Great Thinkers Unit I Confucius Plato (Socrates) Jesus Aristotle Sophocles
Who are some of ourmodern day “great” thinkers? Gandhi Stephen Hawking Ayn Rand Dalai Lama
Confucius 551-479 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era)
Confucius Biography • Considered China's greatest philosopher • made no claim to divinity • a temple in every county in China
Revered as foremost teacher & supreme sage • Taught rituals, music, archery, charioteering, literature, and mathematics • Broke down the precedent of teaching only the wealthy
Born to impoverished noble family at a time in China when centralized government had collapsed into a feudal system • Mostly self-educated • He believed humanity could be set on the right path (Dao) and that goodness was possible.
Restored order at a time of chaos • Believed in... • avoidance of needless war • reduction in taxes • allieviation of severe punishment • humaneness & decorum • love for our fellow man & loyalty
The Analects of Confucius • Notes and journals kept by his disciples and put together after his death
Relevance of ConfuciusToday: “Despite the determinisms of the day . . . this I feel is true: That we are more nurture than nature; that what we are taught, generally speaking, is what we become; that torturers are made slowly, not minted in the womb. As are those who resist them. I believe that what rules us is less the material world of goods and services than the immaterial one of whims, assumptions, delusions, and lies; that only by studying this world can we hope to shape how it shapes us; that only by attempting to understand what used to be called, in a less embarrassed age, 'the human condition' can we hope to make our condition more human, not less." Taken from Harper's "Duhumanized" by Mark Slouka
Confucius Jokes... In "The Analects of Confucius" Confucius liked to play with words and metaphors in which there would be several layers of meaning ... Confucius jokes often play on the double meanings of words. Confucius say: Man who live in glass house should change in basement. Man who run in front of car get tired. Man who run behind car get exhausted. Man who drive like hell, bound to get there! Man who get hit by car, get that run downfeeling.
What do you know about Socrates? • What is the Socratic method? • Who was Socrates’ famous student? • What did Socrates think about freedom • of speech?
Parthenon, a temple in the Acropolis Acropolis, a citadel
Socrates • Invented a dialectical method of discovering truth with reasoned arguments, creating induction & deduction (This method is not debate which implies a winner and a loser nor is it rhetoric, which sways through persuasive or emotionally charged diction.) • Believed he had a divine mission to test all statements, and that a “voice” guided him in all his acts. • Lived 100 years after Confucius. • Tried for civil disobedience. • Poisoned in prison.
Plato(427-347 B.C.E.) • “…we must prefer the steadiest and the bravest, and as far as possible the most handsome” (from The Republic). Isn’t he handsome, intelligent, and athletic?
Plato • Plato was Socrates’ most brilliant and most good looking pupil. • Plato wrote down his memories of what he heard, adding to this his own ideas. • Founded the first university in the ancient world where Aristotle attended.
Socrates taught Plato. Plato taught Aristotle. Doesn’t young Aristotle look handsome, intelligent, and athletic?
Interesting Proposals of Kallipolis • Humans are not born of their parents, but of the city itself. • Cultural activity must be strictly censored and controlled: (“It is imperative for the rulers of the city to supervise the makers of tales.”) • Those who are no longer useful to the city must therefore go without medical care, even to the point of death, so be it.
Aristotle • Born 384 BC • A student at Plato’s Academy for 20 years. (Left because he was disappointed in the the direction of the school as Plato neared death.) • Counseled kings and princes • Returned to Athens and founded the Lyceum, a university • Wrote about all subjects including Poetics where he defined “catharsis” and “tragic hero.”
Socrates Plato Aristotle • SPA • —they have great ones in Greece!
The Historical Jesus of Nazareth(Born 4 B.C.E. Died 29 C.E.) • Founder of Christianity • Born in Bethlehem • Carpenter of Nazareth, a town in Galilee. • Matthew and Luke write that it was a virgin birth, but also trace his kinship to David through Joseph who was engaged to Mary. • Little is known of his youth. • Paul’s letters are the first biblical accounts
But about the year 28 or 29 C.E. his life interacted with the career of John the Baptist. • Jesus heard John's preaching and joined the crowds for baptism in the Jordan River. • Following Jesus’s baptism he went into the desert for prayer and reflection.
Who was Jesus? • “The images of Jesus throughout history are as varied as the people who have embraced him-the Son of God, the Divine Word by whom the world was created, the Passover sacrifice on behalf of the people, the Suffering Servant who takes on the sins of the world, the new High Priest, or more recently, Jesus the intellectual genius, the liberator of the oppressed, or the feminist. Each group and generation sees in Jesus a reflection of itself.” • Scholar Claudia Setzer
What did Jesus teach? • People should not to cling to the past. • God would overthrow old institutions and ways of life for a wonderful new future—Kingdom of God. • This future would be especially welcomed by the poor, the powerless, and the peacemakers.
The Disciples • Twelve disciples were fishermen or common workers. • Sometimes he talked to large crowds, sometimes just the twelve, or Peter, James, and John. • Taught disciples to pray, i.e. “Lord’s Prayer.”
Leading up to his death • On a Sunday, Jesus, hailed as “Son of David” entered Jerusalem. • The next day Jesus drove out of the Temple money-changers and those who sold pigeons as sacrifice. • This angered a small group of priests in charge of the Temple and disagreements ensued. Priests and teachers, wanting to get rid of him, waited until after the feast of Passover.
Death (cont.) • On Thursday of the same week, Jesus had a meal with his disciples. • After the meal he went to pray. Judus led the priests and temple soldiers to Jesus. • The temple court proclaimed him a blasphemer. • Taken to Roman governor (Pilot) who crucified him.
Resurrection • The Gospels report that on Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the dead and met his disciples. • Only Christ’s followers testified to the resurrection, so the debate has continued through the centuries. • The faith in the resurrection of Jesus is a major reason for the rise and spread of the Christian faith.
Gospels • Paul’s letter were written before the gospels. • For forty years after Christ’s death, the stories in the Gospels existed as an oral tradition. • Stories were published 140 years after his death. • Matthew and John (disciples) were qualified witnesses of the facts they recount in the Gospels.
What do the Jews think of Jesus? • “Jewish writers typically separated Jesus the Jew from the Christianity that incorporated him, approving of the former but disliking the latter.”
What do Muslims think of Jesus? • In Islam, Jesus is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Messiah who was sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new scripture, the Gospel. The belief in Jesus is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran states that Jesus was born to Mary as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God.