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Stoicism vs Absurdism ?


KILZ FILLZ

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A convo with a buddy of mine during a game of pool kinda opened me up to these philosophies. He was telling me about how he subscribes to stoicism and he recommended Marcus Aurelius’ book, Meditations, to me. I got it but haven’t cracked it open yet, about halfway though reading something else I want to finish first. 
 

What I gathered from him breaking it down for me is that stoicism is roughly the idea you don’t have control over anything but yourself and your own ethics, so that’s how you should pattern your life and that is what you should focus on?
 

while dipping my toe into this, I came across absurdism and Albert Camus. I have a copy of The Stranger coming that I am eager to get into as well. 
 

my brief dip into absurdism had reallyyyyy resonated with me. Most of my life I have been saying and believing that the world/universe is just chaos, there’s no rhyme or reason, no greater plan,  everyone is just trying their best and no one out here really has it together as much as they’d like you to think. I had no idea there was a philosophy that aligned with exactly what my personal beliefs are and it’s pretty exciting to me. 
 

have any of you gotten into either of these? Any suggestion of which book I should get into first? Are these philosophies compatible with each other? Is there maybe a third that fits in this convo you think I might like?

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Sounds interesting, especially Stoicism. I see so many people that would benefit from that. They're struggling to control things that are impossible, and well beyond their control, like what's in another person's mind. For example, a romantic partner that isn't a good fit for them. If they put that much energy toward what they do have control over, like getting their own shit together and scooping another partner,  their original struggle wouldn't even matter. I've recently been given a leadership position in an electrical company, and my own personal stoicism (helped greatly by prescription medication) is appreciated in the high stress environment our team of 60 men are working in.

 

Not so sure about absurdism. Not that there isn't chaos, and randomness we all don't have any control over. I just need to have a purpose for myself, and don't have it in me to passively resign to my life being meaningless, even if it is in the big picture. I feel like we can control much more than we give ourselves credit for. Pretty big on preparing for worst case scenarios ie: insurance, emergency repair kits, trauma kits, weapons, etc. Obvious considering I'd like to get rid of the federal government, which most people hate it just as much, if not more than I do but just accept that it's "necessary" and just roll with it. I have a hard time with accepting stuff like that, and actively look for patterns, and purpose even in what other's may view as abject chaos.

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8 hours ago, Mercer said:

Sounds interesting, especially Stoicism. I see so many people that would benefit from that. They're struggling to control things that are impossible, and well beyond their control, like what's in another person's mind. For example, a romantic partner that isn't a good fit for them. If they put that much energy toward what they do have control over, like getting their own shit together and scooping another partner,  their original struggle wouldn't even matter. I've recently been given a leadership position in an electrical company, and my own personal stoicism (helped greatly by prescription medication) is appreciated in the high stress environment our team of 60 men are working in.

 

Not so sure about absurdism. Not that there isn't chaos, and randomness we all don't have any control over. I just need to have a purpose for myself, and don't have it in me to passively resign to my life being meaningless, even if it is in the big picture. I feel like we can control much more than we give ourselves credit for. Pretty big on preparing for worst case scenarios ie: insurance, emergency repair kits, trauma kits, weapons, etc. Obvious considering I'd like to get rid of the federal government, which most people hate it just as much, if not more than I do but just accept that it's "necessary" and just roll with it. I have a hard time with accepting stuff like that, and actively look for patterns, and purpose even in what other's may view as abject chaos.

I really wish I’ve read Camus and can talk about absurdism with you, while understanding what I’m really talking about. 
 

I really , really relate to the idea we are specks of dust in the cosmos, and something that fucks us up today is incredibly insignificant. But I’m worried me saying that, doesn’t even represent absurdism?
 

something I’ve muddled for at least the last two decades has been “will this affect me in the next 5 years?” And if the answer is NO, I make an attempt to disregard it. 

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Posted (edited)

@KILZ FILLZ

 

If you’re interested in this stuff, check out Nihilism by Nolen Gertz. You can get a bit in the semantical weeds when it comes to defining and distinguishing some philosophies in this area and is kinda hard to smack into a small(ish) post..

 

but Gertz largely argues that nihilism should be viewed through an optimistic and absurdist lens. Instead of looking at the dread of meaninglessness and becoming destructive/self-destructive, the realization that none of this matters can and should be used to build, better our existence, and appreciate the beauty of life and it’s chaos. Essentially, the world is our oyster. 
 

I noticed that post above about Trump, which made me laugh because Gertz mentions Trump and how he is a nihilist. But i’ll let him pleas his case if you're interested in hearing/reading it.  
 

I thoroughly enjoyed his book. It helped change my pre-existing nihilistic/absurdist view of the world.
 

I listened to it on audible. Now that i’m talking about it i may crack that open again. 

Edited by abrasivesaint
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I certainly appreciate concepts within philosophies such as absurdism, stoicism, and nihilism, and i think that being mindful of the ability to twist these concepts in nefarious ways (either internally or externally) is very important, as it allows abuse and exploitation to be justified through bullshit concepts of nature, domination, and hierarchy. 

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On 5/15/2024 at 8:06 AM, abrasivesaint said:

@KILZ FILLZ

 

If you’re interested in this stuff, check out Nihilism by Nolen Gertz. You can get a bit in the semantical weeds when it comes to defining and distinguishing some philosophies in this area and is kinda hard to smack into a small(ish) post..

 

but Gertz largely argues that nihilism should be viewed through an optimistic and absurdist lens. Instead of looking at the dread of meaninglessness and becoming destructive/self-destructive, the realization that none of this matters can and should be used to build, better our existence, and appreciate the beauty of life and it’s chaos. Essentially, the world is our oyster. 
 

I noticed that post above about Trump, which made me laugh because Gertz mentions Trump and how he is a nihilist. But i’ll let him pleas his case if you're interested in hearing/reading it.  
 

I thoroughly enjoyed his book. It helped change my pre-existing nihilistic/absurdist view of the world.
 

I listened to it on audible. Now that i’m talking about it i may crack that open again. 

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve added it to my queue for audiobook as well. I use the public library audiobook app Libby and sometimes there are backlogs to get the book you want. It’s on the list tho!

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9 hours ago, KILZ FILLZ said:

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve added it to my queue for audiobook as well. I use the public library audiobook app Libby and sometimes there are backlogs to get the book you want. It’s on the list tho!


I’ve used Libby as well, actually completely fucking forgot about it though, haha.. thank you for reminding me! 

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