On the Dangers of Sophistry

On the Dangers of Sophistry

What is sophistry? In short, it’s a theory that’s plausible but fallacious. In ancient times, there was actually a school of thinkers called the Sophists. Great thinkers have warned us about sophistry, urging us to avoid the trap.

What’s a modern example of a Sophist? Well, we have so many. For starters, the conspiracy fanatic is a sophist – he’s married to ideas that are partially true, but wholly incorrect.

So proceed with caution, my friends. Life is short and your time is valuable. Therefore, you should implement a strategy:

Do not continually engage with a sophist.

He’s not interested in exchanging ideas. He doesn’t care about intellectual  inquiry, historical observation, or philosophical analysis. He’s using the conversation as a front, covering up his true aim.

In short, the sophist is looking to weaken you as a man. By undercutting your knowledge, he can bring you down to his broken level. He’s a half-man,  incapable of scaling the ladders of greatness. So he tries to push over your ladder.

Stay on guard, my fellow Majors. Your time is valuable…your bank of knowledge must be protected with armed guards. The sophist would like to rob your mental bank account and leave you on the side of the road: a destitute man without a dollar of wisdom.

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Are you ready to leave the sophistry behind?

You’ve studied the work of ancient minds. You’ve read about the achievements of GREAT MEN. Now hold fast….don’t let the charlatans of sophistry deter you.

You have a destiny with greatness.

See Related Article: Be Deeply Dyed and Drenched in Righteousness

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The Greatest Mansion You Have is Lying Within Your Soul

The Greatest Mansion You Have is Lying Within Your Soul

Today we continue with the wisdom of ages. A favorite quote of mine from Marcus Aurelius in Meditations…one that I’ve shared with others for two decades:

Where does the common man go? Where does he live?

They [the common men]  seek for themselves private retiring places, as country villages, the sea-shore, mountains; yea thou thyself art wont to long much after such places.

Yes, so true. We think that the mansion on the hill will make us happy. We believe that the Time Share in the Tropics will bring us inner peace. We seek the “country village, the sea-shore, mountains” and so forth. The more things change, the more they stay the same. In Ancient Rome, many thought that they could buy their way into happiness.

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You will find the seeds of contentment inside, but not the actual fruit.

And he continues…

But all this thou must know proceeds from simplicity in the highest degree. At what time soever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into thyself, and to be at rest, and free from all businesses. A man cannot any whither retire better than to his own soul;

Retire into thyself and be at rest.

The mansion is lying within your breastplate…the stairwell to Xanadu, leading into your consciousness. We turn on the television, hoping for answers. We thumb the pages of a periodical, praying for solace. Yet so much is futile. The search will always lead to a mirror.

The greatest mansion you have is lying within your soul.

See Related Post: Be Deeply Dyed and Drenched With Righteousness

Be Deeply Dyed and Drenched in Righteousness

Be Deeply Dyed and Drenched in Righteousness

More wisdom from Marcus Aurelius. A few days ago, I shared for you a quote of his regarding reading and writing. Well today, I want to share another one of his ideas – on the composition of a man: how he walks…how he speaks.

What kind of man is he?

“…a wrestler of the best sort, and for the highest prize, that he may not be cast down by any passion or affection of his own; deeply dyed and drenched in righteousness, embracing and accepting with his whole heart whatsoever either happeneth or is allotted unto him.”

Wonderful words from the wisdom of yesterday.

Stand up straight. Live the Golden Rule and be a man of action. Avoid the gossip of old wives and weak-minded men. Remove wasteful thoughts from your mind. Set a lofty goal for yourself and attack it with diligence. Know that your victories are seen by others and that your ACTIONS say the most about you.

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Keep your spirit fixated on the lofty goals you’ve set…regardless of the people that surround you.

And moreover, be a fair man. Treat others with charity, even when some might not deserve it. Speak with honesty and passion to the people around you. Avoid the hedge maze of sophistry. In short…

Be deeply dyed and drenched in righteousness.

See Related Article: Read With Diligence and Without Affectation

Read With Diligence and Write Without Affectation

Read With Diligence and Write Without Affectation

Marcus Aurelius was a sage. He gave advice on many practical matters, including composition. Here’s one of my favorites:

That I did not use to walk about the house in my long robe, nor to do any such things. Moreover I learned of him to write letters without any affectation, or curiosity; such as that was, which by him was written to my mother from Sinuessa: and to be easy and ready to be reconciled, and well pleased again with them that had offended me, as soon as any of them would be content to seek unto me again. To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of. (from Meditations).

