View Full Version : Ancient Greeks: Monotheistic?


one_raven
05-11-08, 12:48 AM
I was reading The Republic by Plato and came across something I found very interesting.

In Book II he seems to be implying that the Ancient Greeks were actually monotheistic and all the different Gods that they created were commonly known to be Fables used to illustrate different aspects of their one God.

Throughout all of the Socrates – ADEIMANTUS dialogue, he continually refers to God in the singular and speaks of him as the all-powerful creator God above all. Not Zeus or any other of the Greek Pantheon by name, but “God”.

Take a look at this from the Socrates – ADEIMANTUS dialogue:
” Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.
Of course, he replied.”

In the Socrates – ADEIMANTUS dialogue, they are discussing the censorship of “fiction” and we find this:
“A fault which is most serious, I said; the fault of telling a lie, and, what is more, a bad lie.

But when is this fault committed?
Whenever an erroneous representation is made of the nature of gods and heroes, --as when a painter paints a portrait not having the shadow of a likeness to the original.

Yes, he said, that sort of thing is certainly very blamable; but what are the stories which you mean?

First of all, I said, there was that greatest of all lies, in high places, which the poet told about Uranus, and which was a bad lie too, --I mean what Hesiod says that Uranus did, and how Cronus retaliated on him. The doings of Cronus, and the sufferings which in turn his son inflicted upon him, even if they were true, ought certainly not to be lightly told to young and thoughtless persons; if possible, they had better be buried in silence. But if there is an absolute necessity for their mention, a chosen few might hear them in a mystery, and they should sacrifice not a common [Eleusinian] pig, but some huge and unprocurable victim; and then the number of the hearers will be very few indeed.

Why, yes, said he, those stories are extremely objectionable.

Yes, Adeimantus, they are stories not to be repeated in our State; the young man should not be told that in committing the worst of crimes he is far from doing anything outrageous; and that even if he chastises his father when does wrong, in whatever manner, he will only be following the example of the first and greatest among the gods.

I entirely agree with you, he said; in my opinion those stories are quite unfit to be repeated.

Neither, if we mean our future guardians to regard the habit of quarrelling among themselves as of all things the basest, should any word be said to them of the wars in heaven, and of the plots and fightings of the gods against one another, for they are not true. No, we shall never mention the battles of the giants, or let them be embroidered on garments; and we shall be silent about the innumerable other quarrels of gods
and heroes with their friends and relatives. If they would only believe us we would tell them that quarrelling is unholy, and that never up to this time has there been any, quarrel between citizens; this is what old men and old women should begin by telling children; and when they grow up, the poets also should be told to compose for them in a similar spirit. But the narrative of Hephaestus binding Here his mother, or how on another occasion Zeus sent him flying for taking her part when she was being beaten, and all the battles of the gods in Homer --these tales must not be admitted into our State, whether
they are supposed to have an allegorical meaning or not. For a young person cannot judge what is allegorical and what is literal; anything that he receives into his mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts.

There you are right, he replied; but if any one asks where are such models to be found and of what tales are you speaking --how shall we answer him?

I said to him, You and I, Adeimantus, at this moment are not poets, but founders of a State: now the founders of a State ought to know the general forms in which poets should cast their tales, and the limits which must be observed by them, but to make the tales is not their business.

Very true, he said; but what are these forms of theology which you mean?

Something of this kind, I replied: --God is always to be represented as he truly is, whatever be the sort of poetry, epic, lyric or tragic, in which the representation is given.”

I know that much of Platonic dialogue is facetious in nature to point out obvious flaws in opposing arguments, but he seems to be acknowledging the wholly allegorical nature of the stories of the Gods, created by the poets, as aspects of a single God.

And he seems to be implying that everyone knows this.

Have you read The Republic – at least all of Book II?
What do you make of it?

