2
   

Everything Happens for a Good Reason

 
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:59 am
I was reading The Art of Living by Epictetus in a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell. She takes what are class notes by one of Epictetus and organizes them a bit.

Anyway, this passage kind of struck me.

"As you think, so you become. Avoid superstitiously investing events with power or meanings they don't have. Keep you head. Our busy minds are forever jumping to conclusions, manufacturing and interpreting sings that aren't there.

"Assume instead, that everything that happens to you does so for some good. That if you decided to be lucky, you are lucky. All events contain an advantage for you--if you look for it!"

Well, this kind of struck me that many people are inclined to jump to conclusions thinking way too far into people and situations. As people, we are too inclined to fret about the past, ignore the presence, and act detrimentally towards the future as a result. Too many people have this ingrained fatalism programmed into them by many societal institutions. Learning how to overcome fatalism is a key step in the art of living a good life. Any life ethic that can not overcome fatalism is a life ethic that is necessarily doomed to fail.

So the question, how is society to overcome fatalism?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,277 • Replies: 9
No top replies

 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:04 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
That if you decided to be lucky, you are lucky.
I advise anybody who wants to seriously face the concept of luck to invest their money on statistically based selection systems for horse races.
Theaetetus wrote:
All events contain an advantage for you--if you look for it!
More or less equivalent to 'this is your ****, eat it and enjoy'.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:10 am
@ughaibu,
But that would be "superstitiously investing events with power or meanings they don't have" if you were to invest money on statistically based selections systems. You are kind of missing the point. This has to do with life, not investments.

And it is "advantage," not disadvantage. So it would be less equivalent to "this is you ****, eat it and enjoy it."

And what does "more or less" mean? It means absolutely nothing. An empty utterance that has no meaning in philosophy.
HexHammer
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:14 am
@Theaetetus,
Doesn't make much sense to me, too often I hear about the good faithful and pieus being struck with misfortune, whilst the evil atheist having great luck and fortune.
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:14 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
You are kind of missing the point. This has to do with life, not investments.
Think that, if you like, but I'm not missing any point. I have extensive experience of employing this kind of approach. Tying this in with the matter of fatalism, there was a time when I decided to stop thinking. If you think there is merit in this, dont ask, do it.
0 Replies
 
A Lyn Fei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:19 am
@Theaetetus,
I like the passage you quoted. It is a nice way of looking at the world. However, fatalism cannot be overcome because, in my opinion, it is derived from a fear of death. We keep our minds busy, we keep lists, we keep going and going to avoid the inevitable end of all things for us. I do agree that there are fatalist systems ingrained into society's institution which are doomed to fail, but it is quotes like the aforementioned that bring tiny bits of relief to these systems. People go about worrying within certain categories: politics, religion, family, relationships, etc. Each one brings us down, instead of lifting us up. What I always find funny is how much people complain about pieces of their lives without realizing that they make the ground they stand on. A bad relationship should be discarded. Politics should be understood. And The Art of Living should be carefully considered while keeping in mind that our fear of death will influence our decisions and "life ethics".
The conclusion: society cannot overcome fatalism without first overcoming our ingrained fear of death.
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:26 am
Fatalism is a dragon you don't slay. You can jump on it and hold the reigns, though... in other words: channel it.

It's mind magic. The trick is to notice that you're an expert at it.. you're doing it right now. But is the way you're doing it now the most favorable way? If not, back up and reboot with different assumptions. 2 Cents
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:34 am
@Theaetetus,
i think of it along the lines of there being an advantage for someone in every event, not specifically for me. so something that has disadvataged me has possibly done a better good for someone else.

old age helps along these lines...i can look back over my life and see how each event prepared me for the next-and almost say that certain events formed a chain that led to others and of course here i am now because of it all.

i think that somewhat sounds like fatalism...i am not too good on identifying isms. but i can also look back and see the choices i made, and that there were alternatives that would have had other consequences.

but yet i dont agree with
Quote:
Any life ethic that can not overcome fatalism is a life ethic that is necessarily doomed to fail.

although it sounds really cool. because even if i knew i was going to wake up tomorrow and this whole thing was nothing but a joke, i would still take it seriously and carefully consider the meaning of it all and my relationship to the other people in it with me.

in other words, i am one of those people who believes doing good is right and i want to do good whether or not i get a reward or prize for it. it is its own reward, not only as such but because good comes from good.

then i go off the wall, according to most folks, because i also believe good comes from evil. the bottom line for me is that if the good didnt outweigh the bad, if the order didnt outweigh the chaos, if the ethics didnt outweigh the perversity, i dont see that we would still be here at all...we would have self destructed long ago.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 09:20 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:

I was reading The Art of Living by Epictetus in a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell. She takes what are class notes by one of Epictetus and organizes them a bit.

Anyway, this passage kind of struck me.

"As you think, so you become. Avoid superstitiously investing events with power or meanings they don't have. Keep you head. Our busy minds are forever jumping to conclusions, manufacturing and interpreting sings that aren't there.

"Assume instead, that everything that happens to you does so for some good. That if you decided to be lucky, you are lucky. All events contain an advantage for you--if you look for it!"

Well, this kind of struck me that many people are inclined to jump to conclusions thinking way too far into people and situations. As people, we are too inclined to fret about the past, ignore the presence, and act detrimentally towards the future as a result. Too many people have this ingrained fatalism programmed into them by many societal institutions. Learning how to overcome fatalism is a key step in the art of living a good life. Any life ethic that can not overcome fatalism is a life ethic that is necessarily doomed to fail.

So the question, how is society to overcome fatalism?

Hi Theaetetus,
How, indeed? But Should it, I might further ask? For "that which tears us down is the trigger to 'that' which raises us up." Ultimately, we gain strength and insight upon the back of our weakness and naievity. This, in turn, stresses that "In order to retain a positive stance, we must first embrace our negativity. It is through this understanding that I, personally acquired my own state of harmony (in humility) I perceive both a negative and positive side to all events, and choose to disregard the negative as detrimental to my stability. An on-the-fencedness approach typically neutralises both ends of the said spectrum and provides a Happy-medium, as to say.
Thank you, and have a brilliant, yet moderable, day Theaetetus.
Mark...
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 08:11 pm
@mark noble,
I think we need to embrace our negativity or fatalistic tendencies so that we are aware that they exist. It is basically learning thought-behavior patterns and shying away from negative tendencies by tempering our character. Obviously, our lives are based on what happened previously, and thus, learning to have the right attitude towards what has happened is rather key to a moderate life.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

is there a fundamental value that we all share? - Discussion by existential potential
The ethics of killing the dead - Discussion by joefromchicago
Theoretical Question About Extra Terrestrials - Discussion by failures art
The Watchmen Dilemma - Discussion by Sentience
What is your fundamental moral compass? - Discussion by Robert Gentel
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
The Trolley Problem - Discussion by joefromchicago
Keep a $900 Computer I Didn't Buy? - Question by NathanCooperJones
Killing through a dungeon - Question by satyesu
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Everything Happens for a Good Reason
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/27/2021 at 10:47:48