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ARCHIVE of some video Programs from The Old Testament and the Greeks with the most recent on top from the Greeks
Archive of some video Programs from The Greeks,
including Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates (most recent at top, scroll down for others)
In the Greeks we started with the proverbial wisdom of Aesop (a truly enjoyable figure, whether an actual historical person or not) and then we went on to the Pre-Socratics in general and Heraclitus in particular with his Rational (Logos) pursuit of truth in the changing world around us. Eventually, in the Greeks Socrates emerges to battle the no-truth Sophists who hold generally to the humanist view that "man is the measure of all things" where each of us, supposedly, have our own "truth." (This is just as we saw the same error in the book of Judges in the Old Testament). Plato, of course, immortalizes Socrates by going on to argue for real and transcendent notions of Good and Truth in various dialogues and in his unbelievably brilliant but equally nutty Republic. After this we looked briefly at Aristotle's Ethics and Politics.
(At top are videos on the various Philosophical Schools which follow Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates) >>>
The Good, the Right, & the True, for 500 years, remain as real with Stoicism, but not the humanist Schools
Yet another Program for the Archives? Our best ever? Maybe? The Greeks, for me, represent the preliminary rounds of Western philosophy, or in essence its foundations, but by the time you get to the Roman Stoics you are moving into practical formulated theories, which, for me, become almost "modern" in their construction. And hence, in history, there are the pre-Socratics in their broad speculations, followed by the giant figure Socrates in his ordinary life and speculation about the good life or moral life, and Socrates is followed in turn by the two main figures (Plato and Aristotle) with massive philosophical output on the Good, transcendent Truth, and the Rational Nature of things, and then there are Skeptics, the Epicurean/ Hedonists, and the outright Cynics, all of whom, as their humanist/ sophist forerunners, simply do not buy into the Good, transcendent Truth, and the Right/ Rational Nature of things of Socrates, Plato and /or Aristotle.
Click on the links below for Program 170 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
The Stoics without any question, come along and pick up the ideas of Good, Truth, Right, and a Rational Nature to things but more as Socrates did in practical application (in morality and politics) but not in metaphysical or philosophical speculation (on the natural world), and, for the most part, without any absolute Sovereign God who is going to set everything right in the end. Hence, one bears thru morally real trials and tribulations but with a Stoical philosophical resignation, detachment or rising above such things, as one truly fulfills oneís self in moral living or doing the right thing whether slave or Emperor, rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful. And finally, today, the somewhat controversial idea that "Godís nature" is trinitarian, naturalistically speaking! And specifically even, I think one can say, it is represented in the Good, the Right, and the True as specifically the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, no less (see Romans 1:20 and Ephesians 5:9 for these 3 specific attributes of GOD). It is my personal opinion that we will study and marvel at God's "nature" (the current subject) "forever," and we will never completely understand it.
Below, Archive of some video Programs from Aristotle>>>
(most recent at top)
Justice/ Natural Law: Aristotle to Cicero to Augustine to Modernity; "To deceive the nations no more" for 1000 years
We transition today, briefly, into Biblical themes of history and politics. Let us all recall the ultimate Abrahamic Covenant is not simply with the Jewish people, but rather Abraham is to be the father of many righteous and just nations in "the way" of the Lord. Clearly this Abrahamic Covenant is a Kingdom Era Prophecy! Get back! (Hello? Genesis 17:4-5 & 18:19). In the Kingdom Era of righteous and just nations, Satan is bound for "1000 years," and the nations are no longer deceived to be unrighteous and make unjust war anymore, and, hence, we will have a time of peace, justice, and righteousness on earth. Note: the philosophical theme of Plato and Aristotle is exactly that: the moral good and fulfilling life for the individual, and what is the just state for the common good in the nature of things? Simple enough set of questions, really, for all but the morally depraved of Romans 1 &2, who, "professing to become wise, they became fools"?
Isaiah certainly does have a false liberal religion (in Judaism) before the destruction of Jerusalem as well as in the end times more generally and, hence, before the great and terrible day of the Lord (or the Great tribulation as it is called in the New Testament) but at 17:57 minutes it is Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11), not Isaiah who uses this terminology of crying "Peace, peace, when there is no peace" to describe a false liberal religion of Judah. Rather Isaiah says seers Prophesy "smooth" things (Isaiah 30:10) or do futile worship (in 1:13-14), a common theme of many prophets! There is religion in society, yes, but no truth, justice, righteousness, and equity! (59:4, 59:14, etc.) But, again, Natural Law, Rights, man's social good or harmony, real Justice, etc. are all interconnected in the Rational order of things, and their good and fulfillment, and so forth.
