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Who is the personality you admire the most?

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Guest FriendofGreece

By personality, it can be any public person, like a politician, an artist, a writer, a scientist, etc., you get the gist. 

 

I think I admire Socrates the most. Some reasons: he questions everything, the reasons he chose to die instead of running away, he is funny.  :)

 

How about you?

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you should get over people. People as such don't deserve admiration and you are shooting yourself in the foot intelectualy by being a "Fanboy". You should focus on Ideas and concepts. Yes I find Aristotel's clarity of thought amazing but the man himself was a vain and supeficial fool. Many of the things Heraclitus said resonate with an unbearable intensity in my mind and yet the man himself was an antisocial loner. The deep passion of Nietzsche's thought sets my mind ablaze and yet the man had a neurotic personality. Ideas have to stand on their own. The vices and virtues of their bearers don't matter at all. At the end we are all Human, all too Human.

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That is a way of seeing it. Although to me, ideas are what makes a person different from another. The ideas are attached to the person because they are his own.

 

Socrates' ideas are what made him the way he was. Of course, he has his own personality traits, which I don't know by the way, the way you described for the other persons. Personality traits, I think, are also part of a person. I think I can admire a person when he has personality traits like honesty, courage, curiosity, etc. Of course, nobody is perfect, we are all humans like you said. I don't put Socrates on a pedestal, but I think I can still admire him for the things I mentioned.

 

Because, for example, Aristotle was vain and superficial, does not mean that he can't be considered to be great and admirable. He is great because he had clarity of thought, and that clarity of thought allowed him to achieve great things for humanity. So who really cares if he was vain and superficial in his personal life?

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You know why people become "Great" after they die?

My working theory is that it takes time for the memories of their human shortcomings to fade and for the legend to develop.

 

Would you have admired Socrates if you were a citizen of Ancient Athens and had known the man personaly or would you detest him, as the majority of his contemporaries did. Would you vote guilty or not guilty at his trial if you had known him?

 

How would you judge a judgmental arrogant good for nothing gasebag who lectures others about morals while he spends his whole life in the company of Tyrants and mass murderers? Would you judge the REAL man by the post-posthumous AGIOGRAPHY of the man?

 

So the Ideas define the man you say? Can you present a single original idea that you can confidentely attribute to Socrates?

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"The unexamined life is not worth living", "Know thyself". 

 

Well, Jesus was crucified although he was a good man. 

 

Was Socrates arrogant? From whatever I have read, and I did not read all the dialogues yet, he did not appear so. He has his way of asking questions, some may not like to be put on the spot all the time.

 

He spent his whole life with tyrants and mass murderers? It seems to me there were many people around him, they were not all tyrants and mass murderers, were they? 

 

What "agiography" is that, I don't know. 

 

I would have still admired him if I were living in Ancient Athens. (I would have to re-read his trial but from memory, but when I read it, I did not find anything wrong with him and was wondering why he was even put on trial. He was not a criminal.) So, if I were living in Ancient Athens, I would have found him not guilty. Not because the majority is against him that I would necessarily think like them. 

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Like you said, some people become great after they die because of enhanced legends.

 

In my opinion, it could also be that in some other cases, they are too advanced for their times. For example, Vivaldi ("The Four Seasons") is well recognized now but when he died, he was absolutely poor. It is the same thing with some painters or writers.

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"The unexamined life is not worth living", "Know thyself". 

 

Well, Jesus was crucified although he was a good man. 

 

Was Socrates arrogant? From whatever I have read, and I did not read all the dialogues yet, he did not appear so. He has his way of asking questions, some may not like to be put on the spot all the time.

 

He spent his whole life with tyrants and mass murderers? It seems to me there were many people around him, they were not all tyrants and mass murderers, were they? 

 

What "agiography" is that, I don't know. 

 

I would have still admired him if I were living in Ancient Athens. (I would have to re-read his trial but from memory, but when I read it, I did not find anything wrong with him and was wondering why he was even put on trial. He was not a criminal.) So, if I were living in Ancient Athens, I would have found him not guilty. Not because the majority is against him that I would necessarily think like them.

