5 Reasons Why Stoicism Is Better Than Sam Harris

  1. Sam Harris spends most of his time attacking Islam.  He seems to hate the religion more than any other religion.  He spends an unnecessary amount of time trying to prove that Islam is not the religion of peace and tries to make it out to be the religion of strife.  Stoicism doesn’t really attack anything or hate anything.  It just wants to focus on virtue which is the only good.  Stoicism is compatible with Islam and its followers and hopes that everyone can work together to become more virtuous human beings.
  2. Sam Harris admits that he’s bored by philosophy and basically ignores it.  Stoicism spends considerable time thinking about other philosophies and learning from other philosophies and adapting.  The Stoic philosopher Seneca frequently quoted Epicureans and tried to learn from their philosophy as well as he understood their philosophy.
  3. Sam Harris stole his ethics from utilitarianism and doesn’t credit any of the utilitarian thinkers for his ethics.  Stoicism always credits other thinkers and doesn’t steal their ideas and make them worse.
  4. Sam Harris, because he doesn’t care about philosophy, wrongly asserts that free will isn’t compatible with determinism and so he rejects free will.  Stoics on the other hand agree with a significant number of philosophers who have convincingly argued well for the compatibility of free will and determinism.  Stoicism has always believed that free will is compatible with determinism.
  5. Sam Harris is a cult of personality who has fervent followers who defend him no matter what he does wrong or thinks wrong.  Stoicism is an open philosophy with many of its own followers critiquing it and its thinkers.  Seneca, for example, is critiqued a lot as being a Stoic hypocrite and out of touch.

    Sam Harris 2016 (cropped).jpg

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5 Reasons Stoicism Is Better Than The Powerpuff Girls

  1.  The Powerpuff Girls are the superhero trio Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles.  While they may fight crime and save the world, there is another important trio that saves philosophy: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.  Sure, the Powerpuff Girls may seem to have more power than many of us non-super-hero-types but Epictetus reminds us that the only thing truly in our power is our opinions, desires, and goals.
  2. To be a Powerpuff Girl, you just need to be like any girl, a combination of sugar, spice, and everything nice but you need the special chemical X to make you have super powers.  To be a Stoic girl, you don’t need any chemical X.  You just need virtue.  And virtue is far more excellent than some chemical.
  3. The Powerpuff Girls are an exemplar of moral strength.  Always fighting crime in the name of justice and compassion.  So while they are great examples of what anyone should be, they would understand that their virtues are what’s ultimately important and not themselves.  So they would gladly honor the Stoic virtues of courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom over themselves.
  4. The Powerpuff Girls put many superheros to shame.  They put Batman to shame, Superman to shame, even Yahweh.  But can they put Cato the Younger to shame?  No!  Cato the Younger, a very serious Stoic, fought Julius Caesar from becoming dictator of Rome.  But when Cato lost to Caesar did he bow down and let himself be pardoned?  No, he cut out his guts (literally) in protest of Caesar’s reign.  This symbolic gesture might be the reason why Caesar was later assassinated.
  5. While the Powerpuff Girls have won our hearts and minds as crusaders for justice and compassion, it’s always important to remember Stoicism.  Stoicism has its flawed Stoic followers.  But the concept of the Stoic Sage is perfect and absolute as our standard of someone bearing justice and compassion.

    The Powerpuff Girls – Blossom, and Buttercup

5 Reasons Why Stoicism Is Better Than Kanye West

  1. Kanye Omari West was born June 8, 1977.  Stoicism was born from the mind of Zeno of Citium in 300 BC.  Stoicism has been around a long time and has waxed and waned and been through the philosophical grinder.  Stoicism has made its mark in history, it has staying power.  It’s not clear Kanye West will have nearly as much staying power.  In 100 years Kanye West may be forgotten.  Basically Stoicism has proved itself as an important idea and Kanye has yet to prove himself as an important idea.
  2. Kanye West has compared himself to Jesus Christ, the most important figure in Christianity.  Stoicism has influenced, shaped, and created a large amount of what we know today as Christianity.  Kanye West might think he is Jesus but Stoicism and its concept of the Logos is a lot closer to Jesus than Kanye may ever be.
  3. Kanye West may have Kim Kardashian but Stoicism has Marcus Aurelius, the great magnanimous emperor of Rome.
  4. Kanye West rudely interrupted Taylor Swift while she was receiving an award at the VMAs in 2009.  Barack Obama famously called him a jackass for this stunt.  Stoicism doesn’t interrupt people.
  5. Kanye West criticized Obama and praised Trump claiming that the mob can’t make him not love Trump.  Stoicism is much more loving than Kanye.  Stoicism is about brotherly and sisterly love of everyone be it the mob, Obama, Trump, immigrants, gold-diggers and is universal and impartial love.  Stoicism also does not care about fame or the limelight except as possible means to virtue.

My 12 Rules for Life vs Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

  1. Look down at your feet in public, make very little eye contact, and hunch your shoulders.

    Great philosophical thinkers spend a great deal thinking and they don’t have time to look around them.  They need to be focused on their abstract thoughts and the hustle and bustle of the public can be a great distraction.  They need to look at their feet as a meditative exercise and to make sure they’re not going to trip over something.

