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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

OCT 24th 2017 UFO

Socrates of Athens


Athens started out as a backwater town and didn't become a cultural leader until the 6th century BC. The ionians started to settle Athens but in the philosopher Thales's day the rest of the world had never heard of Athens. But, by the time of the philosopher Democrites Athens had become a world culture center. Politically, Athens was ruled by wealthy landowners who had the good luck of learning how to "compromise", whereas, the other city-states in Greece didn't. Hence the rise of democratic notions due to the stable political process. Moreover, early in the 5th century bc a vast vein of rich silver was discovered in the southeast part of the city, which the city fathers used to build up the navy and take control of the seas. Because Greece was full of mountains growing enough food had been a major issue, but once Athens took control of the seas they quit using their land for farming grain and began to import their food. They traded their olives & wines for grain and set up a trading league with others. Only males with an Athenian parent could vote and out of the 500,000 people only 100,000 voted in elections. As Athens became an empire by exploiting others. Trade laws were passed which put a ban on taxing themselves. Instead they taxed their subjects and used the surplus to build up the city. The Sophists of other nations were attracted to the wealth of Athens and soon began to meet the great demand for education. This opens the door of free speech. Soon drama & art were the main forms of mass media. However, around this time Athens was defeated by Sparta in war, yet Athens was still able to quickly recover its power. Socrates didn't write or create anything. He held no power yet his impact on history was huge! Most Athenians hated him because of the constant questions he asks of them. Socrates had few friends except for a small band of followers. His wife must have been a great woman herself because she supported him in his pursuit of wisdom. His father was a stonemason & and his mother was a mid-wife but from and early age Socrates could have cared less about wealth. It is reported that he only had one coat and never owned any shoes? People would offer him money, land & slaves, which always ended in a philosophical debate as to why he should need these things? He had a modest inheritance which he use to support his wife and kids on. Socrates never lost a debate. Socrates started out as a follower of Anaxagoras but soon rejected his teachings after debating within himself how he should live his life? How should Socrates live his life if Socrates wished to live his life well? Now the status quo held that you need money; that you don't want to work too hard; that your should get a nice house, have security, prestige and fun. Socrates rejected this because he believed wisdom was the greatest riches of all in life. He cared little about comfort or the needs of his physical body often pushing it beyond its limits. He was a non-conformist. He would sleep at night in his one coat on the dirt, then wake up at sunrise and shake it out and go off to study or debate with the public in the City Square. Once while in the army on night watch he refuse to leave his post after his shift was over pulling a 24 hour watch because he was thinking about some philosophical problem he need to solved. Word had it that he didn't move an inch for 24 hours; refuse to eat, sleep or relieve himself? His power of focus and logic was amazing. No matter how much wine he drank he could "not get drunk". Many a night from sunset to sunrise he would drink & teach watching one philosopher after another pass out. Then at daybreak take a quick bath and go to debate or study in the City Square. His bodily endurance & powerful mind was matched by his truly amazing moral courage. Back then, it was the civic duty of every voter to take a turn as a court judge once a year in Athens. Once Socrates was called upon to judge a captain in a naval battle. It seems that some of his crew was killed in combat. All the politicians wanted to make this captain the fall guy but Socrates refuse to hang or convict him which led to great suffering for him later on. Socrates refused to give into public pressure. After the case was over the landowners took over and tried to force Socrates to arrest their political opponents on fake charges. Socrates refused. Thus, they sought to find an excuse to have him killed. Socrates, like so many of our modern preachers, held that he had divine call to philosophy. He had a voice that led him. Now the Delphi oracle was world famous for it physic predictions which attracted many a king and queen from all over the world. When the question of who was the wisest man on earth was put to the oracle she replied, "Socrates". When word got back to Athens Socrates was perplexed. He could not believe it? "I don't know anything"? He said over & over. Soon he began to seek out the greatest minds of his age and found that they could not explain or justify what they said they knew? They could not explain any of the causes, only the effect of the things they said they knew? Finally, after about 6 months of testing out the greatest minds then known to Greece Socrates was forced to come to the conclusion that he was indeed the wisest man in Greece because his claim was that he didn't know shit! Whereas, they claim they did, when in fact they didn't know either? Over top of the Delphic oracle were these words "know thyself". From his logic & experience Socrates figure out that the only basis for true knowledge was to clear out all the false assumptions. Soon he was going around the city driving the people crazy by asking them to explain the things they said they "knew". The first step towards wisdom is to know that you are ignorant. So Socrates went around with renewed vigor asking questions which greatly challenged the establish knowledge of his day. This made him even more hated by the landowners and traveling law teachers call "Sophists". In most debates Socrates' questions tended to refute what everybody else had believed. After the war with Sparta the landowners push for and got a change in public opinion. Free speech & new ideas were suppressed. Socrates had by this point became a major problem. A public media campaign was use to smear him. Aristophanes used his art as a playwright to portray Socrates as a fool. Sure Socrates was an eccentric but aren't all great minds? Look at Christ and Buddha? Socrates held that we all start out with false assumptions and we ought to "confront" them. This requires an internal war between ones heart & mind over the assumptions one believes in. warning: anyone who believes in the literal translation of the bible ought to reconsider their belief systems very carefully! This back and forth questioning (dialectic process) between your heart and mind, or between people was judge to be corrupting the youth of Athens. In Plato’s book "apology" which the bible plagiarizes in the story about Jesus & Pilate, great insight can be had by those who hunger for truth & justice. This then is a quick thumbnail account of Socrates. My hope is that it will help you in your quest for love. Squid