In other words you don't know anything about the man. The agiography is of course the corpus of texts written by Plato 15 to 20 years after Socrates died. So you take the words Plato puts in a dead mans mouth and attribute them to Socrates. Do you know anything about the events that took place at that time? The disaster of the Sicilian campaign, the treachery of Alcibiates, the truce of Nikias, the second act of treason by Alcibiades, the defeat at Notium, the fall of Athens at Aegos Potamoi, the ascend of Kritias and the thirty tyrants, the restoration of Thrasybulos... You know nothing about those events and how Socrates was connected to the players and yet here you are admiring him while the Athenians who knew those things sentenced him to death. Why don't you read up and reach a verdict from a more informed position.

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People are people and it's natural for even the greatest human beings to have shortcomings. In most cases, when talking about important personalities like Socrates, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Einstein etc. etc.  it's hard to "see" the human being behind the brilliant ideas they've set forth.

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No, I don't know anything about the man, and I actually just learned that there was something written about the man because someone somewhere in the forum asked about Socrates the man or Socrates in the Plato dialogues. I only know the Socrates in the dialogues. Even if it was Plato who put the words in his mouth, I call Socrates the person in the dialogue, as that is how the person was identified. Plato could have named him XYZ instead of Socrates.  

 

Do I really need to know each and everything about the personal life of Socrates before I can say that I admire him? I don't think so. I think that the ideas he talked about, the way he thinks and tries to find the truth through questioning, why he chose to die instead of running away, etc., are sufficient for me. From what I understand, the trial was because he did not believe in the ancient gods and he was corrupting the youth. 

 

I agree with what Admin said. So Socrates had shortcomings but he had those brilliant ideas. Had he been perfect in his personal life and virtuous but without ideas, I doubt anyone would know about him.

 

Furthermore, I tend to look at the positive sides of a person, rather than dwell on their negative sides. If the negative sides don't really affect the importance of the contributions of the person, why bother with them? 

 

---

 

Patrick - would you care to share with us why you admire Wehrner von Braun? I don't know him at all.

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No, I don't know anything about the man, and I actually just learned that there was something written about the man because someone somewhere in the forum asked about Socrates the man or Socrates in the Plato dialogues. I only know the Socrates in the dialogues. Even if it was Plato who put the words in his mouth, I call Socrates the person in the dialogue, as that is how the person was identified. Plato could have named him XYZ instead of Socrates.  

 

Do I really need to know each and everything about the personal life of Socrates before I can say that I admire him? I don't think so. I think that the ideas he talked about, the way he thinks and tries to find the truth through questioning, why he chose to die instead of running away, etc., are sufficient for me. From what I understand, the trial was because he did not believe in the ancient gods and he was corrupting the youth. 

 

I agree with what Admin said. So Socrates had shortcomings but he had those brilliant ideas. Had he been perfect in his personal life and virtuous but without ideas, I doubt anyone would know about him.

 

Furthermore, I tend to look at the positive sides of a person, rather than dwell on their negative sides. If the negative sides don't really affect the importance of the contributions of the person, why bother with them? 

 

---

 

Patrick - would you care to share with us why you admire Wehrner von Braun? I don't know him at all.

How many of Platos texts did you read? And even if you read them all can you put them in context? Do you know enough about the context to notice Plato's omissions in the Apology for example? Do you notice the passive agressive tone in the Apology? Do you realize what the defense strategy is? So what do you base your admiration of the man on?

 

btw. Wernher von Braun was the guy who managed the V2 rocket program in Nazi Germany. After the war it was he and his team who developed the Saturn rockets in the US and ultimately put a man on the moon.

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btw. Wernher von Braun was the guy who managed the V2 rocket program in Nazi Germany. After the war it was he and his team who developed the Saturn rockets in the US and ultimately put a man on the moon.

 

von Braun was a member of the Nazi party and the SS.His V2 rocket program and rockets killed many people. This is to show that it's not only people, but even brilliant and noble ideas can be used to hurt the mankind.

