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Thread: Great Trolls of History - Vol 1: Diogenes of Sinope

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    Default Great Trolls of History - Vol. 1: Diogenes of Sinope

    GREAT TROLLS OF HISTORY
    DIOGENES OF SINOPE



    Life:
    The most illustrious of the Cynic philosophers, Diogenes of Sinope (c. 404-323 B.C.E.) serves as the template for the Cynic sage in antiquity. An alleged student of Antisthenes, Diogenes maintains his teacher’s asceticism and emphasis on ethics, but brings to these philosophical positions a dynamism and sense of humor unrivaled in the history of philosophy. Diogenes made it his life's goal to challenge established customs and values. He argued that instead of being troubled about the true nature of evil, people merely rely on customary interpretations. He considered his avoidance of earthly pleasures a contrast to and commentary on contemporary Athenian behaviors. This attitude was grounded in a disdain for what he regarded as the folly, pretense, vanity, self-deception, and artificiality of human conduct.

    He was a citizen of Sinope who either fled or was exiled because of a problem involving the defacing of currency. Once in Athens, Diogenes famously took a tub, or a pithos, for an abode. Apparently Diogenes discovered that he had no need for conventional shelter or any other “dainties” from having watched a mouse. The lesson the mouse teaches is that he is capable of adapting himself to any circumstance. This adaptability is the origin of Diogenes’ legendary askēsis, or training.

    Diogenes’ sense of shamelessness is best seen in the context of Cynicism in general. Specifically, though, it stems from a repositioning of convention below nature and reason. One guiding principle is that if an act is not shameful in private, that same act is not made shameful by being performed in public. For example, it was contrary to Athenian convention to eat in the marketplace, and yet there he would eat for, as he explained when reproached, it was in the marketplace that he felt hungry. The most scandalous of these sorts of activities involves his indecent behavior in the marketplace, to which he responded “he wished it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach.”

    There is a report that Diogenes “would continually say that for the conduct of life we need right reason or a halter.” For Diogenes, each individual should either allow reason to guide her conduct, or, like an animal, she will need to be lead by a leash; reason guides one away from mistakes and toward the best way in which to live life. Diogenes, then, does not despise knowledge as such, but despises pretensions to knowledge that serve no purpose.

    He is especially scornful of sophisms. He disproves an argument that a person has horns by touching his forehead, and in a similar manner, counters the claim that there is no such thing as motion by walking around. He elsewhere disputes Platonic definitions and from this comes one of his more memorable actions: “Plato had defined the human being as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, ‘Here is Plato’s man.’ In consequence of which there was added to the definition, ‘having broad nails’”. Diogenes is a harsh critic of Plato, regularly disparaging Plato’s metaphysical pursuits and thereby signaling a clear break from primarily theoretical ethics.

    Diogenes’ talent for undercutting social and religious conventions and subverting political power can tempt readers into viewing his position as merely negative. This would, however, be a mistake. Diogenes is clearly contentious, but he is so for the sake of promoting reason and virtue. In the end, for a human to be in accord with nature is to be rational, for it is in the nature of a human being to act in accord with reason. Diogenes has trouble finding such humans, and expresses his sentiments regarding his difficulty theatrically. Diogenes is reported to have “lit a lamp in broad daylight and said, as he went about, ‘I am searching for a human being’”.

    For the Cynics, life in accord with reason is lived in accord with nature, and therefore life in accord with reason is greater than the bounds of convention and the polis. Furthermore, the Cynics claim that such a life is the life worth living. As a homeless and penniless exile, Diogenes experienced the greatest misfortunes of which the tragedians write, and yet he insisted that he lived the good life: “He claimed that to fortune he could oppose courage, to convention nature, to passion reason”.

    There are conflicting accounts of Diogenes' death. He is alleged variously to have held his breath; to have become ill from eating raw octopus; or to have suffered an infected dog bite. When asked how he wished to be buried, he left instructions to be thrown outside the city wall so wild animals could feast on his body. When asked if he minded this, he said, "Not at all, as long as you provide me with a stick to chase the creatures away!" When asked how he could use the stick since he would lack awareness, he replied "If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead?"

