The Daily Stoic for July 20th. “Made For Justice”.
“The unjust person acts against the gods. For insofar as the nature of the universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other, with an eye toward mutual benefit based on true value and never for harm, anyone breaking nature’s will obviously acts against the oldest of gods.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 9.1.1
Are we made for justice? I find it hard to believe. I don’t think that: “nature of the universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other”. Rather, I think humans are selfish by nature. Not only that, but we tend to look for our own benefit only. It’s rules, social conventions and fear of punishment what makes us “behave”.
Made For Justice
Today’s stoic excerpt affirms:
We consider certain things to be an affront against humanity, saying, “This violates everything we hold dear.” However much we differ in religion, upbringing, politics, class, or gender, we can come together in agreement there.
I don’t think we can even agree on this. As an example, some societies, like the Russian one, consider homosexuality as a “crime against nature”. It’s prosecuted, and gays and lesbians are subject to abuse and treated like they have a mental illness.
In some other countries, it’s even worse, with people being executed because they dare to love someone of their own gender.
As a gay man myself, I went through difficult teenage years. I was told, even by members of my own family, that I was “going against nature“. It took me some time, but I finally learned to not give a f..k what other people thought about me… Or what I was supposed to do to follow “nature” or what “we all hold dear”.
Times change. Societies evolve. One of the greatest limitations of the original stoic philosophy, in my opinion, is the fixation with nature. Mankind is way beyond that now. Let’s stop using it as an excuse to dictate what’s wrong and what’s right.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Made For Justice”, does not really resonate with me. Not only I disagree that we are “good by nature”, but I think nowadays mankind is way beyond nature.