rocko2466 wrote:Hey slymepitters
I gots a question. If you had to write a book your kid for when s/he's say 20 - 25, what topics would you include?
Atheism and ethics are two obvious ones, but any ideas (even if they're within those two broad categories) would be appreciated.
Three concepts that need resuscitation from ancient Greece. Typhos
. All have their roots in ancient Athenian Cynicism circa 400â€“300 BCE and are all largely lost, or more probably eradicated, as they are heretical to every ideology that has ever stained our species - no exceptions.
to an extent has been revived, most prominently by Michel Foucalt
in his last lectures. At it's most superficial, it is simply free speech. More correctly, it is fearless or bold speech. Absolute frankness, truth and clarity, even at the expense of hurt feelings or personal consequences. The Foucalt extracts from the cesspit summarise it fairly well -
So you see, the parrhesiastes is someone who takes a risk. Of course, this risk is not always a risk of life. When, for example, you see a friend doing something wrong and you risk incurring his anger by telling him he is wrong, you are acting as a parrhesiastes. In such a case, you do not risk your life, but you may hurt him by your remarks, and your friendship may consequently suffer for it. If, in a political debate, an orator risks losing his popularity because his opinions are contrary to the majority's opinion, or his opinions may usher in a political scandal, he uses parrhesia. Parrhesia, then, is linked to courage in the face of danger: it demands the courage to speak the truth in spite of some danger. And in its extreme form, telling the truth takes place in the "game" of life or death.
To summarize the foregoing, parrhesia is a kind of verbal activity where the speaker has a specific relation to truth through frankness, a certain relationship to his own life through danger, a certain type of relation to himself or other people through criticism (self-criticism or criticism of other people), and a specific relation to moral law through freedom and duty. More precisely, parrhesia is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, and risks his life because he recognizes truth-telling as a duty to improve or help other people (as well as himself). In parrhesia, the speaker uses his freedom and chooses frankness instead of persuasion, truth instead of falsehood or silence, the risk of death instead of life and security, criticism instead of flattery, and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy.
has been completely lost - to the point it doesn't even exist in google. But, to me, it is the most important concept of the three. It has nothing to do with the monster in Greek mythology that even the god's feared, nor the disease. It is so obscure, I have had to make an effort to reconstruct its meaning from quite a pile of sources. At its superficial level it translates as nonsense
, but again, there is a lot more to it. This is my interpretation -
typhos â€“ Archaic Greek, literally â€œsmoke, vaporâ€. A cloudy, misty, befuddled state of mind; intellectual smog; the delerium of popular ideas and conventions that are thoroughly divorced from reality or merit.
sees no difference between religion, homeopathy, conspiracy theory, personality cultdom or the gibberish that spews from the baboons. It is all the product of a mind that is fogged by the indistinct mist of concocted realities and incapable of either objectivity or clarity.
Luis Navia, probably the best living Cynic historian puts it this way -
The Cynics persisted in the conviction that most people live as if immersed in a cloud of smoke (typhos) that prevents them from seeing clearly and does not allow them to use that which distinguishes humans from animalsâ€”namely, the capacity to reason. In abandoning this capacity, people forsake their true nature. Diogenes often said that the human world is an enormous madhouse in which every sort of madness is found everywhere: cruelty, greed, deception, mendacity, brutality, uncontrolled hedonism, and the rest of the all-too-common diseases that afflict humanity and have become endemic in the form of things such as religion, patriotism, tradition, and other manifestations of irrationality.
It is no extravagant claim to say that every fuck up this planet has ever made has been the direct result of typhos
is the simplest. It is the antithesis of typhos
. It is clarity and simplicity in expression, the removal of ambiguities from meaning. It is the engine that drives parrhesia
. Plain talk, calling a spade a spade, fuck your feelings, this is how it really is. Bullshit free and pure, if somewhat painful.
I think everything else that we have - from reason to ethics to logic - is built upon the foundation stones of these concepts.