Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blog #30 - Your Favorite Hellenistic Philosophy?

Since it appears that the world will end soon (see below), we might as well find a philosophy with which to face the oncoming destruction of our very existence. The great Roman Cicero had said "that to study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one's self to die" and this is because, as Michael de Montaigne stated:

"study and contemplation do in some sort withdraw us from our soul, and employ it separately from the body, which is a kind of apprenticeship and a resemblance of death; or else, because all the wisdom and reasoning in the world do in the end conclude in this point, to teach us not to fear to die" 1
In the face of the coming apocalypse (if we're left behind after the Rapture on May 21, 2011 or the latest baloney with the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012), how should we face the next 1.5 to 3 years?

Cynics believe:What good is philosophy if it never moves you to criticize your comfortable habits and actually change yourself for the better?’ Cynicism was conceived of as a way of life unbeholden to social convention or political demand, that is, a life lived according to nature. (This phrase is a recurring theme in debates among the Hellenistic philosophies.)

For Cynics, nature is the opposite of society’s conventions and norms. All that the ordinary social herd is interested in is getting on in this world. They flatter, they beg, they posture. Such people think that they are better if they can throw a big fancy party! ‘How shallow! How fleeting! How ridiculous!,’ say the Cynics. These people have lost touch with nature. 2

Here's a song by Extreme called "Cynical":

"And whatever you do / someone's done it first / though it's sad but true / this us just another verse / if you can't take it with you / then what's the use? / I never saw a u-haul / being pulled behind a hearse."

Skeptics: Pyrrho of Elis (c. 365/360-275/270 BCE) was the first celebrated Skeptic. He was said to have accompanied Alexander to India. His philosophical position was that we can only know how things appear to us, and we can’t rightly resolve disagreements as to what appears. This is all very disturbing. Wouldn’t it be better just to suspend judgment and live according to probable opinion and custom?

- "Skeptics aimed to undermine the supposed certainties of all their other philosophical competitors. While this might seem to limit it to making only a negative contribution, Skepticism did at least provide a voice for humility and tolerance, even if the Skeptics themselves did not always practise those qualities." 2

Epicureans: "Epicurus modified the materialistic philosophy of the 5th century bce atomists, Leucippus and Democritus. Everything is composed of matter, more specifically, of atoms moving in a void. For the most part, they move in regular ways. Their principal movement is to fall down in straight lines. (How ‘down’ can be identified in a void is a problem that the Epicureans did not clarify.) However, occasionally atoms ‘swerve.’ From these irregular movements, atoms began to collide and clump together. and the universe we know through our senses began to form. The movements and interactions of atoms suffice for a complete explanation of the world. The swerve is also the basis of Epicurus’ defense of free will.

- "Epicurus takes this absence of a cosmic purpose to mean that pleasure is the only good. Indeed, pleasure is the meaning of the good. The Greek word translated as ‘pleasure’ is the root of the English word, hedonism. Hedonism is the view that pleasure is the highest good." 2

Editor's note: If this quote to the left attributed to Epicurus can be accurately pinned to him, then maybe there's more than just the anti-hedonist attitudes like Cicero's that this school has had to endure. It could most definitely have come from a church that had tried to solidfy itself over the centuries.

Stoicism: "your average Hellenistic Joe Schmoe feels his life running away from him in fifty directions—but God has got it together. There is a pattern to it all, despite what Epicureans will tell you. There is a grand plan—no—a perfect plan, behind the seemingly haphazard affairs of life, a logos." (<--Bust of Zeno, the founder of Stoicism) 3

- "Unfortunately, as the world is entirely material and perfectly ordered it is also thoroughly determined. Thus, it is also correct to name the divine as fortune. The earlier Stoics put a brave spin on this, and said that the plan evidenced divine providence, a reassuring God. Later Stoics, who must have been a bit discouraged by suicides, exiles and the like, thought that the plan was more like an impersonal, implacable fate.

- "The Stoics argue that, since every person has logos, the natural law is a universal law for all people, irrespective of ethnic background and political allegiance. Our true citizenship is not with any particular city and its parochial little customs. We are all citizens of the city of the world—the cosmopolis. The Roman Empire adopts Stoicism as the official ideology, exactly for this view." 2

Now that we've looked at the main schools of Hellenist philosophy (heck, throw in NeoPlatonism in there w/ ol' man Plotinus in there too), how will you face the end?
1. In essence, which one of these five is your favorite (or as someone expressed to me a couple of days ago, "can I do my least favorite?") and why? Explain how it might help you with dealing with daily life and face an uncertain future.
2. Also, please discuss a little about why you think America seems to be obsessed with the end of the world right about now (this should only be about 1/3 of your blog).
3. Does this kind of end of the world talk bother you or do you dismiss it or a little of both? Why?
250 words due Tuesday, January 12.



  1. When looking at the different types of Hellenistic philosophies, there isn’t one that points out as being my favorite because there are things in each that I agree and disagree with. With Epicureans, they live in the moment and don’t plan ahead or look at the consequences before doing something. I on the other hand tend to think things through before acting. In stoicism, you are supposed to endure pain and ultimately not show emotion. I think that they had good beliefs as reason being a natural law but I could never sit through life with a straight face on. Cynics don’t believe in material possession and think that people can never truly be sincere. Like the Cynics, I agree that material possession shouldn’t be the reason why someone is happy, but at the same time I think that some people are truly looking out for the greater good. The last group is the skeptics. These people believed that you couldn’t trust your senses. I completely disagree with them and think that they are the things that a person should rely on. They believed that you should also live in the moment because no one knows what the future holds. I strongly disagree as well and think that our present shapes our future so we should be planning for later on. All in all I think that Cicero had a good look at finding each groups flaws and looked at them rationally.
    I think that America has become so obsessed with the ending of the world because of media and the nearing of 2012. The media is feasting on the topic of the ending of humanity and this planet because we are so close to the actual dates of 2012. People are very influenced by what they watch and some believe that the Mayans were right and everything will be gone in two years. Also, I think that this has become such a big deal because we are only two years away and no one really knows what will happen. I don’t think that the world is ending in two years and the only reason why people are so scared is because the media has created such hype over it.

  2. I don’t fully agree with any of the Hellenist Philosophers, but if I had to choose a lifestyle, it would be the Epicurean way. Even though I would be unable to apply this philosophy, I think that living each day to its fullest is a good way to exist. If this idea was put to use, people wouldn’t live in the regrets of the past and with the worries of the future! It would prevent others from living ridiculous lives revolving around what will be. If such a person were to suddenly die, would they be able to say they had no regrets and that they enjoyed every second of every day? In the end, there life would have based on nothing. This philosophy also has its disadvantages. If we don’t make plans for the future, how can we move forward and progress? I think that for this way of life to be perfect, one needs to find the right dosage. It can’t be too focused on what will be or on living “too much” in the present.
    Americans seem to be obsessed with the end of the world because of the Mayan calendar coming to an end and that some people have been finding “facts” that prove that the world may not be here much longer. I think that this has always been an obsession and it resurfaces every time something massive happens. An example would be the year 2000. Yet, nothing has happened and we are all still alive! The end of the world has always been, and will always be, a mystery until we experience it. I don’t think that anyone can predict it, or even if it will ever happen. I’m not bothered by world coming to an end, because it seems so unrealistic. The day that it happens, if ever, I’ll definitely be scared, but until then it doesn’t disturb me.
    Laetitia Crosnier

  3. Tyler Friedman
    5th Hour

    1. I would have to say, of these five respective philosophies, my favorite would have to be the skeptic philosophy. Though I do not 100% agree with this philosophy, there are many aspects of it that I can relate to. Like the skeptics, I agree that all things in life will always (at least partially) be in doubt. For me once, when I accept this fact, its easier to live my life because, while there will always be things that will be frightening or that will threaten my livelihood, I can always say to myself, “So what?”. That way I can live my life in the present to its fullest.

    2. I think mankind has always been obsessed with the end of the world. The only difference between know, though, and 100 years ago, is that today our civilization has come to the point where we realize global annihilation is a reality and will most certaintly happen in the next millennia if our lifestyles don’t change. In other words, centuries ago, the idea of the end of the world was a scary thought, but it was limited to just a “thought” because things like nuclear bombs and globalization didn’t exist; today however, the human race is so focused on pushing the limits of technology that “the end of the world” may not be so far away.

