philosophers and many others have long argued the merits of stoicism but the practice is not easy and even more difficult if the reason for stoicism is vague
one simple, obvious reason for stoicism is that it results in a better outcome but proving this is not so easy
but "reason", as in the reason for stoicism the same as the question "why?" , has two components one is the origin and the other is the purpose or outcome the origins of stoicism so far provided miss the point if they have ever been discussed
the origin for stoicism is that the alternative to stoicism, being non stoic or hysterical, involves submitting to the directives of an ancient dna survival programme, so stoicism is to avoid being subject to an old dna programme
dna provides multiple paths to contentment but leaves us to choose the direction and speed of the paths we will use this leaves the possibility of choosing paths and speeds that conflict with eachother
these conflicts are of two types
one, where our path or speed chosen interferes with the paths of others and the other: where we have two paths for ourselves but these paths conflict with eachother
(for most of us our contentment relies partly on those around us also being content. so, alongside our own contentment we want others to be content)
with multiple paths every day and good intentions often behind them, eg looking after friends or children, the sense of urgency and confusion can overwhelm.
when paths conflict it ends that we can feel confusion in choosing and thus discontent and if at least one of the paths has failed our innate setup is to feel discontent at one failure
knowing that the source of all these drives is powered by dna's mandate for survival
gives the real and indisputable reason why not to become overwhelmed.
dna has not yet reached, by selection, the level of our development, where we are innately able to mediate all emotion (and maybe selection is not moving that way at all)
all emotion is inevitably directly related to the desire for contentment and the avoidance therefore of discontent
it is innately in our neural networks that we are not always successful in managing emotions. that is: emotions are dominant, when we sense failure at reaching contentment we despair: our desire for contentment is ruthless this has worked and been chosen by survival.
the fact that various members of present and past human cohorts suffer(ed) from these conflicting paths to contentment with the resultant high risk of failure and this then results in: suffering mental illness drug abuse and crime, which are dna's punishments for not reaching goals has not been enough to select this problem out by non survival just because various members of the cohort suffer from failing to reach contentment and then either suffer or become mentally ill, drug abusers or criminals' does not stop the survival of dna. many from all these groups procreate very successfully.
nor do these problems stop the search for contentment in fact they probably make the search more powerful because there is a greater sense of desperation which is helpful for dna survival
the final point that cements the issue is this neural system is what has survived
it is one where emotions are dominant, and the ability to be able to mediate emotions is minimal
dominance, durability and inscrutability are the characteristics needed for a survival programme.
selection may solve this as humans come to see how dna uses emotions as a brilliant, human control programme.
brilliant especially in as much as most humans are blissfully (?) or otherwise unaware of this
the knowledge that a dominant, inscrutable, durable neural programme bent on survival of dna (and which has inbuilt, inevitable glitches that cause serious problems) is what ordains all emotions and therefore ordains all thought, words and deeds by all humans makes it reasonable to understand and forgive the failings of ourselves and others in managing emotions.
that is what the forgiveness of religion is intended to address. the above approach explains it in a method based on fact