Skip to comments.A Noxious 2,400-year old lie, started by Plato, still Cripples us today.
Posted on 01/18/2010 4:32:02 PM PST by El Gringo
A Noxious 2,400-year old lie, originated by Plato, still cripples us today.
And, once more, Karl R. Popper comes to the rescue.
Popper has examined, in great detail the writings of Plato. He concludes that Plato, and later thinkers and writers that followed Plato have wreaked havoc in science politics and philosophy down through the centuries. Popper presents the following small table of word definitions. The two columns have opposite definitions .i.e., individualism is the opposite of collectivism. Egotism is the opposite of altruism.
(Excerpt) Read more at death-of-a-republic.blogspot.com ...
Let's call the whole thing off.
Why say that Plato lied? That he was engaged in some devious deception? Maybe he was just wrong.
In reality the word "Fascist" refers to something other than a political party ~ instead, it refers to a behavior, and to a belief system underlying how rules should be imposed.
Because the term "Fascist" describes behavior and not political affiliation, it's fair to use it to describe the behavior of Democrats, Socialists, Communists and Shining Path! It can be applied to Royalists and traditional Moslems in non-democratic states.
We've pretty well "hijacked" the term here at FR to the degree that others outside the FR counter-conspiracy are beginning to adopt the term for the same purposes.
We probably need to work a little harder to nail down "teabagger", meaning "a winner", and I think the path to that salubrious eventually was shown with the expression provided by another Freeper yesterday ~ to wit: "Better a TEABAGGER than a TEABAGEE."
Objectivism is the antidote: Aristotelian epistemology is superior to the Platonic construction. Besides, Aristotle was a better drinking companion. And when Socrates offers to buy a round, take a pass: that hemlock is one nasty hangover.
I believe Plato came up with his false simile the day he was supposed to pour the olive oil in the new jug, but instead drank all the wine in his personal closet.
There was not enough substance in this article to drawn any conclusions. Anyone that has studied Plato knows that he supported totalitarianism, even to the point of propagating the “noble lie.” I doubt that anyone today supports Plato or Aristotle’s views on the relationship of the individual to government.
Good stuff. The guy has a unique perspective on how all our current troubles started. Worth the time to study.
There's a great anecdote about Plato and Diogenes that (I believe) is from Plutarch's Lives...
Goes like this: One fine day, Diogenes was at the town square cleaning lentils to make himself a meal. Plato strolls up to Diogenes and says: "Diogenes, if you'd only learn to kowtow to kings, you wouldn't have to eat lentils." To which Diogenes immediately responds: "Plato, if only you'd learn to eat lentils, you wouldn't have to kowtow to kings."
Naw, ol’ Plato just went made from all those conversations with his shadow.
Read Peikoff The Ominous Parallels.
I wonder if they will still be blaming Bush in 2,400 years?
I'm not going to give the author's site a hit, but I will point out that in Plato's Republic he explicitly introduces the so-called "Noble Lie" to justify rule by his Philosopher Kings.
Rand's objectivism, you mean? That's a lie, too, and a far more pernicious one than Plato's -- the latter at least had the honesty to admit his lie, but Rand insists that she's got the real goods.
Rand demanded that you accept her premises as correct -- but here's the test. Try to arrive at Rand's premises through logic and reason, applied to the evidence gathered by your senses -- just as she says you should. You very quickly end up stuck in the mud.
Here's the killer: consider Rand's statement that "manevery manis an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself."
Now consider the moral responsibilities inherent in something so natural as parenthood -- we are morally required to be the means to our children's ends. Objectivism cannot even contend with the propagation of the species: it's a damned fraud.
I'm pretty sure Rand started with atheism and a desire to define an "absolute" moral system, and she fiddled with the logic to make it all work.
Try to arrive at your premises through logic and reason, applied to the evidence gathered by your senses: Please show how you thus derive:
“we are morally required to be the means to our children’s ends”
Think you better think this one through a little more.
The Republic was all about being ruled by the elite (philo. king) and he argued for a slave state...You do what the king (who knows more than you) says you do.......