    3. It would really suck if the world ended in a year in a half. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Probably not. But that fact shouldn’t distract us from the issue that surrounds this end of the world nonsense, and that is that, as our society grows more technologically advanced, every day we bring our selves closer to self-annihilation, through nuclear fallout, cosmic radiation or maybe even through artificial intelligence. In my opinion, “the end of the world” will come, but it will come from some man-made entity, not a theological one.

  4. Eric Singer
    I honestly don’t like any of the Hellenist Philosophies, generally because I think they build on the Natural Philosophies, but I think they each take a very narrow view of the world, of how we should live our lives. For example, the Epicureans believed that life should be spent in enjoyment, with food, wine, and pleasure. They saw life as the opportunity, not the afterlife, and therefore one should live for today because life is short. I think that while stressing enjoyment and pleasure is important I think it’s very narrow, it neglects strife, and what happens when you are facing a harsh reality. How would the Epicurean handle that? Would they only deal with a situation in a manner that suits themselves? Or the Stoics, and their view that life should be hard, the “no pain, no gain” mentality is very narrow. What of the happy instances of life? Should those be taken with such a grain of salt that they are no longer enjoyable? Should we seek a life of difficulty so that we can have the better afterlife? These two Hellenist Philosophies are at odds, and both neglect to address each other, which is why I perceive them as narrow.
    I think American’s are obsessed with the end of the world because this fear is where the money’s at. Movies that are relevant to popular, modern times sell well, and ultimately that’s all that Hollywood cares about. 2012 is not far away, so it’s easy to make a movie that people want to see if it’s relevant to their life. I also think that the whole terrorist, insurgent, fear thing is causing Americans to see themselves as vulnerable. Americans are used to being at the top of the political totem pole and it scares them to see how precarious their state of power is. When America is no longer the super power that it has been (we seem to be heading in that direction), it will be perceived by many as the end of the world. I think much of the “apocalypse now” fanaticism is hype, and will not be nearly as prevalent post-2012.

  5. Looking over the main schools of Hellenist philosophy, the one that I can relate to most is Stoicism. I believe that if something bad happens to you, you should accept it and move on. If everyone were to give up after one bad event has occurred to them, there wouldn’t be many people left. Living life is all about accepting the fact that bad things are going to happen occasionally, living life as it presents itself and good things will come to you. This view on philosophy helps me get through daily life because I try not to let small things get me down. For example if I do bad on a test, it just shows me that I need to work harder for the next test. I will therefore study and do better on the next test. There is an unalterable natural law, therefore I must accept the bad things that happen to me and my life will be better.
    America is obsessed with the end of the world ever since the 2012 philosophy was brought to attention. The media has had a major part in spreading the idea of an apocalypse. Movies have been made showing us how the world is apparently going to end therefore letting no one go without hearing about this philosophy. This theory is the cause of panic among several Americans and therefore should never have been mentioned.
    After hearing about several ways the world is going to end and seeing movies being made about these philosophies, the only reason I am bothered by it is because I know some people are going to believe it and may even ruin their lives trying to live their life to the fullest now and then having to suffer the consequences when 2013 shows up. I personally do not believe that the world will end very soon.

    Richard Widdett
    4th Hour

  6. 1) Out of the Hellenist philosophies, there is not one that I can fully agree with all of its principles. I can say, however, that I somewhat agree with the idea of Stoicism. I’m not sure if I truly believe in it, but I do that think that believing some of its ideas would make life seem better, or more fulfilling. I think that if someone believes that life is some ‘great, master plan’, then ultimately, they can get through any sort of obstacle life brings them. They can positively look at even the worst of events, and that truly is the only way to get through some situations. Stoicism, in essence, means lack of emotion. I believe that emotion can sometimes cloud rational though process but on the other hand, I do not support a completely emotionless way of life. My least favorite Hellenistic philosophy is Skepticism. It is foolish to “not worry about the future because it is uncertain.” Life is about trying to make the future certain, even though in most cases you can’t. Without any long-term goals there is no purpose to life, and without goals there are no achievements, and therefore no happiness.
    2) Why is America obsessed with the idea that the world will end? Probably because there is nothing else to be obsessed about… there are always fads and the latest scare is that the world will supposedly end. Maybe it is just an excuse for people to do things they wouldn’t normally do because they think they will die in the near future, or maybe it just the latest conversational debate. Also, I think it’s just another thing that movie directors will exploit until everybody becomes obsessed with/ fearful of the end of the world.
    3) Thinking that the world will end in the next two years doesn’t bother me. First off, I don’t believe it. Even if for centuries cultures have supposedly predicted the end of the world to be in 2012, somehow I doubt it will be true. Even if it was, if there is nothing you can do it about it, and there is no absolute truth to it, what is the difference? Hypothetically, doing spontaneous things because I think I’m going to die will not make a difference once the world is over, but will make a difference if it isn’t…

    Sammy Voutyras

  7. 1) Skeptics are my kind of people, they live by the man law or going by day to day. For as long as philosophy has existed, people have had tendencies to over think, over speak, and cause confusion about a specific subject. Skeptics on the other hand, are the type of people who when something new comes up they go with the flow of things and don’t react instantly. Skeptics also don’t try to prove themselves or apply there own ideas into everything. They go with the flow, which is why I like them the best, they don’t force ideas and make everything confusing, and they just go with the flow.
    2) America always has to obsess over one thing or another. I remember the first time that I saw America freak out over the end of the world, was the Y2K bug. Where there were some people so convinced the end of the world was coming, that they hid in a bunker on New Years Eve. Now this ridiculous crap is happening again, for basically one reason only, and that is you can control people once you have brought fear to them. It’s the easiest form of control, and its fear, this 2012 end of the world stuff has become a multibillion dollar subject, where you can sell almost any form of crap to people, and they will believe it.
    3) End of the world talk doesn’t bother me, as much as it saddens me that people can stoop to that level of gullible. I mean its so obvious that if it really were the end of the world in 2012 because of whatever, how come we can’t find any hardcore proof about it. It does sadden me that people will believe anything, and not only that go out and spend money on a movie about it, and watch the history channel about it, just to try to convince themselves its true.

    Mostafa Bendali-Amor

  8. My favorite Hellenistic philosophy is probably Epicurean, although I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan of it, I agree with it more than the others. I think the Epicurean philosophy could help when dealing with daily life and an uncertain future because their views put a lot of weight on comparing and contrasting. I think it can be helpful to look at the pleasure that you can get out of making one decision to the pleasure you’d get out of the other option, it would be very good tool for someone as indecisive as myself to make the best decision. When it comes to an uncertain future, for example, comparing the pros of one career track to another could be greatly helpful. However, I do think that weighing the pleasures of things isn’t always the best deciding factor just because you’re not always doing things for pleasure. In my opinion America seems to obsessed with the end of the world right now because the date is growing nearer, and because the Mayan’s predicted 2012 as the end hundreds of thousands of years ago which makes it seem so serious and unshakable. I mean, they must have had a reason for picking two years from now, but we have no idea why so how are we supposed to prove it wrong other than wait it out and see if the world truly does end? This kind of talk doesn’t necessarily bother me, but I don’t just dismiss it. It is scary just because it’s not a date that’s forever away and something I won’t experience anyways, it seems much more real knowing that I’ll be a sophomore in college watching the world fall apart right in front of my eyes. At the same time part of me wants to laugh at the thought, especially when I think back to the year 2000, the millennium, when everyone bought extra soup and water bottles in case the world exploded and here we are a decade later, doing just fine.

