The Daily Stoic for October 26th, “Three Parts, One Aim”.
“The best and the greatest number of authors have asserted that philosophy consists of three parts: the moral, the natural, and the rational. The first puts the soul in order. The second thoroughly examines the natural order of things. The third inquires into the proper meaning of words, and their arrangements and proofs which keep falsehoods from creeping in to displace truth.”—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 89.9
Wow, such an academic topic for today’s stoic (at least for me). I’ll try not to be too pedantic here and just talk about my thoughts on this. 🙂
Three Parts, One Aim
As you may know, I don’t believe in absolute truths. Thus, I don’t think philosophy, or any other school or thought, or religion, can tell anyone how to live “a good life”, tell right from wrong, or anything like that.
Regarding moral… I think moral is as subjective as any term can be. Once I was said by my sister -who is a firm Catholic- that I, as an atheist, had no moral, and my acts, thoughts or decisions could never be guided by moral rights.
That made me believe that there are as many morals as living souls, and what I consider immoral, can be perfectly fair and right for somebody else.
Next about nature… Old stoics had this fixation with nature, with the natural order of things, and what was dictated by nature for us to be. I certainly think that branch of stoicism doesn’t make any sense nowadays.
The human race has completely drifted apart from nature, and that’s neither good nor bad. Thus, I’m not a great admirer of this “we should act following the dictates of nature”, especially when it has been used to justify hatred acts by so many groups, religions and political parties throughout history.
Finally, reasoning. As you know if you read my blog, I still think that reasoning is the most important tool stoicism has to offer. How to use it and how to avoid our feelings and emotions taking over it. But I do think that reason needs to leave some room for our humanity too.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Three Parts, One Aim”, was one of those philosophical stoic meditations that are hard for me to comment on. Not very inspiring, so for “Three parts, one aim”, I decided to share my thoughts on these three staples of the Stoic school.
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