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So you source your admiration of Socrates to some idiot who pulls crap out of his ass?

 

I give you the short story of Socrates:

Socrates was Plato's lover and Plato was Socrates's boy toy. At some point Socrates is senteced to death and dies. Twenty years after that an aging Plato remembers the good times he had with his lover and writes a bunch of nonsense. The only thing Platos dialogs convey is the yearning for Socrates's dick in his old ass. That's all there is to it.

 

After a few centuries a bunch of gays and christian monastic scholars (also GAY) discovered the writings of Plato and they loved them in the same way older middle aged sexualy frustrated women love "Fifty Shades of Grey" so they wrote thousands upon thousands of treatises on Plato and Socratic "Philosophy".

 

The Athenians who got to know Socrates did put him to death. Their only mistake was to allow him to live on after the restoration of Thrasybulos. The Sicilians who got to know Plato beat the crap out of him and sold him as a slave. So if you think that Moses Mendelssohn knows better than they did then I'm afraid you can't be helped.

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You have such a know-it-all attitude and total disrespect for other people's opinions. You can think what you want, let me and others think what we want about Socrates.

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hey man,

 

of course you can think whatever you want but I don't have to agree with it. You see this works both ways.

And by no means do I claim to know it ALL but I did bother to read ALL of Plato's texts and I don't quote third party opinions here but MY own views.

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I never said you had to agree with me, you are free to think what you want.

 

The article talks about the life events of Socrates because you said I did not know anything about the man, about him being involved all his life with tyrants, etc. Based on what the author said, it seems Socrates was guilty by association, and the Athenians who put him on trial were the powerful at that time, not because the majority of Athenians did not like him.

 

My opinion about Socrates, I already explained here and there in this topic. His personality can be perceived even if I did not read all Plato's dialogues, so what's the big deal?

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von Braun was a member of the Nazi party and the SS.His V2 rocket program and rockets killed many people. This is to show that it's not only people, but even brilliant and noble ideas can be used to hurt the mankind.

 

 

Wernher von Braun V2 rocket was the first human made object that reached space. He later on developed Redstone, Mercury and Gemini rockets. He then build the gigantic Saturn V and with it brought humans on the moon and safe back.

 

His last great project was the Space Shuttle. He finished its design but died before its first flight in 1981. 

 

Since the russian space program was also heavily influenced by his work he is worldwide seen as a titanic figure. Almost evrything we have in space today is only possible because his work. 

 

NASA boss Charles Bolden said without von Braun we would know nothing about space, never were no the moon, had no sattelites. Our world would be very different. 

 

Von Brauns goal was to rip free from the chains of gravity. 

 

He had his dark sides. He was in the SS as said and also looked for workers in concentration camps.

 

That the V2 was used as weapon is not bad since it was war and the allies used weapons as well. 

 

That said Wernher von Braun is one of the few persons of world history where much shadows are overshined by much light.

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Wernher von Braun V2 rocket was the first human made object that reached space. He later on developed Redstone, Mercury and Gemini rockets. He then build the gigantic Saturn V and with it brought humans on the moon and safe back.

 

His last great project was the Space Shuttle. He finished its design but died before its first flight in 1981. 

 

Since the russian space program was also heavily influenced by his work he is worldwide seen as a titanic figure. Almost evrything we have in space today is only possible because his work. 

 

NASA boss Charles Bolden said without von Braun we would know nothing about space, never were no the moon, had no sattelites. Our world would be very different. 

 

Von Brauns goal was to rip free from the chains of gravity. 

 

He had his dark sides. He was in the SS as said and also looked for workers in concentration camps.

 

That the V2 was used as weapon is not bad since it was war and the allies used weapons as well. 

 

That said Wernher von Braun is one of the few persons of world history where much shadows are overshined by much light.

