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Socrates, Jesus and Freedom: A Philosophical Reflection Paperback – June 23, 2016
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In this book we learn about how the classical way of thinking combined with Christian ideas and traditions created balanced cultures which could advance greatly over time. In western history we have seen strong christian religion alone does not automatically lead to general improvement in the aforementioned areas, yet in the case of enlightenment philosophy without christian religion we had the French terror and failed republic. The cultures that embraced the ancient philosophy including ideas about freedom as well as the christian teachings and traditions, such as in America and the United Kingdom, saw unprecedented rapid advancements which improved the lives of everyone in the societies, especially the lower class (which used to be the majority of people and most of whom grew into a new large 'middle class'.
Today we are seeing a devolution of western society. The middle class is declining, epistemology is not generally taught, the family has disintegrated as Christian traditions have diminished. An examination of political speeches over the last 150 years shows a sad decline in sophistication and literacy. Of course it is not all doom and gloom, there have been many great developments in that time as well, but any careful observer can see that we in the west have long term unsustainable problems.
I think that in order to resolve these problems, we must understand "what went right" in the first place. Especially from a secular point of view we must know what Christianity contributed so that even if the religion is not entirely true or even mostly false, we can still understand and embrace the aspects of it that contributed. From the strongly christian point of view, we desperately need philosophy and freedom to steer our actions towards the truth, and what is actually good for people. For instance, the Catholic without philosophy and ideas of liberty might want the state to ban prostitution, but guided also by philosophy (such as that of their Saint Aquinas) would differentiate between the forceful ban of aggressive acts like murder and tolerance of voluntary "immoral" acts like prostitution. In this way in the west, we had the practice of limiting the state's forcefull ways mostly to the correction of aggression, and religion was a voluntary guide to "best practices" in life.
This book is a new look at old ideas, and an examination of how they interplay and yeild positive results for society. Whatever your idealogical background, this book will make you think about things in a different way, and whatever your interests, I think you will enjoy the history it contains on it's own merit. Highly recommended.
This book is for all audiences but I especially recommend it to those who yearn to challenge themselves with extraordinary contemplations. The book will also make a great and not-so-ordinary gift for friends and family.
“Socrates, Jesus and Freedom” – recently published by Joan Arnsteen –
is a philosophical reflection about two of the greatest men that lived - ¬
Socrates and Jesus. The author writes that we are the heirs of the teaching
of both men where we learn to benefit from the use of ancient symbols,
inductive reasoning and dialectic (i.e., the art of question and answer).
This book is a well-researched and stimulating look at the teaching of both
Socrates and Jesus and describes how we learn to care for our souls by
developing virtue and the art of living a good life. There are many
similarities between Socrates and Jesus, for example, both men never wrote
anything down but had a profound effect on their followers. The author
demonstrates the teaching similarities between Socrates and Jesus by
examining inductive methodology, (i.e., reasoning from specific
propositions to general propositions). The author uses Plato’s Republic and
the Holy Bible to serve as the framework for this investigation, and at the
same time tells an extraordinary story that is soundly based upon historical
research. We become close to the character of Socrates as we follow his
walk through the marketplace where he felt that it was his mission as a
“gadfly" to sting the truth out of his listeners. We follow Jesus’ ministry
as He gathers His disciples, performs His miracles, opens our hearts to
God’s Holy agape love; and, we shutter at Jesus’ crucifixion and death, as
well as rejoice over His resurrection. The author moves with ease among
complex ideas, and presents Socrates and Jesus in a way that will cause the
reader to think about both philosophy and religion in a new and different
way. The author’s message is one of individual freedom that will bring us
spiritual growth, peace, joy, pleasure and happiness.
This book presents Socrates and Jesus in a novel way that will cause you
to think about philosophy and religion in a new light. As an author of
several spiritual books myself, I can state without hesitation
that, Socrates, Jesus and Freedom by Joan Arnsteen is a must read book
for spiritual seekers who are interested in individual freedom.