Somewhere long forgotten I read Plato said a man should not drink wine before 18, drink wine 19 to 40 but do not get drunk, after 40 consume as much as you want.
Recently purchased a copy Atlas Shrugged. Can someone help me get started..I can’t get past Who is John Galt. It is a paperback and the print is very small.
I know folks who on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays think Ayn Rand is just the bee's knees. The other days of the week they're devout, professing Christians.
I've never read Rand myself but I've heard all that I care to. I figure it's just all about the money.
Unlike her, however, I am a religious Objectivist and not an atheist. Her mistake in that regard was to mistake all faith for mindless mysticism. I believe that faith can sometimes be informed by reason and the evidence of one's senses as well. That belief does not invalidate the fundamental epistemology of Objectivism which holds that reality exists and that a thing is itself regardless of our perception.
An excellent description of the origins of Fascism can be seen here on Free Republic by searching for “Sindicalism is alive and well in Washington.” Googling the same string of words will get you there too. The symbol chosen by Mussolini was from ancient Rome, and depicted a bundle of sticks tied around the outside of the handle of a battle ax. —— JWThinkwright
Thanks for bringing history alive. Great stuff, indeed.——JWThinkwright
I would rather not “own” the term ‘teabagger’ nor turn its meaning around to be something good. Instead I’d rather point out how utterly coarse and cruel the leftists are, calling other people’s Grandmas and small children the equivalent of ‘c***suckers.’
They think it ‘cute’ to call our children and grandparents names referring to oral sex. THAT should be our response. Even liberals do not like their elderly and kids called such names. Their own grenade lobbed back into their tent at the last minute...
You don’t know Nancy Pelosi do you. She shares Plato’s belief regarding your responsibility to her!
Sometimes we must check with children to find truth!
He knew what he was doing. He was a sneaky SOB who intended to discourage any attempts at future republics.
That is the great weakness of all rationalist philosophy. Pure deductive logic needs premises, and without empirical evidence, those premises must be unproven assumptions. Thus, you either agree or don't agree with the dogma, which morphs into a quasi-religious doctrine based on the charisma and assumed infallibility of one particular person. And if you study the history of Rand's Objectivist group, this is exactly what you find.
Your point about the family is spot on. Rand says that life, to be lived fully, must be lived free of obligations to others, but without families, there would be no life, and nothing in Rand's writings indicate why one should not abandon one's family if it becomes a burden. She would definitely be pro-abortion, though I don't recall any specific statements to that effect made by her. But it does explain one curious detail. In her novels, the leading characters never have CHILDREN! No mention of family life, no recognition of natural love (an irrational emotion-based motive). Her world is as artificial as that of Plato.
Thanks for the link. Does Piekoff reference Popper?
Also, please Google: “syndicalism is alive and well in Washington.” —— JWThinkwright
BS, Hank. You're not really going to try to argue that parents have no moral imperative to care for their children, are you? Are you perhaps suggesting that "real" babies can take care of themselves?
You haven’t read much Plato, have you.
By that logic, you are basically saying that parents who let their children starve should not be prosecuted.... Are you sure about that?
we are morally required to be the means to our childrens ends
Hank, you are missing the point, which is that one CANNOT justify the sacrifice and effort required to raise a family from reason alone, or reason supplemented by empirical evidence. Yet family life is the sine qua non of life on this planet.
Thus Rand's philosophy, which is based on the requirements of a free life (assumption: 'Life is a supreme good, an end in itself.') cannot even justify the requirements of reproduction. As noted in my post #28, Rand's novels contain no CHILDREN! And no mention of family life. It's as if the leading characters were all dropped out of the sky in some Twilight Zone episode. This is NOT reality. Her heros are often orphans who taught themselves life skills with no help from anyone.
Rand never raised a family, and avoids that reality like the plague it is - plague to her individualism, that is. She also did nothing for her relatives back in Russia, even though they sacrificed to send her to the USA to begin a life of freedom while they suffered under Communism and the Nazi invasion.