Fraggle Rocker
05-11-08, 10:01 AM
Gods are metaphors for the individual elements of the human spirit. Psychology, art, literature and religion all lead to the same paradigm comprised of 23 of them, which is presumably an "archetype" or instinctive analysis of the way our thoughts and feelings sort themselves out. For the more scholarly and philosophical Greeks to imply that all gods are components of a single god is simply a tacit acknowledgment that they are fictional representations of our spirits, and that all of our spirits are components of a single person.

one_raven
05-12-08, 08:06 AM
Fraggle,

Where does 23 come from?
Did Joseph Campbell define 23 archetypes.

S.A.M.
05-12-08, 08:22 AM
I remember reading somewhere that Plato was influenced by Orphic beliefs, or Orphism. The literature is ascribed to Orpheus (who descended to Hades and returned) but I think it is connected to an ancient Egyptian religion and involves sun worship and an immortal soul with rewards and punishments.

Perhaps that is what he is referring to in the Republic?

edit: some more info from the ubiquitous wikipedia


In addition to serving as a storehouse of mythological data along the lines of Hesiod's Theogony, Orphic poetry was recited in mystery-rites and purification rituals. Plato in particular tells of a class of vagrant beggar-priests who would go about offering purifications to the rich, a clatter of books by Orpheus and Musaeus in tow (Republic 364c-d). Those who were especially devoted to these ritual and poems often practiced vegetarianism, abstention from sex, and refrained from eating eggs and beans — which came to be known as the Orphikos bios, or "Orphic way of life"

According to one of the myths about his life after the death of Eurydice


In yet another version of the myth, Orpheus travels to Egypt where he learns about these mystic rites of Bacchus (which are related to the Egyptian rites of Osiris), and introduces the cult to Thrace. Or he brings the rites back from the land of Lydia in the east (now part of Turkey) or beyond.

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Mystery-Of-Orpheus&id=1093295

I'll look for more later

Pandaemoni
05-12-08, 11:20 PM
I seem to recall they killed Socrates, in part, for denying the city gods. So, even if Socrates was a monotheist (and assuming he was a pre-Plationist then it's possible he believed that there could only be one perfect god (and imperfect reflections), it would seem to be a stretch to call all the ancient Greeks monotheists. At least the majority of the ones who condemned him were not.

draqon
05-13-08, 12:14 PM
Ancient Greeks believed in so many things ... they had so many mythologies, with many Gods, some philosophers though believed in one God...some were atheists...

Arkantos
05-15-08, 11:23 PM
Check out Xenophanes. He proclaimed that God was one and was against the anthropomorphizing going on at the time. Before Plato he wanted to do away with all the nastiness being attributed to the gods. He also noted that men must not be satisfied with the revealed knowledge, but they must continue searching because God did not reveal all in the beginning.

Here are some quotes:

God is one, greatest among gods and men, not at all like mortals in body or thought.

No man has seen nor will anyone know the truth about the gods and all things I speak of.

By no means did the gods reveal all things to mortals from the beginning, but in time, by searching, they discover better.

Give us no fights with Titans, no, nor Giants nor Centaurs-the forgeries of our fathers-nor civil brawls, in which no advantage is. But always to be mindful of the gods is good.

Homer and Hesiod have ascribed to the gods all deeds which among men are a reproach and a disgrace: thieving, adultery, and deceiving one another.

Mortals believe that the gods are born and have human clothing, voice, and form.

Ethiopians say that their gods are flat-nosed and dark, Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired.

one_raven
05-26-08, 06:30 PM
I seem to recall they killed Socrates, in part, for denying the city gods.

I wasn't aware of that.
It makes perfect sense now.

Thank you.

one_raven
05-26-08, 06:32 PM
Check out Xenophanes.

Quite a few people have told me that.
I will.


Some good stuff...

Thanks, Sam.

Carcano
05-26-08, 09:42 PM
I seem to recall they killed Socrates, in part, for denying the city gods. So, even if Socrates was a monotheist (and assuming he was a pre-Plationist then it's possible he believed that there could only be one perfect god (and imperfect reflections), it would seem to be a stretch to call all the ancient Greeks monotheists. At least the majority of the ones who condemned him were not.Not just Socrates, but many of the pre-socratic philosophers also envisioned the divine or absolute as something abstract...certainly nothing with a physical form one could sculpt in marble.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Socratic_philosophy

Carcano
05-26-08, 09:46 PM
'Is this not godlike...that there be gods, but no God?"
-Nietzsche.