    Sayings:
    • Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I bite also my friends in order to save them.
    • Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?
    • Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice.
    • Aristotle dines when it seems good to King Philip, but Diogenes when he himself pleases.
    • If you are to be kept right, you must possess either good friends or red-hot enemies. The one will warn you, the other will expose you.
    • The art of being a slave is to rule one's master.
    • Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves, whistle and dance the shimmy, and you've got an audience.
    • It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.
    • Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?
    • The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning, pleasure and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship and death.
    • I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be.


    Scenes:
    • Labeled mad for acting against convention, Diogenes points out that it is the conventions which lack reason: “Most people, he would say, are so nearly mad that a finger makes all the difference. For if you go along with your middle finger stretched out, some one will think you mad, but, if it’s the little finger, he will not think so.”
    • One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, "A child has beaten me in plainness of living."
    • He was seized and dragged off to King Philip, and being asked who he was, replied, "A spy upon your insatiable greed."
    • Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, "The great thieves are leading away the little thief."
    • When some one reminded him that the people of Sinope had sentenced him to exile, he said, "And I sentenced them to stay at home."
    • He once begged alms of a statue, and, when asked why he did so, replied, "To get practice in being refused."
    • Someone took him into a magnificent house and warned him not to spit, whereupon, having cleared his throat, he spat into the wealthy host's face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle.
    • He was breakfasting in the marketplace against customs, and the bystanders gathered round him with cries of "dog." "It is you who are dogs," cried he, "when you stand round and watch me at my breakfast."
    • Asked where he came from, he said, "I am a citizen of the world."
    • He was going into a theatre, meeting face to face those who were coming out, and being asked why, "This," he said, "is what I practise doing all my life."
    • When people laughed at him because he walked backward beneath the portico, he said to them: "Aren't you ashamed, you who walk backward along the whole path of existence, and blame me for walking backward along the path of the promenade?"
    • While Diogenes was relaxing in the moning sunlight, Alexander the Great, thrilled to meet the famous philosopher, asked if there was any favour he might do for him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, stand out of my sunlight".


    According to others:
    • "If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes." - Alexander the Great
    • "A Socrates gone mad." - Plato
    • "Even bronze is aged by time, but not all the ages, Diogenes, shall destroy thy fame, since you alone did show to mortals the rule of self-sufficiency and the easiest path of life." - Antiphilus of Byzantium


    This has been Great Trolls of History.

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    Sounds like a really insecure narcissist. Trolling can be fun, but if you have no core to you yourself, if you are just 'prickly' energy then it just eventually turns you into as 'sensitive' as those you are trying to troll. Trolls frequently think they are being bad-ass, but they lack a substance that other people have.

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    I long to have his wisdom, and his courage, and his acumen; to live in soberness although wealth is in abundance within my household, to live affluent in soul, but lacking in maliciousness.
    She is wise
    beyond words
    beautiful within
    her soul
    brighter than
    the sun
    lovelier than
    love
    dreams larger
    than life
    and does not
    understand the
    meaning of no.
    Because everything
    through her, and in her, is
    "Yes, it will be done."


    Why I love LSEs:
    Quote Originally Posted by Abbie
    A couple years ago I was put in charge of decorating the college for Valentine's Day. I made some gorgeous, fancy decorations from construction paper, glue, scissors, and imagination. Then I covered a couple cabinets with them. But my favorite was the diagram of a human heart I put up. So romantic!

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    I rather be Alexander the Great. Too bad krappy .

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Sounds like a really insecure narcissist. Trolling can be fun, but if you have no core to you yourself, if you are just 'prickly' energy then it just eventually turns you into as 'sensitive' as those you are trying to troll. Trolls frequently think they are being bad-ass, but they lack a substance that other people have.
    On the contrary: Diogenes had far more substance than other people. (Like many Greek philosophers who couldn't get laid, he elevated the virtues of the mind above those of the body, refusing to acknowledge the validity or value of bodily impulses. This unremitting focus upon reason and his mental life may have had its drawbacks, but it certainly gave him substance and heft.) However, he either did not recognize this fact, or else was a huge dick, because he forcibly imposed his philosophy upon others to their detriment.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    I always felt it was kinda of wierd that living in nature meant poverty or asceticism for some people but I guess it's natural for such a event to occur. However, I think it's just as natural to be extravagant or moderate or whatever.

