“If you want to be good, begin by assuming you are bad”

Epictetus: Fragments


2 thoughts on “Extracts

    1. davhimself says:

      I think there are a number of reasons. For instance:

      1. Often the easiest/ best place to start is with yourself (Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”)

      2. More philosophically, I don’t think many people believe they are bad, yet bad deeds occur. Why is this? Is it because we do not look inwards, we assume we are good. Because we do not define the good life, we do not challenge ourselves to be better (e.g. by being less selfish, kinder, etc, etc.)? So I think this is a way of saying that if you want to be good, you should think about your life and ask if there is anything you could differently. Epictetus was a stoic philosopher and they believed reason could provide the “answer”. Assuming you are a bad would be a philosophical tool for challenging assumptions, etc. and through reason arriving at a better answer.

      See this link: http://www.iep.utm.edu/stoicism/#H4

      That’s my take on it anyway!

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