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Thread: Jesus Christ as a Philosopher?

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Well, that was much in the spirit of the times. The early Roman imperial years were not easy on the more distant provinces, and portrayals of the afterlife grew savage indeed, to meet them in like kind.

    I don't know if I would consider cosmology and philosophy to be necessarily the same thing? We posit philosophies, but assume cosmologies, except in certain unusual cases of intercultural contact. I mean, do you consider your cosmology to be a philosophical conclusion?
    There seems to confuse general and specific. Example: all bananas are fruit but not all fruit are bananas.
    In that case, if simply having a cosmology is a philosophical position, then the correct answer to the OP is that all religious leaders in all times are philosophers, since all have posited some manner of cosmology.
    I don't see a problem with that characterization. The question would be how correct their philosophy is... there are a hell of a lot of piss-poor and confused philosophers and philosophies. This is probably why there is so much heated disagreements between philosophers.

  2. Top | #32
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    Yes, to be serious for a minute (an effort, for me), my 4-volume The World's Great Thinkers (a fine set from Random House in 1947) has Man and Spirit: The Speculative Philosophers as the final volume. It includes selections from St. Augustine, the Upanishads, Spinoza, Pascal, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and William James -- such a spread as to be incoherent to anyone seeking orthodoxy. So I've not encountered the trope that excludes cosmology or any religious theorizing from the realm of philosophy. Not sure when/where it originated.

  3. Top | #33
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Philosophers generally are an affront to orthodoxists and doctrinaires. Philosophy absolutely requires relative independence of thought, and while the philosopher may use the ideas of their culture and times as a springboard, they generally end up taking things in unexpected (and to some, offensive) new directions. As Jesus himself is said to have once quipped, "What Prophet was ever accepted in his hometown?"

  4. Top | #34
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    By the by, it's not so much that I think cosmology should be excluded from philosophy. Nothing should be excluded from philosophy, rational consideration is a boon to all quarters. But I do think that cosmology is not necessarily philosophy. As it is apt to not be considered, even by otherwise intelligent people, as something that might be fundamentally in error. When I read Plato, I expect a fundamentally Hellenistic cosmology in the background. When I read the Gita, I expect a Hindu one. Both works comment on cosmology, and to the extent that they contribute to a new understanding therof, that is a philosophical enterprise. But Plato did not invent the Hen or the Olympians, nor the Gita Karma and the Devas. These were the common assumptions of their day, not aspects of their author's respective invention.

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    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Yes, to be serious for a minute (an effort, for me), my 4-volume The World's Great Thinkers (a fine set from Random House in 1947) has Man and Spirit: The Speculative Philosophers as the final volume. It includes selections from St. Augustine, the Upanishads, Spinoza, Pascal, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and William James -- such a spread as to be incoherent to anyone seeking orthodoxy. So I've not encountered the trope that excludes cosmology or any religious theorizing from the realm of philosophy. Not sure when/where it originated.

    1. God is one, supreme among gods and men, and not like mortals in body
    or in mind.
    2. The whole [of god] sees, the whole perceives, the whole hears.
    3. But without effort he sets in motion all things by mind and thought.
    4. It [i.e. being] always abides in the same place, not moved at all,
    nor is it fitting that it should move from one place to another.
    - Xenophanes

    One might argue that theology as we know it entered into Greek theology with Xenophanes' speculations. Thales, usually given the honor of being the first philosopher was, like many early Greek philosophers, a naturalist.
    Cheerful Charlie

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    1. God is one, supreme among gods and men, and not like mortals in body
    or in mind.
    2. The whole [of god] sees, the whole perceives, the whole hears.
    3. But without effort he sets in motion all things by mind and thought.
    4. It [i.e. being] always abides in the same place, not moved at all,
    nor is it fitting that it should move from one place to another.
    - Xenophanes
    That's the sort of thing that sophisticated theologians claim that "God" is like -- even though we can't possibly be made in the likeness of such an entity.

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