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Stoicism
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Religion
    Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in the 3rd century BC
    Named after the stoa (colonnade) where Zeno met his students
    Major school of philosophy in the Roman Empire
    Emphasized understanding and accepting the universe the way it is
    Taught unhappiness and evil are due to human ignorance of the reason in nature
    Major figures include Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus
    Sayings include 'Virtue is nothing else than right reason' and 'Virtue is sufficient for happiness'
    Developed many of their ideas from the Cynics
    None of the works of early Stoic writers have survived.
    Living in harmony with universe and accepting things as they are is kind of hard to do in the real world sometimes.
    Although their ethical and logical philosophies were admirable, their religious system was a unimaginative pantheism.
    It's hard reconcile the Stoic rejection of materialism and belief in human equality with the Roman Empire.
    The reason some people act evilly is not because they are ignorant of the universe but because they are evil.
    Much of their thought is misunderstood today because terms they used no longer have the same meanings.
    Example: Stoicism itself in modern English means indifference which is not what the ancient Stoics endorsed.
    Although rejected by much of early Christianity, many of their ideas and some of their language was later adapted by the early Church.
    'Consolations of Philosophy' by Boethius was heavily inspired by Stoic thought.
    Their rejection of materialism and belief in the equality of all human beings was almost unheard of in their time.
    These beliefs, along with an emphasis on sexual morality including monogamy and the monotheism of many of their followers has led to it being called 'Christianity without Christ.'
    Nobody ever started a war over Stoicism, nobody has ever forced anyone to become a Stoic versus being burned at the stake and there have never been any Stoic televangelists.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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