Dating Advice from Philosophers


Public domain

Niccolo Machiavelli

Dear Machiavelli,

My friends want to throw me a bachelor party. Knowing them, it will involve strippers, booze, drugs, the works. I promised my fiancée I would stay away from that kind of stuff, but I’m really tempted to go, and I’d hate to let the guys down. What should I do?

Signed,

Tempted

My Liege,

I am unsure how to advise you in this instance, for your status in this world has much bearing on the matter. Are you a common man, or are you a prince? For it is well known that those actions which are considered most virtuous in a common man are in fact a vice in a prince, and that which would be vice for the lowest laborer is in fact raised to holy virtue when undertaken by a prince. Be you of the lower classes, stay true to your course and all will be well. Be you my liege, I pray you, indulge yourself.

Public domain (ironic, isn’t it?)

Adam Smith

Dear Adam Smith,

I’m meeting a girl for a first date, and I’m not sure what I should bring. I know tradition calls for flowers and chocolates, but do modern ladies still go for that sort of thing? Or would I just come across old fashioned?

Signed,

Lonely and Confused

Dear Consumer,

The women of this age are as they have always been and as they shall always be, a part of the broader tapestry of our economic fabric. To deny that is to deny the truth of what makes all nations mighty. If you would impress and woo the lady, I would suggest you show her that you care for your nation by supporting the lifeblood of the nation: commerce. Support the florist, the chocolatier, yea, even the dressmaker and the milliner. In this way you shall prove you are a great philanthropist as well as a mighty provider.

Public domain

Friedrich Nietzsche

Dear Nietzsche,

My girlfriend and I have been together for over two years, and we love each other very much. I’m thinking about proposing, but there’s just one problem. Ever since she was a little girl, she’s had this dream of a big church wedding. I’m agnostic, and both of my parents are atheists. I just don’t see that working out. Can you help?

Signed,

In Love but Not In Church

Dear Superman,

Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent. Every church is a stone on the grave of a god-man: it does not want him to rise up again under any circumstances. Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves? It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.

What I’m saying here is just rent out the local VFW Hall.

© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Plato

Dear Plato,

My boyfriend cheated on me a few months ago, and I just can’t seem to let it go. I still care about him, but I can’t get past this, and it is ruining our relationship. Should I forgive him or should I move on?

Signed,

Torn

Dear Prisoner,

What you fail to understand is that your concerns are not real. They are simply the shadows of old wounds that you cling to out of fear of losing the illusions you have lived with all your life. Throw off the shackles of your fear, and acknowledge that which torments you is naught but a specter cast by the flickering light of a neon vacancy sign. Do not turn your anger on those who would drag you into the light of truth, but rather on the one who has in truth earned it, and kick him to the curb.

Like the sun, wind, and water, this photo is public domain.

Laozi

Dear Laozi,

I feel as though my life has been spiraling out of control lately, and I just don’t know what to do. I am looking for some sense of balance, but I can’t abandon my wife to withdraw from society and meditate in nature for a lifetime. Is there some weekend course I can take to achieve enlightenment quickly?

Signed,

Seeker of Truth

Dear Ineffable One,

While in days past the search for the Tao could take a lifetime, modern society no longer has the proper respect for the venerable sage. Where the strongest oak will break in a hurricane, the supple reed will simply bend. So too does the Eternal Tao adapt to change. If you seek to understand the Way, simply wear an outfit from JCPenney while eating a sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. In this way you will know balance.

© 663highland / GNU Free Documentation License v. 1.2

Sun Tzu

Dear Sun Tzu,

My name is Jenny and I am eight years old and there’s a boy I really like and I don’t know if he likes me back and I don’t know how to ask him if he likes me and I was wondering if you could tell me how I should ask him. Thank you very much for you help.

Your freind,

Jenny

Dear Jen Ni,

The strong warrior charges in like an ox; the wise warrior is subtle and flows like water. To gauge your opponent’s intentions, send your most trusted lieutenant forward on a scouting mission to determine where he lies. If conditions seem favorable, I would suggest you send a missive of alliance, stating your intentions indirectly yet plainly, constraining your opponent’s choices to those that you would find most favorable: “Do you like me? Yes_ Very Much_”

For more, check out “Dating Advice From Historical Figures“, “Dating Advice From Mythological Creatures“, and “Dating Advice From Classical Deities“.

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153 Comments on “Dating Advice from Philosophers”

  1. Red Moon says:

    Reblogged this on The Wise One once said… and commented:
    This is a quite clever rendition of philosophical humor. I adore the various perspectives in this brilliant post. I am hoping that this lightens your heart and enlightens your soul with the realization that life is full of puzzles, predicaments and paradoxes… and the wise will figure out how to entertain them, master them and live to share their experience(s). Enjoy!

  2. [...] Este es un post que me gustó mucho.  No es fácil tomar el “espíritu” de los filósofos y echarle algo de humor.  Su autor, Bob Bonsall, me autorizó a realizar su traducción y publicación en este blog.  Ver link del post original. [...]

  3. haha, this is so funny, i particularly loved Sun Tzu & Plato – spot on :-)

  4. […] Dating Advice from Philosophers. […]

  5. REDdog says:

    Love Plato’s reference to the neon vacancy sign…he was onto it


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