the dogmas of Christian fundamentalism I would feel morally obliged to choose hell.

                       

                       

                      Again, I do not endorse such a deity
                      as necessary, but I can understand the ideas' appeal and usefulness
                      in teaching ethics.

                       

                      The idea is ugly and untrue.  It certainly has no use in the understanding of ethics; in fact the doctrine of judgement by faith alone is contrary to any coherent ethical system.

                       

                       

                      Please leave the nonsense behind and move on.

                       

                       

                       

                      Thanks for the time.

                       

                       

                      Thank you too - Pete






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                    • mreeyore1968
                      Dear Pete By the way, I m also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed. If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very worthwhile thing
                      Message 10 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                        Dear Pete
                        By the way, I'm also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed.

                        If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very
                        worthwhile thing to point that out. Again you make terms mutually
                        exclusive which are not. Theology and reason can sit side by side.
                        Even if you claim that through reason one can say there is no such
                        thing as anything we can possibly call 'god', you are immediately
                        conversing on theology and on reason.
                        I began my reasoning on 'a providential universe' with the proviso
                        that one accepted the premise that one 'accepts the stoic theory of
                        fate'. If one doesn't then obviously the argument becomes
                        hypothetical.

                        When you say:
                        If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                        preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect,
                        just a linear sequence – or to put it another way a single cause with
                        a single train of effects.

                        ...you seem to contradict yourself here (1st there is 'no cause and
                        effect', then 2nd there is 'a single cause with a single train of
                        effects').

                        Anyway, the interesting account of stoic fate theory from Chrysippus
                        (which I quote out of interest not because it is the law) uses terms
                        like:
                        'the continuous causal chain of things that exist... and their
                        intertwining with one another is unalterable. Nothing comes about
                        without a cause, or that nothing comes about except in accordance
                        with antecedent causes.'
                        We might describe this in modern terms as a 'causal nexus'. This is
                        rather more complex than the single train of effects you suggest. The
                        complexity and apparent unpredictability of such a nexus is why
                        empirical information often fits granular quantum physics as well as
                        smooth continuum physics.

                        I agree that what I wrote about the consciousness of the
                        universe 'sounds' like theology, but then you must agree that so does
                        much of contemporary physics. What I am getting at is a conceptual
                        definition.
                        To give another example: To use an analogy. If I have at home a
                        fishtank which contains a water pump and three goldfish. If the
                        fishtank and its contents are 'the universe' and there is nothing
                        outside of it, then the universe is the sum of the things in it. This
                        hypothetical universe contains the workings of a water pump, water,
                        gravel, whatever else and the consciousness of three goldfish (as
                        well as some amoeba etc). It is therefore more than any of its parts.
                        Perhaps people who do not see this, see the universe as only the
                        fishtank (i.e. the borders without the contents). If we apply my
                        analogy to our universe the sum of the parts becomes rather awesome,
                        even more so if we incorporate, (as I do), the notion of antecedent
                        causes mixed throughout.
                        I agree also that for some this still does not lead to an attribute
                        of 'consciousness' for the universe. My point was that if I am
                        prepared to label myself as conscious I shrink from not labelling
                        that of which I am such a tiniest part with at the very least the
                        same.

                        I am not arguing that the last 2000 years never happened. Atomism and
                        Continuum theories have developed in complexity and accuracy for
                        sure, but they still fall out over the same distinctions. The
                        MEASUREMENT of the phenomena in the universe will always be
                        in 'granular' measures whether they be called centimetres, chronons,
                        atoms etc. 'Scientists', you will agree I think, are finding that
                        these measurements can always be reduced. If that is infinite then we
                        have a continuum.

                        A quick look at 'chaotic maths' shows how we cannot MEASURE in a
                        determined way, but that chaotic numbers ARE determined nevertheless:

                        http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1380/chaosmat.html

                        this is the same for the number Pi which I mentioned before.

                        I don't think human progress depends on leaps in the dark, so much as
                        turning the lights on.

                        Wishing you well
                        Paul

                        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Stonehouse" <cpwstonehouse@b...>
                        wrote:
                        > Dear Paul,
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that
                        one either
                        > subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                        > universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning.
                        If
                        > this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                        > is the best it can be (providential).
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > This is theology, not reason. There is no evidence whatsoever to
                        suggest
                        > that.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > We say that humans
                        > have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                        > not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The
                        causes
                        > throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                        > (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is
                        more
                        > intelligent and conscious than we are.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                        preordained from
                        > the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear
                        sequence - or
                        > to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                        > as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us
                        (i.e
                        > not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what
                        comes
                        > to them from externals than internal. From the universe's
                        perspective
                        > EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again
                        this
                        > sounds more like theology than reason.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                        > determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                        > favour of the continuum they back it up.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways.
                        I cannot
                        > understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two
                        thousand
                        > years never happened.
                        >
                        > Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible
                        effects -
                        > determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.
                        > Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true
                        or
                        > chaotic maths is not true.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                        > ...and...
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of
                        leaps in the
                        > dark that all human progress depends on - this is why the great
                        determinist
                        > culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Wishing you well
                        > Paul
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > And you too Paul
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Pete
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                        > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                        > wrote:
                        > > > How much does a stoic
                        > > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                        > > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                        > > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                        > > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                        > > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                        > > > completely untenable.
                        > >
                        > > Doug,
                        > >
                        > > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side
                        of
                        > > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                        > > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of
                        fate
                        > as
                        > > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces
                        determinism.
                        > I
                        > > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                        > and
                        > > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that
                        there
                        > is
                        > > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                        > the
                        > > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                        > > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                        > existance.
                        > > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                        > > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                        > available.
                        > > What do other forum members think?
                        > >
                        > > Regards,
                        > >
                        > > Paul L
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
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                      • John
                        Dear Pete, It is a good thing that C.S. Lewis didn t have a Pete Stonehouse. His straw men didn t write back! I guess the devil needs a new advocate because I
                        Message 11 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                          Dear Pete,

                          It is a good thing that C.S. Lewis didn't have a Pete Stonehouse. His
                          straw men didn't write back! I guess the devil needs a new advocate
                          because I can't do the job. My reply wasn't even sarcastic or funny.
                          The analogy of the doctor was terrible too! An omnipotent doctor
                          could set a broken leg without causing pain, heck, even Bones McCoy
                          from Star Trek could do that. I did not have much time or I surely
                          could have come up with something more clever! Notice I didn't even
                          try to touch the child abuse or genocide problem. The argument
                          of "even God can't do what is logically impossible" is from Lewis, I
                          can't take credit for it. I was raised in a religious family but I
                          never could reconcile within my self these questions. Never
                          mind `could an omnipotent, benevolent God create a universe without
                          suffering?' But "Why would he create it as it is?' Perhaps this is
                          why the Gnostics posit an evil demiurge that really controls the
                          universe (What is the Good God doing while this is going on?). Even
                          Paul mentions "the god of this world (who) blinded the minds of them
                          which believe not." II cor. 4:4. I have pretty much quit worrying
                          about such questions and try to focus on things more ready to hand.
                          To be fair to Gandhi and Eckhart, they both deserve a thorough
                          reading. I find both men to be generally great men who couched their
                          philosophies in Christianity and Hinduism respectfully. Likewise,
                          Eckhart was accused of heresy and Gandhi was assassinated by an
                          orthodox Hindu. Both men highly valued suffering for individual
                          spiritual reasons, however, they both spent their lives trying to
                          fight injustice and suffering of others. As far as explanations for
                          evil go, St. Augustine (an admirer of Epictetus) concludes in the
                          Confessions "There is no evil."
                          A Hindu Yogin would suggest that reality, including good and evil,
                          is `Lila', a game where the divinity disguises himself as individual
                          creatures who merely think they suffer. That is about the best I have
                          come across! Not very intellectually satisfying is it? Thanks for the
                          vigorous reply.
                          The Former Assistant
                          Advocate for the Adversary General, John.
                        • Richard Lilley
                          Paul Quite so -causality is the central problem in a measured world within the copenhagen interpretation (the edges of which are, as we know, fraying). Is
                          Message 12 of 24 , Oct 3, 2003
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                            Paul
                             
                            Quite so -causality is the central problem in a measured world within the copenhagen interpretation (the edges of which are, as we know, fraying). Is consciousness, which has qualities of the miraculous , a consequence of material events - it must have antecedent causes and be a thing-in-itself in turn causing and mediating future events.  It is our only operative experience of the universe. Indeed it is what we call our experience of the universe.   But in the quantum reality that the material parts of the universe apparently occupy and define, there is no simple "symetrical" causation in time space or however. Our experience of the universe is thus what: infinite? Omniscient? Like your goldfish? The difference being that I know who made the bowl and the pump; and theologically minded stoics must argue that it is either a supernatural being with a plan, or an independent fate like the hurricaine blowing through a garage and assembling a rolls royce?
                             
