| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - re-viewing history
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


re-viewing history

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: re-viewing history
    Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 01:26
Heraclitus of Ephesus (500 BC) tells a story of blind Homer.  Homer was walking along a road, when he came across two boys at the river who had been fishing.  Homer asked the boys, "did you catch anything?"  They laughed, and gave this riddle, "what we caught, we leave behind, what we didn't catch, we take with us," and then they ran off.  Homer, not being able to solve the riddle, had a heart attack, thus dying of perplexity.
The answer to the riddle is the boys, having failed to catch fish, started picking lice off of each other.  So "what they caught, they left behind, and what they didn't catch they took with them."

We like to think that when we study history, we are _gaining_ something.  But the fact is, a lot of the time it is more like we are picking off lice, getting rid of attitudes, prejudices, "propaganda," and that while these flaws are human, (usually) all too human, they indeed can handicap our humanity.

So think about this notion of history.  Some historical stories present a certain example of clarity which we can use against all the other muddle that bogs us down.  Some historical stories present the opportunity of an exorcism, an expulsion of a poison and a purification.  I am not saying that one should not look at history as a gain of information of facts and theories.  That model has a usefulness to it as well.  But sometimes as we gain complexity, we also gain muddleheadedness, and it is clarity that we need more.  Don't confuse me with the facts!  Sometimes we need to pick off the lice, or more likely, we need someone to do it for us.  That is when you learn who your friends are, someone who will help you, (correct you), but do so in kind manner, whatever kind of manner that is required to get the job done.
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 07 May 2009
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 1943
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 12:35
So "it is clarity we need"? For me on the other hand it seems not entirely clear what precisely this thread is intended to be about. 
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 13:26
In many ways people from previous era's weren't that different from us. Okay, customs and attitudes do change, culture and society evolve both radically and gently, not always for the better. I remember reading a letter from a Tudor period gentleman moaning about the youth of his day, stating that all these youngsters wanted to do was dance, drink, and get laid. Sound familiar?

In other respects we do make vast assumptions, my favourite bugbear being the Roman Legion, which has been routinely modelled after modern army institutions even in the light of evidence to the contrary, because that is how people want to see them. Recently I reviewed a book by Fred Drogula that looks into the issue of Roman authority and how it evolved until the Empire - it makes interesting reading, because there are principles at work in Roman times that just don't apply to the modern west. On the other hand, another lady wrote a book extolling Roman Republicanism and how we should use it as a framework for new, better system of modern politics, despite the fact that she criticises in the process the one modern democratic nation state that already tried to build a new Republic on classical values. Of course in that case, the problem is that we're dealing with a different geo-demographic, different motives, new situations, and as I pointed out, the Roman Republic was a child of its time and that time has gone.

The original poster is correct however. The emphasis in ancient themes is more esoteric and often far more intuitive than the ways we resolve puzzles today. Our mindset is not quite the same as those peoples two or three thousand years ago because we live in a vastly different world.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 22:32
Recently, I listened to a book on CD called "Forgotten Patriots," about American POWs imprisoned by the British during the Revolutionary War (or whatever it is called across the lake).  One can imagine that, being an American, I probably have a lot of factoids of varying quality about the Revolutionary War, and quite a few general impressions.  But this book made me consider the role New York played in the War, as a British center, and how poorly "Americans" were mistreated, because they were considered rebels and therefore not worthy of proper treatment as was typical of European war prisoners of the same time period.

Like the example of the two boys, this book did not so much add on to my sum of opinion (catching a fish) that I have about the Revolutionary War, as it forces me to re-view what I already have, and encourages me to get rid of half baked notions (lice).  Of course, I knew that New York must have played a role in the Revolutionary War, just like I knew there must have been prisoners.  I didn't however, know about the rationale for the mistreatment, nor the precedence of the Scottish Rebellion earlier in the 18th century.  Also much of the mistreatment was just sheer neglect, which I tend to think is more common, but still quite deadly, compared to intentional extermination.  One should add onto that, the historical treatment of the subject or the lack thereof.  First, because of reconciliation efforts with tories, and secondly, Britain's cultural effect, and the desire to not rock the boat for a major ally.  The author is doing us a favor in bringing this up, so it can be recognized and put it into the perspective.


