The Daily Stoic for November 17th, “Judge Not, Lest…”.
“When philosophy is wielded with arrogance and stubbornly, it is the cause for the ruin of many. Let philosophy scrape off your own faults, rather than be a way to rail against the faults of others.”—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 103.4b–5a
We all judge others, whether we like it or not. It’s actually a survival mechanism. When we see someone with a weird costume, dirty and acting weird, and we immediately form a negative opinion about them, it’s in fact thousands of years of animal instinct protecting us.
However, this mechanism can also act negatively, especially when we apply it to more rational aspects like beliefs, cultural biases and such.
Judge Not, Lest…
That’s one of the aspects I actually like the most about Stoicism. Nothing in it empowers you to judge others. Judgments are only applied to ourselves, our actions and what is in our reasoned choices.
One might think that the more we read, especially about philosophical or cultural subjects, the more
I’ve talked before on how this intolerance and biasses are boosted by social media. Vegans hate meat eaters who in turn hate vegans. Conservatives despise liberals and vice-versa. The Brexit. Donald Trump. The progressive racial tension in the US… Everything seems to be polarizing these days.
It’s almost like there was a push for forcing you to choose sides on everything. On having an opinion on everything.
One of the things that Stoicism has taught me is to be more tolerant and flexible with the opinions of others and, more importantly, with
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Judge Not, Lest…”, discusses how we shouldn’t use any philosophy, belief or religion to judge others, impose our opinions on others, or despise others for not thinking like us. One of the best lessons of stoicism if you ask me.