                            the weekend beckons...
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: mreeyore1968 [mailto:paul@...]
                            Sent: 02 October 2003 22:52
                            To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                            Dear Pete
                            By the way, I'm also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed.

                            If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very
                            worthwhile thing to point that out. Again you make terms mutually
                            exclusive which are not. Theology and reason can sit side by side.
                            Even if you claim that through reason one can say there is no such
                            thing as anything we can possibly call 'god', you are immediately
                            conversing on theology and on reason.
                            I began my reasoning on 'a providential universe' with the proviso
                            that one accepted the premise that one 'accepts the stoic theory of
                            fate'. If one doesn't then obviously the argument becomes
                            hypothetical.

                            When you say:
                            If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                            preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect,
                            just a linear sequence - or to put it another way a single cause with
                            a single train of effects.

                            ...you seem to contradict yourself here (1st there is 'no cause and
                            effect', then 2nd there is 'a single cause with a single train of
                            effects').

                            Anyway, the interesting account of stoic fate theory from Chrysippus
                            (which I quote out of interest not because it is the law) uses terms
                            like:
                            'the continuous causal chain of things that exist... and their
                            intertwining with one another is unalterable. Nothing comes about
                            without a cause, or that nothing comes about except in accordance
                            with antecedent causes.'
                            We might describe this in modern terms as a 'causal nexus'. This is
                            rather more complex than the single train of effects you suggest. The
                            complexity and apparent unpredictability of such a nexus is why
                            empirical information often fits granular quantum physics as well as
                            smooth continuum physics.

                            I agree that what I wrote about the consciousness of the
                            universe 'sounds' like theology, but then you must agree that so does
                            much of contemporary physics. What I am getting at is a conceptual
                            definition.
                            To give another example: To use an analogy. If I have at home a
                            fishtank which contains a water pump and three goldfish. If the
                            fishtank and its contents are 'the universe' and there is nothing
                            outside of it, then the universe is the sum of the things in it. This
                            hypothetical universe contains the workings of a water pump, water,
                            gravel, whatever else and the consciousness of three goldfish (as
                            well as some amoeba etc). It is therefore more than any of its parts.
                            Perhaps people who do not see this, see the universe as only the
                            fishtank (i.e. the borders without the contents). If we apply my
                            analogy to our universe the sum of the parts becomes rather awesome,
                            even more so if we incorporate, (as I do), the notion of antecedent
                            causes mixed throughout.
                            I agree also that for some this still does not lead to an attribute
                            of 'consciousness' for the universe. My point was that if I am
                            prepared to label myself as conscious I shrink from not labelling
                            that of which I am such a tiniest part with at the very least the
                            same.

                            I am not arguing that the last 2000 years never happened. Atomism and
                            Continuum theories have developed in complexity and accuracy for
                            sure, but they still fall out over the same distinctions. The
                            MEASUREMENT of the phenomena in the universe will always be
                            in 'granular' measures whether they be called centimetres, chronons,
                            atoms etc. 'Scientists', you will agree I think, are finding that
                            these measurements can always be reduced. If that is infinite then we
                            have a continuum.

                            A quick look at 'chaotic maths' shows how we cannot MEASURE in a
                            determined way, but that chaotic numbers ARE determined nevertheless:

                            http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1380/chaosmat.html

                            this is the same for the number Pi which I mentioned before.

                            I don't think human progress depends on leaps in the dark, so much as
                            turning the lights on.

                            Wishing you well
                            Paul

                            --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Stonehouse" <cpwstonehouse@b...>
                            wrote:
                            > Dear Paul,
                            >

                            >
                            > This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that
                            one either
                            > subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.
                            >

                            >

                            >
                            > If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                            > universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning.
                            If
                            > this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                            > is the best it can be (providential).
                            >

                            >
                            > This is theology, not reason.  There is no evidence whatsoever to
                            suggest
                            > that.
                            >

                            >
                            > We say that humans
                            > have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                            > not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The
                            causes
                            > throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                            > (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is
                            more
                            > intelligent and conscious than we are.
                            >

                            >
                            > If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                            preordained from
                            > the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear
                            sequence - or
                            > to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.
                            >

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                            > as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us
                            (i.e
                            > not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what
                            comes
                            > to them from externals than internal. From the universe's
                            perspective
                            > EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.
                            >

                            >
                            > There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again
                            this
                            > sounds more like theology than reason.
                            >

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                            > determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                            > favour of the continuum they back it up.
                            >

                            >
                            > Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways. 
                            I cannot
                            > understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two
                            thousand
                            > years never happened.
                            >
                            > Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible
                            effects -
                            > determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.
                            > Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true
                            or
                            > chaotic maths is not true.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                            > ...and...
                            >

                            >
                            > Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of
                            leaps in the
                            > dark that all human progress depends on - this is why the great
                            determinist
                            > culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.
                            >

                            >
                            >
                            > Wishing you well
                            > Paul
                            >

                            >
                            > And you too Paul
                            >

                            >

                            >
                            > Pete
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                            > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                            > wrote:
                            > > > How much does a stoic
                            > > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                            > > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                            > > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                            > > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                            > > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                            > > > completely untenable.
                            > >
                            > > Doug,
                            > >
                            > > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side
                            of
                            > > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                            > > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of
                            fate
                            > as
                            > > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces
                            determinism.
                            > I
                            > > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                            > and
                            > > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that
                            there
                            > is
                            > > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                            > the
                            > > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                            > > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                            > existance.
                            > > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                            > > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                            > available.
                            > > What do other forum members think?
                            > >
                            > > Regards,
                            > >
                            > > Paul L
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                          • Paul Ryan
                            Dear Richard Enjoyed your reply! I was at a lecture by Roger Penrose today on the subject of symmetry. I was lucky enough to get to ask a question which
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 4, 2003
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                              Dear Richard
                              Enjoyed your reply!
                              I was at a lecture by Roger Penrose today on the subject of symmetry. I was lucky enough to get to ask a question which related to some things he said, and also to this current discussion.
                               
                              In order to explain approximate symmetry that occurs in nature, Penrose says that hidden from direct perception are symmetries in force that are 'necessarily exact' and that these 'underlie all known physical forces'.
                               
                              I asked, 'If there are symmetries in force that are necessarily exact does that imply that they operate in a continuum rather than a quantum universe'.
                               
                              He began to answer by discussing how to describe a symmetry we may have to use infinite points, and then moved on to the meat of the matter and said that this was a contentious and undecided issue, and currently much debated. He said that quantum theories are often convincing because they seem to fit data and applications can be made of them, but that this was not a useful factor in deciding the answer to my question. (I add here 'Of course Newtonian physics also achieved this'). When I pressed him for his personal view, he hesitated a couple of times and then said that he could not come down on either side.
                               
                              I hope that will be useful to those who feel that this issue has already been decided by modern science.
                               
                              Also of interest was a question asked by another of a few of us who gathered around to talk to Penrose afterwards. He asked whether a theoretical quantum computer could attain consciousness. Penrose's answer was; that he had his own reasons for saying so but that the answer was 'no'. He added that he also thought that consciousness could not come about as a by-product of evolutionary development.
                               
                              I add these points not to infer any conclusions but because they are (to me) absolutely fascinating glimpses.
                               