Edited by franciscosan - 18 Dec 2015 at 22:34
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2015 at 19:55
fantasus, often times it seems like we have clarity, when what we really have is vagueness.  Progress can consist in chipping away at the vagueness, instead of adding to it.  Sometimes chipping away at it can bring about a relative clarity, a place where one can re-examine a whole set of opinions.  But over time, the vagueness comes back, as hard won intellections devolve into truisms.
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2015 at 12:23
Quote ....during the Revolutionary War (or whatever it is called across the lake).....

Usually called the American War of Independence. Occaisionally we refer to it colloquially as "the Revolution" once we know which war we're talking about.

Quote Of course, I knew that New York must have played a role in the Revolutionary War, just like I knew there must have been prisoners.  I didn't however, know about the rationale for the mistreatment, nor the precedence of the Scottish Rebellion earlier in the 18th century.  Also much of the mistreatment was just sheer neglect, which I tend to think is more common, but still quite deadly, compared to intentional extermination.

At that stage of history there was no legal or moral consensus for how prisoners were treated. For the most part they were a liability and parked away where-ever confinement could be arranged, such as the string of old wooden battleships moored in the Thames Estuary for that express purpose. - and escape was not recommended given the state of the Thames water. In the next century a ship foundered in the river and the passengers and crew suffocated in the effluent.

Later in the Napoleonic Wars this situation was realised and the Royal Navy, whose job it was to guard POW's, decided that some humanity was called for. They built a purpose designed prison at Norman Cross to house the captured French with all good intentions but it was an unmitigated disaster, which repeated the very same evils already experienced. There was a search made by guards in which seven hundred secretly made knives were found. Gambling was endemic and some prisoners were left with no clothing. There was one serious riot. The French government actually complained about the prison, which was closed after the war and demolished. Those prisoners unable to walk away when the gates were opened due to illness or starvation were simply left to die.


http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2015 at 05:49
But on the continent, there were standards for those considered "gentlemen."

Yes, but if you were a "gentleman" you could be paroled on your own word, released to find lodging for oneself locally, swearing not to fight, until exchanged for enemy prisoners.  Problem was that the British tended not to recognize "rebels" as gentleman.  For enlisted men it was worse.  In New York, sugar houses, churches (as long as they weren't Anglican) and derelict ships tended to act as the prisons.
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2015 at 09:51
Unfortunately POW's were largely ruffians of lowly rank guarded by pretty much the same. COnsider that guarding POW's was, for a man of higher rank and therefore potentially a 'gentleman', was less than honourable, and indeed, compared to the kudos of campaigning, rather an embarrassing state of affairs. In fact, one British officer complained at how wealthy some of those prisoners at Norman Cross got, because they were selling carved bone items to the locals, and making a tidy profit if they didn't gamble it away.

Gentlemen or not, this was a previous era that did not see the world with the same vision of equality and humanity. The bulk of soldiers dying on a battlefield would simply be buried in a mass grave and forgotten, even those of the winning side. Punishments were severe, and deliberately so, because standing in the face of withering muslet fire took some nerve, and if the men were more afraid of the consequences of running than being shot, so much the better. In fact, before the British triumphed againstthe Napoleonic threat, soldiers were not exactly admired. They were often jeered or mocked, since army service was basically for those incapable of earning a decent living. A bit different if you were an officer of course, but then it always is.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2015 at 06:06
I kind of think that today, with the general education in most Western countries, the highs are lower, but the lows are higher.  For now, I'll just leave at that, and see whether you get what I am saying.  The idea isn't original with me, I believe Jose Ortega Y' Gasset addresses it in _Revolt of the Masses_.  If you don't get it, say so and I'll work on explaining it, as it is now though, it is short and sweet, 'the highs are lower, but the lows are higher.'
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2015 at 10:10
I can't speak for America, but in recent years the government (of either party) has consistently encouraged respect for our armed forces in Britain. Camerons outbursts on the subject are positively jingoistic.

I can't speak for history taught in our schools either since I haven't been exposed to that for many decades :D. However the comments made by people I come across clearly suggest that youngsters aren't being taught history the way I was. That's to do with political correctness and different ideas about learning, which rejects the more patriotic vision of our past I learned in the sixties in favour of empathic understanding of cultural history.

