Socrates- Plato- Aristotle- were these Ancient Greeks Atheists? What about most of their peers/contemporaries?
- j153eLv 710 months agoFavourite answer
Atheists claim to know God is not.
The ancient Greeks practiced the Eleusinian mysteries, of which Plato was a high initiate. Basically, awareness of the four seasons, and the post-passing survival of the soul (Plato gave this in his https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot_Allegory ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleusinian_Mysteries ).
Plato uses three terms for godness: "the divine, to theion," "the gods, hoi theoi," and "the god, ho theos." He is the closest to a monotheist: "God is a geometrician;" "We ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we can; and to fly away is to become like God, as far as this is possible; and to become like him is to become holy, just, and wise."
Socrates sometimes referred to Apollo as the God; at other times, Socrates has a similar position as some Hindu theologians: there are many aspects of the One, called gods and goddesses.
Aristotle is more "Enlightenment," i.e., the prime mover or unmoved mover is self-contemplative thought, what Plotinus (and Paul) called Mind, and, like Descartes, if the prime mover or even the gods and goddesses, aspects of the One, were not eternally self-aware, they would cease to be, as in the story: Descartes walks into a bar, sits down, and is asked by the waitperson if he'd like something, and responds "I think not," and disappears.
- 7FlightsupLv 610 months ago
I think they were agnostics, ie., they didn't know. Some believed in God, and very few were atheist, if at all.
- PaulLv 710 months ago
No they weren't atheists. The Greeks had hundreds of "gods" they worshipped. Granted, none of them existed, but believing in them was still a form of theism.