It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Ancient Greek Philosophy

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 03:32 PM

Many issues we struggle with today were already discussed and even solved thousands of years ago. In an attempt to turn readers on to Ancient Greek Philosophy and its profound depths of wisdom, Ive selected some quotes from various notable philosophers. So here are the ancient Greeks posting on slowly and with contemplation for it to sink in...


“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”

"To find yourself, think for yourself"

"Be as you wish to seem"

"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us".

"The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows."

“Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”

"An unexamined life is not worth living"

“The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him.”


"A friend to all is a friend to none"

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity"

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind"

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

"It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken."


"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play."

"You cannot step into the same river twice"

"To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do".


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"

"Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil."

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."

"Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet."

"Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments."

"Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery".

"He was a wise man who invented beer."

"He who is not a good servant will not be a good master."

"How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?"

Feel free to add to this thread or discuss various philosophers or how their thoughts relate to our times.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by Skyfloating]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 04:14 PM
Very interesting, I am re-reading Plato's Republic now, it has been many years since I read it in my college days and it didn't mean much to me then, as the saying goes, we have come a long way, it could have been written today.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 04:22 PM
I am doing a lot of research on the Gnostic's aka: Pagan's right now who were ancient Shaman's and Seers around the same time as the Greek Philosophers, I believe it is all related, not sure I have the time right now to switch gears.i

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 05:03 PM

Feel free to add to this thread or discuss various philosophers or how their thoughts relate to our times.

"All philosophy is a commentary on Plato".
(A. N. Whitehead)

That's what I think.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Nice job Skyfloating

Just goes to show that although we would like to call ourselves advanced, we still don't listen to the truly great thinkers throughout history.

"He was a wise man who invented beer."

Plato was always my favorite

You might be interested in this


posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 05:14 PM
Plato's "Republic" is worth a read. Also Aesops Fables has many interesting thoughts.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 06:51 PM
reply to post by LiveForever8

The Athenians: Another warning from history?

The collapse of Greek democracy 2,400 years ago occurred in circumstances so similar to our own it could be read as a dark and often ignored lesson from the past, a new study suggests.

In a new history of the 4th century BC, Cambridge University Classicist Dr. Michael Scott reveals how the implosion of Ancient Athens occurred amid a crippling economic downturn, while politicians committed financial misdemeanours, sent its army to fight unpopular foreign wars and struggled to cope with a surge in immigration.

When will we ever learn?

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 07:51 PM
Ahhh... i've read a lot of Plato's work and am a huge fan.

I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.

That's probably one of my favorites by Plato and it means a lot to me in many ways.

Maybe it's just because im bad at math and use it as some kind of support.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 08:17 PM
This is a great thread Skyfloating. I have not read near enough. I do have a problem with the following though.

"Be as you wish to seem"

Perhaps I am reading it wrong, but if we were to "be as we wish to seem", it 'seems' to be we will mostly behave as the world thinks is 'good'.

When you consider how we are so programed to please and most want to be the 'nice' person so they are accepted by all. It certainly doesn't go with Aristotle's

"A friend to all is a friend to none"

which to me makes more sense as I try to rid myself of programing.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:06 AM
reply to post by liveandlearn

That one I actually interpret differently as in "instead of pretending to be someone, simply be that someone"... (?)

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 03:22 AM

Originally posted by Aquarius1

The collapse of Greek democracy 2,400 years ago occurred in circumstances so similar to our own it could be read as a dark and often ignored lesson from the past

The Greeks predicted how democracy would thrive and how it would fall. Back then the philosophers warnings were ignored and their kingdom fell.

Greek Philosophy should be required reading for every politician of influence.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 04:25 AM
what about Epicurus, he had an amazing philosophy on friends and happiness

Select Epicurus Quotations:

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.

We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.

If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.

It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 05:17 AM
Those are great. Thanks. This one is my favorite:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

This goes along the lines of "use the things already given to you" and reducing greed while increasing gratitude. Its something that would be good for current society.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:43 AM

The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods.

