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Monday, January 26th, 2009

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Stoicism and Christianity part II
kaltrosomos has some questions on redirect to my previous testimony. Again I take the witness stand to plead my case.

Again, let me try to answer seriatim:

Q: (Quoting me) "History would prove them wanting." What leads you to this conclusion that history would prove them wanting?

A: The full quote is “The naturalist philosophies of life seek joy either through the satisfaction of passionate pleasures (as a Hedonist) or of moderate pleasures as governed by reason (as an Epicurean), or through the use of reason to the exclusion of personal pleasure (as a Stoic). These repretsent the options of no self-control, modest self-control and total self-control. There is no naturalistic moral philosophy left once these three positions have been found wanting. History would prove them wanting. They have been revived in the modern day

Sorry if this is unclear. I mean only that Hedonism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism have always been in the minority position. While the Stoic or Epicurean might wish that the common man, the rulers and soldiers, the philosophers and academics, poets and prophets, opinion-makers and intellectuals of every age of history would embrace the Stoic or Epicurean message, in fact most people find the message unsatisfactory. None of these have ever been the office doctrine or the consensus opinion of any society history reports. Even modern nation states embracing an official position of atheism (Red China or Soviet Russia) also embrace transcendentalism, a belief in a missionary mission to save the world from Capitalism, or to serve the transcendent Material Dialectic of history, to serve the Will of the People, and so on.

Objectivism is a modern day revival of Aristotelian Eudaimonaism, which is a form of Epicureanism. It differs from Aristotle in metaphysics and economics — this latter is not surprising, as economics is a science unknown to the ancient Greeks.

Q: (Quoting me) "The human condition is intolerable." I find much to live for on purely natural grounds. You might say that you personally find life intolerable on purely natural grounds, but speaking for all men is unwarranted.

A: You misread me. I am not saying that my person opinion as an art critic is that I personally find the human condition intolerable. I am not saying that all men in their personal opinion personally find the human condition intolerable.

I am saying it is an objective fact that the human condition is intolerable.

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Reader help proofreading Null-A Continuum.
My latest and greatest novel, a sequel to A.E. van Vogt's WORLD OF NULL-A, comes out soon in paperback. Sitting on my desk right now is the galley proofs.

I am going to reread it looking for spelling mistakes. If any of you who have read it have noticed any errors to correct, please tell me.

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