    Man's absurdities are as natural as man's reason, I view order as a product of man's obstinacy, in the face of entropy. It is not that it is simply natural for order to develop, but rather it is inevitable for it to develop and from that order develops further order.

    It's no more than the bond of atoms to form molecules or the ordered structure of DNA, or the bonds of information that creates duality. The world is layers of order on top of order on top of further order.

    So to consider natural merely to accept the world as it is, I feel this is unnatural to me. Rather I would change the world to what I would wish it, absurd as such a concept might appear to some men. And this is my natural inclination.

    It's good to understand and know nature but why deny what nature has made oneself. It is however delusion to pretend order exists where there is no order and order that reject the laws of nature. This happens quite naturally however.

    I think in many ways, Diogenes denied the natural order of man, and the natural phenomena that created etiquette and social order.

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    I agree hk. I would take all of diogenes philosophy, save the need to live in eternal poverty. You can not help a poor man by becoming one of them.
    She is wise
    beyond words
    beautiful within
    her soul
    brighter than
    the sun
    lovelier than
    love
    dreams larger
    than life
    and does not
    understand the
    meaning of no.
    Because everything
    through her, and in her, is
    "Yes, it will be done."


    Why I love LSEs:
    Quote Originally Posted by Abbie
    A couple years ago I was put in charge of decorating the college for Valentine's Day. I made some gorgeous, fancy decorations from construction paper, glue, scissors, and imagination. Then I covered a couple cabinets with them. But my favorite was the diagram of a human heart I put up. So romantic!

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    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I always felt it was kinda of wierd that living in nature meant poverty or asceticism for some people but I guess it's natural for such a event to occur. However, I think it's just as natural to be extravagant or moderate or whatever.
    It's also possible to be ostentatious with privation and ascetism. See Kafka's Hunger Artist or the thousands of penitents worldwide who spill their own blood to honor the feasts of saints.

    Man's absurdities are as natural as man's reason
    The absurd is merely imperfections in man's receptivity to and rationalization about the ontic. As such it is an aspect of reason wherein paradoxical quandries result from the self-entanglement of its limitations.

    I think in many ways, Diogenes denied the natural order of man, and the natural phenomena that created etiquette and social order.
    To paraphrase something Gibbon said and Diogenes would have affirmed, most people learn through imitation and repetition. This observation extends neatly to absorption of transmitted social values. Since Diogenes transgressed mores for didactic effect, such as writing approvingly of incest and cannibalism (which, while taboo to the Greeks, were traditional values among, respectively, ancient Egyptian royalty and the legendary Androphagoi) his actions were meant to point out that the average person's conception of ethics is a traditional inheritance whose premises are largely unexamined. It does not necessarily comprise strictures aligned with an ultimate morality, but instead its injunctions are cultural artifacts received from and repeated among family, authorities, and peers. Let's examine this again:
    Diogenes’ sense of shamelessness is best seen in the context of Cynicism in general. Specifically, though, it stems from a repositioning of convention below nature and reason.
    To draw a parallel with the assertion that ontogeny begets phylogeny, ontology begets philosophy, including that of ethics, and so Diogenes both acknowledged that societal codes are an emergent aspect of man's nature that develop within a framework of historical intersubjectivity. However, he also noted that they are absurd for failing to demonstrate, in their multifarious appearances from one culture to another and in their continuous transmission from each generation to the next, any nonreducible substance that best reflects universal law. The same arguments can be made for his general attacks on unjustifiable dogmatism.

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    “he wished it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach.”
    IEE-Ne

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Sounds like a really insecure narcissist. Trolling can be fun, but if you have no core to you yourself, if you are just 'prickly' energy then it just eventually turns you into as 'sensitive' as those you are trying to troll. Trolls frequently think they are being bad-ass, but they lack a substance that other people have.
    hahaha B&D got troll'd from motherfucking history

    what a testament to diogenes' abilities

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    lmao

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    Let's all make threads on people we think are awesome and show them in their most awesome-st brilliance. Then we can just assume they are in our quadra because we like them.


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    A gamma who wanted attention?

    ESTj
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    Johari Nohari

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magna View Post
    Let's all make threads on people we think are awesome and show them in their most awesome-st brilliance. Then we can just assume they are in our quadra because we like them.
    It's gratifying to see how strongly you've taken to my teachings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    A gamma who wanted attention?
    Whatever you do in life, Abbie, never change.

