March 12, 2007 8:31pm CST
What Classifies Someone As A Philosopher? You were asked who you consider to be the greatest philosopher of all time. Someone answered “Jesus”. For the sake of argument, let 's assume that Jesus was man not myth. Is it accurate to call Jesus a philosopher? What is a philosopher? What conditions need to be fulfilled, if any, in order to be considered a philosopher?
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• United States
14 Mar 07
I find it interesting that you exempt Jesus from being a myth. If Jesus were a myth, derived from the ancient mysteries, the myth would then at least have ties to the Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates, all inducted into the mysteries. I think the story of Jesus contains elements that have pertained to historical philosophical discussions: why are we here, do we have a soul, etc. I also think it is ingenious in it's construction with an answer for every doubt, and punishment for disbelief. However, today, to believe, I think requires a denial of logic, the language of philosophy, and is entirely based on emotions. This is called faith. Today, I do not think that Christianity is philosophical. Were the words and works of Jesus philosophical? No, not if his story is taken literally.
13 Mar 07
Here is my opinion, it is a debated position, and is based in my belief of the answer to the question, "What is a philosopher?" A question that I believe requires a philosophical approach to properly answer. This question must be answered prior to defining Christ as a philosopher or not. Lao Tsu was considered a philosopher, yet his teachings are the basis of a religious movement. A philosopher is someone who offers a unique perspective on life and/or thinking/rationale. An individual with a master's or doctorate in philosophy may have an extensive knowledge of philosophy, but they are not necssarily philosophers themselves. A true philosopher is a rare commodity, and religious individuals are members of this group, imo. Christ is a philosopher in that he presented philosophical questions and answers to these questions. He stated that, the premeditation of an act was of the same substance as the act. He presented commentary on the question of judgement, stating that one with error is incapable of making a judgement without the possibility of error in said judgement, and thus should not judge. Many of Christ's statements can be taken as philosophical commentary on Jewish beliefs, thus he most definitely can be considered a philosopher of religion at the very least.
13 Mar 07
A Philosopher is... Somebody who studies philosophy. Somebody who seeks to know and explain the principles of philosophy. Thinking person. A thinker who seriously and deeply considers life in general and human affairs. Calm and rational person. Somebody who rationally and calmly reacts to situations and events,,, e.g. adversity. Somebody who holds particular beliefs. Somebody who believes in a particular philosophy and thinks and acts on the same manner.