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The point of being independent and not needing things is so that your happiness will not be destroyed by some accident outside of your control or by the malice of other human beings The more your happiness depends on anything someone else can destroy the less freedom you have - you are vulnerable to threats In late antiquity many people felt insecure governments were tyrannical there was a lot of illegal violence people died suddenly of disease or poison or through witchcraft or the malice of the gods According to Aristotle happiness consists primarily in worthwhile activity but it does have some need of the goods of fortune The good is something of ones own that cannot easily be taken from one EN I5 1095 b25 The Stoics wanted to find something that could not possibly be taken away Yet they did not want to live like dogs The solution is this The good is to live in accordance with reason and the power to do this cannot be taken away Our external circumstances may be the result of accident or the malice of others but whether we act rationally given the circumstances is up to us As for physical things it is in accordance with reason to use them when they are available and useful but not to become attached to them so that their loss causes distress Possessions do not make you vulnerable unless you become attached to them To live in accordance with reason is the Stoic conception of the good for man The Stoics seem to be aware of Aristotle borrowing and changing his ideas Tyranny slavery freedom were important concepts in Stoic thought see Epictetus Freedom is not poverty it is being able to give up external possessions and external freedom without distress According to the Stoics the essential human freedom is inward the ability to give or withhold assent to representations thoughts that come before my mind -
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