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What Can We Learn From Diogenes' Cynical Philosophy (By Mr. M. Svartgold)

Updated: Jun 24

A man sitting with his friendly animal.

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Key Points

* What was Diogenes' main goal?

Diogenes' main goal was to live a life of simplicity and freedom. He believed that the true nature of humans is to be free and independent, and that material possessions and social conventions only serve to enslave us.

* A logical way to understand the self is to live in accordance with nature.

Diogenes believed that the best way to understand ourselves is to study nature. He saw animals as living in accordance with their natural instincts, and he believed that humans could learn a lot from them.

* The true nature of humans is to be free and independent

Diogenes believed that humans are naturally free and independent beings. He argued that we should not allow ourselves to be enslaved by material possessions or social conventions.

* How can one live without falsification?

One can live without falsification by being honest with oneself and others. This means being true to oneself, even if it means being unpopular or going against the grain.

* What was God's problem according to Diogenes?

Diogenes believed that God was indifferent to human affairs. He argued that if God was truly interested in helping humans, then he would not have allowed them to suffer so much.

* The advantage of living with animals and living in a "crazy" way is that it can help one to simplify one's life and focus on what is truly important.

Diogenes believed that animals could teach us a lot about living a simple and meaningful life. He also believed that living in a "crazy" way could help us to break free from the conventions of society and live more authentically.

* What is the benefit of not needing much?

According to Diogenes, such deprivation can free one from the burden of material possessions and allow one to live a more authentic life. He honestly believed that the less we need, the freerer we are. He argued that material possessions can become a burden, and that they can prevent us from living our lives to the fullest.

* How can rejecting luxuries result in inner truth, freedom of thought, and greater wisdom than other people?

By living a simple life, one can focus on developing one's inner self and become more aware of the world around them. This can lead to greater wisdom and understanding of oneself and others.

* What else can be learned from animals?

Some of the things we can learn from them include loyalty, unconditional love, and the importance of living in the present moment.

* Should nudity be considered a shame or a part of human nature?

Nudity is a natural part of human nature and should not be considered a shame (According to this philosopher, of course). It is only through social conventions that we have come to view nudity as something to be ashamed of.

* Does a person have to get married? Must they live according to the established norm, or can they reinvent it?

No, a person does not have to get married. They can live according to their own values and beliefs, regardless of what is considered the norm. There is no right or wrong way to live, as long as you are true to yourself.

The Cynic Sage's Goals

Diogenes' main goal was to show that happiness and freedom are achieved by separating the "self" from the society that encourages control over the "weak": or a person who is different from others because of this or that status. By this, one can live a real life of freedom.

Happiness comes to a person when they feel independent. That is, separated from those who seek to control others through discipline and obedience, in order to conform to society.

Diogenes' perception of money and happiness is different from others. He regarded the true nature of man is the desire of others to impress others with gifts and money. People must live without the conditions of society that make money a source of independence. To know themselves better, they must live without the need to benefit others.

He saw philosophy as a cynical way of expressing thought and intellect in a logical and informed way. The status of a person, which includes money, social status, spouses, children, a car, and a lucrative job, is not what will bring them happiness. How will they discover who they are without all the status that depends on social expectations?

The disadvantage that Diogenes saw in the pursuit of luxury is that when a person pursues money, they do not learn. They are enslaved to the government and the social system. They also do not know them. We only know what they created the money that they earned. And that is the motive for being in constant interaction with these external authorities.

The shame of being naked is a social construct that can be debilitating for individuals. Diogenes lived without shame because he believed that it was a social construct. He lived naked like the dogs in the streets, because he saw them as being more natural than humans. This made him stand out from other people.

He believed that living according to society's expectations can be limiting and can prevent us from becoming our true selves. It can be sad and difficult, and it does not necessarily indicate wisdom.

We all can learn about modesty from Diogenes. From the importance of thinking outside the box. From the fact that social status and professionalism are not important. They are masks, and not our true selves.

A person can be themselves even if they do not conform to society's expectations. A person can find friends who accept them for who they are, even if they are not human. They can also find meaning in their lives without the need for material wealth.

I learned from Diogenes that it is important to follow your heart, even if it means going against the grain. The heart is also wise and can guide us in making decisions. He believed that the heart is also a part of the mind, and that it is important to write from the heart about your experiences.

It is sometimes important to not follow the crowd. A person can choose to be free from shame, guilt, and the need to please others.

I don't think it is realistic to live like Diogenes today. We need a certain level of security and comfort in order to survive. However, we can still learn from his example and strive to be more authentic and less concerned with material possessions.

Diogenes and the Cynic School

Diogenes was a philosopher who was a proponent of the Cynic school. The Cynics believed that living a simple life was the key to happiness and freedom. They rejected material possessions and social conventions, and they often lived in poverty.

Diogenes took this philosophy to an extreme. He lived in a barrel and begged for food. He also did things that were considered strange or offensive, such as masturbating in public.

Diogenes's goal was to live a life that was free from the constraints of society. He believed that we should not be afraid to be ourselves, even if others think we are strange.

Diogenes on Dogs

Diogenes saw dogs as a model for how to live a simple and free life. Dogs do not need material possessions, and they do not care what others think of them. They are also honest and straightforward, and they do not pretend to be something they are not.

Diogenes on the Rich

Diogenes was also critical of the rich. He believed that they were often greedy and corrupt. He warned people not to trust the rich, and he said that they should be wary of their motives.

Diogenes believed that the rich were often unhappy, even though they had all the material possessions they could ever want. He said that they were slaves to their possessions, and that they could never truly be free.

Diogenes on Poverty

Diogenes did not believe that poverty was a bad thing. In fact, he believed that it could be a source of freedom. He said that the poor were not burdened by material possessions, and they were free to live their lives as they pleased.

Diogenes also believed that poverty could help us to be more compassionate and understanding of others. He said that when we are poor, we are more likely to see the world through the eyes of the poor.

His Legacy

Diogenes was a controversial figure, but he is still considered one of the most important philosophers of the ancient world. His ideas about simplicity, freedom, and compassion continue to inspire people today. It's reasonable to believe that he influenced the contemporary philosophy of minimalism.


Diogenes was a complex and fascinating figure. He was a radical thinker who challenged the status quo. He was also a bit of a showman, and he loved to shock people. But at his core, Diogenes was a philosopher who was searching for truth and freedom. His ideas continue to resonate with people today, and he remains one of the most important figures in the history of philosophy.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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