So true.

Finding a writing style is difficult. We’re surrounded by some many voices in this regard. And it’s easy to lose our path…to mimic the phrasing or wording of others. So what’s the solution?

Be direct and to the point: i.e. write without affectation. By doing so, you’ll capture the normal pattern of speech. You’ll directly address the reader (as opposed to having your literary representative speak to them).

And when it comes to reading…do it with diligence! Another nice reminder. It’s so easy to skim, to skip, etc. As the modern acronym goes, TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read). But what do we gain, really? It’s better to read five pages with passion than fifty with ambivalence.

Meditations is a book for all times. It’s a Bible of practical philosophy. And it becomes more relevant with each passing day…

See Related Article: The Wisdom of Seneca: On Mentorship

 

 

Las Vegas Massacre Proves That There Are, Indeed, Two Sides to Charlottesville

Las Vegas Massacre Proves That There Are, Indeed, Two Sides to Charlottesville

The media lambasted Donald Trump’s comments after Charlottesville. In short, the president implied that there were two factions involved. The first was a white supremacist, the other was a left-wing faction.

Since then, the media has called the President a white supremacist. How could he say there are two sides to the issue? How could he imply that his detractors were capable of violence? Everybody knows that the left has no extreme side!!!

And now we have this…50 dead in Las Vegas. The killer on the Anti-Trump bandwagon.

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Ironically, this will cause a spike in Trump’s approval ratings. The killer will have accomplished the exact opposite of what he hoping for.

See Related Post: The Downfall of ESPN in One Photo

The Question That I Ask Before I Fall Asleep

The Question That I Ask Before I Fall Asleep

Did I live today to the fullest?

I ask this every night as I put my head to the pillow. You see, the Major was almost dead once. Medical complications during a heart surgery. And for a minute my life was hanging in the balance. Even with the modern surgery of today, I was still lucky to survive.

But God was on my side. He pulled me through to live another day. I was knocking on heaven’s door, but there was nobody home…yet.

So why was I brought back? For what purpose?

I ask myself that everyday and a fire burns inside of me. A fire to make something of a second chance. A desire to repay God for the grace he bestowed upon me. The desire to do more, to be more…to see my name upon the billboards of achievement. To sing a song of victory in the battlefields of despair.

I live the with sacred obligation – to repay God for his opportunity.

To make the most of everyday. To live my life to the fullest. To maximize whatever talents I’ve been given.

Did I live today to the fullest? Only when I answer “yes,” am I able to sleep comfortably.

See Related Post: The Great Man is Not a Nice Man

My Prediction About an NBA Decline Has Come True

My Prediction About an NBA Decline Has Come True

In August of 2016, I went to a basketball game in Los Angeles. After the event, I made a prediction that the NBA would experience a ratings decline. I saw that they were doubling down on the SJW agenda, giving the average American fan a middle finger. You can read more in the archived post: The NBA is in Trouble

Well…I was right!

On September 17th, 2017, ESPN released an article on the NBA ratings. And, just as I predicted a year earlier, there was sharp decline. Or to put it plainly…they’re getting crushed financially. You’ll find the article here:

A confidential report shows nearly half the NBA lost money last season. Now what?

Here is a relevant quote from the article:

“Despite a flood of new national television cash, 14 of the NBA’s 30 teams lost money last season before collecting revenue-sharing payouts, and nine finished in the red even after accounting for those payments, according to confidential NBA financial records obtained by ESPN.com.”

The average fan was kept in the dark on these losses – thus, the “confidential” report, right? We heard about Lebron supporting Hillary, Westbrook chasing his ring, etc. But we never learned that the NBA was going into the tank financially.

A full 1/3 of them were in the red and 1/2 lost money.

Of course, the entire season occurred during Trump ascendancy to the White House (and the subsequent indignation of the players). Since then, the NBA players have doubled down on the SJW madness. Lebron with his Twitter hysterics, Steph Curry getting denied access to the Whote House, etc. We can expect one thing for the upcoming season: more sulking by multi-millionaires who watched Django Unchained too many times.

I’m betting on the same for the NFL. Apparently, their viewership was down anywhere from 10-20% last year. And, just like the NBA, they are choosing to double down rather than recede. We’ll have to wait and see when the final numbers are, but the early indications are showing a drop in revenue.

Remember…just like Tony Montana, the SJWs kill everything they touch.

See Related Article: The NBA is in Decline