    Jessica Keyes
    4th hour

  9. My favorite of the five is Epicureans because their beliefs were that pleasure was the only good and they felt that you needed to drop out of society and relax and enjoy friends and food and have fun. This way of living in my opinion is very relaxing and it doesn’t force you to have many worries in life and it helps you focus on the good in your life and what you want to do. The focus of the Epicureans is to in a way focus on the now in life and not worry on future events and what could happen in life. The Epicurean philosophy may help me deal with my daily life and face an uncertain future because it helps you focus on the good in life and not the bad, so I won’t worry about the world ending in the future.
    I believe that America is obsessed with the end of the world right now because historians look at past events and of what people hypothesized about what will happen in the Rapture in 2011 and the end of the world in 2012 and they become worrisome about these upcoming events because they are supposedly suppose to happen in a year or so. Also many Hollywood people find these end of the world events as good movies to make and show off to the world.
    This end of the world talk doesn’t really bother me because I don’t really worry about what will happen to the world or to me in the future I only worry about the present and what I am doing. The end of the world talk doesn’t bother me because for what I know it may not even happen and it may be false. If I were to worry about it there wouldn’t be anything I could do to change what happens so I just continue living my life in the now.

    Stefanos Thomopoulos
    5th Hour

  10. My favorite Hellenist philosophy is Cynicism. This philosophy is similar to my personal favorite philosophy transcendentalism believe that you can only experience god by communing through nature. While I don’t believe either philosophy when it deals with the existence on an all-powerful, ever-present, conscious god, for whatever higher power that does exist, the best way to commune is through nature. Also the emphasis on a relinquishing of material possessions makes sense to me. All of the items that we acquire in daily life throughout our entire lives start to weigh us down. If you’ve ever been out into nature, (camping, backpacking our just surviving) you know the feeling that comes with truly escaping the hassles of modern life and returning to your ancestral roots. The only other time that this same feeling is palpable is upon your return to modern society. After being away from all the distractions and sensory imputes, when you return to society, you can feel overwhelmed and often start to realize how hazardous modern life is to your soul (or lack thereof).
    To me we seem to be obsessed with the end of the world for the same reason that we are paranoid about acts of terrorism: it’s scary and we have no control over it. Most phobias and fears deal with things that can be, 1) deadly, 2) uncontrollable, 3) highly publicized, and 4) seemingly random. The infatuation with the end of the world, to me, is just an extension of this fact.
    The obsession with the end of the world and the apocalypse doesn’t really worry me, in fact, it kinds of comforts me. In almost all of these movies there is some form of hope and the promise of life renewed. While I don’t really take this message to heart, the elitist in me, thinks that most other people will. This will mean that there will be less “end of the world psychos” running around and less of a wide spread panic each time. All these movies are doing is preparing us for the inevitable.

  11. Out of all the Hellenist philosophies there is not one that I can say is my absolute favorite. For the most part, I think that every one is too extreme, or far-fetched, with its belief. None of them seem to be “in the middle” with their beliefs. But, if I had to pick one that I liked the most then I suppose I would pick the Epicurean philosophy. Living in the moment can often be fun and make life more enjoyable. I think that sometimes people worry too much about their future, which then ruins their present. If people always do this then their future won’t be any good either because they’ll still be concerned with the further future ahead of them. In this sense, I think that the Epicurean idea is a good one because it would take some of the stress away that people feel everyday. On the other hand, the Epicurean philosophy could be looked at as ignorant and irrational. Ignoring every single side effect and future outcome of an action might not be worth it. Eating an entire chocolate cake might taste and feel delicious in the moment, but the stomach ache and the 10 pounds that you gain after might not be so wonderful, rather if you would have eaten just a slice of cake which would have satisfied you in the moment and created no conflict in the future. Though this might be a superficial example, the epicurean philosophy can be related to non-materialistic things in life like your relationships with people and the things you value.
    I really couldn’t give an exact reason for why America is so obsessed with the end of the world right now. Maybe the entertainment business does it purely for the incredible about of money they make for these movies and TV shows. Or maybe this obsession has come from recent events in America’s history. I think that 9/11 really stirred the pot for this entire end of the world nonsense. Americans felt very threatened by this tragedy and still do today. The idea of terrorist attacks ending the world is in the mind of many Americans because of this. This talk of the end of the world bothers me a lot because no one will ever no the exact answer. If the world ends then we’ll all be dead anyway and won’t know it ended so we should worry about things that are actually effecting us in our lives right now.

  12. Cynicism is my favorite belief because it can apply to everyone, no matter what religion, and it is easy to understand and apply. I like how its all about changing yourself for the better, and personally, I like change. Its “ a life according to nature” and that is one of the most basic things man has to use to better educate oneself. As for Stoicism, one must believe there is a God and he already has your life perfectly planned out for you. Skepticism is hard to adjust to because everyones first instinct is to judge and question thoughts and ideas you are faced with, and Skeptics are totally against that. Epicureans isn’t well based because its solely based on science, and I think its good to invest faith in something, other than atoms and molecules.
    I think Americans are obsessed with the end of the world right around this time because its getting closer and closer to the point where the predicted “end of the world” will take place, 2012. Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar notion that in December of 2010, unearthly things will take place, like every volcano erupting and earthquakes and tsunamis destroying the world. However, although the Mayans have predicted some fairly large events that have come true, most predictions were very vague and others did not even occur. Everyone is getting so worked up right about now because its 2010- two years from where supposedly some huge meteor or other natural phenomena will destroy us all.
    Talk of this doesn’t bother me as much as it just makes me consider wether I should believe it or not. There have been many scientific theories that point this to be both, true and false. I think it just helps some people become more motivated to do the things they would have waited later in life to do like skydiving and bungee jumping (or other activities put one their bucket list). I like to think that all of it is nonsense, but every once in a while, I like to think, what if? If the world really did end in 2012, I would have spent most of my life in school, working hard, studying; still waiting for all of this work to pay off. For those who believe its true, I’m sure at least a small part of them is very depressed. I do not 100% believe in the end of the world. Even if the end of the world is in 2012, I do believe the world will reset and start a new era of new humans that are left to evolve.

  13. Out of all five of the Hellenist philosophies there isn’t one that I can fully agree with/be my favorite. The one that I mostly agree with has to be the idea of cynicism. This was a hard decision but I agreed with more principles to this idea than to any other Hellenist philosophy. People who believed in cynicism dealt with immediate gratification and overall goodness as there primary principles; it was like a more moderate Epicureanism view. They believed life should be lived according to nature and not to political and social demands and I agree with one part of that; you should live by nature but you also must live by social and political demands/laws in order to live “right”. The biggest part on why this was my favorite or least favorite is because I believe you must change yourself for the better and this philosophy calls for that. Cynics say the opposites of this philosophy must throw a big party to show societies norms and to show socials laws. The cynics don’t like this and say these people have lost there touch with nature and I agree with this concept because you don’t have to throw a “big party” to show the social norms of society. True happiness isn’t found in material possessions. This can help me with dealing with my daily life and with my future because I can show how I am critical of the motives I do and of others, ill have disbeliefs of others and myself, and this will lead to me making the right decisions when I need to at a point in time.
    2) Why do you think America seems to be obsessed with the end of the world right about now?
    America seems so obsessed with the end of the world right now because there are so many problems going on right now so this 2012 end of the world prediction just makes it all that much worse. There have always been end of the world predictions dating back 75 years ago and they probably wont end. We are so obsessed with these predictions because of the media and everything else. There have been tons of new movies that show the end of the world, apocalypse, the rapture, etc. This 2012 prediction is just one huge controversial debate so people can talk and do stupid things they would never do if there were no prediction at all.
    3) Thinking that the world will end in the next two years bothers me a little and I think of it about occasionally. I don’t really believe it will happen but there is still a little scare I have for it. For centuries cultures have predicted the world to end dating back 75 years ago and I don’t know why 2012 will be any more of an accurate prediction since its happened for so long. This just makes me doubt it will be true a little more. If we knew this was true though, the world would be chaos. Just think about it, if we were all going to die in two years, do you think it would get chaotic. I know I would do stuff I wouldn’t do before 2012 came.