My Raumfahrttechnik Prof at the TU München was Harry O. Ruppe he worked with von Braun on the Apollo program and was also friends with Hermann Oberth. The visionary has always been Hermann Oberth. He is the guy who developed the ideas for space flight but he was not much of a salesman. His dissertation on Space Flight was dismissed as illusory and he was denied his Phd. So he went on to publisch "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" on his own. Thats were space exploration really begins. Von Braun, who was a student of Oberth, once said:

 

Hermann Oberth war der erste, der in Verbindung mit dem Gedanken einer wirklichen Weltraumfahrt zum Rechenschieber griff und zahlenmäßig durchgearbeitete Konzepte und Konstruktionsentwürfe vorlegte.

 

Von Braun was a genious, according to Ruppe, when it came to organizing, getting the founding and keeping track of every tiny detail, technical or organizational, of extremly compicated projects. He was an electrifying character and he could get things done. And no doubt, the moonlanding would not have happened without him. I think his "Dark Side" resulted from his singlemindedness. He was so fixated on achieving his goals that he often chose to overlook the means by which those goals were achieved.

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I never said you had to agree with me, you are free to think what you want.

 

The article talks about the life events of Socrates because you said I did not know anything about the man, about him being involved all his life with tyrants, etc. Based on what the author said, it seems Socrates was guilty by association, and the Athenians who put him on trial were the powerful at that time, not because the majority of Athenians did not like him.

 

My opinion about Socrates, I already explained here and there in this topic. His personality can be perceived even if I did not read all Plato's dialogues, so what's the big deal?

Your personal preferences are of course none of my business. But when you put a topic up for discussion you need to have some basic understanding of the topic. That article you posted is only a testament to the bias and ignorance of the author. Moses Mendelson writes:

 

 

Such difficulties and obstacles stood in Socrates' way as he made the great decision, to spread virtue and wisdom among his fellow men. On the one hand, he had to conquer the prejudices of his own upbringing, to enlighten the ignorance of others, to battle the Sophists, to suffer malice, vulgarity, defamation and abuse of his enemies, endure poverty, to battle established authority, and what was the most difficult, to counteract the dark horror of superstition. On the other hand, the weak minds of his fellow citizens were to be saved, scandal was to be avoided, and the good influence, which even the most absurd religion had on the habits of the naïve, was not to be squandered. He overcame all these difficulties at the expense and loss of all worldly goods and pleasures, with the wisdom of a true philosopher, with the patience of a saint, with the unselfish virtue of a friend of humanity, with the decisiveness of a hero.

 

 

He sanctifies Socrates and presents him as the becon of virtue in a sea of malice. Only someone who has no idea about the historical context would accept such a statement. Socrates lived from 470 to 399 BCE. So he spend almost his whole live in the 5th century BCE which is also known as the Golden Age of Hellas. The Athens of his time was not cesspool of ignorance and superstition. To the contrary. It was the time when Athens was at the peak. Aeschylos, Sophocles and Euripides lived in the very same city and the same time as Socrates and were held in high esteem. Especialy Euripides for the profound morality of the protagonists in his tragedies. So whose morality and whose intelect does Socrates challenge? That of people who observe in awe the play of Antigone?

 

Beyond Athens we have Democritus, Anaxagoras, Embedocles, Euclid, Parmenides, Zeno, Hippocrates and many more. The life times of all those overlap with that of Socrates. So only one who is ignorant of the context can claim that Socrates took it upon him to enlighten the world such as Moses Mendelson does. The truth of the matter is that the world Socrates was born in was already brightly iluminated.

 

The fact that there were many great thinkers around during his life time can not be held against Socrates of course. His actions are what speaks against him. And once again you have to look into the context and you do that by studying the works of Thucydides who is considered the father of "History" and was, you guessed it, an Athenian contemporary of Socrates. He recorded the events of the Peloponesian war and it is the aftermath of that war and Socrates attitudes towards and connections to some of the players that shed a less than favorable light on his personality.