The long march back- Aristotleís Politics to Ciceroís Republic, and the American Constitution, Part II
Today, we start "the long march" back to re-establish the American Republic in "all history"...
Photo of Program marker board>>>Program 155 Photo As with any long campaign or march, if we pull it off, in this unbelievably black era of American history, you can say in years to come, you were there, you made the march., the long march, the long march back to Americaís philosophical roots... (Again, please note: the racial civil rights movement (of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s) was based on asserting the foundational rights of America for all, not denying them (as the humanist radicals did), and it was often led by ministers, as such, no less.)
Aristotleís Nicomachean Ethics The Nature of Manís Fulfillment--- What is the "take-away"?
Today we wrap up the Ethics: The happy life is the virtuous life, the life which truly fulfills our humanity. A Program for the Archives? Yes, indeed, the moral life really is the best life, the most rational life, and the most desirable life, and the wisest life. Or, are the humanist and moral relativist correct, and the moral life is not "smart" at all? At 10:56 minutes I mean to say "Aristotle" and not "Socrates." You will note that Aristotle has posed in the Ethics the exact same question that Socrates posed in the Republic of Plato, and hence, in essence, the same question Solomon posed in the Proverbs! (My goodness.)
Aristotle with his simple badness idea and avoiding excess and defect is as the Old Testament with its clear moral law and not turning to the left or right, and really Aristotle's teaching is also as the New Testament with its idea of the straight and narrow and building one's life on a wise and solid foundation of God's Truth, in the nature of things, one could say. Not only should we teach this in the schools, but for Aristotle knowing the divine rational principle in the nature of man and things in the cosmos is the entire point of education, if you are really educated! The humanist of both modernity and antiquity is, of course, not on board for any of this. Tragically? (As it is said, no "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" for him or for her!) In any case, next time, we go on Aristotle's Politics. Aristotle's fans would argue, and I think in fact with some justification, that all history to this point has just been a mere warm-up for this next treatise because Aristotle's Politics is truly industrial strength stuff of the first order. The Politics are going to go into overdrive as a follow-up to the Ethics, and for Aristotle that is saying something! Look out!!!
Natural Law/ Justice vs. the merely legal... Universals & Particulars, Equity, Wisdom, Knowledge
Today, we attempt to blast through the text of the Ethics to the end, but we fall a few paragraphs and pages short... "The true student of politics studies virtue above all things." (No kidding?) One could say, the good legislator as well as the good educator?! (Good grief, Charlie Brown?) And "reasons" as "causes," yet again... The more things change over 2400 years, the more they remain the same? And, of course, we are not simply victims of irrational desires!!! (Please!) As with Solomon, practical wisdom is about what is the good life, in general, or, that is, what is true wisdom about things? And, of course, we all have opinions, but when are they true opinions, and hence, knowledge? Or, is there any objective truth at all? (Opinions vary on this subject!)
And, today, what I call Aristotle in a nutshell: "the continent man (or the man with self-control), knowing that (some of) his appetites are bad, refuses on account of his rational principle to follow them." Man is a social and political animal and, hence, one could add, the immoral man is a-social or even anti-social, and the social moral good for man is the Golden Rule. (Clearly? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?) Further, as Aristotle says, "A good man... delights in virtuous actions, and is vexed at (or by) vicious ones." My goodness? (Hit the deck?) The Nicomachean Ethics is frequently considered by Aristotle buffs to be the greatest work of moral virtue ever written. Whether it is, or it isn't, do not stand in his line of fire, whatever you do!!!
Below Archive of some video Programs from Plato>>>
(most recent at top)
Itís over... Socrates or the Sophists? Knowledge/ Enlightenment as...? & What do we teach?
What is history? Manís story of trying to do real good, or we are meaningless creatures in an ultimately meaningless universe... All seem to agree after 2400 years!!! So, we see today that the more things change, the more they remain the same, even on the big and ultimate questions of life and of law, education, entertainment, the church, ethics, morality, and politics! The closing books of the Republic will be more on what we would call politics in particular. My goodness. How can all these themes repeat thru all history?
"This is a swell school... but it could use a little more Light though..." "Where you from, Hobbs?" "All around really, what about you?"
