Would a stoic get a tattoo?

Answered by John Hunt

The question of whether a Stoic would get a tattoo is an interesting one. Stoicism is a philosophy that emphasizes self-discipline, acceptance of fate, and the pursuit of virtue. It teaches that external things, such as physical appearance or possessions, should not be the source of our happiness or identity. So, at first glance, it may seem contradictory for a Stoic to get a tattoo, as it is a form of self-expression and attachment to the body.

However, Stoicism also teaches that we should live in accordance with nature and focus on what is within our control. This means that if getting a tattoo brings someone joy or serves as a reminder of Stoic principles, it could be seen as a valid expression of their philosophy. It is important to note that Stoicism does not prescribe specific rules or practices, but rather provides a framework for living a virtuous life.

In my personal experience, I have seen individuals who identify as Stoics and also have tattoos. These tattoos often serve as reminders of Stoic principles or personal mantras. For example, someone might get a tattoo of the Stoic maxim “Amor Fati” which means “love of fate” to remind themselves to accept and embrace whatever life brings their way. Others might choose symbols or images that represent Stoic virtues such as courage, wisdom, or self-control.

One argument against getting a tattoo from a Stoic perspective could be the potential attachment to the physical body. Stoics believe that our true selves lie within our rational minds, not in our physical forms. Getting a tattoo could be seen as placing too much importance on the external appearance, which goes against the Stoic emphasis on inner virtue.

On the other hand, one could argue that tattoos can be a form of self-expression and a way to convey values and beliefs. If a Stoic chooses to get a tattoo that aligns with their principles and serves as a constant reminder of their commitment to virtue, it could be seen as a meaningful expression of their philosophy.

Ultimately, the decision to get a tattoo as a Stoic is a personal one. It depends on how the individual interprets and applies Stoic principles in their own life. Some Stoics may choose to avoid tattoos altogether, while others may see them as a valid form of self-expression that can align with their Stoic beliefs.

While there is no definitive answer to whether a Stoic would get a tattoo, it is possible for someone who identifies as a Stoic to choose to get a tattoo that aligns with their principles and serves as a reminder of their commitment to living a virtuous life. The important thing is to approach the decision with self-awareness and a thoughtful consideration of Stoic principles.