Are Some Ways of Life Better Than Others?

Debunking Romantic Notions

Brandon Tumblin
3 min readFeb 11


Photo by Mayur Keni on Unsplash

It should go without saying, but we absolutely need to have some values. This is important to stress in today’s world because there are some who think that we can all simply accept each other’s philosophies and ways of life, or that one way of life can’t possibly be better than another’s.

I think this is a very naïve way of looking at the world. What if, for example, your philosophy was one of peace and mine was one of violence? There have, after all, been many groups in history that have lived with the imperialism ethos. World War 1 was all about conquest, and World War 2 was partially so. Prior to that, Genghis Khan raped and pillaged most of the world for conquest.

Are All Ways of Life As Good?

It’s simply not the case that we should accept all ways of life as being equally as good. When people say that, what they mean is that we deem each other as having a fundamental value and respect each other’s ways of life. In other words, in order for us to accept and let each other live our lives we first must agree on that premise.

Photo by Ajin K S on Unsplash

Mutual Respect is VITAL

What you are essentially saying is that we all must have a similar, higher-level value of mutual respect, and that is included in our way of life. Certainly, as I mentioned, many groups in history have not held that view so let’s not take it for granted.

We should all have the freedom to choose how we live, but only if we all agree on the higher-level way of life (which is really law and order). For example, if you wish to knit all day on Sunday, that’s your decision. If you wish to worship the tree in your backyard, that’s your decision. If you wish to rid the world of a particular race, no, sorry, that’s not okay.

Values Help Us Live Together

We simply take a lot of our fundamental ways of life for granted, but we still have them. We wouldn’t be able to form societies without it. We need to have a value system. We need to agree that…



Brandon Tumblin

Host of The Strong Stoic Podcast