The Goodness of Virtue, My Alignment & Problem with Stoicism.

“When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case. So it is with men too: even if they don’t want to, they will be compelled to follow what is destined.”

– Zeno of Citium

It has been often said that virtue is the ultimate form of good, some argue that its not, and some argue that we don’t know and never will. Some people believe that good is the ultimate virtue, some people believe that knowledge is and some people just don’t know. I tend to flip between all of them based off my state of mind and my surroundings. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I think to much. Below you will find a chart to come to your conclusion, but for this we will delve into my understanding of it.

I feel that virtue can be the only true good because goodness is its very definition. If virtue is all things good, then it is the only true good thing, regardless of its consequences, for a deeper understanding we would have to define good and there different types of good. Personal good, which is good short term gratification or true good, which is ultimately good regardless of the consequences or effects it has on the individual. True good is hard to swallow for us and incomprehensible to us. Other things are desirable, of course, we’re only human, but not necessary. Which I guess that would make me a stoic, which by it’s very definition means that I am not affected by things like joy, grief, pleasure or pain, which I take issue with.

I line up with the beliefs in the chart below but there is something off putting about the definition itself, it seems so unnatural and ungenuine to me. Showing emotion, is both the best and worst part about being human. Showing none of that solves nothing, if anything it makes the human condition worse. I consider emotion to be one of the highest virtues we have as people, there’s no shame in showing it, but there is shame in not being able to control it in certain situations. I believe stoicism to be broken in its ideals, and incomparable with the very nature of human beings. More than likely I don’t fully understand the topic, but I wish to know more and understand it better, I hope to in the future.


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