Preaching on the Path of Stoicism

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Stoicism teaches us not to be overwhelmed by sadness, indifferent to stigma, uninvolved in others’ affairs, and prioritizing self-love. This raises the question: “Does this render the principle of commanding good and forbidding evil dysfunctional?”

It is conceivable that the growing trend of Stoicism might alter the traditional approach to preaching that we commonly see in community events and religious studies. Will concern for others’ afterlife be considered an ethical breach? Or is this fear merely an excuse to suppress aggressive preaching?

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In fact, I believe Stoicism can minimize the breeding of religious extremism and radicalism. Its presence among the youth can promote the principles of moderation.

However, certain considerations must be made. First, we should not view Stoicism as a dangerous doctrine. Stoic indifference aims to limit desires, negative emotions, and illogical decisions, not promote unrestrained freedom, even though it rests on the logical order of natural law (ERL. Tinambunan 2014: 33).

A Stoic remains unfazed by chaos and focuses on living their life, recognizing that the thoughts and actions of others are part of the universe’s order beyond their control (Yosef Bilyarto, 2022: 69-71). This seems contrary to the preaching verses in QS. Ali Imran [3]:104, QS. An-Nahl [16]:125, and others.

This contrast stems from differing life orientations. A Stoic pursues virtue until death, concerned with the final impression of their life (Henry Manampiring, 2019: 276). Conversely, a Muslim pursues virtue both for life and the afterlife, including a sense of responsibility for their fellow Muslims’ ultimate fate.

What we should focus on is how Stoicism fosters positive behavior without mutual correction. For example, in the dichotomy of control, there is an awareness of what one can and cannot do. Therefore, the second step is to stop overexerting oneself by recognizing one’s limitations.

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