Prince_James
05-27-08, 08:42 AM
One has to recall that Platonic philosophy is not religion, but philosophy. Accordingly, Plato introduced various topics into religion which were not in accords with polytheism. He reasoned (as would Aristotle a generation later) that it is wiser to speak of One God on the top of all else. This God (the Demiurge) is the creator.

one_raven
05-27-08, 08:44 AM
Welcome back.

Prince_James
05-27-08, 10:01 AM
Thank you, One Raven.

It's a pleasure to see you again.

But for a more in depth consideration of the Platonic notion of God, I would depart from the Republic (which really addresses The Good above all else - which is itself higher than the Demiurge) and reference The Timaeus.

The Timaeus is the essence of Platonic theology. Also see The Sophist.

But let us also remark that Plato was not a non-polytheist. He routinely speaks of the Gods, amongst them Ascelpius (God of healing) and Eros (God - although Plato calls him a daemon - of love). They just did not figure into his philosophy as the Ultimate Creator.

S.A.M.
05-27-08, 12:53 PM
One has to recall that Platonic philosophy is not religion, but philosophy. Accordingly, Plato introduced various topics into religion which were not in accords with polytheism. He reasoned (as would Aristotle a generation later) that it is wiser to speak of One God on the top of all else. This God (the Demiurge) is the creator.

Such a pleasure to have you back. :)

Indian religions are also all philosophy. There was very little distinction between the two at the time.

Prince_James
05-27-08, 06:51 PM
S.A.M.:


Such a pleasure to have you back.

Thank you, my dear adversary. Though we stand apart, we stand closer together because of it. You have been well missed. How goes things?


Indian religions are also all philosophy. There was very little distinction between the two at the time.

The appreciation of philosophy in Indian religion is one of the most positive aspects of all the "dharmic" religions and the Indian influences on Islam. Of course, it is also notable that because of it being accepted, we find no philosophy which is outside of religion, either. This leads to that gulf between Western and Eastern. The West has always hated philosophy to some extent when it came to religion, whereas the East has always loved it. This hatred and love certainly spice each uniquely.

The closest we get to the sort of philosophy-mixed-with-religion like we have in the East, is curiously enough, the Platonic offshoots. Neo-Platonism almost philosophized paganism. If Justin the Apostate was succesful in giving a rebirth to paganism, it is likely that we'd place the Enneads on par with the Upanishads.

Carcano
05-27-08, 07:38 PM
But let us also remark that Plato was not a non-polytheist. He routinely speaks of the Gods, amongst them Ascelpius (God of healing)
He apparently uttered something rather cryptic on his deathbed...his last words:

'Crito...we ought to offer a cock to Ascelpius. See to it, and dont forget."

Carcano
05-27-08, 07:45 PM
The appreciation of philosophy in Indian religion is one of the most positive aspects of all the "dharmic" religions and the Indian influences on Islam. Of course, it is also notable that because of it being accepted, we find no philosophy which is outside of religion, either. This leads to that gulf between Western and Eastern. The West has always hated philosophy to some extent when it came to religion, whereas the East has always loved it.
Religion, Philosophy and Mysticism have always had distinct characteristics in every culture.

Religions are the affairs of the common people, who worship idols for earthly favours from on high...and a place in heaven when they die.

Philosophy is entirely about mental conceptions of the metaphysical.

Mysticism, the rarest of them all, seeks to attain not just conceptions but real perception of the divine...as if one were standing face to face.

Prince_James
05-27-08, 07:58 PM
Carcano:


He apparently uttered something rather cryptic on his deathbed...his last words:

'Crito...we ought to offer a cock to Ascelpius. See to it, and dont forget."

Yep. That was the last words of Socrates. Very touching.


Religions are the affairs of the common people, who worship idols for earthly favours from on high...and a place in heaven when they die.

Philosophy is entirely about mental conceptions of the metaphysical.

Mysticism, the rarest of them all, seeks to attain not just conceptions but real perception of the divine...as if one were standing face to face.