    Armen Topouzian 5th Hour

  14. My least favorite Hellenistic philosophy is Stoicism. The main reason for my dislike of this Is because of my religious beliefs. I do not believe in a god or a divine power. This is because there is scientific proof literally written in stone that shows man has survived by himself long before any written beliefs in god. If people put all their faith that some higher power will come save them in time of need, they therefore lose all faith in themselves. When it comes to a point in survival and you are stranded in the forest, is god going to make it rain right then? Or are you going to have to do some foraging? I believe self reliance is crucial in the continuism of mankind. America is obsessed with the end of the world right now because of history and media. History has shown that every time a theory of disaster comes along, people panic. i.e. Y2K! The media, whether it be newspapers, preachers, or television help get the word out about this disaster or problem so people will be knowledgeable about it. This end doesn’t really bother me at all because if it did end, I think seeing all the destruction and disaster would be sweet as **** to see. I could only imagine seeing a meteor coming straight towards me or Jesus, covered in torn bloody clothes holding a sword fighting off demons. That would be the ultimate day. A day I don’t think I would like to miss.
    Nick slish

  15. Jake Ozar
    Blog #30

    Out of all the Hellenistic philosophies we have studied over the recent weeks I personally like the Epicureans. because they believe in Carpe diem which stands for seize the day. What that means to me is you never question yourself what if I did that, what could have happened. Being an Epicurean you’re not afraid to take chances, not afraid of consequences and not afraid to take matters into their own hands. They see short term pleasure as long term pleasure. They believe that pleasure of an action should always be weighted against its side effects. Take action but know what will happen as a result. Live in the moment is one of there philosophies. I believe that this philosophy helps people deal with stress and not have to worry about the future by taking life one second, one minute and one hour at a time.
    America’s obsessed with the end of the world because of religion, discovery channel and national geographic channel. They all have stories or scientific proof that the end of the world is coming. On discovery I remember seeing a Nostradamus special about 2012, and he predicted the end of the world and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Nat Geo says that there is a giant asteroid heading towards earth that will hit Dec 21, 2012. The day that the Biblical text says that Armageddon is coming and all the “good Christians” will be raptured up to Heaven where all the bad people will be left behind on earth to live through the Armageddon.
    The whole end of the world I don’t really know how I feel about it because I’m a very religious person and believe in the bible. I also feel that if you feel the world is ending that you’re seeing life from a negative point of view, pessimistic and seeing the bad in life over the good. I’m a type of person who accepts the bad and looks at the better parts of things/people/life. If the world does end in 2012 then I will have lived a good life, If it doesn’t then I will have plenty of years left to live

  16. My favorite school of Hellenistic Philosophers is the Stoics because they believe in a natural order in life and a certain fate for each person. There theory on philosophy seems to be the most appealing to me because once you can accept this fate and not fight with it your life will fall into natural order. This philosophy can help me deal with problems and uncertainty in my future because it helps me to be at ease. Knowing that there is a plan set for me lets me know that I am not alone and someone is watching out for me.
    I think that America is obsessed with the idea of an end to the world because of the technological advancements made in the last few years. In all of the movies and books regarding an apocalypse a majority of the time a machine is causing death and destruction. People’s fears about advancement could be a cause of an obsession with the world ending.
    I have mixed feelings about the end of the world talks. I dismiss any information that is not directly based in fact and has no validity behind it. Last year, however, for English class, I read a book on the apocalypse of 2012 and scientific evidence to possibilities to this phenomenon actually occurring. A main piece of fact in the book was that the world will not simply end at the winter solstice but has started already through global warming and when earth reaches the farthest point away from the sun on its natural cycle the earth will end. Information that is backed by interesting facts I don’t disregard but take into consideration.
    katie weed
    4th hour

  17. 1) Looking at all of the Helenistic philosophies, I really don't agree fully with any of them, but if I had to choose one it would be the Epicureans. I would choose this view because for the most part, i do belive that you should cease each day, and live each day to the fullest because i think that would lead to people taking more chances, and making the most out of their life. I think that if people lived like this, they would have more to look back on at the end of their life, and they would feel more satisfied with their life. However, I do see problems with this sort of lifetstyle. I don't think people should take it extremely literal because you do have to think about the future somewhat throughout life or you will be very unhappy. You have to be prepared for certain things, you can't just stroll throuhg life doing whatever you want whenver you want because there will be consequences. The view that I really disagree with is Stoicism. I don't agree at all that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a set plan for everything. I just think that things happen when they happen, and that it's just chance.
    2) Right now, America seems obsessed with the end of the world because of the whole 2012 idea. Many people are saying "the mayans predicted the end of the world would be 2012", and I think with all of the attention that got with the movie and everything, some people are a little worried.
    3) I personally am not worried in the slightest beaucse i don't beleive that the future can be predicted. I don't beleive that there is a set plan for us, so why is it morel i likely for the world to end in 2012 rather than tommorow? I don't really think about the world ending becuase right now there is no absolute proof that we are in danger of that happening in the near furture. I don't believe at all that that the mayan calander stopping predicts that the world will end.
    Sara Dziubek 4th hour

  18. Noah Saperstein
    As far as Hellenist philosophies go I most identify with Epicureans. Carpe Dive sounds pretty good to me, everything is about being happy now. The pleasure of the present must always be compared to the side effects. I see nothing wrong with this philosophy however I also like the Cynics philosophy, ridding yourself of material possessions and living among friends in a commune. Nothing sounds so good, but this sounds a lot like the epicurean philosophy. Both are primarily about being happy, the only difference is the means to achieve the happiness. Epicurean philosophy doesn’t specify how to be happy while Cynics does. I would see nothing wrong or unpleasant with living in the middle of the forest with my friends growing our own food. This is not to say I disagree with the other Hellenist philosophies, they just aren’t appealing to me. Skeptics make sense, it is doubtful that we will learn where we came from or what we are suppose to do so why both trying? It is quite logical, why waste time on something you will most likely never learn. Stoics are emotionless; they believe they can’t change the natural law. I am not sure what the natural law is, but if it turns out that it can’t be changed then I guess they are right. Many believe that cynics must have money to drop out of society, but you don’t. You could easily live in a national park and just grow your own food and make your own home. You would only need to bring clothes, if you so desire. To abandon society and be with your friends is not only monetarily free but also allows you to obtain complete freedom.

  19. It is difficult for me to choose a Hellenistic philosophy that I like the most, because I don’t fully like any of them. They are all very extreme, and all have good points but none really fit me to a T. I think that the one I dislike the least, though is the epicureans. I like the stoicism too, but I don’t necessarily think that you should live your life feeling as though there is nothing you can do to prevent the bad things that will happen to you. I think that if you are walking down the street and it starts to rain, that you should not get all angry because it’s raining and there isn’t anything you can do about it, but I don’t think that you should just take it. Find an umbrella, if you don’t like something you should change it. The epicureans seemed more rational; because where the skeptics say “live for the day and don’t even think about tomorrow” the epicureans say that it is more a balance between today’s pleasure and long term pleasure. That seems to be the best way to live your life.
    The end of the world is very trendy right now. I think that with the Mayan calendar ending it is the perfect opportunity to make some extra cash on books and movies that will sell if people buy into it as much. I don’t think that the world is ending at all. There now isn’t just one date set for total world destruction, but multiple. If the history channel shows a special on the end of the world, people are going to watch it and they know that. The fact that you cannot go a day without hearing or seeing or reading about the end of the world just makes people more worried about it. It doesn’t bother me at all always hearing about it because I’m not too worried about it. I am interested to see how it all pans out after we get through the year 2012 and the world continues to spin.

    my bad.
    Megan Walsh

  20. Out of the five my favorite is Cynics believe. I agree when Cynics says “what good is philosophy if it never moves to criticize your comfortable habits and actually change yourself for the better…” In other words I believe he is saying what good is knowledge or another outlook on life is people are going to remain self-righteous and comfortable and never willing to open there minds and welcome change and learn how to expand their horizon. People tend to settle in life and except there situation, I for one believe if you have the ability or opportunity to change or better yourself as a person; then why not. People create bad habits or get themselves in inopportune situations and except that, you should always welcome change but for some reason people tend to fear it because they accustomed to this way or that way, or this or that they eliminate the possibility of another approach. His belief could have helped people be fearless and not complacent and accept the knowledge and change he may bring.
    I feel America has become obsessed with the idea of the world coming to an end because it’s supposedly the only thing guaranteed in this world is “death.” Life is so unpredictable you can wake up thinking one thing will happen and the exact opposite will occur. I find myself in all types of different situations I never thought I would be in and I find myself saying “I didn’t wake up this morning thinking this particular situation would occur.” To me it’s scary and I don’t see why America is so obsessed with the idea. I like to remain oblivious to the facts when it comes to the world ending I hate the idea of death and losing my love ones or not being able to experience all the things I want to out of life. 2012 is just two years away and it scares me that people think the world will be ending when I haven’t even lived my life it’s scary and depressing to me and not a topic I like to discuss including the “rapture.” I rather it just happen I don’t want to prepare for it or know it’s coming because then I’ll be walking on my “tippy toes” and I don’t want to live life in that mind state.
    Alyssa T.
    5th Hour