                              Wishing you well
                              Paul
                               
                               
                               
                               
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 1:16 PM
                              Subject: RE: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                              Paul
                               
                              Quite so -causality is the central problem in a measured world within the copenhagen interpretation (the edges of which are, as we know, fraying). Is consciousness, which has qualities of the miraculous , a consequence of material events - it must have antecedent causes and be a thing-in-itself in turn causing and mediating future events.  It is our only operative experience of the universe. Indeed it is what we call our experience of the universe.   But in the quantum reality that the material parts of the universe apparently occupy and define, there is no simple "symetrical" causation in time space or however. Our experience of the universe is thus what: infinite? Omniscient? Like your goldfish? The difference being that I know who made the bowl and the pump; and theologically minded stoics must argue that it is either a supernatural being with a plan, or an independent fate like the hurricaine blowing through a garage and assembling a rolls royce?
                               
                              the weekend beckons...
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: mreeyore1968 [mailto:paul@...]
                              Sent: 02 October 2003 22:52
                              To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                              Dear Pete
                              By the way, I'm also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed.

                              If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very
                              worthwhile thing to point that out. Again you make terms mutually
                              exclusive which are not. Theology and reason can sit side by side.
                              Even if you claim that through reason one can say there is no such
                              thing as anything we can possibly call 'god', you are immediately
                              conversing on theology and on reason.
                              I began my reasoning on 'a providential universe' with the proviso
                              that one accepted the premise that one 'accepts the stoic theory of
                              fate'. If one doesn't then obviously the argument becomes
                              hypothetical.

                              When you say:
                              If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                              preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect,
                              just a linear sequence - or to put it another way a single cause with
                              a single train of effects.

                              ...you seem to contradict yourself here (1st there is 'no cause and
                              effect', then 2nd there is 'a single cause with a single train of
                              effects').

                              Anyway, the interesting account of stoic fate theory from Chrysippus
                              (which I quote out of interest not because it is the law) uses terms
                              like:
                              'the continuous causal chain of things that exist... and their
                              intertwining with one another is unalterable. Nothing comes about
                              without a cause, or that nothing comes about except in accordance
                              with antecedent causes.'
                              We might describe this in modern terms as a 'causal nexus'. This is
                              rather more complex than the single train of effects you suggest. The
                              complexity and apparent unpredictability of such a nexus is why
                              empirical information often fits granular quantum physics as well as
                              smooth continuum physics.

                              I agree that what I wrote about the consciousness of the
                              universe 'sounds' like theology, but then you must agree that so does
                              much of contemporary physics. What I am getting at is a conceptual
                              definition.
                              To give another example: To use an analogy. If I have at home a
                              fishtank which contains a water pump and three goldfish. If the
                              fishtank and its contents are 'the universe' and there is nothing
                              outside of it, then the universe is the sum of the things in it. This
                              hypothetical universe contains the workings of a water pump, water,
                              gravel, whatever else and the consciousness of three goldfish (as
                              well as some amoeba etc). It is therefore more than any of its parts.
                              Perhaps people who do not see this, see the universe as only the
                              fishtank (i.e. the borders without the contents). If we apply my
                              analogy to our universe the sum of the parts becomes rather awesome,
                              even more so if we incorporate, (as I do), the notion of antecedent
                              causes mixed throughout.
                              I agree also that for some this still does not lead to an attribute
                              of 'consciousness' for the universe. My point was that if I am
                              prepared to label myself as conscious I shrink from not labelling
                              that of which I am such a tiniest part with at the very least the
                              same.

                              I am not arguing that the last 2000 years never happened. Atomism and
                              Continuum theories have developed in complexity and accuracy for
                              sure, but they still fall out over the same distinctions. The
                              MEASUREMENT of the phenomena in the universe will always be
                              in 'granular' measures whether they be called centimetres, chronons,
                              atoms etc. 'Scientists', you will agree I think, are finding that
                              these measurements can always be reduced. If that is infinite then we
                              have a continuum.

                              A quick look at 'chaotic maths' shows how we cannot MEASURE in a
                              determined way, but that chaotic numbers ARE determined nevertheless:

                              http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1380/chaosmat.html

                              this is the same for the number Pi which I mentioned before.

                              I don't think human progress depends on leaps in the dark, so much as
                              turning the lights on.

                              Wishing you well
                              Paul

                              --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Stonehouse" <cpwstonehouse@b...>
                              wrote:
                              > Dear Paul,
                              >

                              >
                              > This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that
                              one either
                              > subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.
                              >

                              >

                              >
                              > If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                              > universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning.
                              If
                              > this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                              > is the best it can be (providential).
                              >

                              >
                              > This is theology, not reason.  There is no evidence whatsoever to
                              suggest
                              > that.
                              >

                              >
                              > We say that humans
                              > have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                              > not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The
                              causes
                              > throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                              > (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is
                              more
                              > intelligent and conscious than we are.
                              >

                              >
                              > If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                              preordained from
                              > the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear
                              sequence - or
                              > to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.
                              >

                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                              > as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us
                              (i.e
                              > not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what
                              comes
                              > to them from externals than internal. From the universe's
                              perspective
                              > EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.
                              >

                              >
                              > There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again
                              this
                              > sounds more like theology than reason.
                              >

                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                              > determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                              > favour of the continuum they back it up.
                              >

                              >
                              > Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways. 
                              I cannot
                              > understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two
                              thousand
                              > years never happened.
                              >
                              > Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible
                              effects -
                              > determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.
                              > Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true
                              or
                              > chaotic maths is not true.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                              > ...and...
                              >

                              >
                              > Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of
                              leaps in the
                              > dark that all human progress depends on - this is why the great
                              determinist
                              > culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.
                              >

                              >
                              >
                              > Wishing you well
                              > Paul
                              >

                              >
                              > And you too Paul
                              >

                              >

                              >
                              > Pete
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                              > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                              > wrote:
                              > > > How much does a stoic
                              > > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                              > > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                              > > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                              > > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                              > > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                              > > > completely untenable.
                              > >
                              > > Doug,
                              > >
                              > > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side
                              of
                              > > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                              > > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of
                              fate
                              > as
                              > > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces
                              determinism.
                              > I
                              > > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                              > and
                              > > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that
                              there
                              > is
                              > > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                              > the
                              > > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                              > > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                              > existance.
                              > > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                              > > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                              > available.
                              > > What do other forum members think?
                              > >
                              > > Regards,
                              > >
                              > > Paul L
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • Pete Stonehouse
                              Dear Paul, ... From: mreeyore1968 [mailto:paul@paulryan.co.uk] Sent: 02 October 2003 22:52 To: stoics@yahoogroups.com Subject: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum,
                              Message 14 of 24 , Oct 4, 2003
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                                Dear Paul,

                                 

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: mreeyore1968 [mailto:paul@...]
                                Sent: 02 October 2003 22:52
                                To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                                 

                                Dear Pete
                                By the way, I'm also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed.



                                If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very
                                worthwhile thing to point that out. Again you make terms mutually
                                exclusive which are not. Theology and reason can sit side by side.

                                 

                                 

                                The object of faith can be coincidental to the product of reason – and often is.  However the act of faith is contradictory to the process of reason.  How can it not be?  Reason is the process of the consideration of evidence (or something like that):  faith is the belief in spite of evidence.  Tertullion wished that Christian dogma was even more unbelievable than it was so that he could demonstrate even greater faith in believing it:  my enemy states my point better than I ever could.

                                 

                                 
                                Even if you claim that through reason one can say there is no such
                                thing as anything we can possibly call 'god', you are immediately
                                conversing on theology and on reason.

                                 

                                I do not say I disbelieve in god, I merely demonstrate that a omnipotent and benevolent god is a contradiction in terms.

                                 


                                I began my reasoning on 'a providential universe' with the proviso
                                that one accepted the premise that one 'accepts the stoic theory of
                                fate'. If one doesn't then obviously the argument becomes
                                hypothetical.

                                When you say:
                                If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                                preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect,
                                just a linear sequence – or to put it another way a single cause with
                                a single train of effects.

                                ...you seem to contradict yourself here (1st there is 'no cause and
                                effect', then 2nd there is 'a single cause with a single train of
                                effects').

                                 

                                I take your point here, clearly there has to have been at least one cause to have initiated the universe.  After that singularity, however, there can have been no other causes in a predetermined universe.