You are basically correct in your assessment.

Carcano
05-27-08, 08:47 PM
Carcano:
Yep. That was the last words of Socrates. Very touching.
What do you think it means?

A sacrifice is usually offered in thanksgiving...or as penance for some transgression.

Prince_James
05-27-08, 08:49 PM
Carcano:


What do you think it means?

A sacrifice is usually offered in thanksgiving...or as penance for some transgression.

ACcording to my interpretation, and I do believe the standard one, Socrates was offering a cock in thanksgiving to the God of healing for healing him of material life.

To Socrates, physical life was in some sense a sickness of the soul. Because physical life impaired the soul's perceptual and rational principles, death was a release back to a state of freedom and power.

Roman
05-28-08, 12:17 AM
I remember reading somewhere that Plato was influenced by Orphic beliefs, or Orphism. The literature is ascribed to Orpheus (who descended to Hades and returned) but I think it is connected to an ancient Egyptian religion and involves sun worship and an immortal soul with rewards and punishments.

Perhaps that is what he is referring to in the Republic?

edit: some more info from the ubiquitous wikipedia



According to one of the myths about his life after the death of Eurydice


http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Mystery-Of-Orpheus&id=1093295

I'll look for more later

I thought it came from the Egyptian Osiris cult.

Prince_James
05-28-08, 01:36 AM
Platonic philosophy doesn't share much in the way of Orphic themes. It is not strongly religious and the myths are unique to Plato. Furthermore, no Egyptian cult is likely, owing to the fact that this is not the Roman period, where Egyptian cults become more popular.

Gustav
05-28-08, 09:42 AM
Furthermore, no Egyptian cult is likely, owing to the fact that this is not the Roman period, where Egyptian cults become more popular.


by the dog of egypt! that appears to be a brazen strawman. how on earth would that follow?

Prince_James
05-28-08, 09:58 AM
Gustav:


by the dog of egypt! that appears to be a brazen strawman. how on earth would that follow?

The likelyhood that an Egyptian cult unknown to the Athenians should influence Platonic doctrine is exceedingly slim. The Roman period was when the syncretic elements of Egyptian religion mixed in with the Greco-Roman and influenced culture, philosophy, et cetera.

Orphic beliefs do go back to the Platonic period.

Gustav
05-28-08, 12:13 PM
again a strawman. why do athenians enter the equation? was'nt plato one of the many greek expats living in egypt for a decade or so? heliopolis to be exact? would that not be a prominent point of influence if any?

Prince_James
05-28-08, 06:44 PM
Gustav:


again a strawman. why do athenians enter the equation? was'nt plato one of the many greek expats living in egypt for a decade or so? heliopolis to be exact? would that not be a prominent point of influence if any?

Plato himself never recounts having stayed in Egypt, nor mentions Egypt in more than passing once or twice in his entire corpus. Stabo, living 500 years later, makes mention of him briefly going to Heliopolis, but there is nothing to suggest this is more of an extrapolation of later ages. After all, Plato was later held to hold the same views as Moses - an absurd belief if ever there was one.

Furthermore, I do not think you understand the meaning of the term "strawman". The term means "an argument directed at an easier to refute variation of one's opponent's belief". I have not taken anyone's argument and made an easier version to refute.

The Moses comment, by the way, goes like this from Justin Martyr:

And that you may learn that it was from our teachers--we mean the account given through the prophets--that Plato borrowed his statement that God, having altered matter which was shapeless, made the world, hear the very words spoken through Moses, who, as above shown, was the first prophet, and of greater antiquity than the Greek writers; and through whom the Spirit of prophecy, signifying how and from what materials God at first formed the world, spake thus:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was invisible and unfurnished, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and it was so."

So that both Plato and they who agree with him, and we ourselves, have learned, and you also can be convinced, that by the word of God the whole world was made out of the substance spoken of before by Moses. And that which the poets call Erebus, we know was spoken of formerly by Moses.

Gustav
05-29-08, 12:22 PM
Platonic philosophy doesn't share much in the way of Orphic themes. It is not strongly religious and the myths are unique to Plato.