  21. Skepticism is probably my favorite philosophy out of the Hellenistic period. I think that it is important to always question your surrounding s and challenge the beliefs of the people around you. It is only through that people can truly learn where their own belief systems stand and what sort of thing they hold true. I think that there are always going to be negative aspects to any of the philosophies taken to the extreme. I think any skeptic who doesn’t realize that their questioning can be detrimental to the people around them. I think that this gives a voice to the other ideas but they don’t always agree with what is being presented. I think that America is obsessed with the idea of the world ending because the media and entertainment industry have sensationalized the idea and many people believe what they are told. I think that it is important to differentiate from the hype media and real life. I think that people don’t realize that the true nature of the idea of the rapture is almost completely ridiculous. That said I still believe that the world will continue on for a long time past 2012. This talk of the end doesn’t so much bug me but I do get fed up with the people that continue to reiterate the same idea. I understand that many believe that the end is near but I think we are just getting started.

  22. 1. My favorite Hellenist would have to be the Cynics because they say that philosophy is to be able to move you out of your normal habits. I think philosophy helps you to think and to answer questions that people normally do no think about in a sense. I do believe what the Cynics believe when they say that we must get in touch with nature. I think we should do that because we as mankind were made from nature by God creating Adam so we must get in touch with what is already in our backyard. I think the Cynics will help me to face the uncertain future by looking and being a part of nature,

    2. I think the world is so obsessed with the end of the world because we are experiencing epic natural disasters everyday we learn that hurricanes swiped up a whole city, its snowing and freezing in the hottest places in the country where It’s not in places where it is usually cold. I think sense we have experienced an ecological shift people are now looking more into the end of the world. There are many movies that actually try to show us what the end of the world will be like such as Knowing, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Core. Although some people watch these movies sometimes they do not look to the reason why or how this would ever happen anyway.

    3. I think the end of the world bothers me and I usually tend to dismiss it because I really don’t to think about it as much. I think it is a very disturbing topic to talk about let alone to even watch in movies. But sometimes we must face reality.

  23. Alyse Yashinsky
    My favorite Hellenistic philosopher is Cicero. I think it is really important to look at all sides of a situation or concept therefore, like Cicero; I would probably not be interested in any of the schools of philosophy. I dislike a narrow outlook on things because I feel like you almost always miss something. I agree again with Cicero’s statement that trained skepticism is okay. I often question if there are gods. Also, I have a problem with inaction. If we do not engage in something, than what are we doing here? I think that we should do what is good for the community rather than ourselves to an extent. I think it is crucial for us to do things for ourselves from time to time. Lastly, I dislike Epicureans as well. They believe everyone should relax and enjoy friends, food, and fun. I think that again we should do that to an extent but at the same time I can see Cicero’s point of it being very selfish.
    There has been a lot of talk about the end of the world coming soon, especially in recent movies. 2012, Legion, The Day After Tomorrow. The most prominent is word of the world ending in 2012. The ancient Maya cyclical calendars, the longest of which last renewed itself approximately 5,125 years ago and is set to end again, supposedly with catastrophic consequences, in 2012. People have also spoken of the ancient Egyptians, who saw 2012 as a year of great change too. Lastly, NASA predicts a sharp increase in the number of sunspots and sun flares for 2012, he said, sure to cause electrical failures and satellite disruptions. Talk of this, I usually dismiss. I have nothing to contribute to the conversation because I really do not know what will happen in the future and what our final demise will be.

  24. 1.Out of the five Hellenistic philosophies I would have to say that Epicureans are my favorite. I like how they live in the moment and embrace everything for what it is, and I also agree with them that with knowledge and friendship you can live a happy life. But there were some things that made me question their beliefs, for example, they felt that one shouldn’t eat too rich because then it would take away from future pleasure of that food. They also believe that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility. I feel like by saying one must live in the moment but yet saying that whatever one does it must be modest and not too rich is taking away from the “living in the moment” idea. I feel that if one was searching for something to live by Epicurus would be the best philosophy to go by. It tells you to embrace everything in the moment because you never know if it might be there in the future, and it also says that if you have knowledge and friends you could live a happy life.
    2.As the years pass by we’re starting to see more and more headlines talk about the next apocalypse and what the Aztec calendar has to reveal. I feel that after the year 2000 people have been obsessed with thinking that eventually our world will come to an end. I think that with technology growing at a incredibly rapid rate it is able to show us things that we weren’t able to see decades ago, which scares us, and with fear comes crazy thoughts of aliens and computers taking over the world. It’s all out of fear due to technology.
    3.When people would talk about the world ending it did scare me but now I know that some of those theories are too ridiculous to even happen. It also use to bother me because whenever some of my teachers would talk about the world ending they would always say it’s going to be in my lifetime which really scared me. There’s so many theories in which the world could end and instead of letting those thoughts take over my mind I chose to turn to God, that way if the world does end in a year or two or whenever I know I’ll be safe because I have him on my side.

    Bianca Kea
    H. Philos 5th hr.

  25. Out of the Hellenist philosophers there is not one that I can fully agree with, but I do somewhat agree with the ideas of Stoicism. Stoicism would probably be my first pick because I believe that if something bad happens to you, you should accept it and move on. I think that bad things make people stronger and if everyone gave up after one bad thing happened to them then no one would truly be living their lives. One thing about stoicism that I believe in is that, that there is a reason for everything. Believing that there’s a reason for everything helps people get over bad things that happen to them and allows them to truly live their lives. I don’t really know why Americans are obsessing over the end of the world, I think its dumb because no one will know if it’s the end of the world or not until the day comes. I think that people should just go about living their normal lives. The talk about the end of the world does not bother me at all. I think that it would be really cool to be alive during the end of the world. I don’t know if I necessarily believe that 2012 is going to be the end of the world, I just think its going to be the end of an era, which could mean the end of the world but not necessarily. Even if 2012 is not the end of the world I think it will be interesting to see what truths come out of people with the belief that the world is going to end on 2012.
    Maia Knox

  26. 1. Even though I don’t fully agree with any of the Hellenistic Philosophies my favorite would be the cynics because it states that mankind will be happiest without material possessions. To a certain extent I agree with this statement because when we look at life do we really need an I-pod to accompany us on every step we take? Do we really need cars to drive us around everywhere? According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs our first needs are psychological needs such as food and water then we need safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, and lastly self-actualization needs. As you can see material needs were never once mentioned in the hierarchy of needs because to be truly happy all we need are each other. This Hellenistic Philosophy might help me with everyday life and face an uncertain future by that I won’t be too focused on material possessions but rather focus on my actual life and friends. This will help me create stronger bonds with those I love.
    2. At the moment America is obsessed with the end of the world because we have been hearing things such as the world ending because the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 or the rapture on May 21, 2011. Even though there have been rumors about the world ending before people seem to be very afraid of these rumors since they sound very believable. Also I think America is obsessed with the world ending because the media and film directors have been blowing these rumors out of proportion.
    3. At the beginning I used to worry and wonder if the world will really end 2011 or 2012. However, as time has gone by I have been dismissing this talk because it just seems that people are blowing this out of proportion. Nobody knows what will exactly happen on either of these dates also there isn’t any scientific proof that the world will end for sure 2011 or 2012.

