A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

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Stoic Apathy

Epictetus: "In order to become a Stoic Master, you must learn the Stoic art of apathy - the art of not caring."
Student: "I want to be a Stoic Master."
Epictetus: "Then show me how apathetic you are, tell me what you don't care about."

Student: "I don't care if...the weather is nice or not."
Epictetus: "More apathy!"
Student: "I don't care if...people like me or not."
Epictetus: "More! Care less!"

Student: "I don't care if...terrible pain is inflicted on me."
Epictetus: "Good. More apathy!"

Student: "I don't care if my family lives or dies, and all that i love perishes from the earth."
Epictetus: "Yes! Let the apathy flow through you."

Student: "Wait a minute, yes i do. I care a ton about my family, and would be devastated if they died, and i'm perfectly okay with that."

Epictetus: "Bah! You'll never become a Stoic Master if you are so attached to such transient things."

Student: "Well...then i guess i don't care about becoming a Stoic Master."

Epictetus, gasping: "Oh my god...he is the one!"
According to the Stoic doctrine of Apatheia, one should not be bothered by the fact that someone carelessly translates "apatheia" as "apathy", leading to misleading and inaccurate representations for comedic effect.

The Stoic philosophers had a concept called "apatheia", which literally translates as "apathy", but is often left untranslated to avoid confusions. Unlike the word "apathy" in English, it doesn't really mean "not caring about anything" in the sense that you have no motivations or goals, but rather have an ability to block out the word and "not care" in the sense that you are not subject to what is happening around us to control us. So in other words, we have the ability to rise above the circumstance and not be affected by them. So think of it less like a college kid who is too cool to care about doing his schoolwork because he "just doesn't care", and more like a ship captain who remains calm while his ship is sinking, evacuates the passengers, then calmly goes down with his ship. It isn't that he "doesn't care" that the ship is sinking, in the sense that he has no preference about whether the ship sinks or not - obviously he will do anything he can to prevent it from sinking, but once it is inevitable that it is sinking he doesn't allow that fact to have any bearing on his mind, or to affect his character, which is to behave honorably and with virtue.

The Stoic philosophers had a concept called "apatheia", which literally translates as "apathy", but is often left untranslated to avoid confusions. Unlike the word "apathy" in English, it doesn't really mean "not caring about anything" in the sense that you have no motivations or goals, but rather have an ability to block out the word and "not care" in the sense that you are not subject to what is happening around us to control us. So in other words, we have the ability to rise above the circumstance and not be affected by them. So think of it less like a college kid who is too cool to care about doing his schoolwork because he "just doesn't care", and more like a ship captain who remains calm while his ship is sinking, evacuates the passengers, then calmly goes down with his ship. It isn't that he "doesn't care" that the ship is sinking, in the sense that he has no preference about whether the ship sinks or not - obviously he will do anything he can to prevent it from sinking, but once it is inevitable that it is sinking he doesn't allow that fact to have any bearing on his mind, or to affect his character, which is to behave honorably and with virtue.

Philosophers in this comic: Epictetus
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