John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton

Ah, there we go. More quizzes. Quiz, actually; Quizilla is still acting weird.

You are a Cynic!
You are a Cynic.
Cynicism was originally the philosophy of a group
of ancient Greeks called the Cynics (main
article), founded by Antisthenes.

Nowadays the word generally describes, somewhat
pejoratively, the opinions of those inclined to
disbelieve in human sincerity, in virtue, or in
altruism: individuals who maintain that only
self-interest motivates human behavior. A
modern cynic typically has a highly
contemptuous attitude towards social norms,
especially those which serve more of a
ritualistic purpose than a practical one, and
will tend to dismiss a substantial proportion
of popular beliefs, conventional morality and
accepted wisdom as "bullshit".

In informal use, derived from the meanings
described hereabove, cynicism may refer to
heartless calculating behavior or thinking.
Someone who has no faith in the goodness of
other human beings may have less restraints to
behave in a calculating way without compassion
but this doesn't have to be the case.

Despite the negative portrayal of cynics, some
would argue that such people simply
"refuse to look through rosy-tinted
spectacles" and do not fear to demolish
popular beliefs no matter how sacred society
considers such alleged misconceptions. Cynics
themselves tend to take this view, regarding
themselves as enlightened free thinkers, and
their critics as deluded social pretenders who
"bury their heads in the sand".
However, an excess of cynicism in an individual
can cause social or psychological difficulties
when cynics see themselves as depersonalised
and self-serving inhabitants of a meaningless,
fictitious, and shallow world.

One behavioural indicator of profound cynicism is
an absence of participation in defence of
principles. The cynic may look as though they
are timidly adopting a policy of "Don't
get involved, it only brings you trouble,"
but their inactivity flows from a deeper belief
that nothing can be changed anyway: "Don't
get involved, you won't make any difference
anyway. Why waste effort on a futile

Critics of cynics often regard cynicism as a form
of nihilism and as damaging to the function of
life. They may often describe a cynic as
"a grumpy old bugger".

Which Hellenistic School of Philosophy Would You Belong To?
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No surprise there.


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