Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for St John, Metrodorus (Lamp) and Jonathan Schofield

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7 ideas

2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God [John]
     Full Idea: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.
     From: St John (04: Gospel of St John [c.95], 01.01)
     A reaction: 'Word' translates the Greek word 'logos', which has come a long way since Heraclitus. The interesting contrast is with the later Platonist view that the essence of God is the Good. So is the source of everything to be found in reason, or in value?
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 2. Defining Truth
Jesus said he bore witness to the truth. Pilate asked, What is truth? [John]
     Full Idea: Jesus: I came into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
     From: St John (04: Gospel of St John [c.95], 18:37-8)
     A reaction: There is very little explicit discussion of truth in philosophy before this exchange (apart from Ideas 251 and 586), and there isn't any real debate prior to Russell and the pragmatists. What was Pilate's tone? Did he spit at the end of his question?
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / b. Raven paradox
Observing irrelevant items supports both 'all x are y' and 'all x are non-y', revealing its absurdity [Schofield,J]
     Full Idea: Although Hempel's raven paradox produces an absurdity of irrelevant observations, we can ignore it because (unlike good observations) observing a white handbag supports the contradictions of 'ravens are black' and 'ravens are non-black'.
     From: Jonathan Schofield (talk [2005]), quoted by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: The idea of 'eliminating it from our enquiries' cannot be totally irrational (e.g. in detective work), but it is only seriously sensible in a restricted domain (such as a country house)
23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 2. Hedonism
All inventions of the mind aim at pleasure, and those that don't are worthless [Metrodorus of Lamp., by Plutarch]
     Full Idea: Metrodorus says that all the wonderful, ingenious and brilliant inventions of the mind have been contrived for the sake of pleasure of the flesh or for the sake of looking forward to it, and any accomplishment not leading to this end is worthless.
     From: report of Metrodorus (Lamp) (fragments/reports [c.291 BCE], Fr 6) by Plutarch - 74: Reply to Colotes 1125
     A reaction: It is very hard to think of counterexamples! Would anyone bother to work out the theorems of number theory if they didn't enjoy doing it? Would any sensible person make great sacrifices if they didn't think that increased happiness would result?
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / c. God is the good
He that does evil has not seen God [John]
     Full Idea: He that doeth evil hath not seen God.
     From: St John (25: Third Epistle of John [c.90], 11)
     A reaction: This gives God a role striking similar to Plato's Form of the Good. Plato thought the Good was prior to the gods, but he gives the good a quasi-religious role. I say we would only be inspired by the sight of God if we already had a moral sense.
God is love [John]
     Full Idea: God is love.
     From: St John (23: First Epistle of John [c.90], 4.16)
     A reaction: Used by Ayer as an example of meaningless religious language (see Idea 5209). One might translate it as 'the existence of God is a necessary condition for the existence of love in the universe'. Like matter is needed for gravity. Not totally meaningless!
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 1. Religious Commitment / a. Religious Belief
If you love the world, then you do not love the Father [John]
     Full Idea: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
     From: St John (23: First Epistle of John [c.90], 2.15)
     A reaction: This strikes me as an essentially wicked teaching, and one step on the road to suicide. The rejection of life is the worst aspect of all religions - surely it is obvious that we should try to make the best of life, not turn our backs on it?