Gustav:

Plato himself never recounts having stayed in Egypt, nor mentions Egypt in more than passing once or twice in his entire corpus. Stabo, living 500 years later, makes mention of him briefly going to Heliopolis, but there is nothing to suggest this is more of an extrapolation of later ages.


that, imo, are more appropriate and fitting responses to refute the alleged egyptian influence on plato's body of work

this....

Furthermore, no Egyptian cult is likely, owing to the fact that this is not the Roman period, where Egyptian cults become more popular.


... is a presumption of the premises in the first two quotes ...


Gustav:

The likelyhood that an Egyptian cult unknown to the Athenians should influence Platonic doctrine is exceedingly slim. The Roman period was when the syncretic elements of Egyptian religion mixed in with the Greco-Roman and influenced culture, philosophy, et cetera.


as is that.
you offer up an argument by way of the alleged egyptian influenced roman period which does absolutely nothing to address the point of contention which originally, was quite specific, (orphic influence) but subsequently broadened in scope (egyptian influence) during athenian period

alleged events in plato's time cannot possibly occur because the instances were only present during the roman period

------------------------------------------------



Furthermore, I do not think you understand the meaning of the term "strawman".


A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.(wiki)

it seems to work. i agree tho my usage is a misapplication. the red herring fallacy is a better fit

perhaps you wonder what all this nitpicking is about
well lemme tell ya bout mah thesis

greeks are nappy heads

Prince_James
05-29-08, 06:54 PM
Gustav:


you offer up an argument by way of the alleged egyptian influenced roman period which does absolutely nothing to address the point of contention which originally, was quite specific, (orphic influence) but subsequently broadened in scope (egyptian influence) during athenian period

alleged events in plato's time cannot possibly occur because the instances were only present during the roman period

Nothing about this argument fits the category of "strawman". I may be wrong (though I am not) but it is not a strawman.

Here's the inductive argument:

1. Roman influences on Greco-Romantic philosophy, culture, and religion were minimal until the late Hellenistic/Roman period.

2. Plato lived in c. 500, BC, in the Hellenic period.

3. Therefore, it is unlikely that Egyptian influences are to be found in the Platonic corpus.


greeks are nappy heads

Let's hear the argument for this extreme contention. Specifically bearing in mind, that Egyptians were not themselves "nappy heads".

Carcano
05-29-08, 06:59 PM
3. Therefore, it is unlikely that Egyptian influences are to be found in the Platonic corpus.
I believe there was some Egyptian influence on Greek learning from the get go:

http://www.arcytech.org/java/pythagoras/history.html

"Thales had visited Egypt and recommended that Pythagoras go to Egypt. Pythagoras arrived in Egypt around 547 BC when he was 23 years old. He stayed in Egypt for 21 years learning a variety of things including geometry from Egyptian priests . It was probably in Egypt where he learned the theorem that is now called by his name.

By the time he was about 55 years old he returned to his native land and started a school on the island of Samos. However, because of the lack of students he decided to move to Croton in the south of Italy."

OilIsMastery
05-29-08, 07:02 PM
Yes there were Greek monotheists.

Aristotle is credited with being the Greek monotheist.

See Book VIII of Physics (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/physics.html) and also Metaphysics (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.html).

The First Cause (http://www.existence-of-god.com/first-cause-argument.html), The Uncaused Cause, The First Mover, The Prime Mover, The Unmoved Mover, Being Thinking Itself, etc.

Carcano
05-29-08, 07:11 PM
Aristotle is credited with being the Greek monotheist.

url=http://www.existence-of-god.com/first-cause-argument.html]The First Cause[/url], The Prime Mover, The Unmoved Mover, Being Thinking Itself, etc.
But notice how abstract it all is...light years from Hebrew conceptions of an anthropomorphic deity.

OilIsMastery
05-29-08, 07:15 PM
But notice how abstract it all is...light years from Hebrew conceptions of an anthropomorphic deity.
It's definitely not anthropomorphic (except insofar as Being can think itself) but I don't think all Jews would argue that God is either.

