Saturday, March 4, 2017

We Will Survive

It's even worse than it appears, but it's all right.

― Jerry Garcia
Every day brings more dismal news.

Tornadoes and floods ravage small towns...

Uber's CEO is actually Beelzebub... 

A hostile foreign government has handed our presidency to a Dalek... 

My Facebook account has been hacked.

Thank goodness, philosophy provides the way to deal with problems.

The Ancient Greek and Roman stoics taught that human shipwreck is inevitable, and must be borne with dignity. Anger and grief over your fate is unbecoming when you accept that disaster targets everything alive.

The American pragmatists, 2,500 years later, taught that the goal of steady growth and improvement colors all human actions, and that ingenuity and hard work will yield eventual victory.

A sensible middle way lies between the stoics' pessimism of the pragmatists' optimism, says contemporary philosopher John Lachs.

"The problem of pragmatists is that they never give up striving," he writes in Stoic Pragmatism"The problem of stoics is that they give it up too soon.

"If we could combine the two views―vigorously seeking improvement so long as our energies have a chance to prevail and graciously surrendering when the world strikes us down―we would have the makings of a sound philosophy."

Sounds right to me. How about you?

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