My Stoic Hierarchy
How I see it
Virtue is at the top, ruling over all else. Virtue is the highest good.
(the four cardinal virtues of wisdom, morality, courage, and moderation)
After Virtue, all else, the various preferred indifferents come, but are never to against any of the virtues. Preferred indifferents are things such as health, wealth, education, and good looks.
There should be nothing else, because all else are dispreferred indifferents, and disperred indifferents go against the virtues, and so prevent any chance of rising to the top level of Wisdom, surely the supreme state of being.
To strive for any of the preferred indifferents is fine, so long as no virtue is acted against. So striving for wealth, in cowardly ways is dispreferred, as would, for instance, obtaining educational qualifications by cheating.
It would be going too far to have excessive medical modification to obtain ‘beauty’, ie breast implants enhancing what Nature gave you, for instance, that would go against the virtue of moderation for sure, and would be a dispreferred indifferent. If one was to have surgery to fix up damage done, from breast cancer surgical treatment for instance, that would come under class of preferred indifferents, on the other hand.
If you are doing anything that goes against what is natural, then that would usually be considered a dispreferred indifferent, as far as I understand these things. “What is Natural” is a thing that could be argued on, this way and that, but the ultimate answer must always result in a thing that is virtuous and good, good in the Stoic sense, good for self, for community, good for the world …
If any of what I have written here interests you, or if I have gone off track at all, I am open to further conversation here, regarding it. I am new to Stoicism, even though it feels like I was always headed toward taking on this ‘Philosophy’ even though I hadn’t reaslied it.
I feel I am a Stoic-in-training, and am looking to many avenues to further that training. Life is a university we all must attend, to find the knowledge we require to lead our best, and most virtuous, lives.