Not so long ago I was mentoring youngsters in the workplace, dole claimants fresh out of school and woefully lacking in workplace ettiquette. At one point I told them that my grandfather was a shipwright at their age and what a hard life he had entered into. They seemed unimpressed, mostly out of ignorance, and when I pointed out that in those days anyone getting out of line was soundly beaten for his trouble by colleagues, one of the youths reploed "That wouldn't teach me anything". He was of course talking rubbish. In an age when  such a beating would have you incapable of working, when absence meant no pay, and when medical care had to paid for (and wasn't cheap), the reality was that he would learn the hard way. He just had no empathy or understanding of the issues, which to me suggests modern teaching emphasis is failing. But then, when I was young, I wasn't interested in history and was ungraded at my World Affairs O Level examination. Nothing really changes then :)
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2016 at 03:26
Americans post Vietnam tend to be afraid to step on the toes of service personel, "Against the war, not against the warrior."  Of course, if you are against the war, you have made a judgment regarding how necessary (or unnecessary) such a conflict is.  That view calls into question the judgment of the warrior in a rather patronizing manner.  The warrior goes from being an enemy of the protester to a dupe, with the protester taking on the mantle of the protector of the naive grunt, used by malevolent powers.  Of course, shell shock and combat fatigue happened in past wars too, but now it is called Post traumatic stress disorder, and its 'victim' is painted as helpless.  Of course, we can't have any more wars because obviously their results are so damaging.  If everybody is a casualty of war, then we can't have wars anymore.  (On a side note, maybe this why President Obama likes to us Predator drones so much, not as much of a human cost).  Problem is, nobody has told ISIL about this cost, nor would they believe it even if they were told.  So we should ask, is war never worthwhile? or are there conditions under which one should fight? actively fight? not just keep one's head down while one is being shot at?
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2016 at 10:31
War is usually considered worthwhile if it presents an opportunity to gain or is convenient for the culture involved. It is also used by politicians (and always has been) as a sort of rite of passage to mark their careers as complete, and also to divert a population from other problems.  There's a lot of woolly thinking in the modern west that says warfare is automatically bad and looks with disdain at the martial values of the past, but this is normal for human societies. When a long period of war is over, the following generations tend to reject their their parents values because they can afford to. In actual fact, changes of opinion like this happened over the course of Roman history, which is remarkable for a society that was founded on martial values from its origins as tribal raiders. Even by the start of the Principate, recruitment was becoming difficult for the legions, with commanders seeking to keep men on long after retirement age, and Augustus was only too well aware of the issues. He once asked Tiberius to look into how many men were avoiding military service by hiding in slave barracks, and had one equestrian severely punished for having his son's thumbs cut off to make them ineligible to serv. These dodges became endemic in the late empire, and arguably, many early christians used their beliefs (sincere or not) to avoid service on the grounds that they could not kill.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jan 2016 at 02:31
"worthwhile" is not the word I would use in describing war, exercise is worthwhile, eating your vegetables is worthwhile.  War is something like a "hail Mary" in American football.  Everybody runs down the field, and the quarterback thows the ball as hard as he can.  One is lucky if someone (on the quarterback's side) catches it.  But to ask if it is worthwhile, well that kind of presupposes that one could foresee the outcome.
In political theory, the art of war is the highest level of political achievement, at least since Plato (the Protagoras).
I think that they "tend to reject their parent's values because they can afford to," is not quite correct.  Rejection of parent's values is a matter of identity, not economics.  The ironic thing (which Heraclitus would totally have understood), is that in trying to reject their parent's values, their parent's values are determining who they are, albeit in a negative way.  They also often can _not_ afford to reject their parent's values, in that they might not be able to protect what they have, if they don't have the habit for protecting it.
Of course, any time when Christians would be avoiding military service, would be quite some time later than Augustus and Tiberius, probably during the Byzantine era.  I am sure you are aware of that, but I thought it should go mentioned. 
btw Heraclitus was said to be a Christian, because he knew the Logos (Word), John I.1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God."  Plato was also said by early Christianity to be a Christian, because he knew the Logos.
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jan 2016 at 10:25
The rejection syndrome is a noted societal effect. I'm not just making it up. Look what happened in Britain after National Service was stopped and youngsters no longer had to submit to being drafted. All of a sudden we had the swinging sixties along with anti-war marches and 'ban the bomb', and so forth. If you care to look, something similar - though less well documented, happened after WW1.

