Monday, October 23, 2017

Pressure to buy product, disarmed through reason


Meditations of a 21st century incarnation of Socrates as composed by Brent Silby


The stoic philosophers have a similar outlook to my own. I remember once walking around the agora, smiling, and boldly declaring "look at all this product that I don't need". What was my point? Well, I wanted to remind people that much of the fear and stress we feel results from pressure to own more product. But we don't need all this product, and I was affirming that point. Here is a syllogism:

P1. If I realize that I don't need excess, then I won't fear missing out on excess.

P2. I have realized that I don't need excess

C1. Therefore, I don't fear missing out on excess (from P1, P2)

Thinking this way is liberating and I recommend it. But premise #2 is crucial. One needs to train oneself to realize that most product on sale is not needed. In doing so, we can extend the argument:

P3. Product that I don't need is excess to my need

P4. I do not need most of the product on sale in the mall

C2. Therefore, most product on sale in the mall is excess to my need (from P3, P4)

P5. If I don't fear missing out on excess and if most product on sale in the mall is excess to my need, then I should not feel pressured into buying more product from the mall

C3. Therefore, I should not feel pressured into buying more product (from C1, C2, P5)

This article summarizes some other stoic ideas.
https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/02/15/seneca-letter-18

-- Socrates

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