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I am looking for something similar to stoicism. I know buddhism and secular humanism have lots of similarity, but that's it.

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    Similar in what respects? – virmaior Jul 7 '17 at 13:54
  • In practice and usefulness – user27550 Jul 7 '17 at 16:36
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    Er, that wasn't really helpful. Can you relate specific features or beliefs that attract you to stoicism? i.e., ataraxia. ? belief in the conflagaration? disagreement with Aristotle about need for earthly goods? – virmaior Jul 7 '17 at 16:47
  • I can use it to be more rational and less emotional. I can beat my fear and sadness or something like that I would say. I am asking only for practical reasons even though I am open to other kinds of similarities as well. – user27550 Jul 7 '17 at 16:49
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    The flip side of what virmaior asked is useful as well. What drives you to look somewhere other than stoicism? Are you a die hard stoic who's just looking to see if there's anything nearby, or is there something about stoicism that makes it undesirable? – Cort Ammon Jul 8 '17 at 22:09
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Stoicism seems unique to me. It is a speculative philosophy with no metaphysical underpinning so is 'Western' or 'Rational in this sense, yet assumes the Unity of All so has much in common with the Perennial doctrine, mostly in the realm of ethics. I cannot think of a similar ideological position.

Thus some modern Stoics are materialists, some idealists, since no commitment is required to any particular metaphysical position. I know of no other doctrine that adopts this strange and ambiguous approach to philosophy.

I see it as a convenient refuge for those who reject theistic religion and don't want anything to do with mysticism but do not want to live in a world with no moral laws or ethical values.

It may be the worst of all worlds. It explains nothing, is no help in metaphysics and is grounded in speculation. It claims neither to be grounded in knowledge or Divine inspiration and might as well be a matter of opinion or a fashion statement. I'm told it is becoming increasingly popular in Silicon Valley, for it suits those who seek an ethical compass but do not wish to alter their philosophical views in any way.

I'm slightly baffled why those who are attracted to Stoicism do not go the whole hog and study Buddhism, Taoism or another better-developed and more firmly-grounded teaching, but put this down to Stoicism's unique property of allowing us to enjoy some of the benefits of the Perennial teachings on Reality, ethics and self without having to endorse any particular philosophical doctrine or world-view. Thus it thought by modern Stoics to be possible to endorse an ethical doctrine, Materialism and Scientism all at the some time, and some folks do. I know of no other ethical teaching or philosophical system that that would allow this kind of post-modernism.

Perhaps it's most unique property is that it asserts the Unity of All but rejects the metaphysical scheme required for this to be the case. Thus the only way to justify Stoic ethics is to refer to Buddhist metaphysics and Nagarjuna.

This is a harsh view, (although not a criticsm of Stoic ethics), but I cannot grasp the purpose of Stoicism and see it just as a refuge for those who have no interest in philosophy or religion but want some ethical values in their life. At any rate, this exactly describes the well-known Stoic with whom I have discussed this most extensively. That it offers us this possibility seems to make it unique.

Perhaps Humanism is close, but Humanism offers us no metaphysical view and assumes an ignorance of metaphysics where Stoicism makes metaphysical claims and assumptions thus is a different kind of animal.

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Beyond Epicurus and the Greeks there is always Lucretius the Roman who wrote Rerum Natura. It's a beautifully crafted narrative poem and quite inspirational. In another vein there are numerous commentators on Spinoza who see in his philosophy potent echoes of Stoic thinking.

Since there was a mention of being 'less emotional' you might find Part Three of Spinoza's "Ethics"- On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions helpful. His contention is that humans do not 'have' emotions but rather that we are in our essence, emotional beings. Emotions or what he terms 'affect' act as the 'core' of human nature. He describes how our body's interaction with other people leave impressions on our 'nervous system' which act as emotional triggers on our thought processes. These impressions cause us to develop internal conflicts in our own vision of our self-worth and esteem.

Many famous writers, like Goethe, Shiller, Lessing, Byron, Keats, Elliot and more took great solace in his take on human psychology. The best part of Spinoza's psychology is its accessibility. It is not necessary to read Parts One and Two of the "Ethics", on Ontology, Metaphysics and Epistemology before proceeding to Part Three. If the reading causes difficulty you can also go on-line and find fairly straightforward commentary on his psychology. All the Best. CS

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