Moral Laws of Nature? or 1.) NO objective truth & 2.) NO rational order to things?
A key point is the Natural Law is both assumed (transcendentally, as a condition for the possibility of knowing) and sought (practically, in this world), a funny combination I have never seen commented upon. Why such a combination? Because it is in theory assumed and hence foundational and sought in actual particular case application, or it is not real at all, and so it is neither reasonably assumed or sought by the humanist. And this is true of the reality of the Good as well. At 12:30 minutes I read the same quote on the Good which I read last time, but this time it is from the Classics Club edition of Plato pp. 401-402 "...whether rightly or wrongly, God knows,... whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of Knowledge the idea of Good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal Author of all things Beautiful and Right, parent of light, and the Lord of light in the visible world, and the immediate source of Reason and Truth in the intellectual (realm); and that this is the Power upon which he who would act Rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed." (Again, except for God, for some reason, there are no caps in the original English translation.)
The photo of today's marker board>>> Program 135 Photo. To my knowledge this real, virtually personified, Good of Plato is never specifically identified with his ultimate Architect or Craftsman of the universe, but if each really exists, both are for all practical purposes God, and further, the Good, seems to be the Father specifically, more than anything, while the Architect or Craftsman seems to be more generally the Godhead as we usually think of it (given John 1:1 & Genesis 1:1)? Still, one can argue the Architect or Craftsman of the universe is not that central to Plato, but "the Good"? His entire philosophical system tends to stand or fall on its literal philosophical, ontological Reality. (How this will play out in Aristotle is one of the most interesting questions in all of philosophy. He does not want to keep it, but he cannot leave it alone.) "How come you didnít you start playing when you were a little younger?" "I did play when I was younger." "But you gave it up?" "Sort of, but mind was always on the game..." "Where you from?" "Does it matter?"
Reason is not "versus" Revelation, but rather they are two sides of the same coin of Godís Truth
We, today, finish up putting Socrates and the Greeks in a larger philosophical context of "all history," and, hence, how natural Reason and special Revelation are going to play themselves out in history. Also, the real point for the Greeks is not a dualism of body as bad and spirit as good but rather directing our passions, feelings and desires in a wise, good, "rational" and moral manner.
Program marker board photo>> Program 120 Photo. Generally, Xanthippe is given a very bad rap in history (to the point that her name is actually associated with -itch), but clearly not so in Plato. Obviously she and Socrates are enjoying themselves in a good bit of marital harmony even when Socrates is in his late 60s, no less, and Xanthippe is much younger and is still having those little babies! Without question, Socrates is something of a young and vigorous buck at 67 or 68! However, Wesleyís wife was notorious in older literature, but she is rarely mentioned in current stories. Although, she, apparently, did not specifically "beat" him (as I incorrectly suggest), she was, it seems, quite abusive.
Platoís Republic: The great work of Philosophy... & The great question(s) of Philosophy...
What is Justice? A true harmony of the parts of the Body politic, but that will come later, the real question, and the foundational question of the Republic is going to be: Is the moral life truly the best life? These are the two central questions of the Republic.
Click on the links below for Program 118 of "The Story of The Great Books":
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In any case, these are the two basic questions of the Republic--- and Western civilization will never be the same. Socrates is about to go to work. Never before done, and never to be equaled? The Master of philosophical argument in his finest hour, for "all history"...
The GREEKS: The Divine LOGOS, and the Rational Nature of "everything"
Please note: The title credits incorrectly label this "Program 80," and not "81." The Pre-Socratics: There is a lot more going on here than meets the eye, and there is a lot less going on than meets the eye. In my opinion thatís the rule of thumb for the pre-Socratics. However, Heraclitus hits the nail squarely on the head by defining the debates of both philosophy and science and the entire enterprise of rational analysis which will follow in the coming centuries, and even millennia! He says, "My own method is to distinguish each thing according to its nature, and to specify how it behaves" according to rational principle, of course.