                                Anyway, the interesting account of stoic fate theory from Chrysippus
                                (which I quote out of interest not because it is the law) uses terms
                                like:
                                'the continuous causal chain of things that exist... and their
                                intertwining with one another is unalterable. Nothing comes about
                                without a cause, or that nothing comes about except in accordance
                                with antecedent causes.'
                                We might describe this in modern terms as a 'causal nexus'. This is
                                rather more complex than the single train of effects you suggest. The
                                complexity and apparent unpredictability of such a nexus is why
                                empirical information often fits granular quantum physics as well as
                                smooth continuum physics.

                                 

                                Either a universe is predetermined or not. If every thing is fixed at the beginning then the path of every single sub-atomic particle is also fixed.  All I can say is that it does not look that way and that while there can be no proof for free will, there is non for the contrary either.  That being the case, to take a pragmatic view: how does it serve us to believe in our lack of choice.



                                I agree that what I wrote about the consciousness of the
                                universe 'sounds' like theology, but then you must agree that so does
                                much of contemporary physics. What I am getting at is a conceptual
                                definition.

                                 

                                Fair point – to understand the human condition biology is the more useful of the hard sciences. 

                                 
                                To give another example: To use an analogy. If I have at home a
                                fishtank which contains a water pump and three goldfish. If the
                                fishtank and its contents are 'the universe' and there is nothing
                                outside of it, then the universe is the sum of the things in it. This
                                hypothetical universe contains the workings of a water pump, water,
                                gravel, whatever else and the consciousness of three goldfish (as
                                well as some amoeba etc). It is therefore more than any of its parts.
                                Perhaps people who do not see this, see the universe as only the
                                fishtank (i.e. the borders without the contents). If we apply my
                                analogy to our universe the sum of the parts becomes rather awesome,
                                even more so if we incorporate, (as I do), the notion of antecedent
                                causes mixed throughout.

                                 

                                 

                                 
                                I agree also that for some this still does not lead to an attribute
                                of 'consciousness' for the universe. My point was that if I am
                                prepared to label myself as conscious I shrink from not labelling
                                that of which I am such a tiniest part with at the very least the
                                same.

                                I am not arguing that the last 2000 years never happened. Atomism and
                                Continuum theories have developed in complexity and accuracy for
                                sure, but they still fall out over the same distinctions. The
                                MEASUREMENT of the phenomena in the universe will always be
                                in 'granular' measures whether they be called centimetres, chronons,
                                atoms etc. 'Scientists', you will agree I think, are finding that
                                these measurements can always be reduced. If that is infinite then we
                                have a continuum.

                                A quick look at 'chaotic maths' shows how we cannot MEASURE in a
                                determined way, but that chaotic numbers ARE determined nevertheless:

                                 

                                A contradiction in terms as far as I can see.



                                http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1380/chaosmat.html

                                this is the same for the number Pi which I mentioned before.

                                I don't think human progress depends on leaps in the dark, so much as
                                turning the lights on.

                                 

                                LOL – fair point – still both are required - pete



                                Wishing you well
                                Paul

                                --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Stonehouse" <cpwstonehouse@b...>
                                wrote:
                                > Dear Paul,
                                >

                                >
                                > This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that
                                one either
                                > subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.
                                >

                                >

                                >
                                > If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                                > universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning.
                                If
                                > this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                                > is the best it can be (providential).
                                >

                                >
                                > This is theology, not reason.  There is no evidence whatsoever to
                                suggest
                                > that.
                                >

                                >
                                > We say that humans
                                > have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                                > not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The
                                causes
                                > throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                                > (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is
                                more
                                > intelligent and conscious than we are.
                                >

                                >
                                > If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                                preordained from
                                > the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear
                                sequence - or
                                > to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.
                                >

                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                                > as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us
                                (i.e
                                > not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what
                                comes
                                > to them from externals than internal. From the universe's
                                perspective
                                > EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.
                                >

                                >
                                > There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again
                                this
                                > sounds more like theology than reason.
                                >

                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                                > determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                                > favour of the continuum they back it up.
                                >

                                >
                                > Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways. 
                                I cannot
                                > understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two
                                thousand
                                > years never happened.
                                >
                                > Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible
                                effects -
                                > determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.
                                > Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true
                                or
                                > chaotic maths is not true.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                                > ...and...
                                >

                                >
                                > Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of
                                leaps in the
                                > dark that all human progress depends on - this is why the great
                                determinist
                                > culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.
                                >

                                >
                                >
                                > Wishing you well
                                > Paul
                                >

                                >
                                > And you too Paul
                                >

                                >

                                >
                                > Pete
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                                > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                                > wrote:
                                > > > How much does a stoic
                                > > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                                > > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                                > > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                                > > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                                > > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                                > > > completely untenable.
                                > >
                                > > Doug,
                                > >
                                > > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side
                                of
                                > > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                                > > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of
                                fate
                                > as
                                > > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces
                                determinism.
                                > I
                                > > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                                > and
                                > > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that
                                there
                                > is
                                > > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                                > the
                                > > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                                > > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                                > existance.
                                > > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                                > > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                                > available.
                                > > What do other forum members think?
                                > >
                                > > Regards,
                                > >
                                > > Paul L
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                              • Keith Seddon
                                Hello Pete, Here is a reasoned argument for belief in God. I am just cutting and pasting, but I don t think the word faith appears in it. This text has been
                                Message 15 of 24 , Oct 5, 2003
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                                  Hello Pete,
                                   
                                  Here is a reasoned argument for belief in God. I am just cutting and pasting, but I don't think the word 'faith' appears in it.
                                   
                                  This text has been presented on the forum before, and perhaps it is due for another outing. No one has yet refuted it, and no one has even tried to refute it. Which I have found a little disappointing.
                                   
                                  As far as I know, the Stoics did not know of this arguement. But I think they might have liked it.
                                   

                                  Message 4450 first posted to the Forum 25 August 2002

                                   

                                  From:  "Keith Seddon"
                                  Date: 
                                  Sun Aug 25, 2002  11:45 am
                                  Subject:  Cosmological Argument

                                   

                                  Dear Friends,

                                   

                                  Now that God has reappeared on the list, I will take this as a cue for posting the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God as Creator of the Universe (promised some time ago). This argument, as far as I know, was not known by the ancient Stoics, who refer to only the Argument from Design, which we have already discussed.

                                   

                                  The following is a slightly amended version from Tom Morris's PHILOSOPHY FOR DUMMIES (p. 248):

                                   

                                  ***One way to render the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God***

                                   

                                  STAGE ONE

                                   

                                  (1) The existence of something is intelligible only if it has an explanation. (By definition of 'intelligibility'.)

                                   

                                  (2) The existence of the universe is either

                                      (a) unintelligible; or

                                      (b) has an explanation. (From Premiss 1)

                                   

                                  (3) No rational person should accept (2a). (By definition of 'rationality.')

                                   

                                  (4) Therefore a rational person should accept (2b): The universe has an explanation. (From Premisses 2 and 3.)

                                   

                                  STAGE TWO

                                   

                                  (5) There are only three kinds of explanation:

                                      (a) Scientific: explanations of the form If (C & L) then E (independent initial physical CONDITION, plus relevant physical LAW, gives rise to the EVENT we want to explain: thus the CONDITION and the LAW explain the EVENT).

                                      (b) Personal: explanations that cite the desires, beliefs, capacities and intentions of a personal AGENT.

                                      (c) Essential: the essence of the thing we want to explain necessitates its existence or its qualities.

                                   

                                  (6) The explanation for the existence of the whole universe cannot be scientific. (There can't be initial physical conditions and laws independent of what is to be explained.)

                                   

                                  (7) The explanation for the existence of the whole universe cannot be essential. (The universe is not the sort of thing that exists necessarily.) Therefore:

                                   

                                  STAGE THREE

                                   

                                  (8) A rational person should believe that the universe has a personal explanation (to be unpacked in terms of the desires, beliefs, capacities and intentions of a personal AGENT).

                                   

                                  (9) The personal agent that creates the universe can be called God.

                                   

                                  Therefore:

                                   

                                  (10) A rational person should believe that God exists.

                                   

                                  Some of these premisses merit further discussion, I am sure.

                                   

                                  It is my contention that this argument is sound. And if the premisses are true, then so is the conclusion.