Kids routinely object to accepting the normal values their parents try to instill. When society allows them the option of course. Peacetime and wealth induce a very rebellious or experimental attitude in the newer generations. You can see the same effect happening in all ages of history.

I think calling Plato a christian is pushing things a bit far. After all, christianity was a religion based around the worship of Jesus, God's very own child it was claimed, and therefore since plato lived hundreds of years earlier, he either had to be a verifiable time traveller, a talented medium, or someone is talking nonsense. What happened was that early christians adopted some of Plato's ideas - but Plato? Definitely not christian. He couldn't have been.


Edited by caldrail - 09 Jan 2016 at 10:29
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2016 at 00:10
:)  You're not quite getting it.  Some learned early Christians thought that some pagan philosophers were Christian _because_ those philosophers philosophized about and therefore knew the Word (Logos).  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word _was_ God.  Jesus was the Word and therefore, for these learned early Christians, pagan philosophers who knew the Word, knew Jesus.
Also, because some Sibylline prophecies were said to foretell of Jesus, the Sibyl was considered by some to know Jesus as well.

_I_ am not saying that Plato or Heraclitus, or the Stoics were Christians, I am saying that some of the early Christians called them Christian.  And who am I to argue with Church Fathers....<grin>

In Medieval Jewish philosophy, and also Medieval Arabic philosophy, the philosopher is akin to the prophet, except that the philosopher can only get himself to truth, he cannot lead the people as whole to truth.  Prophets don't necessarily know the future, it is more like that they know the present so well that they know what (in the future) follows from present.  But for sake of simplicity, let's say the prophet (and the philosopher) know the future, if they know the future then why couldn't they be Christians? ;)

Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2016 at 11:43
No, you're not getting it. The christians are slapping labels on stuff they like as they always have. Plato was not nor could ever have been christian at all. What happened - I'll repeat it for your consideration - was that the early christians liked some of the philosophy that Plato recorded, and adopted it. If they call Plato a christian, it's more of their typical reverse logic. It's like me saying that Hitler revived Germany in the thirties and therefore that makes me by inference a Nazi in spirit because I said something positive about the man. It just doesn't work.

Christianity is not a mindset - it's a set of beliefs, which did not exist in Plato's time. Studies have shown that the moral difference between christian and non christian today is... well... nil. Zero. Zip. Null. People are what they are regardless of their personal beliefs.


Edited by caldrail - 11 Jan 2016 at 11:44
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2016 at 01:23
A version of Plato's allegory of the cave was found in the Nag Hammadi writings (Gnostic), so corrupt that it was not initially recognized.

If one presupposes that foreseeing the future can happen, then why couldn't Plato or the Sybil or whomever else, foresee the future and become a Christian?  You might not believe that anyone can foresee the future, and yes, if you are inclined towards psychologism, you can denounce ancient Christians for wish-fulfillment.  Personally, I prefer to believe that people mean what they say.  I leave it to the pomos (postmodernists), to interpret everyone as wanting to sleep with their mother.  Yes, some of the early Christians liked Plato enough to call him a Christian, but Plato is so fundamental in so many ways that he is part of the heritage of the ancient world.  Maybe their favorability towards him is why everything Plato wrote in antiquity survived, whereas other stuff was generally neglected (and it was more from neglect that Classical sources didn't survive, rather than wanton destruction).
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2016 at 09:50
Now you're just being facetious. There's only one qualification for belonging to the christian faith in any shape way or form - that you believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. That's it. If you don't believe that, you are not a christian, by definition.  Since Jesus was not born for centuries after Plato died, he can hardly be said to have believed jesus was the son of god now could he? If we're talking history, let's keep it rational. prophecy is not a reliable means of divining the future, any more than measuring the movement of stars/planets or cutting up animals organs. Plato never experienced anything to do with christianity because the religion would not exist until after Jesus had been executed as a criminal (sorry, but he was. The idea that 'he died for our sins' is merely religious whitewash. If you believe that, well, okay, but it clearly is the most obvious attempt at making something miraculous out of mundane) and that would not happen for more than four hundred years in the future.