- Socrates

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 09:24 AM
One thing our modern world is lacking in is study of ancient philosophy. If we all took the time to listen carefully and meditate on what some of the greatest thinkers and teachers of our time have to say then this would would have been a much better place for it.

And great thinkers they are...

It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, any problem you face in day to day life has been lived out by somebody else...could be 1 year ago, could be 1000 years ago. Life experience is a gigantic circle and the sooner you realize that and embrace it, the sooner you realize that philosophy and spirituality are closely tied. Not a lot of people now days realize, but the famous Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius was also a great philosopher and I strongly recommend to anyone interested in philosophy reading the culmination of his work found in "The Essential Marcus Aurelius"

Also check out the PDF of the "The Kyballion - The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece" found here on ATS, It will change the way you think, I guarantee it.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 09:38 AM
Republic is certainly an important piece, but I really enjoyed reading Aristotle's Politics more. Aristotle's arguments are a little convoluted and unorganized when compared to Republic, but a lot of the content discussed in Politics is extremely relevent.

Still, I don't think most of us would be very happy if we lived in Plato's Republic.

I just wonder how many of the die hard capitalists know that Marx based his ideas off of Aristotle's work?

[edit on 10/12/2009 by yadda333]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 10:23 AM
I think the philosophers would be disappointed to find they've been reduced to a series of one-liners. It's sort of like reducing the Magna Carta to "Hey -- you guys! Stop doing that!" and the American Constitution to "Order is a nice thing."

They were interested in people learning HOW to think -- how to reason, how to hold discourse, how to find truths, how to tell truth from fiction, large problems in ethics (and what, exactly, truth and ethics were.)

One of the examples I like (and found a convenient page on) is "What is piety?" Socrates' victim starts listing things ("being prayerful, remembering sacrifices, doing the Right Thing, etc") and Socrates hops up with "What's right? The gods often contradict each other."

This leads to the bigger question in ethics: "is something 'pious' simply because religion says a diety loves the act (like burning "clean" or "approved" animals on an altar dedicated to the deity) or is there a piety that even the deities acknowledge (meaning that gods can act in an impious way)?"

It goes on to some interesting ideas about "what is moral" -- but you can read about it here:

To understand the background of THAT discussion, however, you have to understand Greek ideas of formal debate and logic.

They had some great quotes -- but it falls far short of the very deep discussions that they would rather have been remembered for.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by Byrd

I agree. The depth to which they would go to discuss a single concept such as democracy or business or life or love or piety or speech or morals or belief or anything else was the fun of reading it. The depth.

On this particular internet-venue not even this fast-food version of will generate much interest though.

[edit on 12-10-2009 by Skyfloating]

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 05:03 AM

...στάζει δ' ἀνθ' ὕπνου πρὸ καρδίας μνησιπήμων πόνος· καὶ παρ' ἄκοντας ἦλθε σωφρονεῖν. δαιμόνων δέ που χάρις βίαιος σέλμα σεμνὸν ἡμένων Aeschylus, Agamemnon ...

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black. ...... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. ...

Senator Robert F. Kennedy , Statement on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Indianapolis, Indiana 4th April 1968

posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 05:44 AM
I personally found great comfort in the work of the French Philosopher Rene Descartes' five meditations. I believe that this was around the same time of Galileo's trial with the Catholic church and the result was the five meditations rather than a logical dispute of what cannot be trusted, like our sensory perceptions and religion. I think that this has inspired me to try and understand the connection that knowledge has over time.

Congito argo sum, or "I think, therefore I am", was the one thing that I could rely on as I learned that everything else is false. It was from this that I was able to rebuild my reality and no more let those simple deceptions veil my understanding of life around me.

I am also very interested in the history of the Gnostics and the meaning of the word yet from what I know "Pagan" is hardly a just description. The inquisitions that were held against such great thinkers that was supposedly meant to suppress heresy was a pagan ritual by its very definition. The Catholic church was committing the very crimes it was attempting to suppress, this kind of hypocrisy continues today.

I find Gnosticism to be a link to a divine Understanding.

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in