  2. Make others treat you like they’re responsible for helping you.

    Constantly ask people if they can help you with something but don’t do it too frequently or they’ll get the idea you’re helpless.  Also don’t do it enough that it will annoy them.  The key is don’t be afraid to ask for help and even extra help when you don’t even need it.  Try not to sound needy.  If people close to you won’t help you in life, you’ve lost your job, and you’re close to homelessness, make sure you get a good social worker to help you get help from the government.

  3. Make enemies with the people who want the worst for you.

    In life you’re gonna make enemies.  So make sure you find out who actually is jealous of you and is just trying to bring you down.  Make sure you can figure that out.  Keep your enemies close at hand, understand how they tick, and drive them nuts by responding positively to their negativity.  When they try to make you sad, just say, “it’s a beautiful day out, don’t you think so?  You’re kinda pretty too.”  This will piss them off and they may learn to keep their distance from you being so nice and not letting them get you down.

  4. Compare yourself to an ideal self in the future, don’t think of your past.

    Always look to your future dreams as a guide to help mold you.  Your dreams may not come true but make sure you have a rosy picture of the future of yourself and try to be that person.  You may fail to become that person but maybe you’ll at least become an approximate version of that self.  Set your ideal high.  If you fail to make that ideal, hey, at least you maybe made it half way there.

  5. Let your children do things that make you mad but then learn not to be mad over time at them.

    Your kids are gonna try to piss you off, that’s their nature.  Try not to be a tyrant over your kid but try to be their friend and parent.  Exercise very restrained authority.  Give them rewards for good behavior and make sure you give them plenty of time to make up for their mistakes.  Take them to the park and let them play for hours.  You may get tired watching them at the park, so make sure you bring you smart phone and play video games while they play their heart out.

  6. Criticize the world as you set your house in order.

    While you’re developing into your ideal human being you want to be, make sure you criticize the world for not living up to its ideal image.  Politicians are bought by money, there’s greed galore everywhere, people in Flint, Michigan are drinking poison.  The world is a terrible place.  You likely are better than it by default.  Make sure while you work on yourself you critique the terrible systemic social problems in the world.  Make the world into an ideal image of it while you work on yourself and make yourself an ideal image.

  7. Pursue what is meaningful and what is expedient in equal measure.

    The more virtuous you are, the more you’ll learn what tools to use in life.  Life is full of expedient tools.  Math can help you see if you’re getting cheated it’s a good tool.  But it’s important to remember to be more virtuous.  That means be more kind, be more knowledgeable of old wisdom spoken by wise people, have more courage, and try to remain calm in tough situations.  You’ll learn all the short cuts in life as you develop practical wisdom.  Don’t read Nietzsche until you’ve read ancient Greco-Roman philosophy.

  8. Sometimes you should tell little white lies and withhold some truth if it will cause too much harm to another.

    Never tell your wife you think she looks kinda ugly, especially if she ages and becomes more ugly.  But also learn to find the beauty in her as she ages.  Never tell your husband he looks fat in his tank top when he’s gained a few extra pounds.  If you’re late to work because you were being irresponsible managing your time, don’t tell your boss that you were being irresponsible.  Make sure you have a very good excuse in mind for why you were late.

    If you have a friend staying the night with you and there’s an ax murderer asking for where your friend’s whereabouts are, make sure you lie to the ax murderer about where your friend is located.

    If you work for the CIA and the secrets will save hundreds to thousands of life with minimal sacrifice to anyone, make sure you keep those secrets.

  9. Assume the person you’re not listening to knows nothing.

    If you’re not listening to someone it’s probably because they don’t have anything of value to say.  Most people don’t know what they’re talking about.  That’s why there’s Ph.D. Philosophers and Scientists.  Those people are the kind of people you will be listening to.  They actually say very interesting and insightful things unlike your friend who thinks he knows it all but quit halfway through college because he was too wasted to finish.

  10. Be vague in your speech

    Most of the time in life you don’t have to specify exactly what you mean unless someone asks you to.  So just keep talking and writing vaguely until it’s necessary to specify.  Thinking vaguely can help you get a good vague feeling for an idea.  It can help you know things within the ballpark.  And most of the time that’s what matters.  You know that an essay has 5 paragraphs and you know you have a general idea but you don’t need to specifically know what you’re going to write until the night before it’s due.

  11. Tell children not to be such a nuisance, especially when they’re near your house making lots of noise.

    Make sure you tell children to be more quiet if they’re making lots of noise right outside your house.  Call them little rascals and that you’ll hose them down with water if they don’t go away.  If they don’t go away, find out who their parents are and complain.  Do not ever call the police though, they tend to worsen the situation.  Plus their cars have loud sirens and those damn blinking blue and red lights that can give you a seizure.

  12. Spay and neuter your cats and make sure you let your neighbors know.

    That’s what Bob Barker always says.