Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 10 months ago

Socrates- Plato- Aristotle- were these Ancient Greeks Atheists? What about most of their peers/contemporaries?

3 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    10 months ago
    Favourite 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 ; ).

    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.

  • 10 months ago

    I think they were agnostics, ie., they didn't know. Some believed in God, and very few were atheist, if at all.

  • Paul
    Lv 7
    10 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.

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