It is far better to suffer injustice than to commit injustice

“It is far better to suffer injustice than to commit injustice” -Socrates

If there is one thing that I have learned from this course it is that Reason is the path to enlightenment.  In the face of ignorance one must look to knowledge to overcome the intolerance of the ignorant.  A wise man once said:

 “The way you spend your money says a lot more about you than anything else.”- J. Fitz.

 Now assuming that “time is money” the way you spend your time can also say a lot about yourself.  The Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for inciting public unrest and anger from their controversial protest against gay rights.  These protests include but are not limited to sporting events, military funerals, schools, and outside of concerts. 

This Friday April 29th 2011 Westboro Baptist Church members will be protesting outside of Dr. Phillips High School calling it “Fag-Infested” and “Pervert Run”.  This school represents my community, since I grew up across the street from it and I drive past it every day on my way to work and school.  I may not believe that it is “good” to be gay but I do believe in America where everyone has the right to live how they choose. 

I will be joining about 2,000 other people from Dr. Phillips in a counter protest and will attempt to show these hypocrites their ignorance does no good and only breeds hatred.   I have seen them before with signs reading “God loves dead soldiers” and I wonder to myself, do they know why they are allowed to say such things?  It is because that soldier laid down his life for your right to say it.  Here is what the Bible says: 

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven”

They must have torn that page out of theirs…

P.S.  Thanks Mr. Fitz! Enjoyed the class and hopefully I will see you again and around somewhere, but if not, take it easy and keep fighting the good fight!  Also let me know if anything goes down with your “war on taxes” I got your back.  And sorry I went a little over 50 words.

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The Evolution of The Revolution

“The Evolution of the Revolution”

By: Dan Adams

             The word Philosophy literally means “love of wisdom”.  Early philosophers known as the” Pre-Socratics” were the first humans that looked for reason in a world dominated by supernatural gods.  They sought to bring into focus the underlying causes of the nature of life and of the world.  Though their ideas and claims may seem way off the mark by today’s standards, you have to remember these men didn’t have Socrates or Plato to look to when questioning the happenings of the world.  One of these Pre-Socratic philosophers, Thales of Miletus stated that one thing, water, was the basis of all things.  Obviously wrong but he posed the question which led another group of thinkers, the Atomists to believe that tiny particles infinite in number traveling through the void collide and come together to make up everything.  That theory has survived to this very day with the Atomic Theory of John Dalton.  So whether these Philosophers were right or wrong is irrelevant, the point is that they loved knowledge and sought constantly to expand their own.  They were looking for the right questions, and the answers are all around us.

                Today most people have never heard of Thales of Miletus, or any of the Pre-Socratic philosophers.  That is because they are famous for making other men great, specifically Socrates for whom they are named after.  Reason and democracy was at the core of every ancient Greek philosopher.  Today the world as we know it stands on the brink of collapse; revolution is spreading through the Middle East and North Africa like wild fire.  These revolutionaries hold some of the same ideals as our own founding fathers in America. 

                 The ways these revolutions spring up beg the question of who is right and who is wrong.  An ancient battle often fought on the battlefield costing many lives and the side that wins becomes the side that is right and good.  However that doesn’t always seem to be the case.  Take for example the American Revolution, as war was approaching people were either patriots fighting for independence or loyalists fighting to remain part of the British Empire.  The patriots won the conflict and were determined to be right for winning.  Had the loyalists won we would be hearing a much different story. 

                With the revolutions currently being fought it seems that the good side and the bad side have already been determined.  With mass media and the internet the entire world can form their own opinion on who is right.  People who have no understanding of the happenings in these countries are allowed to comment on something that they have no right to be involved in.  In the past countries were allowed to determine who is right and who is wrong among themselves, namely through war or revolution.  The winner of that war was declared to be right and that was the end of it.  Having a pre determined good and bad side goes against nature and undermines progress.  Natural selection is the basis on which progress moves forward, only the strongest and smartest survive and procreate.  Who are we to question nature?

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Greece is Gone…

“Master, it is not fitting that the Athenians should go unpunished for their deeds, after all the evil they have done to the Persians.”

