Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What if Machiavelli was right?

What if Machiavelli was right?
Don Enss

            When I reflected on Machiavelli’s uncomfortable questions, I wondered how they might be slightly modified for our time.  “What if God really didn’t care whether Christina Grimmie, the people in Pulse nightclub, or the little two-year old wading in the water at the Disney resort survived? What if God didn’t really care how women or men were treated? And what if human nature suits us such that a minister in California can applaud the murder of people and people in India can champion Donald Trump for his attacks on a religion?

            I read Timaeus hoping to find an answer. What I found was anatomical and astronomical ignorance which was somewhat understandable for the time in which it was written, but sadly reflective of the same ignorance that still exists in our time. “and the same is the case with the so-called womb or matrix of women; the animal within them is desirous of procreating children, and when remaining unfruitful long beyond its proper time, get discontented and angry, and wandering in every direction through the body, closes up the passages of the breath, and, by obstructing respiration, drives them to extremity, causing all varieties of disease.” The “disease” was known as hysteria and attributed to a wandering “uterus.” This ignorance was passed on from generation to generation. One would have thought that with Timaeus’s detailed description of the sinews and connective tissues of the body, he would have seen how the uterus was attached unless of course he didn’t want to. Now God of course would have known, so what we have his man’s observations, writings, and explanations, not God’s.


            I was expecting Socrates to challenge Timaeus when he stated, “Now everything that becomes or is created must of necessity be created by some cause, for without a cause nothing can be created.” So how was God created? What was the cause of God’s creation? Timaeus never answers those questions.

2 comments:

  1. I have Timaeus down on my list for philosophy books to read and analyze when I have the time. I am glad that you have read it and are able to provide some of your knowledge. I definitely think that there was some sex bias existent in the works. There is a book that I read some of, in Dr. Magada-Ward's, Philosophy of Gender class and i'll have to post the title later that discusses entrenched gender bias in science, especially based of off the Hunter/Gatherer dichotomy and the term "tomboyism". Saying that because of males being so strongly dominant in the past and preventing women from participation in science, that men framed the theories and knowledge arising out of scientific inquiry to result in outcomes they wanted causing women to be misrepresented. By the way, she is a great professor to talk to about philosophy and gender, especially because I know that you are interested in women's rights.

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  2. Plato doesn't really address the problem of evil. I think that's because his "two worlds" philosophy was insufficiently invested in THIS world. It goes beyond entrenched gender bias, beyond misogyny, to a form of misanthropy. If "care" in our world is in short supply, the humane response is not to seek escape but to stay and care more. Great post, Don.

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