Come live a perfect ascetic lifestyle, and join the cynics! (By Tyler)

Facts about Cynicism:

Cynicism, like most schools of philosophy, originated in Ancient Athens. The principal beliefs of Cynicism involved ascetic lifestyles and few possessions, as well as being in harmony with nature. The founder of cynicism is usually credited as Diogenes of Sinope, famous for living on the streets of Athens in a tub, and often called the dog man for his lifestyle. He begged for a living. He had no possessions. At one point, he was captured by pirates and decided to live in Corinth instead. The other person usually credited with the founding of Cynicism is Antisthenes, an extremely sarcastic philosopher. Alexander the Great once said that if he could be anyone except himself, he would be Antisthenes. Antisthenes died around 80 years old, and was a follower of Socrates. Cynicism had a great impact on some prominent members of Greek society, notably Crates of Thebes, who renounced a large fortune to live a life of Cynic poverty. Cynicism gradually faded away around 5th Century BCE, although some say that early Christians used some of its principle beliefs.

The famous Cynic Diogenes of Sinope, his tub, and some dogs on the streets of Athens. Note the lack of possessions, and general look of poverty.

Five tips for how to become the perfect Cynic:

  1. You must be prepared to renounce all possessions, fame, wealth, and power if you want to be a prominent Cynic.
  2. To be truly happy, you must be self-sufficient, and happiness is the chief virtue of Cynics.
  3. You must be shameless to be a Cynic.
  4. You must be indifferent to insults.
  5. As a Cynic, it is your job to hound people about the error of their ways.

Citations:

“Cynicism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 08 June 2012. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism>.

 

“Cynicism and Stoicism.” Cynicism and Stoicism. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/stoicism.html>.

 

“Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Antisthenes. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/antisthe/>.

 

“Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Diogenes of Sinope. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/diogsino/>.

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