Plato, Aristotle, and Moses Essay

2261 Words Nov 16th, 2012 10 Pages
"Households, cities, countries, and nations have enjoyed great happiness when a single individual has taken heed of the Good and Beautiful. Such people not only liberate themselves; they fill those they meet with a free mind." Philo of Alexandria

Athens, via Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and Jerusalem through the Hebrew Scriptures, refer to two general and fundamental ways of life: the life of free inquiry on the one hand, the life of obedience to God’s law on the other. As discussed in class, the fact that most do not read the Hebrew Scriptures as a politically philosophical text, they are overlooking some fundamental political principles that are similar and complimentary to the Greeks.
The book of Genesis to the end of the book of
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And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain. Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

The transformation that Moses undergoes, having seen “the face of God” at the burning bush is similar to Plato’s “Analogy of the Cave”. He emerges with a mission, a calling that is to consume his life; leading the people to truth and justice. Bringing them forth from the darkness of Egypt into the light of Canaan. Like the man who returns to the cave having seen the light, Moses’ trustablitiy is doubted many times. Moses was rejected by “his people” many times. First, by the Hebrews as he attempted to help them by killing the overseer, sending him into exile. Secondly, by the Egyptians for siding with the slaves. Thirdly, by the Israelites during his attempt to lead them safely to the Promised Land. Like the Israelites, the Athenians did not understand, or refused to accept, the teachings of Socrates, which were intended to renew private and public morality; leading to is eventual condemnation and a nightcap of hemlock. Following the death of Socrates, many of his students
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