Why Buddhism is True

What Stoicism can learn from Buddhism?

Having recently read through Robert Wright’s book ‘Why Buddhism is True,’ I was impressed by Buddhism’s intricate comprehension of human psychology. While the book doesn’t directly set Buddhism against Stoicism, my previous exposure to Stoic made me see how the two philosophies could complement each other. Stoicism, particularly its modern interpretations, claims that achieving eudaimonia - the good life - implies “living according to one’s nature.” Stoics define our nature as being “social and rational....

<span title='2023-07-15 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 15, 2023</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

On Suicide

⚠️ This article is about suicide. If you have suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately from services such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) of DKU US’s National Suicide Prevention chat or hotline UK’s Samaritan hotline Someone I know recently committed suicide. I was shocked, saddened, and confused. It is one thing to know that many people die of suicide each year around the world. It is another to be personally affected by it....

<span title='2022-06-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>June 1, 2022</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

Eat Sleep Sit

When I read the book Strangers Drowning, I was very much impressed by the work of Ittetsu Nemoto, a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, who dedicated his life to helping suicidal people. The book also briefly described his four-year extremely harsh ascetic training in an especially strict monastery. My interest was aroused. “Why does someone willingly go through such unimaginable hardship willingly?” This is why I picked up Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan’s Most Rigorous Zen Temple by Kaoru Nonomura....

<span title='2021-07-31 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 31, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

Why modern Stoics should read some Peter Singer

I’d like to thank Dr. Gregory Sadler for helpful comments on this post. \toc Who is Peter Singer? <center> Peter Singer at The College of New Jersey, Oct 2009.<br/> Bbsrock, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons. </center> I consider myself a follower of Stoicism philosophy. In recent years, I have read attentively ancient Roman Stoics as well as modern Stoic writers. Their inspiring words have helped me tremendously in dealing with everyday challenges....

<span title='2021-07-22 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 22, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

On Virtue Ethics by Rosalind Hursthouse -- Chapter 11 Objectivity

A summary of Chapter 11 Objectivity Virtue ethics rejects the sort moral objectivity which Kant aspires to. The naturalism describe in the last three chapters also rejects the type of objectivity based on empirical facts accessible from a neutral point of view. However, it also does not assume our standard list of virtues is correct without need of validation. This is the type of objectivity naturalism can offer. But the study of objectivity should also give an account of ethical disagreement....

<span title='2021-07-20 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 20, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

On Virtue Ethics by Rosalind Hursthouse -- Chapter 10 Naturalism for Rational Animals

A summary of Chapter 10 Naturalism for Rational Animals. What Difference Does Our Rationality Make? Unlike animals, it is primarily our actions from reason that we are ethically good or bad human beings. In ethical naturalism, rationality makes a big difference. And adding rationality does not need to add the fifth end to the four other describe in the previous chapter. What characteristics do human have? Comparing to animals, it is hard to summarize....

<span title='2021-07-19 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 19, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

On Virtue Ethics by Rosalind Hursthouse -- Chapter 08 The Virtues Benefit Their Possessor

A summary of Chapter 08 The Virtues Benefit Their Possessor. Can we objectively justify which character traits are the virtues? We can only do this from some already acquired ethical framework, instead from some external neutral point of view. Doing so risk just rationalize what we already believe. But if we think critically, little by little we many radically change our entire ethical outlook. The philosopher’s task was well compared by Neurath to that of a mariner who must rebuild his ship on the open sea....

<span title='2021-07-18 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 18, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

On Virtue Ethics by Rosalind Hursthouse -- Chapter 09 Naturalism

A summary of Chapter 09 Naturalism. This chapter is about the 2nd Plato’s requirements of virtue in the last chapter – The virtues make their possessor a good human being. Virtue ethics is a type of ethical naturalism, i.e., basing ethics on considerations of human nature, or on what is involved in being a good human. The objective of such an approach is that an account of human nature may be too broad for making moral judgement, or too strong to the extend that it is just a restatement of our ethics....

<span title='2021-07-18 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>July 18, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

Letter to a Young Friend -- The Course of the Universe

Note: I wrote this in May 2021. Things in the world seem to have taken another down turn. That’s why it is even more important that we focus on what is in our control. <center> Photo by Miriam Espacio from Pexels </center> My dear friend, Today, we had talked about COVID-19, wars, oppression and, of course, climate change. Naturally, you were saddened by our discussions. That makes me think if I can write something to cheer you up....

<span title='2021-05-06 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>May 6, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai

Five Books of Peter Singer which Changed My Life

\toc Peter Singer is an Australian moral philosopher, currently a professor at Princeton University. He has written 17 books by himself, several of which I read since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not an exaggeration to say that some of these books have changed my life for better. How Are We to Live? I am a mathematician, and a large part of my job is to write and publish research papers on mathematics....

<span title='2021-05-02 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>May 2, 2021</span>&nbsp;·&nbsp;Xing Shi Cai