Carcano
05-29-08, 07:24 PM
I don't think all Jews would argue that God is either.
Yahweh creates man in his image...and goes for a walk in the Garden of Eden.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 07:28 PM
Carcano:


I believe there was some Egyptian influence on Greek learning from the get go:

http://www.arcytech.org/java/pythagoras/history.html

"Thales had visited Egypt and recommended that Pythagoras go to Egypt. Pythagoras arrived in Egypt around 547 BC when he was 23 years old. He stayed in Egypt for 21 years learning a variety of things including geometry from Egyptian priests . It was probably in Egypt where he learned the theorem that is now called by his name.

By the time he was about 55 years old he returned to his native land and started a school on the island of Samos. However, because of the lack of students he decided to move to Croton in the south of Italy."

I did not say a complete lack, mind you. Just minimal. Pythagoras (and the contention that A^2 + B^2 = C^2 is Egyptian in origin...without proof) learning mathematics from other cultures who had developed mathematics is not surprising. But this is far and away different from adopting Egyptian religious belief into Platonic philosophy, as was being claimed.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 07:30 PM
As for the anthromorphic nature of the Jewish God:

Any objective reading of the Hebrew Bible will find a God which is essentially "paganistic" in its limitations. God walks around the Garden, he must pass through the clouds because he can't see through them, he wrestles with Jacob and has to cheat to win, et cetera, et cetera. The Greeks were the first to introduce the concept of God as we know him and the God we speak about in philosophy is the Greek God. The Jewish God was simply a Hebrew Zeus.

Carcano
05-29-08, 07:38 PM
The Jewish God was simply a Hebrew Zeus.
Except Zeus was ashamed of clothes.

OilIsMastery
05-29-08, 07:45 PM
As for the anthromorphic nature of the Jewish God:

Any objective reading of the Hebrew Bible will find a God which is essentially "paganistic" in its limitations. God walks around the Garden, he must pass through the clouds because he can't see through them, he wrestles with Jacob and has to cheat to win, et cetera, et cetera. The Greeks were the first to introduce the concept of God as we know him and the God we speak about in philosophy is the Greek God. The Jewish God was simply a Hebrew Zeus.
Well put. Although I know some Jews and Christians who consider the Bible to be allegorical and not literal or else allow for the possibility that God can anthropomorphize at will and back into something more mysterious again.

Carcano
05-29-08, 07:52 PM
Carcano:
But this is far and away different from adopting Egyptian religious belief into Platonic philosophy, as was being claimed.I'm not sure we know what the Egyptian intellectuals had in terms of philosophy...as they were very secretive. There was a popular religion for the common people, and undoubtedly something more sophisticated lying below the surface.

Its possible that we would only know of it through the Greek influence???

Roman
05-29-08, 10:26 PM
Gustav:



The likelyhood that an Egyptian cult unknown to the Athenians should influence Platonic doctrine is exceedingly slim. The Roman period was when the syncretic elements of Egyptian religion mixed in with the Greco-Roman and influenced culture, philosophy, et cetera.

Orphic beliefs do go back to the Platonic period.

Actually, the Dionysus cult came from Egypt. Direct analogues with Osiris. Greek architecture is heavily influenced by Egypt. You've got to remember that the Greeks were filthy, heathen swine when they first started exporting and discovered the near east. They were in awe of the ancient and well developed civilization and borrowed heavily.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 10:31 PM
Carcano:


I'm not sure we know what the Egyptian intellectuals had in terms of philosophy...as they were very secretive. There was a popular religion for the common people, and undoubtedly something more sophisticated lying below the surface.

Its possible that we would only know of it through the Greek influence???

We do not need to postulate that the intellectual climate of Greece was made by the Egyptians. This is bordering into Hermetic nonsense.

If anything, Platonic philosophy was informed by Delphic influence. Diotima was the oracle at Delphi who taught Socrates about Eros (Love) and the Forms.

Also, from what we know of Egyptian mystery religion in the Roman period, the Platonic connections are simply not there. Nor do we find the Book of the Dead having similarities with Platonic philosophy.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 10:36 PM
Roman:


Actually, the Dionysus cult came from Egypt. Direct analogues with Osiris. Greek architecture is heavily influenced by Egypt. You've got to remember that the Greeks were filthy, heathen swine when they first started exporting and discovered the near east. They were in awe of the ancient and well developed civilization and borrowed heavily.

