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Do you believe in God?

3 years ago by Squid4Hire with 8 comments

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  • ReV

    Do you mean "you" as in stoics in general or are you talking about our individual members?

    The ancient stoics where theists but modern stoics tend to subscribe to various forms of non-theism from what I observed ins stoic communities. Stoicism works just as well in both a theistic and non-theistic world view.

    Personally, I'm a Christian, so I do believe in God. I find stoicism to mash really well with Christianity .

    • Pantera

      I feel the same. I think the Christian faith could benefit from teaching parts of the stoic philosophy. Christians worry about things they shouldn't. They pray but then still worry or stand still and do nothing after prayer when they could do something. They stand on the wrong side of things or at least in the wrong way. For instance the stance on gay marriage. Of course we believe it's wrong but the guys soul is more valuable than you being right about his mistake. We have people who go to prisons and minister to the convicts, some murderers and all, we need to minister to these people, not condemn them.

    • stoa (edited 3 years ago)

      Personally, I'm a Christian, so I do believe in God. I find stoicism to mash really well with Christianity .

      That makes two of us.

      Relevant quote from Meditations (Hays' translation):

      You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. If the gods exist, then to abandon human beings is not frightening; the gods would never subject you to harm. And if they don’t exist, or don’t care what happens to us, what would be the point of living in a world without gods or Providence? But they do exist, they do care what happens to us, and everything a person needs to avoid real harm they have placed within him. If there were anything harmful on the other side of death, they would have made sure that the ability to avoid it was within you. If it doesn’t harm your character, how can it harm your life? Nature would not have overlooked such dangers through failing to recognize them, or because it saw them but was powerless to prevent or correct them. Nor would it ever, through inability or incompetence, make such a mistake as to let good and bad things happen indiscriminately to good and bad alike. But death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble nor shameful—and hence neither good nor bad.

    • shannondoah

      I find stoicism to mash really well with Christianity .

      That's because Stoicism was one of the philosophies absorbed into patristic Christian thought(along with neoplatonism).That's why Stoicism and Neoplatonism don't exist as independent religions to this day(one of the factors,anyway;imperial policies also had a big role).

    • Squid4Hire

      Oh Stoics in general. See, stoics believe in logic, so they'd only react to things that are observable. So that would mean they'd be less religious right?

      • shannondoah

        May I know what have you read about Stoic philosophy,by the way?I'm just curious.

  • Stoic

    I would consider myself an atheist/agnostic/pantheist, the latter of which is what Stoics are.

  • anaxarchos

    It heavily depends on what you mean by God. Do you mean a theistic god? No, I don't believe in such a god and neither did the Stoics. Somewhere else I wrote

    Read, for example, the Chapter 4. Stoic physics from John Sellars' Stoicism, beginning at page 91 (God and Nature). According to Sellars the Stoic God was a philosophical god and can be seen as the providential ruling force in Nature. The Stoics can be seen as pantheists identifying God with Nature. It was also common among Stoics to see Nature as a living being. Sellars points to the theological discussions in Cicero's On the Nature of the Gods, Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus and Diogenes Laertius.

    That being said, I have no problems with this God which is very similar to Spinoza's God. Basically, one can use God and Nature interchangeably.