Hume's Skepticism: The Lame Sequel to Stoicism

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I shall whisk you away, and you shall henceforth accompany me on a journey through time… Once upon a time, circa the years A.D. 50-130, a wise man named Epictetus wrote The Handbook which addressed specific points and steps one should take in the pursuit of happiness. This was the birth of Stoicism. Centuries later, a concerned and discerning philosopher by the name of David Hume published an altercation to Epictetus’ idealized way of thinking and reacting, in which Hume “corrects” the “flaws” in the original school of thought, which was justifiably entitled The Sceptic in 1742. Thus came into being Skepticism. Now, let us take a step outside of this tale and allow me to discern between the two in the most unbiased way possible: Stoicism bases reaction to an event on logic and rationale. Skepticism is basing one’s reaction to an event on past experience to make judgment of an occurring event. Stoicism is perceptive, while Skepticism is emotive. Stoicism assumes a common goal. Skepticism takes into account a variety in passions, desires, goals, and motivations. So, which is the more persuasive? Persuasive in what way? Really, the word can appeal to different parts of one’s being. Which is more persuasive to the heart, or to the brain? Ceteris paribus, to each his own; but in my humble, biased opinion (after reading both), I find Stoicism to be far more persuasive, for a am a being of logic. Skepticism, to me, is just an easy way out- it may be more manageable in practice, but Stoicism stands stagnant as more sound in theory. While a Stoic mindset may seem out of reach and nigh unattainable, I believe it is the purest, most righteous path towards enlightenment of the heart and mind, while Skepticism will remain the tainted, convoluted offspring of the original practice. A stoic believes in a progression of ideals that lead toward a virtuous life. In Stoicism, it is

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