Herodotus, The Histories; Book 7 Chapter 5 Sec.1

Had the Persian king Darius defeated the Greeks at the battle of Marathon or even his son Xerxes conquered the Greeks the world would be a much different place than we know today.  It was the Greeks who founded democracy and who created great works of art and literature, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.  It is from these stories and ideas that we have built our world and our culture.  The Persians had no concept of democracy and cared not for the good of the people only for the power of their king. 

            It is hard to say whether democracy could have survived through the tyranny of Persian rule.  Whether or not Greek literature could have continued to be written and carried on through the ages.  Most likely the Persians would have crushed such thinking and ideas with terrible and swift punishment.  Those who spoke of freedom would be hunted down and killed and those who wrote stories of the glory of Greece would find the same fate. 

            Now that Greece is firmly under Persian control, what will become of the lands to the east?  Phillip II would be unlikely to emerge as king of Macedon and unite the Greek city states.  His son Alexander the Great would not lead a great campaign to Hellenize the east.  Kandahar would not be Kandahar, which is the Afghan name for Alexandria, and there would be no Great Library at Alexandria in Egypt full knowledge and wisdom from all over the world. 

            How far west would the Persians expand?  Could anyone have stopped them?  The Roman Republic is in its infancy and still has a powerful rival, Carthage in North Africa to deal with.  Had the Persians and Carthaginians allied against Rome she surely would have fallen before she could barely walked.  All that was Roman would have been lost and the great ideas and philosophy of the next twelve hundred years would be lost.  Julius Caesar would have never crossed the Rubicon, never came, never saw, and never conquered.     

            The simple defeat of the Greeks has completely changed the course of history and nothing would have occurred as it did.  Take for example the months of the year.  July named for Julius Caesar would be known by another name as well as August named after Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian before becoming emperor in 27 B.C. Most other months in the Georgian calendar which we most commonly refer to are derived from Latin or Roman gods.  Had the Roman Empire not come to such prominence as it did we would know nothing of Latin let alone name our months after emperors who never ruled and gods who were clearly inferior to their Persian counterparts.  Also take into consideration the English language; most of its words are derived from Latin or Greek.  How could this language be formed if everyone was speaking the language of the Persians?  

        Medicine, Theater, and philosophy would be much different today as well.  These new ways of thinking in 500 B.C. were pioneered by Greeks during the classical age that followed the Persian wars.  Meaning… they made it all up, developed it themselves.  Were it not for these Greek thinkers and doers many of the social norms that occur today without a second thought would be strange and alien to us if we even see them happen at all.  We could only hope that the works of Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles and Euripides would be forgotten because it is likely that they never had the chance to share their work in writing. 

            Many of the ancient building such as the Parthenon were built during this time.  Imagine the Athenian Acropolis without the massive ruins of the Parthenon sitting atop its peak.  Though the Greek city-states fought amongst themselves for around 30 years they were still able to construct these wonders and write priceless works of literature such as Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.  

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” -Socrates

            The philosophers of this time still influence us today.  Most of their work is still relevant to modern thought and some have said the no one has come close to the creative range of Aristotle with the exception of Leonardo da Vinci.  Socrates, though put to death by his fellow Athenians, might have had a chance to get his work out to the public but the chances that he would have even existed are scarce.  He would not have had an opportunity to think the way that he did because he would have grown up in a society that belittles independent thought.

            In today’s modern world we can see Greek influence everywhere we look.  Washington D.C. for example is full of marble and granite colonnades and domes which were clearly influenced by Greek and Roman architecture.  Our own democracy in the United States of America is based on the Roman Senate and assemblies of the people.  Those themselves were based along the lines of the Greek city-states’ democratic ideals.  How could this have come about if it were not for the audacious thinking of the ancient Greeks?  Had the Persians defeated and conquered Greece in 480 B.C. none of these social norms would exist.  Most likely we would still be living in a feudal system of government of Lord and serf, King and subject.  Freedom of speech? Private property?  What do those words even mean? 

“The foundation of happiness is freedom that of freedom is courage.” Thucydides
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