In Heraclitus the Logos takes on the attributes of Platoís divine Craftsman of the universe... very Biblical, to be sure... Also Heraclitus has, clearly, a one-ness as well as a diversity aspect to the universe as seen in just this one quote: "Listening not to me but to the Logos [the rational principle of nature and within], it is wise to acknowledge all things are one." That is, the universe is a cosmos, not a chaos, but the oneness of the universe is not called or identified with "God" here, as the divine Logos tends to be in some other writers. However, later writers claim that Heraclitus had a notion of God as the One or the All, which is in fact a somewhat common notion of later antiquity, but it is not in his surviving fragments in any significant sense, though "the one" or "all" as opposed to, or paradoxically related to, "the many" certainly is in Heraclitus, and this is not usually not seen to be so by your average text book. A later writer Aetius says, quote, "Heraclitus says that the periodic fire is eternal [the ultimate substance, as it were], and the Logos, which is Destiny, is the Craftsman who has produced all things." This is clearly powerful stuff, and very Biblically theistic, but mostly or ultimately just a combination of physical, metaphysical, and theological speculation. And the later highly respected Sextus Empiricus says, "Heraclitus asserts, ...the sharable and divine Reason (logos) [is what] by participating in... we become rational, [and it, the Logos,] is the criterion of truth." And so begins Western philosophy?
Old Testament ARCHIVE>>>
In the Old Testament we saw many principles of the Just society in the Law of Moses and in the 10 Commandments principles of personal and social morality! Further, in our look at the Old Testament, we saw "humanism" classically defined as "doing what is right in one's own eyes" in the time of the Judges, and then we saw how the Psalms praise the Law of God as one's Delight, day and night, in Psalm 1, and how God is working his will out through history in Psalm 2, and these same themes repeated in Psalm 98, as Psalm 2, and Psalm 119, as Psalm 1...
We then looked extensively at Isaiah, but, in truth, the Prophets generally tell of Jerusalem with its unrighteous revelers calling evil "good" and with its false/ liberal religious leaders saying not to worry when Judgment is about to fall, but there is also a faithful righteous remnant, which will return after the Babylonian captivity, but also remain after the great and terrible day of the Lord (however one might interpret that) in order to set up the Kingdom Era where the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and each shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest, and each will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid anymore! Finally we looked at the practical proverbial wisdom of Solomon, and others, based mostly on natural revelation and reason, where the sum of the matter is:
To fear God and keep His Commandments because every work will be brought into Judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. This foundational central theme of natural philosophy will be repeated by Socrates and Cicero. (Unfortunately at this time we only have Archive space at this time for 2 Video Programs.)
Archive of some video Programs
from The Old Testament >>>
The Proverbs: Wisdom & Folly, Rational & Irrational, Sin & Righteousness, Normal & Outrageous
We conclude the Proverbs today with a wide range of topics, among them making war, no less. You do not want to make war without a lot of good advisors warns Solomon! Is that relevant to us, or what? (Just a little?) But more generally we look at how in the larger picture the whole enterprise of doing proverbial wisdom fits into the larger story of philosophy, and how we go from calling good "good and wise" to calling good "evil and foolish," and how the outrageous can become "normal" and the normal "outrageous." Crazy, man? No, I keep trying to tell you "surreal," but you people wonít listen to me!!! I just have a hard time following all of this. I just do. In fact the entire Democratic Party leaves me "confused." Their lips are moving, but they do not make any sense, to me anyway. I canít help it. The fact is the naturalistic revelation of the Proverbs is either a delight and pleasure to us or an offense and a reproach, as the Prophets were in their own thus-says-the-Lord way to Judah and Israel. And, in fact, Athens is going to kill Socrates for his proverbial wisdom and insight. In any case, here is my list from Proverbs, by category, from which I have been reading on the video Programs: Program 70 Proverbs
Isaiah, The Greatest of all Prophets... Reign of the Logos: The Laws of Nature and of Natureís God
In Isaiah... The "Reign of Christ" from "the Throne of David"... At 8:00 minutes I should say when the righteous die, not the unrighteous die, they are frequently seen as martyrs. Clearly, it should seem if great calamity comes on the earth, one must assume that many righteous will die as well. At 18:25 God re-gathers the people "from" (not "to") many nations including Egypt back to Israel. (Isaiah 11:11)
Click on the links below for Program 60 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Please note!!! "The Sword of the Spirit," "the Sword from Christ's mouth," etc., is almost always meant metaphorically, dealing with "spiritual warfare" concerning truth and falsehood as, say, in a courtroom, classroom, church class, etc. Think of all the places truth and falsehood, wisdom, justice, and righteousness matter, even in legislation! And isn't it interesting these are all the places we tend to see truth and falsehood, justice, wisdom, and righteousness break down in our society today! However, poor David, is in actual (not mere verbal) warfare with those who often regard God's law as null and void, and, hence, see there to be no real Justice, Truth, and Righteousness, and literally seek to kill him...