Fundamental? Really? Like all philosophers, he changed nothing. Changes are made by doers, not thinkers. Doers change things to suit themselves, not to suit a philosophical regime written by others, and that  my friend is true of religion as we see demonstrated in the evening news almost every night in these troubled times.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 01:54
Is is, is not, is not.  If you cannot imagine or think something, it cannot be. This conclusion lies at the beginning of logic (Parmenides).  Mandela read his and appreciated Plato, Ayatollah Khomenei read and appreciated Plato.  For both of them, Plato allowed them to see past your "reality," and imagine something else, post Shah, post apartheid.  Plato lies at the beginning of political theory (albeit for some (Popper) in a bad way as the father of totalitarianism), and therefore has an influence on (in) _everything_ afterwards, and not just politics.

How do you know that the Sibyl (or Plato or Heraclitus) didn't see into the future and see Jesus?  If you believe in prophecy, then you might entertain the thought that a prophet could see into the future, and foretell the arrival and acts of Jesus.  If you believe in prophecy (and Jesus is considered to be the answer to many Old Testament/Hebrew Bible prophecies), then would it be so much of a leap that some prophetic individual could foresee Jesus?  And I do mean Jesus, not the "Christ" or whatever else, because nascent Christianity existed before its standardization in the New Testament.  As Lessing says, there is the religion of Christ and there is the Christian religion.  Someone, _if_ prophecy exists, would probably know the first, not the second.  We get the second, and only very imperfectly get a picture of the first.
But I know, you don't believe in prophecy, probably because you cannot imagine how it would work.  In Judaism, prophecy ends with Malachi, in Islam it ends with Mohammed, but that is more of a closing of the door so no one else can have it.  The Ba'hais recognize the Babi and the Bahaullah as prophets, and for doing so they get kicked around in Iran.  I am not saying that I believe in prophecy, then again, I don't disbelieve in it, prophecy ended in antiquity with the eclipse of pagan culture by Christianity.  It is not really a live issue in the modern world (although between Judaism and Islam, it was a live issue in the Middle Ages).  It is hard to say it existed in antiquity, because it is hard to define what it would really be, but if we don't really understand what it is/was, then how can we say it _didn't_ exist?  I prefer to say that the ancients had _something_ in mind when they talked about prophecy, but we can only imperfectly understand it.
One area of prophecy in antiquity was of the form of the King's prophets saying he was going to win a battle, in other words, as propaganda before the fact.  As the Borg say, "Resistance is futile."
Back to Top
toyomotor View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Feb 2014
Location: Tasmania, AUST.
Status: Offline
Points: 4924
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 05:01
Franciscoan:

I don't know where you get your information from, but it's clearly not a rational source. How you you insist that Plato foresaw the birth of Jesus? Especially if you don't believe in prophets, or possibly you do, you can't make up your own mind.

Plato wasn't a Christian, there were no Christians in his time. You need to read some authoratative books on the subject.



It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 01:51
IF you read some of the Church Fathers such as Christian Neo-Platonists, you would find that some recognized Plato and Heraclitus as Christians, BECAUSE they knew the Logos (or Word), and Jesus _was_ the Word.  Logos is a very important philosophical term, especially in Heraclitus and Plato.  Therefore, because they knew the [mystic] Word, they "knew" Jesus, and thus were counted as Christians by pro-Hellene early Christians who wanted to include Plato in their inspirational sources.  These pro-Hellene early Christians are arguing with anti-Hellene early Christians in the early debate of "what hath Jerusalem to do with Athens?"  The pro-Hellene Christians want to preserve the Greek heritage that feeds into the Judeo-Christian tradition.  The anti-Hellene Christians want to get rid of all this pagan material, not just the Greek, but also the Roman.  So if some early Christian wants to use some rhetorical argument for the continuation and preservation of Greek culture, I don't have a problem with that.  And, hey, maybe they knew something I don't.

