Sunday, May 28, 2006

Back to Basics

I was in Asheville tonight with my wife celebrating our anniversary, when we met a bunch of Jesus-hippies and other interesting Ashevillians. It was a typical religious debate, with several god-is-alls and buddists and whatever. I met a great woman there who contested the idea that Socrates was executed, tangent to whether Jesus was executed. While it seems semantical, she said that they were not executed, rather they chose to die for what they believed in... and that was critical to their messages. She called it Axial or something like that, and refered to a time period when we read about different philosophers and religions shifting from fatalism to individual responsibility. We shared a few other ideas, including my rudimentary thoughts about world war 2 before we had to leave. It was a fun night out though, and demonstrative of people's way of thinking.

1 comment:

Chris Coucheron-Aamot said...

Yeah, but what is the next step in saying that Socrates died for his beliefs? The reasons why he drank the hemlock are the subject of a constellation of doctoral theses. If we build a religion out of them like Christians did with their "dead philosopher," what will that look like? Obedience to the state above all else, the elimination of the family, restoration of the denigrated state of women, a young male lover for every statesman of stature? It may be romantic to lump every "great thinker" who died at the hands of the ignorant masses into some kind of quasi-gnostic cult, but it gets weird fast if you start to push on the details.