    Irina Laczkovich 4th hour

  27. I can't really choose between the five Hellenistic philosophies because they are all so extreme, but if I had to choose it would be the Epicurean lifestyle. I think it would be fun to just live for the moment and seizing the day. Your not afraid to take chances, and your always trying new things. But then again, doing things without thinking about the consequences or side effects is dangerous. I would also choose the Cynics. You wouldn't have to worry about anything and you can enjoy yourself out in nature. My least favorite would have to be Stoicism. I don't believe that each person has their own fate. I believe that people should be able to live their lives not having to wonder what God has coming for them.
    I think that people are so obsessed with the end of the world because its less than 3 years away. Also, the media is making it more chaotic; making movies about 2012 and the rapture does not help at all. When you put "the end of the world" in the spotlight, people will start believing it. The Mayan calender doesn't help either, but then again, we don't know why the Mayans decided to stop at 2012. Maybe they were tired and didn't want to make more and more calenders. We'll never know.
    The end of the world talk doesn't bother me at all. When it comes, oh well, it wouldn't really matter, we'd be all dead anyways. Who really wants to live if everyone else is dead? And we can't really stop it if it does happen. The only thing that bothers me is how crazy people are going and how gullible some people can be over "the end of the world". I believe that we should just live for today and not worry about the future when it comes to the world ending. We will never really know if the end of the world will come, and we cannot be certain that God will take all the good Christians up to heaven and the that the rest of us will have to fight off a 7 year Armageddon. Unless there are actual facts, it just depends on what you believe in.

  28. 1) Hellenistic philosophy seems to be analogous to a deal on a car; a lot is thrown in the fine print. It seems as if they each picked a possible explanation, or a way of life, and threw in as much other stuff as possible. They argue many points, and force anyone who subscribes to one of these beliefs to defend points that they don’t necessarily agree with. If I had to pick from this buffet of believes, I would probably end up a Cynic. The parallels with Buddhism (which I have also considered) are all appealing to me. Cynicism could be popular today; people are looking to get back to nature after possibly falling victim to materialism and troubles of society. An entire society of Cynics wouldn’t necessarily survive in this world, and I don’t believe that these ideas should be taken too seriously. They’re something to consider; and if lightly applied to life, they could prove beneficial.
    2) Have people ever not been obsessed with the end of the world? We simply have new ways to present our ideas. Hollywood’s technology is allowing us to create even more terrifying disasters, more thought-provoking prophecies, to deepen the interest of the public. We can take what used to be confined to ink, and make it more real than ever (than possible?).
    3) No, I’m not concerned about the end of the world, for several reasons. The first: I do not fear death. I will do what I can to avoid it, and I will not surrender to it if given the chance, but when it comes, I will have no way to stop it once it happens, and no take it back. The second: why worry, if the entire world dies with me? My only real concern about death is missing out on things that happen after I die, but if those things are gone too, what is there to miss? The third: There has yet to be solid proof that the world is in danger. We can predict things, but such empty speculation shouldn’t be taken as truth.

  29. Claire Holton
    H. Phil. 5th hour
    Cynicism today means mistrusting in a person’s sincerity or values, and has taken on an undeserved negative connotation. Many people today strive or want to strive to be less materialistic, because after all, you can’t take it with you, and this is what Cynicism preaches: to live life with nature and free of possessions, money, power, or fame because they won’t bring you real happiness. This philosophy is very beneficial in modern context; to not live your life shopping for the latest must-have designer clothes, and doing it in an SUV that chugs gas. Societal norms today are some variation on this lifestyle, and it pollutes the Earth and is unnatural. The Cynics also believed that people are rational, and gain happiness through hard work and training and suffer because of the societal conventions everywhere around them, and this also relates to modern society. Movies like The Matrix, Office Space, and Into the Wild all assert, in a nutshell, that man was not meant to work in tiny cubicles all day, or in other words live with nature. They believed the Earth belongs to everyone regardless of background, like Stoicism, which is a good world view in that it unites everyone instead of driving us apart. Worldly pleasures are not the only thing worth pursuing like Epicureans believe either; to me it’s like the saying goes, “anything worth having is worth working for”. Cynicism provides a real set of guidelines on how to be happy and be virtuous, which helps me feel certain.
    I think Apocalypse has always been a strong theme in Hollywood, but it is booming in recent years because things like the rapture in 2011 and the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 make the concept much more real. In most apocalyptic movies we can at least take solace in the fact that it is hundreds of years from now, and that we will hopefully learn our lesson by then. But in recent movies like 2012 there is added excitement and relevancy because it could, like, seriously happen tomorrow! In my opinion, there are end of the world predictions every day in every culture, Nostradamus’ prophecy and the Mayan calendar just happen to be the focus of media entertainment because they “will happen soon", and movie producers can make an easy buck; and why blame them when it has proven to be a real box office draw.

  30. I've boiled down to agree with tow of the Hellenistic philosophies: Epicureans and Cynics lifestyles.
    I really agree and embraced the Cynics point of view about the end of time because they put reality into the equation; how can you face or deal with the end if your constantly wondering when that end is? You deal with the end by changing for the good, becoming one with the nature around you that will be ending soon along with yourself.Just cherish the moments you have left! not worry about them! And those two statements kind of carry into Epicureans..The two are so similar.If the end is near seize the moment,everything is simple,no questions could be asked with this philosophy,in a way things are believed in science terms..which discounts religion which i opposed about this philosophy, but everything else sounded fun&hippie-ish. I think that America is obbsessed with the end of the world because they are ashamed of the condition that this earth will end in and they are terrified of the consequences for it. Or maybe we're just ready for the world to end, so we don's have to see more destruction,the earth crumbling before our eyes and its our fault. Or maybe there is nothing else to believe but these calendars that stopped on a certain date or our religious bibles..what else is there to believe?..so we're ready to find out.This end of the world talk does bother me because why are we wasting the time that we may or may not have talking about the time that we may or may not have?..its a waste. Live the days you're here.These debates should make people see that,and just influence people to live each day as there last because no one really knows when the last day is..no one.

  31. I submit to favoring stoicism over the other Hellenist philosophies; although, not with satisfaction. I have never believed in submitting myself to one group of thinking because it restricts you from having your own philosophies. Nevertheless, stoicism is defined by swallowing your emotions, especially destructive ones, so as to not allow them to impede your life objectives. Stoics don’t ignore the pain of life; they simply do not show that they are affected by it. In fact, stoics deal with pain very effectively. I use stoicism to my advantage throughout life by not confiding in many people, which allows me to remain emotionally detached from whoever, or whatever, I want. Emotions can cloud or judgments and actions, but I am not saying that emotion is bad, because it is absolutely necessary. I am; however, saying that emotion can get in the way of what you truly want in life. In terms of the future, I don’t feel worried at all of what might happen. Living as scared, particularly of the end of the world, is no life at all.
    America seems to be obsessed with the end of the world right now due to the natural disasters occurring, such as Hurricane Katrina, climate change, and the end of the Mayan calendar in the year 2012. The end of the world fascinates people because if they believe it to be soon, they are likely to live a less cautious, and more carefree life.
    This end of the world talk does not bother me; in fact, if it’s a legitimate claim I’m interested in hearing it. I would, of course, be sure that the end of the world is coming soon before making any rash decisions such as dropping out of college and using my money for vacation time. I have; however, yet to hear any substantial evidence of the end of the world.

    David Mohan

  32. If I must select a best Hellenistic philosophy, I would choose the Skepticism solely because I think the whole idea of dismantling other philosophies, and basing you’re life’s philosophy around that is rather comical. That’s about all I agree with though. Because men from circa 3rd century B.C. thought all of these philosophies of, they certainly lack much fact base, or even (arguably) a coherently based reason. It is for the reason just stated that I would feel intellectually guilty really selecting one to name my favorite; none will even suffice for me. The American media has seemed to form an odd obsession with this 2012 garbage, which really baffles me. Why the Media would be so set on scaring the stupidest citizens in the country, I do not know. Believing that trash though would most definitely put you among some of the stupidest citizens in the country. The only logical reason I can see for America being so obsessed with this end-of-the-world deal is that stupid people believe stupid things. You must consider that most of America is stupid; we live in a relatively intelligent area and still, murmurs of 2012 are heard almost daily. If murmurs are heard here, unavoidable yells of the world’s demise are bound to happen in places like Alaska or Mississippi. This talk really does bother me because of the idiocy of those who believe it. I will avoid going in to detail on how dumb this 2012 conspiracy is, mainly because of my lack of time to write this blog. My main objection to this though is “why would someone believe in something that most definitely has no chance of happening, based on science?” This may just lead in to religious discussion, so I am considering it necessary that I end here.