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    Asked where he came from, he said, "I am a citizen of the world."
    Ah, was it Diogenes who said this? I always thought it was Socrates.

    He's pretty cool, whichever type he happens to be.

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    Ah, was it Diogenes who said this? I always thought it was Socrates.
    they can't like agree and both say it?

    hell, i must have said it at least once, though prefer the phrase "I grew up on teh internet".

    I agree hk. I would take all of diogenes philosophy, save the need to live in eternal poverty. You can not help a poor man by becoming one of them.
    i think the poverty comes with the deal. you go flipping people off at random and see how long you keep your job.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    This guy needs a medal.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    This guy sounds awesome.


    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Sounds like a really insecure narcissist. Trolling can be fun, but if you have no core to you yourself, if you are just 'prickly' energy then it just eventually turns you into as 'sensitive' as those you are trying to troll. Trolls frequently think they are being bad-ass, but they lack a substance that other people have.
    hahaha B&D got troll'd from motherfucking history

    what a testament to diogenes' abilities
    hahahaha

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    Quote Originally Posted by labocat View Post
    Ah, was it Diogenes who said this? I always thought it was Socrates.
    they can't like agree and both say it?
    I missed out the word originated.

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    Darn Socks Director Abbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0rpsey View Post
    Whatever you do in life, Abbie, never change.
    My yearbooks are full of orders just like this.

    ESTj
    1w2 sp/so 1-2-6
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    Squishy's Older Sister

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    I love this dude. Here are some other quotes:

    "One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, "A child has beaten me in plainness of living.""

    "It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours."

    "We come into the world alone and we die alone. Why, in life, should we be any less alone?"

    "Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice."

    I'm really curious about his type.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korpsy Knievel View Post
    My take is that Diogenes is gamma NT as fuck, maaaaaybe LIE but more likely ILI.
    Agreed
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



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    Fansy, the Bard: Everquest


    Online gamers are MacGyvers of murder. There is nothing they can't improvise into death and grief, an art perfected by Fansy the Famous when he inverted a rule preventing high level players from bullying beginners into genocide. The Sullon Zek server was an infamous "no rules" haven. The server was 70 percent evil and 20 percent neutral, turning the usual epic battle between good and evil into a circle-stomp on good's weeping face.

    Fansy was a level 5 good bard -- in EverQuest terms barely potty-trained and so low other players couldn't attack him. His only combat ability was running faster than a group of lumbering Sand Giants. But Fansy had a plan. He realized that his simple, intimidating power could be turned into a devastating weapon could kill everyone everywhere. So in the middle of a battle that he had no right surviving for more than a minute, Fansy provoked two dozen of the Sand Giants into attacking him. This probably looked profoundly stupid to anyone who bothered to pay attention, since Sand Giants can kill everything. And then Fansy started running. What he'd realized is that Sand Giants can only kill what they can catch. And since he was one of the only things in the game that didn't fall under that category, he could kill everything with Sand Giant while they tried to catch him. Fansy annihilated vast swathes of the server by running away at them.

    But Fansy's true exploit was making sure his victims deserved it. He'd wandered around the "no rules" server like a fantasy Forrest Gump being nice to people, wearing bright colors, and being called Fansy, ensuring that everyone had called him a fag at least twice. Then he unleashed vengeance with a vast conga line of burly giants pounding everyone's asses. At which point the cool evil players suddenly decided "no rules" was unfair and whined until moderators arrived. The first moderator to show up said "cool," reminded Fansy there were no rules, and enjoyed watching him do it. The second asked him to stop, based on a rule on the no rules server (which hadn't existed earlier that day), and Fansy acquiesced. All someone had to do was ask nicely! Which no one on Sullon Zek had tried, although they had tried calling him a no-life 12-year-old basement-dwelling homo one million times. It's a little strange that people playing a fantasy game would hate him so much, since he's basically recreated the the exact plot of Lord of the Rings for them: a small, underpowered idiot using unkillable allies to defeat a land of evil.


    Credit to cracked.com
    I would say that ethically you are still supposed to act as if you have unilateral responsibility; but simultaneously you have to be able to see the other as a fully autonomous, free, aware person.

    Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.

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