Dionysus has nothing to do with Osiris. Dionysus is the mad God of wine, prophecy, and ecstasy. His cult goes back to the Minoan epoch. Osiris was the drunken rapist of his sister Nethys, slain by his brother Set, and married to his sister Isis. He ruled well as king of Egypt and then became the God of the dead while his son Horus avenged him by beating Set and taking back the throne.

Greek architecture works on entirely different principles from Egyptian. The Egyptians were glorified mound builders (pyramids). The Greeks developed a style that was architecturally more significant.

Carcano
05-29-08, 10:38 PM
There was a book published by Dr. George James, a professor of Classical studies in 1954, which has proven to be wildly popular among african americans who think that Egyptians were the same people as Nubians. The art tells a different story.

http://www.biblepicturegallery.com/Samples/pa/world/nations/people/Egyptians%20Canaanites%20Nubians%20and%20Lybians%2 0on%20fresc.gif

Called 'Stolen Legacy' its contention is that the majority of Greek philosophy was borrowed from Egypt.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 10:38 PM
OilIsMastery:


Well put. Although I know some Jews and Christians who consider the Bible to be allegorical and not literal or else allow for the possibility that God can anthropomorphize at will and back into something more mysterious again.

Jews and Christians alike believe in the Greek God above the God of their own Bible.

Qabbalah is Neo-Platonism.

Christian religion is Neo-Platonism meets Aristotleanism.

The Greeks made modern Judaism (not Biblical Judaism) and Christianity what they are. Hell, even Islam is simply Islam + Greek philosophy.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 10:40 PM
Carcano:


Called 'Stolen Legacy' its contention is that the majority of Greek philosophy was borrowed from Egypt.

Yes, it is very much Afrocentric nonsense. This is the kind of stuff which art and the attested affirmations of the Egyptians themselves refute.

Carcano
05-29-08, 10:46 PM
If anything, Platonic philosophy was informed by Delphic influence. Diotima was the oracle at Delphi who taught Socrates about Eros (Love) and the Forms.
Do we have any proof that she was a real person and not just some allegorical muse figure?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diotima_of_Mantinea

"Diotima of Mantinea plays an important role in Plato's Symposium. Since our only source concerning her is Plato, we cannot be certain whether she was a real historical personage or merely a fictional creation. However, it should be noted that nearly all of the characters named in Plato's dialogues have been found to correspond to real people living in ancient Athens.

In Plato's Symposium, Socrates says that Diotima was a seer or priestess who, in his youth, taught him "the philosophy of love". Socrates also claims that Diotima successfully postponed the plague of Athens.

Plato was thought by most 19th and early 20th century scholars to have based Diotima on Aspasia, the mistress of Pericles, so impressed was he by her intelligence and wit. This question is far from resolved, however, and some scholars have argued convincingly that Diotima was a historical figure."

Carcano
05-29-08, 10:49 PM
Christian religion is Neo-Platonism meets Aristotleanism.

Official Catholic doctrine, as hammered out by Thomas Aquinas may be...but the most popular Christianity in America is TV evangelism.

Prince_James
05-29-08, 10:52 PM
Carcano:

We can't be sure if Diotima was a real person. It is unlikely we'll ever find out a list of Delphic oracle names. We do know, as your Wiki quote attests, that most Platonic dialogue characters were real. At the very least, she is real "enough". The influence is held to be Delphic, which would place Socrates and Plato in a Greek, not Egyptian, religious basis.


Official Catholic doctrine, as hammered out by Thomas Aquinas may be...but the most popular Christianity in America is TV evangelism.

I know. It makes me sad. :(

Christianity has gone from being intellectually intriguing to "my farts prove God is talking to me". Have you seen that video? It is HILARIOUS.

Carcano
05-29-08, 11:07 PM
Christianity has gone from being intellectually intriguing to "my farts prove God is talking to me".
Salvador Dali also, believed that the musical tone of his farts were highly prophetic.

