Iaian Vernier's Memoir
Chapter 8. The Long Road Traveled
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The secular mind liberated itself from myth and the gods in Greece, approximately 2,500 years ago. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle committed themselves to an understanding of the world on the basis of the factual knowledge existing in their time. Socrates argued from the Agora, the central meeting place of ordinary folk. Not until his rump judicial trial in Athens and execution did he become a public political figure. His service to humanity was to question and attempt to unleash reason from its psychological and emotional fetters.
Plato schooled his fellow Athenians and others throughout the Hellenic world who would listen and learn to the larger intellectual significance of the Socratic vision. Several attempts were made to put the new secular understanding of men and society into a visionary political context. Plato did not want to see another tragedy such as the Peloponnesian Wars that essentially destroyed the dominance of his own polis, Athens, and brought an end to the Periclean hope for a great Hellenic civilization. Plato, a utopian, in his greatest work, Republic, consciously destroyed his own utopian vision. Even his golden-souled rulers erroneously miscalculated the time frame of nature’s order and thus destroyed the ideal Republic.
← 49 | 50 →Aristotle, a non-Athenian from the ‘countryside,’ was not inclined to the utopian vision for humanity. His route was through science and logic. All that we could say about human nation-building and the hope for peace, prosperity, stability, he lectured, could never be absolutely framed...
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