Cynics make other people feel bad.
People who make other people feel bad are bad persons.
I am a cynic, therefore i am a bad person.
That’s how logic works right?
Cynic ( true meaning of word):
The Cynics were an influential group of philosophers from the ancient school of Cynicism. Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society. Many of these thoughts were later absorbed into Stoicism.
Cynicism is one of the most striking of all the Hellenistic philosophies. It offered people the possibility of happiness and freedom from suffering in an age of uncertainty. Although there was never an official Cynic doctrine, the fundamental principles of Cynicism can be summarised as follows:
- The goal of life is happiness which is to live in agreement with Nature.
- Happiness depends on being self-sufficient, and a master of mental attitude.
- Self-sufficiency is achieved by living a life of Virtue.
- The road to virtue is to free oneself from any influence such as wealth, fame, or power, which have no value in Nature.
- Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.
A Cynic, then, has no property and rejects all conventional values of money, fame, power or reputation. A life lived according to nature requires only the bare necessities required for existence, and one can become free by unshackling oneself from any needs which are the result of convention. The Cynics adopted Hercules as their hero, as epitomizing the ideal Cynic.
The Cynic way of life required continuous training, not just in exercising one’s judgments and mental impressions, but a physical training as well:
[Diogenes] used to say, that there were two kinds of exercise: that, namely, of the mind and that of the body; and that the latter of these created in the mind such quick and agile impressions at the time of its performance, as very much facilitated the practice of virtue; but that one was imperfect without the other, since the health and vigour necessary for the practice of what is good, depend equally on both mind and body.
None of this meant that the Cynic would retreat from society, far from it, Cynics would live in the full glare of the public’s gaze and would be quite indifferent in the face of any insults which might result from their unconventional behaviour. The Cynics are said to have invented the idea of cosmopolitanism: when he was asked where he came from, Diogenes replied that he was “a citizen of the world, (kosmopolitês).”
The ideal Cynic would evangelise; as the watchdog of humanity, it was their job to hound people about the error of their ways. The example of the Cynic’s life (and the use of the Cynic’s biting satire) would dig-up and expose the pretensions which lay at the root of everyday conventions.
Although, by concentrating solely on ethics, Cynicism had limited goals, Cynic philosophy had a big impact on the Hellenistic world, ultimately becoming an important influence for Stoicism. The Stoic Apollodorus writing in the 2nd century BCE stated that “Cynicism is the short path to virtue.“