World Philosophy Day

docphin5

Well-known member
I recommend Seneca’s moral letters. Easy to read, copious analogies to support his conclusions, 90% of it deals with practical living, and did I say, easy to read?

Some things I have learned about philosophy.

1) Greek philosophy was equivalent to the modern university. People would go to philosophic academies to learn about various things just as today they go to earn a degree in various subjects: physical sciences, ethics, medicine, politics, mathematics, etc. Therefore, philosophy in Hellenistic times meant then what today means, to be educated.

2) Greek philosophy originated in a revolt against the traditional Greek religion, although, was the greatest promoter of a unified impersonal deity or source of all things characterized as a thinking and absolute Good deity. For this reason, some philosophers were characterized as atheists merely because they rejected the traditional superstitions of the Greek religion. Therefore, Greek philosophy parallels critical thinking today which rejects superstitions held by modern religions. For example, the science today supporting evolution absolutely refutes the literal interpretation of the Biblical creation myths resulting in critical thinkers today either rejecting religion altogether (militant atheists) or seeking a meaning that reconciles with the scientific truths we discover (theistic scientists).

The point is that the rise of science and critical thought TODAY all happened BEFORE in Hellenistic times aka, philosophy. IOW, history repeating itself. If so, then will formal Christianity (based on superstitious and supernatural anthropomorphic divine entity) be replaced by a modern theistic conception of a universal providence in harmony with science, —just as superstitious paganism was replaced by philosophic conceptions of a single intelligent cause of the universe? One can only hope, right?

3) Philosophy suffered its own form of internal corruption when some individuals used the knowledge of rhetoric and education to mislead others, usually, connected with politics. The good philosophers condemned the bad use of philosophy for personal gain. The bad philosophers gave the good ones a bad name.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I'll name two philosophers:

1. Ayn Rand

You can read about Ayn Rand in detail here:


2. Aristotle

For Aristotle, you can rely on academic resources like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


I invite you to skim over the two websites above and post your thoughts!
I really did not learn anything from the summary of Aristotle, maybe because it was too broad a summary for my tastes. Although, I might try again to glean something from it. I did find this summary of Aristotle’s theology to be interesting in the greater context of Greek speculative theology developing over centuries for a universal divine source.

”Aristotle's theology is based upon his doctrine of "form,"which is a modification of the Platonic theory of ideas. Objects are simply formed matter, consisting of immaterial form, or idea, and formless substance, or matter. The sum of all forms-the Perfect Form-is deity. [docphin: compare with Paul’s Christ or perfect Man “summing up all things”, Ephesians 1:10].​
The Perfect Form [docphin: or archetype] realizes itself in the universe [docphin: “self-begotten”?]--as the form- element in things- but the formless, material element resists the molding activity of the Form, as the marble hinders the perfect realization of the sculptor's thought [docphin: compare with Romans 7:23]. Hence the imperfection of the actual world. [docphin: the source of evil according to philosophy!] But the highest Form by reason of its perfection exists also as Pure Form apart from the imperfect universe. It is both immanent and transcendent. Aristotle's theory, like Plato's, is dualistic.​
The Perfect Form [Paul’s Christ?] is distinct from the [present] imperfect universe [hence, a FUTURE “perfect” kingdom in a “perfected, glorified” Christ]. The theology of the two philosophers differs chiefly in the fact that Aristotle grasped more clearly than Plato the idea of the personality of deity. His Pure Form, though essentially an intellectual conception, a purely abstract entity, is at times described in terms that seem to imply self-consciousness. It is the "thought of thought,""thought thinking itself." Certainly Aristotle came nearer the modern conception of a personal God than any Greek thinker before him had done.”
(Burton, Senecas Idea of God)​
 
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