I don't feel any need to prove or disprove whether some early Church Fathers looked upon Plato and Heraclitus (and probably a few others, like the Stoics) as Christians.  It is more like an interesting cultural fact (that some believed x).  I don't even feel a need to say that they are wrong, particularly since I don't know what they are talking about.  (but neither do I know what physicists are talking about when they talk about spooky action.)  If it bothers you, I suggest you look it up and get their arguments, from the horse's mouth.  I have tried to find where I read it, but I have read a lot of stuff on ancient Greek philosophy, and this was only a side comment.  If I find it in my books, I'll let you know.

I cannot imagine what it would mean for Plato or Heraclitus to be Christians, but both look at the Logos, both have monotheistic tendencies, and both are critical of the traditional religion.  People a lot of times, see what they want to see, not just then but now as well.  I am not sure it is necessarily always a bad thing.
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 14:16
As I explained, christianity has a rather interesting attitude toward cultural aspects and attempts to 'own' things it really has no case for doing so. Plato is one of them. He was not a christian. he could not have been. It's just another example of christian labelling that we can dismiss with little issue.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2016 at 00:49
and I suppose you love telling three year olds that Santa Claus doesn't exist.  Or that mistletoe or the Christmas tree, or for that matter, the Old Testament is not Christian.  _Maybe_ the statement by early Church Fathers that Plato was a Christian is a Platonic noble lie.  Think about that.  In any case, I would accept the word of a Church Father over a modern agnostic about what is and what is not in the early days of Christianity, "Christian."  Just as I would accept what ancient Platonists think of Plato more than I would most modern "academic" philosophers.  If you want to understand the Church Fathers, I would suggest trying to understand things from _their_ perspective.  And if you find something that you think s not true, well understand that that is your hang up, not theirs.  Or, of course, you can say that we know better than they do, because we have slushies, television and deoderant.  
Plato was one of the cultural influences that went into Christianity, if you want to say he was never baptized or met Jesus, well fine.  But if you want to say he has no part in Christianity and its rise, well he is part of its DNA, as much as the Judaic tradition is.  I have no part in what my great-great-grandfather did, but none-the-less I "own" him as ancestor.  I don't see how what early Christianity is doing is much different.  It is a gesture of respect, more than it is of possession.
Back to Top
toyomotor View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 15 Feb 2014
Location: Tasmania, AUST.
Status: Offline
Points: 4924
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2016 at 00:54
Franciscoan:

When you say, " In any case, I would accept the word of a Church Father over a modern agnostic about what is and what is not in the early days of Christianity", I'd be a little careful if I were you.

The servants of Holy Mother Church haven't exactly been known for truthfulness over the centuries. Take for example the cover-ups of paedophilia within the ranks of priests over the years.




Edited by toyomotor - 17 Jan 2016 at 00:55
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
Back to Top
ALLAN View Drop Down
Housecarl
Housecarl
Avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 36
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ALLAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2016 at 01:09
I'm pretty sure a Christian is a follower of Christ. So those dead long before the birth of Christ could hardly qualify. Come to think of it neither could Christ either.Shocked
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 01:18
Yeah, but here you go, thinking that time is linear.  Whereas if we can time travel (not necessarily physically, but mentally) in our dreams, or if it is a matter of eternal recurrence of the same, than maybe things aren't so linear, and there is a loophole for prophecy, or tardises or whatever.

A little bird told me that the church father I was looking for, who thought Heraclitus and Socrates were Christians (but not Plato), was Justin Martyr.

As far as follower of Christ is concerned, I like Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's definition of a Christian as someone who acts in a Christlike manner, for Lessing that includes Jews or Muslims, and you know, it doesn't necessarily exclude those who don't know Jesus.  Of course, such an appellation should only be applied if it benefits them.  Like why should we care about whether someone from Syria is a Muslim, if they are a decent individual, let's call them an honorary Christian, if it helps them settle over here, after all Muslims believe in Jesus, albeit with a few twists that mainstream Christianity doesn't recognize.
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 15:41
Quote Plato was one of the cultural influences that went into Christianity, if you want to say he was never baptized or met Jesus, well fine.  But if you want to say he has no part in Christianity and its rise, well he is part of its DNA, as much as the Judaic tradition is.  I have no part in what my great-great-grandfather did, but none-the-less I "own" him as ancestor.  I don't see how what early Christianity is doing is much different.  It is a gesture of respect, more than it is of possession.

