29 Aug '17 13:01>1 edit
Originally posted by @shavixmirFor some reason, when we consider the ethics and the moral values of Texas Republicans, I am reminded of Seneca, the ancient Roman advocate of Stoicism. I say "advocate" because it is hard to concede that he was himself a Stoic, or an example of a Stoic sage. His personal life was just too compromised: immensely wealthy and a close adviser to the Emperor Nero (who inspired Revelations of course). Even his suicide was somewhat botched and disorderly, lacking in all the Socratic qualities of calm and perfect control he was trying to emulate.
It'a God's wrath.
Anyway, the point is you cannot be just a bit of a Stoic, certainly not a bit of a sage. To explain this concept that virtue does not come in degrees - it is either perfect or it is nothing - the Roman Stoics used a drowning analogy. One description is this:
... one of the hardest concepts from ancient Stoicism [is] : the idea that virtue does not come in degrees. An analogy used by the early Stoics to illustrate the idea is that one doesn’t need an ocean to drown, it can happen in very shallow waters, meaning that as long as you are under water, you are incapable of breathing air, no matter how close you are to the surface. …
You see? A little bit of virtue is not much use - it does not matter how close you come to virtue while you still fall short - you either have it or you drown.
I thought of that as I checked how deep was the floodwater in Houston. Deep enough, would seem to be the answer. And of course I worried mightily for the welfare of its citizens. Wouldn't anyone? I didn't, for example, immediately start calculating how to make money out of it all.