"Yet he stood with the rich who dailly buy and sell the poor... I must wonder..."
Everyone knows how much Plato (and others who actually new him) idolized Socrates. One finds it hard to believe that he would side with the kinds of people who found him guilty.
Well let's see... Maybe Socrates was like a mirror, and everyone who looked at him saw themselves... They all found justification for their own particular desires in life, so what good was he???If you stop at what they can pin on him, that knowledge is virtue, then there is no justification for doing anything, because no one will ever know enough to act knowing they do good.... As far as siding with those who killed Socrates; it was the democrats who did that, and he in his contempt for democracy lost ground in the penalty phase, and he knew it...He gave them the opportunity to act like essholes by being stiff necked, so it is difficult to say which side was the greater esses...Personally, in his own behavior he did little that was beyond reproach, but in his teaching he aimed contumely at the democracy...Okay; what if there was a better way of picking leaders than by a colored bean... Wasn't the correct approach to attack the power of fate in men's live's rather than attacking people???.The evidence for fate is so overwhelming that people are inclined to abandon themselves to it... It was certainly powerful among the Greeks... The Jews who have no faith in fate picked up the Greek blessing Mazzeltov: May your stars be favorable...People of Socrates' time could well see that traditional rights were their only protection from the avarice of the rich, and Socrates was by no means the worst of the anti democrats... The fact is, that while the Greeks were very aware of surrounding peoples, they could not see the remnants of gentile social organization in their own democracy... Since it did not protect people from extremes of wealth or poverty, nor bring forth the best rulers, it had from the perspective of both sides much to be desired...Instead of attacking the form they attacked each other...
In some respects, all philosophers are creature of their own times. It seems difficult to condemn Plato for not having read Locke just as it seems difficult to condemn Jesus for not speaking out for gay rights or cruelty to animals.
You can read almost anything into Jesus, and that was one of his successes... Read as a philosopher, he is the equal of Socrates... The difference is that he could see through the form to the relationship, between people, and between man and God... And his remark about an ass in a well does illustrate a certain concern for life as well as property..It may well be that an ass alive is better help than an ass dead, and it could be that he was seeing through the form, that the law was made for man, and not man made for law.. The law and Jewish tradition shows a lot of respect for the life of animals, and they will be judged upon their treatment of animals...Socrates gave comfort to the rich and the oligarchs...They were kept from making war on each other by the form, but the rich held the form is nearly complete contempt, and the rich continued to feed on the poor until they sucked the vitality out of their society along with their ability to defend themselves...
One of the fundamental, and untimely, positions of Plato is that Truth can be obtained by reason, even by a slave. That reason is common to all men and that anyone can arrive at the truth surely opened the way for subsequent doctrines of equality....
I do not know if this statement can be justified...The example of a slave having knowledge was a metaphysical argument as I understand it... It was St. Paul and the Christians who first brought forth the idea of all men equal in the eyes of God... It was the Roman Law of Nations, the beginning of natural law, through the agency of a man who was himself a slave -as I understand it, who put forth the idea that all Nations are equal...All people are more or less reasonable...It was said of the Iroquois that they never went on the war path without a plan...It was their America express, and I have found them to be an intelligent people, good humored and witty...Yet all people, even today think their lives are guided by fate... I marvel at my self wishing my wife good luck going on some adventure... My last daughter's middle name is Tychi, the Greek Goddess, fortune, since she was not planned...Yet the grip of fortune on us is not nearly that as on the peoples of the past, because they had that much less control over their circumstances...Well, our control is only slightly more given the vagaries of fate and human failings... WE have more control over our environment, and consequently less need for self control...Human freedom as we conceive of it is damaging and dangerous, and even, likely to be suicidal for our society... Knowledge is not good... People are good because it is natural to society, but goodness is not the result of reason...Look at the Republic...Can we imagine good coming out of such a society...Did good ever come out of the catholic church whose hierarchy mirrors in some respect the republic's hierarchy???We cannot reproduce natural relaionships with relationships created by reason....We can tell that our families, a natural relationship is not static as reason would make it, and at times is held together only by affection. It is this affection between people, the relationship, that is the good in any form...
---------- Post added at 11:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:00 AM ----------
Extra Gravy;69588 wrote:
Yanhui, a pupil of Confucius, said "I have made some gain." Confucius asked, "What do you mean?" Yanhui replied, "I forgot virtue and justice." Confucius commented, "Good, but not enough." After some time, he said to Confucius again, "I made further gain." "What is it?" "I forgot civility and music." "Good, but still not enough." Several days later, he said to Confucius once more, "I have made an even greater gain." Confucius asked, "What is it?" Yanhui replied, "I reached 'Sitting in Oblivion.'" Amazed Confucius asked, "What is 'Sitting in Oblivion'?" Yanhui answered, "It is forgetting hands, feet and body, forgetting the action of ears and eyes, leaving the distinction of form to discard wisdom and becoming one with Tao. This is 'Sitting in Oblivion.'" Confucius praised, "When someone becomes one with Tao, there is no good nor evil. After undergoing transformation into becoming one with Tao, there is no attachment. Wise indeed. Now it is I who should be your follower instead."
The term "Oblivion" can be used in a meaningful, knowledgeable and respectful way. Meister Eckhart found his way to understand Oblivion and related eastern practices as he applied them to his Christian faith, and many other mystical practicioners have as well, for example the mystical work "The Cloud of Unknowning". There is no good reason to assume ignorance on Eudaimon's part. There is every reason to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
You know; I think Ho chi Minh commented that we were fighting in vietnam for essentially spiriitual values while they were fighting for traditionally western materialist values...
I do not think the object of life is the denial of life, of sense and of experience, of emotion, or of dream...We may have the luxury of turning away from our own existence, but if we look we may see others are slaving for our purely spiritual experience...What we should desire is that all people can enjoy their lives, and can turn on their senses without sensing so much of pain... People retreat into spirituality...It is because the forms of our lives are so painful, unrewarding, and unforgiving...I will be the last to tell you primitive peoples in the small communities did not know much jealousy, anger, or avarice... None of our forms have been perfect... But primitve forms were more supportive, and gave to people the means to vent and reconcile as ours does not..
.None of us lives a second longer denying life for a death before death...No one can prove a spiritual existence even though we universally accept it... Most of our values are spiritual values, which we know as moral forms: Peace, Justice, Love, Freedom, and etc. if these were not essential to life they would have no objective proof what so ever...