Author Topic: Socrates-- A Willingness to Question  (Read 1743 times)

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Offline LonestarDream

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Socrates-- A Willingness to Question
« on: June 06, 2016, 10:45:53 AM »
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 11:04:59 AM by LonestarDream »
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Offline LonestarDream

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Re: Socrates and a Willingness to Question
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 11:04:30 AM »
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had a practical mess on their hands due to the Sophists.

The Sophists had succumbed to moral relativism leaving Greek society in a shambles. 

http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,210473.0.html

Given modern America's open hostility to having God in the public square, the question arises-- Who were the Gods of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle as they discovered the concept of Absolute Truth?

Turns out that the God of Homer and the Greek State, Zeus, was too petty, vindictive and captious for Socrates.

Socrates sought a more perfect form of God.  He ultimately paid for this quest with his life as The State prosecuted him 'for subverting the minds of the youth'.

Sound familiar?  Read on....

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Offline don-o

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Re: Socrates and a Willingness to Question
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 04:57:18 PM »


Sound familiar?  Read on....

All of this Greek philosopher material sounds (vaguely) familiar. Bits and pieces. These distillations are very helpful to get at least a tenuous grasp and then go looking for more

« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 04:58:00 PM by don-o »

Offline LonestarDream

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Re: Socrates and a Willingness to Question
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 05:28:37 PM »
All of this Greek philosopher material sounds (vaguely) familiar. Bits and pieces. These distillations are very helpful to get at least a tenuous grasp and then go looking for more

I really like these articles.  They are rigorous enough for our purposes, yet topical for the issues of the day that the Greek were facing.

Hopefully, this crew can build working foundation without spending several semesters in University.

- LD

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Offline betty boop

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Re: Socrates-- A Willingness to Question
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 06:46:10 PM »

...Socrates is described as hearing an inner voice that he believed was God's. This was not the god of Anaxagoras. Socrates, according to Plato, faulted Anaxagoras' nous (ultimate mind and soul, or God) as dead mechanics rather than a power with knowledge and design.

Believing in a goodness created by God (rather than created biologically as empathy), Socrates believed that people needed merely to match that goodness. He believed that knowledge and obedience to truth improved one's soul and diminished the ungodliness of wrongdoing, confusion and ugliness. To help people gain knowledge and improve their soul he tried to expose their ignorance and mistaken reasoning, and he often started with the question whether they understood what they were talking about....

http://www.fsmitha.com/h1/ch10.htm

I think Socrates did not conflate his "inner voice" with God. For Plato -- Socrates' long-time student, companion and sometime alter ego -- God was unimaginably the God utterly BEYOND the Cosmos and beyond all categories of human reasoning and understanding. But this God of the Beyond is the Source of Being, of cosmic law, and of human rationality. Socrates refers to his "inner voice" as a daemon, a sensed presence which he says (in Apology) did not ever tell him what to do, but which warned him away from bad choices. Daemon sort of brings to mind an analogue, what Christians call a guardian angel....

It is interesting that Socrates "regarded Anaxagoras' nous (ultimate mind and soul, or God) as dead mechanics rather than a power with knowledge and design." Indeed, Anaxagoras' nous could stand as the "divine" concept latent in Buddhism. Not to mention quantum mechanics. Socrates/Plato's God of the Beyond almost seems like a harbinger of the God of Abraham and Moses. It is the Agathon, perfect truth, beauty, love, law, will. Though utterly "beyond" and seemingly impersonal, Socrates/Plato seems to have had some very strong intimations of its mind and being. The art of philosophy, they concluded, was the art of a man ordering his own soul into a state that can be receptive to the divine appeal.

And this begins with self-knowledge. Indeed, Socrates demanded of his his pupils, "Know Thyself!!!" This is the beginning of all real knowledge and, ultimately, of wisdom.

Man is to understand himself as a member of a great hierarchy of being. It is a seven-level hierarchy, described by Eric Voegelin as follows:

Divine Nous -- Epikeina (note "Nous" is often interpreted as reason, or intelligence)
Psyche -- Nous  (human reason)
Psyche -- Passions, Feelings
Animal Nature
Vegetative Nature
Inorganic Nature
Apeiron -- Depth

Both Divine Nous and Apeiron refer to the God Beyond. God is at the "top" and the "bottom" of the hierarchy. Both are incomprehensible to man; though I must say, to my mind, there's a resemblance between Apeiron and quantum field theory....

Anyhoot Divine Nous draws the cosmos and all things in it from the "materials" of the formless, unfathomable Apeirontic Depth, not directly, but though an "agent" called the Demiurge.... The Demiurge brings the formless into the "best" form, modeled after the divine itself -- by persuasion, not by fiat.

Man is existentially located in-between the two divine hierarchical levels. And he recapitulates within himself all the hierarchical levels of being. He is "connected" to the divine levels by his soul; in between, in his mortal existence, he is the very image of the Cosmos. Maybe something like a hologram. The strange thing about a hologram is that every "piece" of it contains the full description/complete information of the "whole" of which it is a projection.

Plato suggests that we know a great deal already, when we come to "know ourselves."

It's important to note that neither Plato nor the Judeo-Christian tradition regards morality as "created biologically as empathy" as through some Darwinian evolutionary process. Rather, both traditions regard morality as a GIVEN, and human nature also as a GIVEN. That is, things that are rooted, more-or-less fixed in the natural order, in the given nature of things. Such things do not change with changing conditions over time.

Lots of fun stuff to think about, with Plato!

Offline LonestarDream

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Re: Socrates-- A Willingness to Question
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 07:07:31 PM »
Very good insight.  If you have other insights to post, please do.  We are working a foundational set of principles our founders or one could use build a 'great' constitution.

Any other knowledge or threads describing Greek philosophers is welcome.


It's important to note that neither Plato nor the Judeo-Christian tradition regards morality as "created biologically as empathy" as through some Darwinian evolutionary process. Rather, both traditions regard morality as a GIVEN, and human nature also as a GIVEN. That is, things that are rooted, more-or-less fixed in the natural order, in the given nature of things. Such things do not change with changing conditions over time.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 07:08:10 PM by LonestarDream »
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