Since Rand's Objectivism is based largely on the requirements for a free life, and since everyone who lives and breathes until they are old enough and smart enough to care for themselves owes it to a loving parent(s), the burden is on YOU and other followers of Rand to show how this kind of irrational love and sacrifice can be derived from the body of Objectivist literature. Or were you raised by wolves?
Leo Strauss: May I ask you to let me know sometime what you think of Mr. Popper. He gave a lecture here, on the task of socioal philosophy, that was beneath contempt: it was the most washed-out, lifeless positivism trying to whistle in the dark, linked to a complete inability to think "rationally," although it passed itself off as "rationalism"--it was very bad. I cannot imagine reading, and yet it appears to be a professional duty to become familiar with his produtions. Could you say something to me about that--if you wish, I will keep it to myself.
Dear Mr. Strauss, The opportunity to speak a few deeply felt words about Karl Popper to a kindred soul is too golden to endure a long delay. This Popper has been for years, not exactly a stone against which one stumbles, but a troublesome pebble that I must continually nudge from the path, in that he is constantly pushed upon me by people who insist that his work on the "open society and its enemies" is one of the social science masterpieces of our times. This insistence persuaded me to read the work even though I would otherwise not have touched it. You are quite right to say that it is a vocational duty to make ourselves familiar with the ideas of such a work when they lie in our field; I would hold out against this duty the other vocational duty, not to write and to publish such a work. In that Popper violated this elementary vocational duty and stole several hours of my lifetime, which I devoted in fulfilling my vocational duty, I feel completely justified in saying without reservation that this book is impudent, dilettantish crap. Every single sentence is a scandal, but it is still possible to lift out a few main annoyances.
1. The expressions "closed [society]" and "open society" are taken from Bergson's Deux Sources. Without explaining the difficulties that induced Bergson to create these concepts, Popper takes the terms because they sound good to him[he] comments in passing that in Bergson they had a "religious" meaning, but that he will use the concept of the open society closer to Graham Walas's "great society" or that of Walter Lippmann. Perhaps I am oversensitive about such things, but I do not believe that respectable philosophers such as Bergson develop their concepts for the sole purpose that the coffeehouse scum might have something to botch. There also arises the relevant problem: if Bergson's theory of open society is philosphically and historically tenable (which I in fact believe), then Popper's idea of the open society is ideological rubbish . . .
2. The impertinent disregard for the achievements in his particular problem area, which makes itself evident with respect to Bergson, runs through the whole work. When one reads the deliberations on Plato or Hegel, one has the impression that Popper is quite unfamiliar with the literature on the subject--even though he occasionally cites an author. In some cases, as for example Hegel, I would believe that he has never seen a work like Rosenzweig's Hegel and the State. In other cases, where he cites works without appearing to have perceived their contents, another factor is added:
3. Popper is philosophically so uncultured, so fully a primitive ideological brawler, that he is not able even approximately to reproduce correctly the contents of one page of Plato. Reading is of no use to him; he is too lacking in knowledge to understand what the author says. Through this emerge terrible things, as when he translates Hegel's "Germanic world" as "German world" and draws conclusions form this mistranslation regarding Hegel's German nationalist propaganda.
. . . Briefly and in sum: Popper's book is a scandal without extenuating circumstances; in its intellectual attitude it is the typical product of a failed intellectual; spiritually one would have to use expressions like rascally, impertinent, loutish; in terms of technical competence, as a piece in the history of thought, it is dilettantish, and as a result is worthless.
It would not be suitable to show this letter to the unqualified. Where it concerns its factual contents, I would see it as a violation of the vocational duty you identified, to support this scandal through silence.
If you keep the container properly sealed, Plato will stay good for years. I especially like the red and yellow Plato.
No of course not, because as I said: there is a moral imperative for parents to care for their children as dependents; our law imposes this duty at present as it has since antiquity. The family is the basis of all human civilization; childrens' rights are proscribed because they lack judgmental and cognitive capacity, and their parents' duty to care for them serves in place until they reach the age of majority. But what truly binds a family together is love, a bond far stronger than duty, but nonetheless a product of the human mind, and not mere animal instinct.