  33. 1.If had I to choose which of the five Hellenistic Philosophies is my favorite, it would have to be the Epicureans school of though. As natural human beings, we do not always live our lives to the fullest, but by following this school of thought, you can lead a life with no regrets. Now, living your life to the fullest can mean anything ranging from becoming an astronaut that you've always dreamed about, or climbing Mt. Everest because it was on your list of things to do before you pass away. With this in mind, nothing lasts forever, so its best to do what you can with your life and have no regrets. Therefore, if people are expecting the world ending soon or some kind of apocalypse, then you should be somewhat satisfied that you were able to accomplish some goals.
    2.As we pass having spent more than a millennium on earth, we have learned that almost all species become extinct sooner or later due to several occurrences. For example, the extinction of dinosaurs became apparent, and some scientists believe a theory that a meteor struck the earth, and some have found a general location for it. With our society as it stands, its not in the best shape, and there has been news that the Mayans calculated when the earth is going to end. From this, other theories came about that will happen on this day either from religion, or somewhere else. One of these theories is that a great change will occur, but it will either be a good change or for the worst.
    3.Any talk of the world ending is nonsense to me. I dismiss it because I don't believe in fate, and I believe I can live my life the way want to, and whatever happens happens. The reason is because we can't live our lives in fear. That's just not how I was raised to be. We also have found that some other world ending theories that proved to be wrong, so I also have hope for a tomorrow. For instance, the Y2K scare caused panic around the world, and so many consumers bought almost a years worth supply of water and other necessities. Yet, nothing happened. Either you do something about it, or don't fear it and live your life for tomorrow. That's my view on the world ending.

    Timothy Weerakoon, 4th Hour

  34. Out of all the Hellenist Philosophers, I don’t particularly like any of them. They all seem to be really drastic and none of them are that simple. But if I had to pick one to agree with the most, it would have to be Stoicism. This philosophy states that if something bad happens to someone, they need to not let it get to them, and move on. If everyone let the little things get to them, then everyone would be upset all the time. This philosophy helps me get over the small things so they don’t ruin my day.
    I think people are getting a little too obsessed with the ending of the world. None of us know if this really will happen, which is why I think it attracts so much attention. Because no one knows if this really will happen, people are curious and anxious for the day. Also, the date is pretty soon, and I think people are getting antsy and just want to know details.
    All the talk about the end of the world doesn’t really bother me. I understand why people are so interested in it. You can think about it as a scary thing and something you should be worried about; which I think a lot of people think that way. But how I take it, is that if it does happen, there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m not going to let myself be afraid of something that may or may not happen.

    Hiary Sircus
    4th hour

  35. The Hellenist philosophy that is my favorite is the Epicureans. I do what epicureans believe every day. For example I can choose to watch TV or play video games after school or do my homework. I weigh my decisions and use a cost benefit analyst just like the Epicureans. I also do things based on a short term vs long term pleasure. I usually pick the short term. Epicureans live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow, which is always fun and describes my lifestyle during the summer. Epicureans basically have the best philosophy out of all of them, but Cynics come in a close second. Cynics are cool in the sense of where you don’t find happiness in material possessions but in what you do, but I’m not a fan of giving up my possessions. I think that the world is obsessed with the ending of the world because 2012 is coming close, so people are waiting to see if it is true or not. I think that the obsession is rooted from the nearing of this date and the uncertainty of its true or not. In a way this talk bothers me, but it doesn’t. I don’t think that the world is going to end any time soon but talking about something of this magnitude is a disturbing in some aspects. The world is going to end in 2012 or anytime soon so I guess it is alright to talk about but it is unnecessary.

    Raphael Egziabher

  36. 1. My favorite philosophy is the Epicureans. I don’t think that I could personally live like that at this point in my life, but I think that it would be extremely relaxing. I think that this way of life is only realistic for billionaires or the kind of homeless people who just live in parks and basically just live from day to day. If I were to have no worries in the world, I really wouldn’t care what kind of life I was living. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and I think Epicureans feel similar. If something terrible happiness that just think “Oh, that was supposed to happen, so lets just move on to the next event.” I think so some extent it would be nice to not have big things bother you, but at the same time it seems like that have no emotion.
    2. I really am not sure why Americans are so obsessed with the end of the world. I’m not obsessed with it, so I really can’t fathom the reasons behind the obsessions. I think it’s an excuse for people to quit whatever boring job they have and just say “F*** it” so they can do whatever they want. If I truly believed that the world was coming to an end, I would not be going to school every day. I would probably move to Africa and go swimming in cages with sharks around me or something….I have always really wanted to do that.
    3. This whole talk about the world ending doesn’t bother me because I don’t believe in it. However I will be bothers if the world really does end and I didn’t complete my bucket list. Except if the world ends, is it possible for me to even feel bothered? Will I even feel anything if the world ends? So really the world ending means nothing to me and it doesn’t bother me at all.

    Om shakti om.
    JULES ASHE!!!!! 4th hour

  37. 1. Out of all of the Hellenist philosophies stoicism is the one I can relate to the most. When bad events happen to people I believe they should just accept them and move on. There is no use in dwelling on these negative thoughts and ideas. I also agree with not letting your emotions cloud your thinking ability. Not letting these emotions affect you can help make bad things that happen on a daily basis less painful.

    2. I believe that Americans are obsessed with the end of the world because of our obsession with trying to predict the future and our fascination with different philosophies. The media has also played a major role in promoting the idea of the world ending and have convinced many people that it might be happening. Even with all the talk of the world ending I do not believe many people will really stop what they are doing because they truly believe the world is ending.

    3. All of the talk of the world ending does not really bother me because historically speaking there has always been people setting doom day dates. I believe this is just another one of those scares that people somewhat believe but don’t take action about. Y2K and every other scare has been promoted and blown up by the media to proportions that begin to convince people against their reason. Thos are just some of my thoughts on the end of the world and its impact on Americans

  38. My favorite Hellenist philosophy is the cynics. I believe that mankind is too busy concentrating on the next technology advancement and not looking back at the root of everything. I believe that there is something about connecting with the earth that everyone should experience. I know that I’m as real as ever when I am in the wilderness with no electricity. Just looking at the Pictured Rocks and glaciers in Alaska is the most natural art to me which makes it the most beautiful. I’m obviously not everything that the cynics say because I buy clothes and food and drive a car. Endorsing capitalism is something I and most of America does on a daily basis and I think there are few ways of avoiding it. But what I do believe is that the world has the potential and should be closer to nature and that is why the cynic’s view of things is the closest to what I believe. I think that America is obsessed with the world ending because everyone is so bored with their lives that they need to think of the next reason they won’t exist. One of the only things left that mankind can’t control is their death so naturally they are obsessed with the unknown. I remember in 2000 when people said that and frankly I think it is ridiculous. What the heck is anyone going to do if it is true? So if it happens it happens if it doesn’t it doesn’t. Either way we can’t affect the outcome so I just don’t think or care about it.

    Rachel F.

  39. My favorite Hellenistic philosophy is Epicureans. My father has always been an influence on me and possibly the most influential piece of advice he has ever given me is “don’t sweat the small stuff, and its all small stuff.” I apply this to life. I try to find the best out of every situation. In strenuous situations I perform better when I am cool and collected. Realizing that not every little thing matters in the long run has helped me be successful in many aspects of my life.
    America is obsessed with the end of the world. Whether it is the Mayan calendar, Terminator movies, or alien movies Americans cant get enough. Part of this is due to our insatiable appetite for “disaster porn” but another, in my opinion, is our need for closure. We want to know how the world will end and enjoy exploring the different possibilities.
    The never ending talk about the end of the world does bother me but not to the point that it is affecting my life. I don’t go around preaching and making flyers alerting people that the end is near. I usually dismiss theories that pertain to unrealistic possibilities. There are certain things that unnerve me. The fact that our world, and country, are in a state of turmoil rarely seen in history worries me that while the it might not be the end of the world, the world is changing. In fact it must change if we are going to avoid destroying all that we have built.

