We Need to Nurture Hope

The Golden Age of Arab Spain:

I love reading the opinions of others. It is through this that I get motivated to think and write about ideas that are new to me.

I read a piece recently claiming that Spain’s Catholics somehow lied about, or wildly exaggerated, the “Moslem Invasion” of 711. The author called it a “myth.” The purpose of the myth, according to the writer, was for the Church to blame an embarrassingly dark period in its history on something foreign that “She” could not have stopped. An interesting point of view that I cannot, at this point, share.

In my opinion there is overwhelming evidence (linguistic, artistic and architectural) that much of Spain south of Toledo and possibly north as far as Zaragoza was occupied by a liberal Arabic dynasty centred in Cordoba for close to three centuries.

Yes, Liberal Arabs:

I used the adjective, liberal, because openness to new ideas and tolerance of Christians and Jews was emblematic of the threatened  Umayyad dynasty that entered Spain in 711 after fleeing Damascus, the Umayyad capital based in Syria. Umayyads had put together the fifth largest empire in history. Continue reading “We Need to Nurture Hope”

The Greeks Get It

Pynx Hill, behind the Agora's middle stoa - where Athenians voted 260 to 220 against Socrates
Pynx Hill, behind the Agora’s middle stoa – where Athenians voted 280 to 220 against Socrates in 399 BC

Greeks learn once more the lesson

That Socrates taught

Until his soul was silenced.

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Socrates never wrote anything down, but Plato, his best-known student, attributed the following quote to Socrates when he spoke at his trial on the Pynx Hill, just north of the Agora:
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An unexamined life is not worth living.
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Socrates preferred to drink hemlock rather than face a sentence of exile or enforced silence enforced by the powerful, ignorant and  selfish in an Athens recently humiliated by Sparta.
The vast majority of  21st century humans have absorbed nothing of ethical importance in the 24 centuries since Socrates.
Simon and Garfunkel had it figured out as early as 1966: The Sound of Silence:
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We are praying to a Neon god.
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Smug, we ridicule the Greeks, quoting from neoliberal scripture, while not getting what’s really going on. Being already victimized makes them wiser than us.  So are Palestinians, Southern Sudanese, the Nile fellahin who have been displaced over the past several years from their farmland by the rush to build hotels for the smug, etc. etc. fere ad infinitum.