                                   

                                  Live with honour,

                                   

                                  Keith

                                  Visit the Stoic Foundation

                                  http://www.btinternet.com/~k.h.s/stoic-foundation.htm

                                   

                                   

                                • Pete Stonehouse
                                  Dear Richard, You said: theologically minded stoics must argue that it is either a supernatural being with a plan, or an independent fate like the hurricaine
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Oct 5, 2003
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                                    Dear Richard,

                                                          

                                    You said:

                                     

                                     theologically minded stoics must argue that it is either a supernatural being with a plan, or an independent fate like the hurricaine blowing through a garage and assembling a rolls royce?

                                     

                                    I am not brilliant at contemporary physics, but I do know that the living world does not appear designed.  Therefore I do not see a plan or a Rolls Royce.  The hurricane was a long time ago and no one alive saw it but it left an odd pile of dust and assorted matter in the corner of the garage…

                                     

                                    … interesting things happened: stuff started to grow…

                                     

                                     

                                    Best wishes - Pete

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                  • Keith Seddon
                                    ... perversion of the foulest kind
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Oct 5, 2003
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                                      >>>The belief in the innate good of suffering (in itself) is a moral
                                      perversion of the foulest kind<<<

                                      I don't recall any Stoic texts claiming that suffering is good in itself,
                                      and therefore ought to be sought rather than avoided.

                                      But it remains a fact of human experience, noted by the Stoics, that on
                                      occasion suffering can be the impetus for spiritual progress and insight. It
                                      is surely better to use the occasion of suffering as an opportunity for
                                      progress and exercising our virtuous natures (such as they may be) rather
                                      than bewailing our lot and adding to the suffering with our own attitude.
                                      This does not make suffering in itself something good, and even if sometimes
                                      someone might deliberately choose suffering as a opportunity to practise
                                      their virtue, what is good in these cases is the exercise of virtue. If it
                                      is appropriate and consistent with one's wider duties and obligations to
                                      exercise one's virtue by failing to avoid, or by deliberating choosing,
                                      suffering, then such a course of action appears to be the right thing to do.

                                      Having said that, in my experience at least, life in general affords ample
                                      opportunities to exercise the virtues, and suffering of one sort of another
                                      (I have found) is not uncommonly a feature of the general run of things.
                                      There is no need to deliberately choose suffering when it can be avoided,
                                      and the danger to avoid is that of choosing suffering when to do so would be
                                      detrimental to the duties to which one is already obligated.

                                      Best wishes,

                                      Keith
                                    • Richard Lilley
                                      Paul Causal symmetry is as great a mystery as consciousness (perhaps even the same mystery?). Although the atoms (I mean explanatory components) of the q.e.
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Oct 6, 2003
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                                        Paul
                                         
                                        Causal symmetry is as great a mystery as consciousness (perhaps even the same mystery?).  Although the atoms (I mean explanatory components) of the q.e. zoo do not always behave as if cause precedes effect they can be understood to behave when observed within sets of rules that constitute a predictive physics - its just that time and especially notions of simultaneity (from Zenos paradox onwards) are the only relatively accurate way of describing the mass-energy-mass configurations that are, at simplest, movement the description of which is the cornerstone of physics (and the first measurement).  Movement is also, in another relative sense, the first requirement for life - and what the particle machines show is that every thing moves - not just retrograde planets and organic "life".
                                         
                                        Also the Philosphy for Dummies hyperlink is not a "reasoned" argument for the existence of god: the first part of the argument is the scholastic summa, which is then put in an arranged marriage with the so called cosmological argument it is best treated as a test of ones ability to spot fallacies from affirmation of the consequent to the non causa - since Kant it has been impossible to sustain an argument for the existence of god independent of faith - nothing wrong with faith, but it is a dangerous kind of truth, and not reasonable.
                                         
                                        Ducks!
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Paul Ryan [mailto:paul@...]
                                        Sent: 04 October 2003 18:22
                                        To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                                         
                                        Dear Richard
                                        Enjoyed your reply!
                                        I was at a lecture by Roger Penrose today on the subject of symmetry. I was lucky enough to get to ask a question which related to some things he said, and also to this current discussion.
                                         
                                        In order to explain approximate symmetry that occurs in nature, Penrose says that hidden from direct perception are symmetries in force that are 'necessarily exact' and that these 'underlie all known physical forces'.
                                         
                                        I asked, 'If there are symmetries in force that are necessarily exact does that imply that they operate in a continuum rather than a quantum universe'.
                                         
                                        He began to answer by discussing how to describe a symmetry we may have to use infinite points, and then moved on to the meat of the matter and said that this was a contentious and undecided issue, and currently much debated. He said that quantum theories are often convincing because they seem to fit data and applications can be made of them, but that this was not a useful factor in deciding the answer to my question. (I add here 'Of course Newtonian physics also achieved this'). When I pressed him for his personal view, he hesitated a couple of times and then said that he could not come down on either side.
                                         
                                        I hope that will be useful to those who feel that this issue has already been decided by modern science.
                                         
                                        Also of interest was a question asked by another of a few of us who gathered around to talk to Penrose afterwards. He asked whether a theoretical quantum computer could attain consciousness. Penrose's answer was; that he had his own reasons for saying so but that the answer was 'no'. He added that he also thought that consciousness could not come about as a by-product of evolutionary development.
                                         
                                        I add these points not to infer any conclusions but because they are (to me) absolutely fascinating glimpses.
                                         
                                        Wishing you well
                                        Paul
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 1:16 PM
                                        Subject: RE: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                                        Paul
                                         
                                        Quite so -causality is the central problem in a measured world within the copenhagen interpretation (the edges of which are, as we know, fraying). Is consciousness, which has qualities of the miraculous , a consequence of material events - it must have antecedent causes and be a thing-in-itself in turn causing and mediating future events.  It is our only operative experience of the universe. Indeed it is what we call our experience of the universe.   But in the quantum reality that the material parts of the universe apparently occupy and define, there is no simple "symetrical" causation in time space or however. Our experience of the universe is thus what: infinite? Omniscient? Like your goldfish? The difference being that I know who made the bowl and the pump; and theologically minded stoics must argue that it is either a supernatural being with a plan, or an independent fate like the hurricaine blowing through a garage and assembling a rolls royce?
                                         
                                        the weekend beckons...
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: mreeyore1968 [mailto:paul@...]
                                        Sent: 02 October 2003 22:52
                                        To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [stoics] Continuum vs Quantum, theology etc

                                        Dear Pete
                                        By the way, I'm also attracted to stoicism because it is not a creed.

                                        If an argument is made you see a logical fault in it is a very
                                        worthwhile thing to point that out. Again you make terms mutually
                                        exclusive which are not. Theology and reason can sit side by side.
                                        Even if you claim that through reason one can say there is no such
                                        thing as anything we can possibly call 'god', you are immediately
                                        conversing on theology and on reason.
                                        I began my reasoning on 'a providential universe' with the proviso
                                        that one accepted the premise that one 'accepts the stoic theory of
                                        fate'. If one doesn't then obviously the argument becomes
                                        hypothetical.

                                        When you say:
                                        If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                                        preordained from the beginning then there is no cause and effect,
                                        just a linear sequence - or to put it another way a single cause with
                                        a single train of effects.

                                        ...you seem to contradict yourself here (1st there is 'no cause and
                                        effect', then 2nd there is 'a single cause with a single train of
                                        effects').

                                        Anyway, the interesting account of stoic fate theory from Chrysippus
                                        (which I quote out of interest not because it is the law) uses terms
                                        like:
                                        'the continuous causal chain of things that exist... and their
                                        intertwining with one another is unalterable. Nothing comes about
                                        without a cause, or that nothing comes about except in accordance
                                        with antecedent causes.'
                                        We might describe this in modern terms as a 'causal nexus'. This is
                                        rather more complex than the single train of effects you suggest. The
                                        complexity and apparent unpredictability of such a nexus is why
                                        empirical information often fits granular quantum physics as well as
                                        smooth continuum physics.

