Diogenes

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Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 01:57 pm
I am of the opinion that cynicism is pointless as it appears to be an exercise in frustration and does nothing of benefit. Or does it?

What can one learn from the philosophy of Diogenes?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 02:58 pm
@semperlux1,
His lesson was clear: Beware of the Dog...

If you want to have fun, party with Aristippus...A guy with a good sense of humour who does not take himself too seriously is welcome almost anywhere...
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 06:52 pm
@semperlux1,
the real cynics were not like your armchair cynics of this day and age who criticize others without leaving the comforts of hearth and home. Diogenes thought that all power, pleasure, comfort and luxury was corrupt and demonstrated the courage of his convictions by living a severely ascetic life on the outskirts of town. The cynics and skeptics both were renunciates, like the Hindu sadhus. I think it would be a very hard path to follow, and I don't know if it is worth following, but it is important to understand that cynicism in the ancient sense (like the stoic 'apathea' and the skeptics 'epoche') had quite a different meaning to the one it has acquired in this day and age.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 07:28 pm
@semperlux1,
As if Diogenes did not take pleasure in his life style or in being critical of others... What is wrong is the spiritual, which is to say the metaphysical conception of the self...It is impossible to find a corrupt individual in an uncorrupted society, or a healthy society made up of corrupted souls... We see immorality in our society from one end to the other, even very often among the guardians of virtue... The individual is not a thing apart from his society and does not make sense without his society any more than one can talk rationally of a society without people... To find that connection between the corruption of man and the corruption of society is to shine a hot light into our own souls... We are looking at the fish from the perspective of fish, as a fish, so to speak, so we can never be entirely objective; but anyone can do as Plato did, and try to build a perfect republic out of the misunderstanding of his own society... There have been perfect societies, and by that I mean societies that were able to survive the want of technology and the surplus of enemies for century after century; but not one of those societies survived the corruption of easy wealth, and no society has ever moved successfully back to a communism of plenty... Poverty and virtue go together in primitive societies... In that sense Diogenes was correct to reject wealth... But even the Spartans who used ungainly pickled Iron for currency were easily corrupted, though raised severely.. To be deliberately poor amid wealth is an affection... It does not make a person good... What makes a person good is to give and demand justice, to stand with those in want of justice, to give it every place in ones life...It does not really matter how much wealth a society has...If that wealth is equal, then political equality is certain, and then the society is healthy and can offer a good defense of the commonwealth... We wealth is unequal, rights too will be unequal, and the society no matter how advanced is doomed...
 
Citia
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 06:16 pm
@semperlux1,
Diogenes was very negative but he saw the truth about society.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:51 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;161025 wrote:
the real cynics were not like your armchair cynics of this day and age who criticize others without leaving the comforts of hearth and home. Diogenes thought that all power, pleasure, comfort and luxury was corrupt and demonstrated the courage of his convictions by living a severely ascetic life on the outskirts of town. The cynics and skeptics both were renunciates, like the Hindu sadhus. I think it would be a very hard path to follow, and I don't know if it is worth following, but it is important to understand that cynicism in the ancient sense (like the stoic 'apathea' and the skeptics 'epoche') had quite a different meaning to the one it has acquired in this day and age.


Diogenes was one of my early favorites. Indeed, he was an ascetic who wanted freedom from unnecessary desire. And what a joker!
 
 

 
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