Only The Republic and that was a requirement for Philos. at Oakland University....Also had to do a paper on it, got a great grade.......a lot of pages of blather, diarrhea of the pen (or pencil) which ever was used..Didn’t cause me to want to read anything else he said...
Fur Shur totalitarian minded pukes lurk together.
Mission accomplished. That's academic Plato.
Put another way, there is a moral imperative to be the means to their ends. It's such a fundamental contradiction of Rand's central thesis that we pretty much have to discount her claims more generally.
“one CANNOT justify the sacrifice and effort required to raise a family from reason alone”
Sorry, I do not agree with you, and either did Ayn Rand. I rationally justified all that had to be done to raise a family, and did it. It was NO sacrifice.
If you think the time and effort, the tears and torment, and there is that, is a sacrifice, if your wife and children aren’t worth ten times the cost, if you consider those things a “sacrifice,” you should not have children.
I find those people who believe they’re doing something noble and sacrificial to raise a family (and frequently they are the kind who throw it up in their children’s faces) are despicable. Your love for you wife and family make no price too high to have, to nourish, to enjoy, to tend their every need. What kind of parent considers that a sacrifice?
I pity your family.
I’m not an Objectivist, by the way, but I do get tired of all the lies told about Rand.
For example: “Rand’s novels contain no CHILDREN! And no mention of family life.”
You apparently have never read Rand, or you are a very poor reader. Atlas Shrugged discusses two families, and one family with children, boys, 4 and 7, lived in Galt’s gulch. Dagny talks to the mother, who also happens to own a bakery, about raising and teaching her children. Her husband is a lineman.
What kind of “family” man are you, who repeats lies like that? Do you teach your children to do that too.
I had to look. It's been a long time since I read the book.
Yes, briefly it seems. There is one index reference to a place where Popper is quoted favorably.
I'm flattered that you remember me.
“Individualism is the opposite of dependency, not collectivism.”
I think your quibble is more semantic than philosophical. Rand regarded “independence” the nature of individualism:
“Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn’t done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.” [For the New Intellectual,The Fountainhead, “The Soul Of An Individualist”]
But collectivism is anything that is put above the individual and to which an individual is subordinated, whether it is a state, a society, a neighborhood, a club or a church. If individualism is not the opposite of collectivism, what is?
Collectivism does not have to be forced on people. Many people willing surrender their individualism and independence for the bowl of mush called security, for example.
I rationally justified all that had to be done to raise a family, and did it. It was NO sacrifice.
My point is, you would have done it anyway, even if you had never studied philosophy, science or logic. You would have done it out of LOVE, a natural aspect of your soul. The rational justification you tout came after the fact. Apart from love of others, romantic, familial and philanthropic, the world would indeed be a much worse place. We have enough social psychopaths as it is. But fortunately, we have a Divine heritage that is active in most people. The manifestation of that love is what is commonly called 'decency'. Blaise Pascal wrote, "The heart hath reasons that reason knows not of."
And so does yours, Hank, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
To look into one's heart and understand that force and fraud are not acceptable ways of getting by is to acknowledge the existence of a Moral Whole of which each of us are parts. The fact that this is perfectly compatible with reason is no criticism of moral obligation, and does not prove that it is derived solely from reason.
I still invite you to demonstrate how love is derived from reason alone, or reason supplemented by empirical observation. On the contrary, we come to this life fully equipped with a conscience and an ability to love that is limited only by our preoccupation with trivial pursuits. I am not holding myself up as a moral paragon, we all have our limitations. Nor do I doubt in any way your moral sincerity about your family. However, that was not the question I posed.
huuummmmm I don’t think so. THEY are calling us “teabaggers” because it has a nasty and vulgar meaning. We have called ourselves “teapartiers”. Let’s try to go with that.
Self-sufficiency is the opposite of dependency. Individualism and collectivism are opposing philosophies. Self-sufficiency/dependency are opposing traits of those opposing philosophies.
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