                                        I agree that what I wrote about the consciousness of the
                                        universe 'sounds' like theology, but then you must agree that so does
                                        much of contemporary physics. What I am getting at is a conceptual
                                        definition.
                                        To give another example: To use an analogy. If I have at home a
                                        fishtank which contains a water pump and three goldfish. If the
                                        fishtank and its contents are 'the universe' and there is nothing
                                        outside of it, then the universe is the sum of the things in it. This
                                        hypothetical universe contains the workings of a water pump, water,
                                        gravel, whatever else and the consciousness of three goldfish (as
                                        well as some amoeba etc). It is therefore more than any of its parts.
                                        Perhaps people who do not see this, see the universe as only the
                                        fishtank (i.e. the borders without the contents). If we apply my
                                        analogy to our universe the sum of the parts becomes rather awesome,
                                        even more so if we incorporate, (as I do), the notion of antecedent
                                        causes mixed throughout.
                                        I agree also that for some this still does not lead to an attribute
                                        of 'consciousness' for the universe. My point was that if I am
                                        prepared to label myself as conscious I shrink from not labelling
                                        that of which I am such a tiniest part with at the very least the
                                        same.

                                        I am not arguing that the last 2000 years never happened. Atomism and
                                        Continuum theories have developed in complexity and accuracy for
                                        sure, but they still fall out over the same distinctions. The
                                        MEASUREMENT of the phenomena in the universe will always be
                                        in 'granular' measures whether they be called centimetres, chronons,
                                        atoms etc. 'Scientists', you will agree I think, are finding that
                                        these measurements can always be reduced. If that is infinite then we
                                        have a continuum.

                                        A quick look at 'chaotic maths' shows how we cannot MEASURE in a
                                        determined way, but that chaotic numbers ARE determined nevertheless:

                                        http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1380/chaosmat.html

                                        this is the same for the number Pi which I mentioned before.

                                        I don't think human progress depends on leaps in the dark, so much as
                                        turning the lights on.

                                        Wishing you well
                                        Paul

                                        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Stonehouse" <cpwstonehouse@b...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > Dear Paul,
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > This is a good example of where subsequent knowledge entails that
                                        one either
                                        > subscribes to the essence of Stoicism or the letter.
                                        >

                                        >

                                        >
                                        > If you accept the stoic theory of fate then everything in this
                                        > universe was caused by that which was contained in its beginning.
                                        If
                                        > this is so, this is the only universe there can be and therefore it
                                        > is the best it can be (providential).
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > This is theology, not reason.  There is no evidence whatsoever to
                                        suggest
                                        > that.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > We say that humans
                                        > have 'intelligence' and are 'conscience entities' and yet we are
                                        > not 'aware' of the cause and effect within our own lives. The
                                        causes
                                        > throughout the universe (including our lives) are immanent
                                        > (pervading/inherent) in the universe. Therefore the universe is
                                        more
                                        > intelligent and conscious than we are.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > If there is no other possible universe and every event was
                                        preordained from
                                        > the beginning then there is no cause and effect, just a linear
                                        sequence - or
                                        > to put it another way a single cause with a single train of effects.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Another way of putting it is that we describe ourselves
                                        > as 'conscious' because we are aware of things that go on 'in' us
                                        (i.e
                                        > not externally). Less conscious animals are more aware of what
                                        comes
                                        > to them from externals than internal. From the universe's
                                        perspective
                                        > EVERYTHING happens within it, so it is complete consciousness.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > There is no evidence to say that the universe is conscious: again
                                        this
                                        > sounds more like theology than reason.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > By the way 'chaotic maths and fuzzy logic' do not disprove
                                        > determinism unless you are an atomist (epicurean). For those in
                                        > favour of the continuum they back it up.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > Well, the atomists turned out to be uncannily right in many ways. 
                                        I cannot
                                        > understand why one should argue from a point as if the last two
                                        thousand
                                        > years never happened.
                                        >
                                        > Chaotic maths posits that some causes can have many possible
                                        effects -
                                        > determinism determines that there can only be one possible effect.
                                        > Therefore either chaotic maths proves that determinism is not true
                                        or
                                        > chaotic maths is not true.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yours, unable to leap randomly in the dark...
                                        > ...and...
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > Most importantly, determinists are not able to make the kind of
                                        leaps in the
                                        > dark that all human progress depends on - this is why the great
                                        determinist
                                        > culture of Islam has so thoroughly ossified.
                                        >

                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Wishing you well
                                        > Paul
                                        >

                                        >
                                        > And you too Paul
                                        >

                                        >

                                        >
                                        > Pete
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <pdlanagan@y...> wrote:
                                        > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, norman mullins <worldgeist@y...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > > > How much does a stoic
                                        > > > ethic and psychology commit us to a stoic
                                        > > > epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"? Not an easy
                                        > > > question. Speaking for myself, I find many beautiful
                                        > > > psychological and ethical insights in stoicism, but I
                                        > > > find the epistemology, metaphysic, and "theology"
                                        > > > completely untenable.
                                        > >
                                        > > Doug,
                                        > >
                                        > > I also am not completely comfortable about the theological side
                                        of
                                        > > stoicism. I can accept that the universe as a whole is perfect,
                                        > > even "sacred" as the pantheists hold. I accept the concept of
                                        fate
                                        > as
                                        > > the unbroken chain of cause and effect, which produces
                                        determinism.
                                        > I
                                        > > accept that "Zeus" and "God" are names for the universe and fate
                                        > and
                                        > > that these are one in the same. However, I do not agree that
                                        there
                                        > is
                                        > > divine providence, in the sense that everything must work out for
                                        > the
                                        > > best, or that there is an intelligent purpose in the universe, or
                                        > > that the universe is a conscious entity, aware of its own
                                        > existance.
                                        > > I think everything will, and must, work out just as it works out.
                                        > > That may not be the "best" outcome, but just the only one
                                        > available.
                                        > > What do other forum members think?
                                        > >
                                        > > Regards,
                                        > >
                                        > > Paul L
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
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                                      • John
                                        Dear Keith, Thank you for your comments. It is true that no Stoic texts that I know of claim that suffering is in itself good. If they did would they be true
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Oct 6, 2003
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                                          Dear Keith,
                                          Thank you for your comments.

                                          It is true that no Stoic texts that I know of claim that suffering is
                                          in itself good. If they did would they be true Stoics? My point was
                                          that there have been persons and creeds who do believe that and still
                                          believe in a benevolent deity. Strangely, Schopenhauer believes in no
                                          such deity and yet he is certain that we should suffer for being
                                          born. Schopenhauer is no Stoic. A more Stoic attitude to suffering is
                                          revealed in Epictetus, in The Discourses he says that "the Iliad
                                          consists of nothing but phantasiai" He refers to all of the deaths,
                                          defeats, sackings, and carrying away into slavery of women (and
                                          children) as the same. Those of us who are swept away emotionally by
                                          these events are madmen.
                                          According to my understanding of Stoicism, suffering is not ipso
                                          facto good because it is ektos., that is, it lies without my power
                                          and will. Now if we are consistent, must we not also assume that
                                          sufferings' opposite, i.e. pleasure is in itself neither good nor
                                          bad? Would we then only indulge in pleasurable activities when <<it
                                          is appropriate and consistent with one's wider duties and obligations
                                          to
                                          exercise one's virtue by failing to avoid, or by deliberating
                                          choosing>> pleasure? This may seem shocking to the inhabitants of our
                                          pleasure driven culture but it is precisely what Epictetus seems to
                                          say in the Enchiridion, 15. He suggests that we "stretch out your
                                          hand take a portion decently." And "do not detain it" and "do not
                                          send your desire forward to it." He carries this analogy (of a
                                          banquet) over to wealth, family and power. However, "if you take none
                                          of these things which are set before you, but even despise them, you
                                          will be not only a fellow bangueter with the gods but a partner with
                                          them in power." This runs so contrary to most modern sentiments that
                                          this last part is left out of at least one modern translation. I have
                                          heard many more people claim that they are indifferent to externals
                                          than would admit to despising them! We often hear of people who have
                                          a `philosophical' attitude towards life. This almost always entails
                                          indifference or perspective on suffering and death but how often do
                                          we hear of philosophical indifference to pleasure? Might this be a
                                          weakness for modern day Stoicism? How would someone who truly
                                          despised externals fit in? Thanks for the time.
                                        • Keith Seddon
                                          Hello John, ... good because it is ektos., that is, it lies without my power and will.
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Oct 7, 2003
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                                            Hello John,

                                            >>>According to my understanding of Stoicism, suffering is not ipso facto
                                            good because it is ektos., that is, it lies without my power and will.<<<

                                            My feeling is that this is the wrong way round. The cause of suffering, or
                                            what stimulates suffering, is certainly external. But the suffering itself,
                                            the phenomenological experience that one suffers so to speak, is 'up to us',
                                            'ours', and can be ended by forming the right judgements (in particular,
                                            that
                                            whatever has happened is not something bad that can harm me). And that is
                                            within my _prohairesis_, my moral character, and is within my power to
                                            eliminate, if I only know how to do it.