 

One of those players was Alcibiades who was a member of the Aristocracy. He also was a pupil and a lover of Socrates. He was the one who urged Athens to dispatch the expedition to Sicily and he was in comand of that expedition. Close to 15.000 Athenian troops participated none survived. Many died on the battlefield, most perished in the mines as slaves. When Athens recalled Alcibiades to answer for his failure he defected to Sparta and was advising the Spartans to put their bases close to Athens and thus suffecate his native city. Despite his underniable contribution to the Spartan cause he fell out with the Spartans too and defected to Persia. At some point the Athenian Aristocracy manages to reinstate him as a General but at the end of the day Athens loses the war. When that happens, it turnes out that a Great part of the Aristocracy was conspiring with the Spartans all along to overthrow the Democratic Order of Athens. With the aid of Sparta, Critias, who was Socrates's main benefactor, establishes the Tyrany of the thirty. The proponents of democracy are prosecuted exiled and Huundreds of them are killed. Socrates does not take part in any killing but he remains a loyal errant boy of Critias during that time. Ultimately Thrasybulus with the aid of Theban Troops retakes Athens ousts the Tyrany of the Thirty and reestablishes Democracy. Critias is killed but most of his supporters and followers are pardoned. Socrates is one of them.

 

Fast forward a few years. Socrates, once again, is found in the midst of the Aristocratic youth, moralizing and looking down on his fellow Athenians. So here is a guy who's company consisted exclusively of traitors, tyrants and murderers and he is preaching morals to the families of those who got killed in Sicily and in the purges of Critias. He never questions the actions of his malevolent benefactors and accomplices but looks down on those who pardoned him. The Athenians had enough of the clown and did what they should have done all along. They sentenced the old gasbag to death. Plato is trying to present Socrates as a Teacher of "Morals" but the Athenians saw him as a mentor of Traitors and an errand boy of Tyrants. And that's what he was.

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Guest PatrickT

My Raumfahrttechnik Prof at the TU München was Harry O. Ruppe he worked with von Braun on the Apollo program and was also friends with Hermann Oberth. The visionary has always been Hermann Oberth. He is the guy who developed the ideas for space flight but he was not much of a salesman. His dissertation on Space Flight was dismissed as illusory and he was denied his Phd. So he went on to publisch "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" on his own. Thats were space exploration really begins. Von Braun, who was a student of Oberth, once said:

 

Hermann Oberth war der erste, der in Verbindung mit dem Gedanken einer wirklichen Weltraumfahrt zum Rechenschieber griff und zahlenmäßig durchgearbeitete Konzepte und Konstruktionsentwürfe vorlegte.

 

Von Braun was a genious, according to Ruppe, when it came to organizing, getting the founding and keeping track of every tiny detail, technical or organizational, of extremly compicated projects. He was an electrifying character and he could get things done. And no doubt, the moonlanding would not have happened without him. I think his "Dark Side" resulted from his singlemindedness. He was so fixated on achieving his goals that he often chose to overlook the means by which those goals were achieved.

 

 

Yes thats true. von Braun was perfect in coordination even the most complex projects and keep them on track. Best example for this is the Shuttle program. The space shuttle is an extremly complex machine. So far the most complex ever build. NASA had totally different designs for the shuttle. They wanted to launch it from an even more gigantic airplane/rocket, which would then return and land

 

p208.jpg

 

 

2stsnar0.jpg

 

They even planned it to also have jet engines so once it entered atmosphere again it would switch to its jet engines and fly to the base and land.

 

The shuttle program basicly went offtrack until von Braun took control over it.

 

he said those concepts are overly idiotic. The tasks the shuttle has to perform bring it on its destruction range. Its a machine that operates at extreme conditions. Its own main engiens are by far the most complex rocket engines ever made and he believed its totally insane to add jet engines as well. He labelled it as overengineered and a failure. So he brought up his own concept:

 

sts72_g1.jpg

 

NASA_Art.jpg

 

His concept didn´t change much about the orbiter itself. But ge got rid of the jet engines. He said the orbiter will come back like an unpropelled glider.

 

Its launched with its own 3 main engines and additional two massive Solid Rocket Boosters and attached to a massive external tank.

 

The engineers behind the shuttle program were shocked. Von Braun basicly throw their entire work out of the window.

 

In the end they accepted his design and later said the shuttle would have never flown if they had not followed von Braun.

 

He really was outstanding in such regards

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