Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Thus Spake Zarathustra (1 Viewer)

a15haddad

Senior Member
I have. I've read a lot of Nietzche. He certainly walked the line between genius and insanity, but wow, he was a genius, wasn't he? I am astounded by his theories.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Nietzsche was an unsufferable prick. Even moreso because his very logical philosophy rings so truly. He's still a bit ahead of the game with the whole "God is dead" thing, though. It'll still be another 100 years or so before that's realized (assuming we don't kill each other first).

A brilliant, unsufferable prick. Very arrogant, very rightly so. I still think Socrates beat the hell out of him.
 

Kane

Senior Member
Most of what's known of Socrates, if not all, comes from Plato's writings, since Socrates never wrote anything down. So we don't even know what philosophy truly belonged to Socrates and what came from Plato. Of Plato, I have only read the Republic, and I thought it was complete dung.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Plato transcribed Socrates' speech during his trial, and that sums up very well what Socrates philosophized. But other philosophers also wrote of Socrates, because he was a very influential and notorious figure. The sophists really hated him because they were incredible pricks (of a different vein than Nietzsche), and Socrates was able to brilliantly pierce the bullshit rhetoric they spouted and embrass them in front of many people.

Now The Republic... Tell me how the cave allegory can not be true.
 

Kane

Senior Member
This was my paper on Plato's "The Republic". It's not my best work, but what can I say? I was rather less than inspired.




Plato was an idealist who lived in Athens during the 4th and 5th centuries, BCE. Plato and his teacher Socrates are generally referred to as the founders of western philosophy. Believing that goodness is related to knowledge, Plato believed that excellence could be attained by instruction, and that the ideal ruler could be created.

For Plato, the ideal guardian of the State possessed all of the best traits of man: philosophy, spirit, swiftness and strength. He believed that a good man, by nature, must be lover of wisdom. Therefore, Plato argued, that only the best of men, who embodied the character of a guardian, should rule. They should be trained from a young age, and scrutinized through their development. Only those, who at each stage in their lives, proved uncompromising and pure in their love of State would be appointed as rulers.

According to Plato, money corrupted otherwise good men and suggested that the guardians of the state be free of such corruption when he said: "Gold and Silver we will tell them that they have from God; the diviner metal is within them, and they have therefore no need of the dross which is current among men, and ought not to pollute the divine by any such earthly admixture; for that commoner metal has been the source of many unholy deeds, but their own is defiled." (Wiesner 70)

He goes on to illustrate that not only money, but property, causes men to no longer govern out of a love for the State, but rather personal greed: "But should they ever acquire homes or lands or moneys of their own, they will become housekeepers and husbandmen instead of guardians, enemies and tyrants instead of allies of the other citizens hating and being hated, plotting and being plotted against, they will pass their whole life in much greater terror of internal than of external enemies, and the hour of ruin, both to themselves and the rest of the State, will be at hand." (Wiesner 70)

Plato believed that both "men and women alike possess the qualities which make a guardian; they only differ in their comparative strength or weakness". (Wiesner 71) Because of this, he argued that the wives of the guardians should endure the same rigorous method of training and selection as the guardians themselves. He felt that the wives of the guardians should have similar qualities as their husbands and resemble them in capacity and in character.

Plato was so intent on keeping the focus of the guardians specifically on matters of State that he went so far as to suggest that even the guardians' wives and children would be considerable distractions. Thus it was that he said, "the wives of our guardians are to be common, and their children are to be common, and no parent is to know his own child, nor and child his parent." (Wiesner 71)

He justified this communal arrangement by saying, "Both the community of property and the community of families... tend to make them more truly guardians; they will not tear the city in pieces by differing about 'mine' and 'not mine'; each man dragging any acquisition which he has made into a separate house of his own, where he has a separate wife and children and private pleasures and pains; but all will be affected as far as may be by the same pleasures and pains because they are all of one opinion about what is near and dear the them, and therefore they all tend towards a common end." (Wiesner 71)

Though Plato's idealistic views regarding the guardians were most likely, born of a genuine love for the State, by today's standards they were mediocre at best. If the guardian's had no sense of themselves; no property or money or even wives of their own, how could they hope to govern with any realistic idea of the needs and wants of the people? Perhaps Plato's Republic looks good on paper, but the practicality of its implementation is highly suspect.

Not only would forbidding the guardians any aspect of personal ownership make them unsympathetic to the citizens of the city, to think that a communal way of life would eliminate turmoil within the government is false. The human being is a jealous creature by nature and forcing him to share everything would only increase his jealousy. Plato's concept of communal children removing the "mine/not mine" would be null as soon as the guardians started scrutinizing the children for features common to themselves.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Yeah but I asked about the cave allegory... I haven't read The Republic yet (it's on my shelf). But I have read snippets of it and we did discuss Plato in my philosophy and literary study classes (the bastard was against poetry). The cave allegory especially—it's a very poigniant observation.
 

Kane

Senior Member
I'll have to read it. Perhaps I didn't read the whole thing. I read what was in our book, and can't remember a cave allegory. I thought we had the whole thing, but I could be wrong.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
True, the cave allegory does a pretty good job summing up human nature, but I'd still remove my left testicle with a dulled hacksaw blade before jumping on Plato's bandwagon. A visionary, brilliant even, but for no reason in particular he bothers the hell out of me.

N-dawg, on the other hand, now there's a man who fits perfectly into our angsty, emo-ridden world. Also sprach Zarathustra, indeed. I wonder how often he references the Parsis in it. Anybody know, or is it just a catchy title?

Andrew
 
Top