                                            >>>Now if we are consistent, must we not also assume that sufferings'
                                            opposite, i.e. pleasure is in itself neither good nor bad?<<<

                                            Yes, indeed. It is orthodox Stoic teaching that pleasure is an indifferent.
                                            Some may think it is preferred, or can be preferred, as you say when >>>it
                                            is appropriate and consistent with one's wider duties and obligations to
                                            exercise one's virtue<<<

                                            >>>but how often do we hear of philosophical indifference to pleasure? Might
                                            this be a weakness for modern day Stoicism? How would someone who truly
                                            despised externals fit in?<<<

                                            If anyone asks me, I will tell them what I think, that pleasure is
                                            potentially harmful to one's well-being -- tho I do not recall doing this
                                            recently, and would expect a tremendous eruption of laughter if I tried
                                            it -- for, as you say, we live in a hedonistic society in which almost
                                            everyone at one level or another thinks that pleasure is the good. But I
                                            follow Epictetus' advice: "First study to conceal what you are; keep your
                                            philosophy to yourself for a while" (Discourses 4.8. 35-6), and "Never call
                                            yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal amongst laymen about
                                            philosophical principles, but do what follows from those principles"
                                            (Handbook 46). I am happy to quote Antisthenes (Diogenes Laertius 6.3) "I'd
                                            rather be mad than feel pleasure", and to agree with him. Pleasure is a
                                            pathos, and one feels it when one believes (in error) that something good is
                                            at hand, for the only good is virtue, and forgetting that, for however brief
                                            a moment, opens the possibility of doing something vicious.

                                            You are quite right, I think, in your comments about Enchiridion 15. In case
                                            anyone would like to see it, here is my translation of Enchiridion 15 plus
                                            my commentary:

                                            Chapter 15

                                            Remember, you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. Something
                                            is carried round and comes to you: reach out and take a modest portion. It
                                            passes by? Do not stop it. It has not yet arrived? Do not stretch your
                                            desire towards it, but wait until it comes to you. So it should be
                                            concerning your children, your wife, your status, your wealth, and one day
                                            you will be worthy to share a banquet with the gods. If, however, you do not
                                            take these things even when they are put before you, but have no regard for
                                            them, not only will you share a banquet with the gods, but also rule with
                                            them. By acting in this way, Diogenes and Heraclitus, and people like them,
                                            were deservedly gods and were deservedly called so.

                                            COMMENTARY

                                            Key Terms

                                            banquet (sumposion)
                                            child (teknon)
                                            desire (noun) (orexis)
                                            Diogenes (Diogenês)
                                            gods (theoi)
                                            Heraclitus (Hêrakleitos)
                                            status (archê, the office that one holds)
                                            wealth (ploutos)
                                            wife (gunê)

                                            It is most doubtful that Epictetus intends the example of attending a
                                            banquet to serve as a general metaphor for life. Such an occasion,
                                            consisting of lying down a great deal, eating, drinking, talking, watching
                                            and listening to the entertainments, does not sit well with Epictetus' other
                                            metaphors for life which include attending a festival, playing a game,
                                            acting a part in a drama, training for and competing in an athletic contest,
                                            and engaging in military service, all of which suggest undertakings that are
                                            active and purposeful, in contrast to attending a banquet, which is largely
                                            a passive affair (see Introduction to Epictetus 5.8). At Discourses 2.16.37,
                                            Epictetus uses the example of leaving the banquet as a metaphor for suicide,
                                            for leaving one's life; but this does not require that the banquet be
                                            regarded in any thoroughgoing sense as a metaphor for life - the banquet is
                                            something one may leave of one's own volition when the time comes, and the
                                            same is true of one's life, since when it becomes too burdensome one may
                                            simply take one's leave.

                                            Rather, the banquet offers a more basic and simple parallel with living, and
                                            this concerns the attitudes we should adopt towards our hopes, expectations
                                            and desires for the things we would like to come to us, the things that -
                                            for whatever reason - we believe will make our lives better, more rewarding,
                                            more complete and more satisfying. At the banquet, we are obliged to abide
                                            by the usual rules of etiquette, and to do so honours our host as well as
                                            our fellow guests. What the dishes actually are, the timing of their
                                            arrival, and the order in which the guests are served, are all determined by
                                            the host. To demand that we be served first, or that our portion should be
                                            bigger than the host intended, or worse, to jump up and start stuffing
                                            ourselves from the platters the moment they are brought from the kitchens,
                                            would be wholly inappropriate. The platters will come when they come, and
                                            our share will be offered to us in good time. How are we to enjoy the
                                            present dish or attend to the conversation if we are distracted or consumed
                                            by desire for the dishes that have not yet arrived?

                                            Epictetus could have made more of his metaphor by suggesting the parallel
                                            between the host and God, and hopefully he would not object to our taking
                                            this step for ourselves. In life it is God who determines which dishes will
                                            come our way, and how large the portions will be. Living a life is a good
                                            deal more active than attending a banquet, and of course we can take steps
                                            to procure the 'dishes' for ourselves. But whatever we pursue in life -
                                            excepting only the proper care of our moral character (prohairesis) - will
                                            always number amongst 'the externals' (ta ektos) that are indifferent with
                                            respect to being good or bad and which are not 'up to us'; their appearing
                                            at all, and coming to us (if they do), is up to God.

                                            We will find the banquet more enjoyable and our equanimity more complete if
                                            we refrain from 'stretching our desire' towards what we hope for. And
                                            exactly the same is true of life in general. If, instead of 'stretching our
                                            desire' towards children, wife, status and wealth - which is in fact to
                                            press our hopes upon what may never come to us, or come to us in ways we had
                                            not anticipated, if, for instance, our child is disabled or if our wealth
                                            attracts the attention of greedy and petty people who cause us trouble - if
                                            we can wait patiently for what God brings to us and withhold our desire for
                                            those things that seem always to go to other people but never to us, we will
                                            improve our chances of sustaining a 'good flow of life' (euroia biou) and
                                            thereby enjoy the present moment free from anxieties about the future.

                                            In his sentences about dining and ruling with the gods, Epictetus is
                                            alluding to two aspects of sagehood.

                                            (1) Those who can wait patiently and restrain their desire for what has not
                                            yet arrived attain a special status of 'being worthy to share a banquet with
                                            the gods'. This first type of person is none other than the Stoic Sage, the
                                            fully wise person (sophos), whose training as a prokoptôn is successful and
                                            complete. This person has learned what is 'in their power' (the correct use
                                            of impressions and maintaining their prohairesis, their moral character, in
                                            the right condition), and that everything else is external and indifferent
                                            with respect to being good or bad; they know that only virtue is good, and
                                            that no matter what fortune may bring their way regarding children, wife,
                                            status, wealth, their undertakings generally, and any external things upon
                                            which they exercise their unshakable power of virtuous agency, they can
                                            never be harmed, and that their capacity to flourish fully, to be eudaimôn,
                                            is always in their power. Their ability to grasp these truths, to understand
                                            them and live by them in a complete and enduring manner, puts them on a
                                            level with the gods - their vision of the world and how Zeus has made it
                                            work, and of their own purpose in life, is essentially Zeus' own vision, and
                                            this capacity to participate in Zeus' reason places them in a community of
                                            the wise, comprising gods and men, and what better way to celebrate this
                                            community than to represent it as a banquet?