He writes about it in his book 'The Unspeakable Confessions'.

If it was simply a slow seepage of gas the day would be creatively flat.

But a trumpeting sound...would herald the dawn of a new inspiration!

Prince_James
05-29-08, 11:10 PM
Carcano:

Dali is permitted to think what he wants. As that man? Was God II.

Carcano
05-29-08, 11:12 PM
Christianity has gone from being intellectually intriguing to "my farts prove God is talking to me".
BTW, I understand that St.Patrick had to wait over a decade in a cow pasture for God to speak to him...and only twice!

Nowadays, this is a common occurence in America.
Half the population thinks God is speaking to them every day...including the president!

Carcano
05-29-08, 11:14 PM
Dali is permitted to think what he wants. As that man? Was God II.
Yes, he viewed God in the same light as Voltaire.

"We nod to each other...but we do not speak."

Prince_James
05-29-08, 11:16 PM
Carcano:


BTW, I understand that St.Patrick had to wait over a decade in a cow pasture for God to speak to him...and only twice!

Nowadays, this is a common occurence in America.
Half the population thinks God is speaking to them every day...including the president!

God has started getting less exclusive. He's mellowed out.

Agt. Smith
05-30-08, 10:26 PM
Greeks? Monotheistic? No. The Romans were the ones who converted.

Fraggle Rocker
05-31-08, 10:53 PM
Greeks? Monotheistic? No. The Romans were the ones who converted.The Greeks were right there with them. After all, the New Testament was written in Greek. By the 8th century the Greeks were so thoroughly Christianized that they split off from the Romans in the Catholic/Orthodox schism.

whitewolf
05-31-08, 11:11 PM
Plato cites (or claims to cite) words of Socrates. At the end of his life, Socrates was accused of heresy; so I wouldn't assume all Greeks shared Socrates's (or Plato's) beliefs, these guys were rather original.

S.A.M.
05-31-08, 11:13 PM
Neither Plato nor Socrates are the originators of the Orphic beliefs, as far as I know.

whitewolf
05-31-08, 11:25 PM
But Orphism is not monotheism.

If Socrates was accused of heresy, the followers of his beliefs were in a minority.

S.A.M.
05-31-08, 11:30 PM
Was he accused of heresy because of his monotheism?

whitewolf
05-31-08, 11:50 PM
"This is how it [the affidavit] runs: It says that Socrates is a criminal, who corrupts the young and does not believe in the gods whom the state believes in, but other new spiritual things instead." - From the Apology. Orphism does not cite new spiritual beings. Later on, Meletos says: "This is what I say, that you believe in no gods at all." And, in his defence, Socrates was showing that he indeed believes in the same gods as the state (majority), in the same way as they do. He also refers to Apollo and Hera.

Prince_James
06-01-08, 07:44 AM
S.A.M.:


Was he accused of heresy because of his monotheism?

No. He was charged with heresy for introducing new Gods and disparaging the old.

S.A.M.
06-01-08, 08:22 AM
S.A.M.:

No. He was charged with heresy for introducing new Gods and disparaging the old.

Too convenient. Wasn't he a strong opposer of the democratic system in place at the time? He denounced the "might is right" and worked to undermine the opinion of the collective, instead proposing an emphasis on truth and justice. No doubt the hegemonies of the time found him inconvenient.

On the other hand, what Gods did he introduce?

Prince_James
06-01-08, 09:44 AM
S.A.M.:


Too convenient. Wasn't he a strong opposer of the democratic system in place at the time? He denounced the "might is right" and worked to undermine the opinion of the collective, instead proposing an emphasis on truth and justice. No doubt the hegemonies of the time found him inconvenient.

His protege also betrayed Athens and most of his friends were chums with the tyrants that took over Athens. He was an unpopular guy amongst some of them, yes. Although many of his friends were political masters in the Athenian community. Thus the split jury which convicted him.


On the other hand, what Gods did he introduce?

The daemons. He claimed to have a personal guardian angel (a daemon) which told him to do right and not wrong, pursue truth instead of opinion, et cetera.