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Comparison of the World We Live in Today to the Philosophies of Ancient Greece

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To compare the world we live in today, to the philosophies of ancient Greece I would say its about a 50/50 split in terms of differences and similarities. In chapter two on page 46 one of the first sentences is “in the ancient world, people saw themselves at the mercy of forces they could not comprehend…” (The Pre-Socratics). This idea is still true today. There are millions of people who believe in religion and think that they are nothing more than Gods pawn pieces. Just like back then, there are people who believe that everything is a result of a higher beings doing, and then there are people who think deeper about things and how they originated and think more scientifically.

The sophists were one of the first Greek philosophers after the pre- Socratics. They were naturalist philosophers who “were concerned with describing physical reality in terms of the unity that lay behind the chaos of human perception (The sophists). They taught that human knowledge could only go so far and that what man was capable of knowing would stop at a certain point. They also “argued that truth and justice were relative: What might be considered just and true for one individual or situation might not be just and true for another.” Sophists were known to charge people money for their teachings and their time unlike other philosophical groups.

On the other hand, Stoics focused on how to avoid trials and tough times in life. They also emphasized that what you feel and what you think are two different things. Epicureans focused on how to be your best self as opposed to what to do in the events of hard times. The Epicureans “taught that happiness depended on avoiding all forms of physical excess; they valued plain living and the perfect union of body and mind. Epicurus held that the gods played no part in human life, and that death was nothing more than the rearrangement of atoms of which the body and all of nature consisted.” Going back to comparing the world today to the philosophies back then, I would that although there are similarities as previously said, but I do think for the most part its changing or shifting from the standard thoughts of what was considered right and wrong back then. For instance, back then, treating women as second class people would be seen as the norm.

Today there are feminist motions that that believe men and women should be treated equal. Most ancient philosophers would probably disagree with how women today have more prominent roles in the world and I think that’s one of the biggest differences between the philosophies back then and the world today. In many cases back then slavery (whether it be slaves from war or indebted servants) was considered acceptable. Today, in modern first world countries slavery would be a heinous crime. We do however have some similarities to the philosophies back then. Today there are hundreds if not thousands of religions. Just like with religion, modern philosophy was based off or built on old ideas. Without ancient philosophy, we wouldn’t have the philosophies that we have today. In my opinion, ancient philosophy focused more on spirituality and “finding oneself” and looking into your own heart and mind, where as modern philosophy integrates much more psychology. Ancient philosophers mainly spoke of morality and virtue and things of the sort.

Today I think philosophy has a blend of modern science as well as modern ethics. As previously stated, I think how people think now, differed from how people thought back then. In ancient Greece, there were only a handful of religions, most of them being sub religions or cults derived the prominent religion back then which was Greek mythology. As such, the philosophies and what was considered right and wrong was derived from their religion. Today there are many more different religions which is another reason why modern philosophy could be different from ancient philosophies. Today different religions determine what is morally right and wrong for different people. A Hindu philosophers’ beliefs are going to differ from a Muslim philosophers’ beliefs. Of course, there are many things we can learn from ancient philosophers. They set up the principal standards of logic. A considerable lot of their perceptions, regardless of not utilizing the logical strategy as we know of today, were right as well as to a great degree, exact in portraying the universe as we know it. Their knowledge from the past has helped shaped the knowledge we have today.

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