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August 08, 2022 1 min read



There are probably two anecdotes out of many that are always associated with Diogenes - at least on the Internet. One is his answer to Alexander the Great, who approached him and wanted to fulfill a wish of his choice, to which Diogenes only casually replied: "Get out of my sun". One must understand that Alexander was probably the most powerful person in the Greek-Macedonian area at that time. Diogenes' answer is the unsurpassable testimony to the fact that he deeply rejected possessions and power and the dependencies that went with them.

The other story is that Diogenes is said to have masturbated publicly. In fact, Sigmund Freud also picks up on this in his writings. The point of this was to show his fellow citizens the arbitrary nature of moral codes. As a reason for why Diogenes does this publicly, he replied that it is only natural to satisfy this need and that it does not matter where one does this. If someone feels hunger, he will also rub his belly and eat or drink something and it is no different with the sexual need.

So is Diogenes a good role model? Of course, this cannot be answered unequivocally. In any case, his honest break with society is interesting, insofar as he rationally justifies his actions. One can't help but think of the subculture of punkers, who also try to mirror the irrationality of society by taking certain things to extremes. It could also be an action artist who even exposes the philosophers themselves for their hypocrisy and their game of hide-and-seek behind theoretical writings.

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