Plato's influence on christianity has been rather minor. Most christians know something about the teachings of their faith, which derive from the Roman re-working of the post-Jesus sects that employed Judaean worship allied to personality cult (itself a strong Roman theme), but know absolutely nothing about Plato's philosophy. After all, christianity has never been keen on learning and education - it has a tendency to reduce the credibility of many christian beliefs.

The other day I caught a television sermon while waiting for a program I wanted to watch. The preacher, an american, was delivering a message that we could all be supermen if we worship christ. This was all a optimising fantasy based on some seriously dodgy reinterpretation of three quotes from the Bible used out of context and in conjunction with each other. Nothing like Plato's philosophy at all. So it seems christian teaching is always what it was - a convenience to connect worshippers with social and financial obligations.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 18:23
Actually, superman sounds like Nietzsche, who was a philologist (classicist), which eventually works its way down to a Jewish comic book artist, who comes up with "Superman!"  Whether or not the television preacher knows about the German philologist, or the Jewish artist, I don't know.  btw, Jews were big in new art forms in the 20th c, movies, comic books, composing "White Christmas" for the gentiles, because they were often excluded from the trades and professions by the Anglo-Saxon Middle Class.  So we have an all American hero, written by a Jewish artist, inspired either directly by a German of questionable anti-religious and semitic opinions or maybe through an intermediary of George Bernard Shaw's Superman (I don't know how the dates line up).

But that gets back to my original post, if you look at Plato's overt influence on Christianity, you are only looking at the tip of the iceberg.  Christian Platonism, however, was something that in the early days, made Christianity legit, because it showed that the Christians could take on the philosophers and play their own game well.  Philo (who was Jewish, but very influential on the Christians), Origin, Clement of Alexandria, St. Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, and I am sure a whole slew of others were Christian Platonists.  The number one writer of ancient Latin is Augustine, we have more from him than from Cicero or anyone else, and so just with him there is a huge influence on Christianity of which, granted, people are not aware.  But that is the thing about a successful philosophy, if it is really working well, people have internalized it, and are not even aware of it.
You suppose that Augustine's City of God has something to do with Plato's Republic, how about Thomas More's Utopia, or for that matter, Karl Marx's utopia?  
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1071
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2016 at 11:09
Early christianity was not the religion we have now. In any case, once the various sects came into the Roman sphere it fell to Roman practises. One fourth century writer said that "make me a bishop of Rome today, and I'll become a christian tommorrow". By that he meant that bishops were getting somewhat wealthy on the backs of their congregations. Nothing new there then. But philosophy? organised religions do not generally encourage free thinking - it's bad for business. You simply will not get any mention of Plato or his work in any Sunday sermon anywhere in the world - I can virtually guarantee it.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Offline
Points: 3244
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2016 at 00:38
How about that early Christian who said, "lions? what lions?  argggh! [chomp, chomp, chomp]."

I think that a lot of the ministers, or priests, or theology students have studied some Plato, or other philosophers.  I have brought up Maimonides and Lessing in my church school class (I am a member, not the leader), I don't remember if I have ever brought up Plato or Aristotle.  There is no reason I wouldn't except that an appropriate time has not come up, or maybe it has, and I have just forgotten.  Kierkegaard is another good one.  Very good writer, I had a friend who was an atheist, who really liked Kierkegaard's style.  I think the standard translation is the Hong translation.
There is a saying that there is nothing more atheistic than a religious studies student.  Of course, that is not all of them, but I would humbly suggest that religious studies students whether religious or not, are often the kind of free thinkers that _you_ would least expect in religious circles.  But yes, most Christians don't study philosophy, neither do most people period.  But if you do an archaeology of their beliefs, you will probably find, somewhere deep below the surface, philosophical ideas that are only half digested, and if they are vaguely aware of them, even more vaguely understood.  These are the lice that I mentioned earlier, and remember what Socrates' judgment was, "the unexamined life is not worth living."  Our beliefs are like the Gordion knot, which if someone could untie it, they would become king.  Alexander of Macedon cheated and cut the knot.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.