    Daniel Mooney

  40. Well, normally, I’d have to disagree with the skeptical belief that there’s no rational ground for choosing one course of action over another. But if we’re contemplating which philosophy would be best if the end of the world is coming, then I can’t argue with that. It wouldn’t really matter at all if you make a decision one way or another, especially with decisions that would ordinarily affect your life in the long term. Now I kind of agree with the cynics that we need to free ourselves from material possessions because they’re fleeting, but I also believe that almost gives more reason to enjoy them, because they won’t last forever. But I do agree with them that true happiness isn’t found in material possessions. But I’d have to say that the philosophy I most identify with is the epicurean philosophy of enjoying the present to its fullest potential. I believe that life is too short to spend all of your time planning for and stressing about the future. So do what you can to ensure that you won’t be miserable later on in life, but take every opportunity you possibly can to enjoy the present. On the other hand, I strongly disagree with the stoics on the whole “just accept things the way they are” and “just endure pain” thing. I believe that you should absolutely not just accept things the way they are and endure the pain. This entire philosophy goes completely against just about the only thing I really believe in: that you are in control of your life, and can choose to not be miserable.

    Drew Fisher

  41. My favorite Hellenist philosopher is Stoics. He has the same mind set as I do, that God is truly great and perfect and has the world all planned out. I like how he states that no matter who you are or what your political believes are you will be accepted by God if you choose to accept him into your life. God accepted all are sins, forgives us and sends us to heaven. I’ve always believed in God and I always went to church, but one day I started questioning everything and started to pull away. My mother started to realize this was happening and sent me on a retreat. This retreat helped me find God again and helped me realize that God just wanted us to be like him, pure with no faults or mistakes. But we had temptation come along and push us to thinking sinful things were desirable. So I’ve set goals for myself and every time I decide to do something I know is a sinful temptation I tell myself do I really want to hurt my chances of achieving . So I’ve put the fun and games to the side and concentrate on me.
    America seems to believe the world is going to end right now, well I think America has gone loony. In my opinion, I think Americans realize there are so many natural causes like hurricanes and things like genocide occurring more often pushing them to thinking the world is going to end. The world IS NOT going to end! I hate those crazy people who make up some stupid scientific theory that so called explains why the world is going “to end”. As a Catholic it does bother me at most times that others think the world is going to end. If the world is going that must mean God is going to make a new world. Do Americans really think God is going to have another Noah’s Arc? Or do they think that God is actually going to send his son back down as a human to die for us so harshly? I don’t think so, when the world ends it’ll be in God’s hands and his intentions aren’t to destroy everything again or he would have done its years ago when wars started and when the first couple people started to announce they’re gay. The future isn’t in are hands even though we were born on this earth given choice to everything, it’s in the hands of God.

    Sam Toma

  42. Marcus Johnson 5th Hour

    Personally, I don’t like any of them since they are all on such radical side of the spectrum but if I had to choose one it would be the Epicurean Philosophy. I like the idea of “Carpe Diem” and to have fun in your life for the moment because you don’t know when it’s going to end. I mean, if the world is really going to end in the coming years I want to go out with a bang and have as much fun as I can. I would have no regrets given this will be the last time I would ever get to experience anything on this planet. I would be that person with a bucket list and running around the country doing everything I can just for the hell of it. But that’s only if the end of the world happens which I don’t think it will.
    I feel this is such a hot topic right now with Americans because death is our ultimate fear. I mean, the thought that you will never see the ones you care about is a frightening thing but to get your panties in a bunch over some end of the world conspiracy theory is just ridiculous to me. It’s just a way to make money. When that time comes rolling around all those people convinced on living will go out spending all their money on supplies they won’t need and the people who don’t care about dying will go out buying stupid things to have their final party. It’s just stupid. I have seen no real evidence of any catastrophic event that will occur anytime soon but yet we are going nuts over some calendar ending. Maybe they just got bored of writing dates for a calendar or just stopped because that person died. I don’t know what the reason is but I do know that I believe that nothing is going to happen and we are just scared of dying not the event that’s supposed to happen.

  43. 1. Of the five Hellenist philosophies, I’d have to say that my favorite is the Cynics view. This philosophy states that mankind should get rid of all electronics and material possessions because they really are of no importance. I agree with this because I believe that us as humans rely way too much on the things we own rather than ourselves. For example, people are so focused and consumed with their cell phones; getting the newest BlackBerry or iPhone, having unlimited calling minutes, as well as being able to text message a person sitting 10 feet away from you. I think it has made us extremely lazy as well as making our conversations with others completely impersonal. For example, giving us the option to shy away from confronting a person by messaging them rather than speaking to them face to face. People cannot seem to live without these devices and I think it is stupid and unnecessary seeing as if we really wanted to talk to someone, we would make an effort to spend time with them. I feel as if humans are completely unequipped to deal with others on a social level if cell phones were destroyed in the future, so I would have to say that learning to communicate in person would be very beneficial.

    2. I believe that America is so obsessed with the end of the world right now because the date of its supposed ending is coming up so soon. Also, there really isn’t anything more frightening to people than what’s going to happen to us when we die. According to the Mayan calendar, (may I remind you- ONE calendar of about 500 million I’m sure have been made in the past), the world is going to end on December 21st, 2012. Since it was made so long ago and there is no one left to question it to, people are freaking out. There are so many unanswered questions and it makes people uncomfortable. Also, movie producers are beginning to make movies about it, drawing the crowd in more and making them worry more than they probably should.

    3. Although this “end of the world” talk does bother me, it’s not something I really let consume my thoughts and impact my behaviors/activities. I am not one to make outrageous decisions that I would not normally make because I believe the world is going to end. Even though I do admit it is scary, it’s not something that I obsess over because it’s not worth it. Whether the world is going to end or not is completely out of my control, and there is no one to confirm these beliefs about the world ending with. I think it’s stupid to let something like this take over your life because the chances of it actually happening are very slim, and it’s not something I can personally change.


  44. My favorite Hellenistic Philosopher is Epicureans. I like this philosopher because of his idea “live for today.” This also pleases me because I agree with short-term pleasure. If you try to hard to achieve long-term pleasure, then you miss out on a lot of opportunities for short-term pleasure. For example; if you were trying to achieve a long-term pleasure, such as getting into the college of your dreams, you would be a hard working individual. Because you have been working so hard and spending all-or almost all- of your time trying to become the perfect student, then you could be missing out on a lot of the opportunities for events that only happen in your High School career. Also, sometimes things get in the way of achieving your long-term pleasure; so working hard to achieve that isn’t always a good idea.
    I think that the American people are so obsessed with the end of the world because they are afraid that they have wasted their life and have not “lived life to its fullest.” Any people who are followers of the other Hellenistic philosophers would be wasting life away because they are the type of people who plan for he future and who are more geared towards achieving long-term pleasure. I try not to worry so much about the end of the world because I believe that when it comes, I will like what I see when my life flashes before my eyes. I don’t believe that I have wasted my life in any way because I do not set so many long-term goals to achieve long-term pleasure.


  45. Ben Goddard 4th HourJanuary 25, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    1. My least favorite view of the Hellenistic philosophies is that of the Stoics because they say that you should have no emotion in life because life is predetermined, so why have any emotion when no matter what you do, you get what you get? I think that is a bad view on life because what is the point in living if you aren’t going to do it with any emotion. Sometimes it is a good thing to feel pain and sadness and suffering in the world, and it is good to also feel joy and happiness. I also believe life isn’t predetermined for us which is another reason why I think Stoicism is the worst of the Hellenistic philosophies.
    2. America seems to be so obsessed with the end of the world right now because it is coming close to the year 2012 which is pretty much the end of the Mayan calendar, and the Mayans were known for their accurate predictions in nature back when they lived. That was the shout that started the avalanche of people being obsessed with the end of the world. Now people are starting to actually believe the world will end in 2012 because that is what the media is saying. In my opinion people shouldn’t because in my biblical worldview I know that the messiah will return again on judgment day, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. “ (Matthew 24:3). No predictions will ever be correct and for all we know this might not even occur in my lifetime.
    3. This also goes along with question two because since I won’t know when the end of the world is, I know it won’t be predicted correctly so the end of the world doesn’t bother me. But even if it is in my lifetime it’ll be a good thing because I’ll be going to heaven.


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