                                            (2) Another aspect of sagehood is found in a second type of person who, even
                                            when they are offered the things that people usually desire, simply decline
                                            them, 'having no regard for them', and this makes them worthy both to share
                                            a banquet with the gods' and to 'rule with them': this person doesn't just
                                            share a vision with Zeus, but shares the administration of the universe with
                                            Him. And Epictetus offers Diogenes as an example of such a person. (This is
                                            Diogenes of Sinope, c.413-c.323 BC, the Cynic philosopher who may have been
                                            a student of Antithenes - whom Diogenes Laertius holds to be the founder of
                                            the Cynic movement at 6.2 - who in turn was a student of Socrates. Diogenes
                                            taught the Cynic Crates of Thebes, c.368-c.285 BC, who taught Zeno of
                                            Citium, 335-263 BC, the founder of the Stoic school.)

                                            Diogenes Laertius (7.121) reports that the Stoic Apollodorus (late 2nd
                                            century BC, pupil of Diogenes of Babylon) maintained that taking up the
                                            Cynic lifestyle was a shortcut to virtue (see also DL 6.104), and it is hard
                                            to see that Epictetus would not have endorsed this view (see especially
                                            Discourses 3.22). The Cynic, and especially Diogenes, has a special standing
                                            in Epictetus' eyes as an example of what dedicated training can achieve (and
                                            references to Diogenes in the Discourses are outnumbered only by those to
                                            Socrates). His is an example of what philosophical transformation can
                                            accomplish, and how a person thus transformed engages with the world, their
                                            fellows, and with God, in a new and different way. Epictetus understands the
                                            Cynic to be a messenger (angelos) in the service of God, whose message is
                                            the way of life he has adopted that proves to anyone who cares to consider
                                            it that complete autonomy can easily be won, and that good and evil lie in
                                            one's disposition and not in external things: his mission is to report these
                                            facts (3.22.23-9). His duty to render this report imposes upon him the task
                                            of supervising and caring for humanity with respect to what is best (see
                                            3.22.18/26, 3.24.64-5) and where 'a good flow' (euroia) and happiness
                                            (eudaimonia) may be found; and this obliges him to adopt the role of ruler
                                            and master - someone who instructs others from a privileged position
                                            constituted by his philosophical enlightenment:

                                            >>>
                                            And how is it possible for a man who has nothing, who is naked, without home
                                            or hearth, in squalor, without a slave, without a city, to live serenely?
                                            [euroôs] Behold, God has sent you the man who will show in practice that it
                                            is possible. 'Look at me,' he says, 'I am without a home, without a city,
                                            without property, without a slave; I sleep on the ground; I have neither
                                            wife nor children, no miserable governor's mansion, but only earth, and sky,
                                            and one rough cloak. Yet what do I lack? Am I not free from pain and fear,
                                            am I not free? [alupos, aphobos, eleutheros] When has anyone among you seen
                                            me failing to get what I desire, or falling into what I would avoid? When
                                            have I ever found fault with either God or man? When have I ever blamed
                                            anyone? Has anyone among you seen me with a gloomy face? And how do I face
                                            those persons before whom you stand in fear and awe? Do I not face them as
                                            slaves? Who, when he lays eyes upon me, does not feel that he is seeing his
                                            king and his master?'

                                            Lo, these are the words that befit a Cynic, this is his character, and his
                                            plan of life.

                                            Discourses 3.22.45-50, trans. Oldfather
                                            <<<

                                            Epictetus conceives of the Cynic's caring and supervising role as a
                                            manifestation of Zeus' rule that harnesses the moral character (prohairesis)

                                            of the Cynic to the service of His divine plan, one aspect of which is that
                                            everyone should be happy, at least in the sense that the knowledge and means
                                            by which they may be so are always to hand and in our power. This, anyway,
                                            is how I am inclined to take Epictetus' remark about the person who is
                                            worthy to rule with the gods in conjunction with his presentation of
                                            Diogenes the Cynic, and his references to the Cynic being worthy of Zeus
                                            bestowing upon them the sceptre and diadem (skêptron, diadêma), symbols of
                                            autonomy, kingship, and authority over others (3.22.63, 4.8.30-3).

                                            It is tempting, though, to see the Cynic as superior to the ordinary Stoic
                                            prokoptôn who succeeds in becoming a sophos (wise person) yet does not,
                                            unlike the Cynic, give up his wife, children, property, business
                                            commitments, and what have you, to lead the Cynic life. But I don't think
                                            this can be right. The transformation for both the Cynic and the Stoic that
                                            their philosophical enlightenment has brought about is the same for both of
                                            them: each maintains their prohairesis (moral character) in the right
                                            condition (using impressions correctly), invariably acts virtuously, and
                                            fulfils their duties to the highest standard. The difference between them is
                                            found in the way they made progress, and the material upon which they
                                            exercised themselves. The Stoic, in continuing their old life with family
                                            and friends, and in maintaining old commitments (in business, for example),
                                            is essentially private, and their practice may be undertaken in secret, or
                                            almost so. In contrast, the Cynic is distinguished from the Stoic not so
                                            much by the philosophical doctrines they hold but by the conscious decision
                                            to take up a radically different way of life. In abandoning their old life
                                            and giving up literally everything to live without possessions and without a
                                            home, the Cynic is essentially public, maintaining their practice for all to
                                            see (how else could they set an example and 'rule over' everyone?) - and
                                            Epictetus sees this public life as one that is successfully and constantly
                                            dedicated to the service of God precisely because the Cynic is free from the
                                            distractions of private duties, relationships, and domestic chores
                                            (3.22.69-75). It is being free of such distractions - which without doubt
                                            will soon enough overwhelm the Stoic prokoptôn, resulting in their suffering
                                            passions (pathê) and acting viciously - that sets the Cynic on their
                                            shortcut to virtue; you cannot, for example, lapse into a passion about
                                            losing money if you don't have any. From this privileged position, the Cynic
                                            is qualified to rule over people, to tell them in what their unhappiness
                                            resides, and in what their salvation may be found.

                                            In the final sentence, Heraclitus (fl. c.500 BC) is a Presocratic
                                            philosopher who expounded doctrines of the logos and of cyclical cosmic
                                            conflagration (ekpurôsis) which influenced Stoic thought. The doxographer
                                            Diogenes Laertius was acquainted with texts which allude to the divine
                                            status of Diogenes of Sinope and the sophos in general (see DL 6.77, 7.119).
                                            This accords with the familiar drift we find in Epictetus that the prokoptôn
                                            in perfecting their rationality is in effect making themselves
                                            resemble (exomoiazô, make or become like) Zeus, to eventually share in His
                                            attributes, and this is what it means to attain wisdom and secure eudaimonia
                                            (2.14.12). They must endeavour to emulate (zêloô) God: if the deity is
                                            faithful (pistos), free (eleutheros), beneficent (euergetikos), and
                                            high-minded (megalophrôn), they must strive to be just the same, and so
                                            forth for all of God's attributes (2.14.13). Epictetus declares the ideal
                                            practice to be one in which the prokoptôn 'wishes to be of one mind with
                                            God', 'has set his heart upon changing from a man into a god', and has 'his
                                            purpose set upon fellowship with Zeus' (2.19.26-7, trans. Oldfather).

                                            (For references to Diogenes of Sinope see Discourses 1.24.6-10, 2.13.24,
                                            2.16.35-8, 3.2.11-12, 3.21.18-19, 3.22.23-5/57-61/90-2, 3.24.63-76, 3.26.23,
                                            4.1.29-32/111-17/152-8, 4.11.21-4. For more on Heraclitus see DL 9 and the
                                            items in the Bibliography including Barnes 1999, 57-81 and Kirk et al. 1983,
                                            181-212; for Diogenes of Sinope see DL 6 and especially Navia 1998; for more
                                            on Epictetus' allusions to Diogenes see Long 2002, 58-60. For more on the
                                            relationship between Stoicism and the early Cynics see Rist 1969, 54-80; and
                                            for a thorough treatment of the Cynic movement generally, see Branham and
                                            Goulet-Cazé 1996.)
                                          • John
                                            Keith, The information you posted was very helpful. I will read your new article as soon as I get a chance. We are moving this week and very busy. Thanks
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Oct 8, 2003
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                                              Keith,
                                              The information you posted was very helpful. I will read your new
                                              article as soon as I get a chance. We are moving this week and very
                                              busy. Thanks again.
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