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Is Collective Guilt Good?

by on July 6, 2020

The teacher looks over the classroom, a frown conspicuously distorting her face. With knitted brow she passes down the aisles peering at each child suspiciously.
“NO ONE is leaving… until I found out who did it!”
The kids squirm. They furtively glance at the guilty and innocent alike.
“No one owning up, hmmm??? Okay, no recess for anyone!”

The Classical Wisdom of the Founding Fathers

by on July 3, 2020

Written by Alex Barrientos, Senior Editor, Classical Wisdom
The United States of America will turn 244 years old tomorrow.
From a historical perspective, the U.S. is quite a young nation. We’ve come a long way, and have much still to learn.
To those of you not already aware, it may come as no surprise to learn that the Founding Fathers of the U.S. were heavily influenced by the classics. They had a good understanding of ancient history, philosophy, and politics, and utilized that when crafting the founding documents of this country.

Date and Time in Ancient Rome

by on July 1, 2020

Written by Visnja Bojovic, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Time. It’s an abstract concept, but it frames our life possibly more than anything else. We cannot touch time, we cannot feel it or see it, but we know for sure that, as the years pass, we will have (more) grey hair and a lot more stories to tell as a result of it.
Nowadays when we read articles and blogs about the importance of time, they are mostly related to the significance of time management and living every moment as if it was our last (Memento mori!). Of course, all of this is very important as we should be aware of the preciousness and uniqueness of every moment. However, we should not forget that time is important in a much more practical sense as well.
Imagine spending a day without being able to tell the time. Even just the thought of it gives you a certain amount of discomfort, doesn’t it? We are all completely dependent on a system of time measurement that is precise enough to prevent us from being late for an important meeting, that accurately counts the period between contractions, or that allows us to perfectly boil an egg.

Epicureanism: Death Does Not Concern Us

by on June 30, 2020

Written by Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom

“It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly.

And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.”

~ Epicurus, The Principal Doctrines

Socrates And Martin Luther King: Lessons in Civil Disobedience

by on June 26, 2020

Written by Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
At the opening of the Crito, a dialogue by the philosopher Plato, Socrates has been imprisoned. He is awaiting his execution for the supposed crimes of corrupting the youth and believing in strange gods. However, it is only by chance that Socrates is still alive, trapped in his cell. Around the time of his trial, the Athenians had sent a small galley on a religious mission to the Aegean island of Delos. It was believed that the island was sacred to the God Apollo and so while the ship was away, no executions would take place. 
Socrates’ wealthy friend Crito visits with the philosopher in the early hours of the morning. He informs Socrates that the ship from Delos will be arriving soon and that he will undoubtedly be killed once it lands at Athens. There is little time left, Crito assures Socrates that he would be able to bribe the prison guards and allow Socrates to escape from Athens. The philosopher would avoid his execution, and live out his days in Thessaly. And then something very strange happens: Socrates refuses…
Instead, Socrates launches into a series of questions (as he tends to do) and engages in a philosophical discourse with his worried friend, Crito. Socrates first asks if we should concern ourselves with the opinion of the majority, they may harm a man’s flesh, but can they ever damage his soul? Socrates does not believe so; he then asks if it is justified to harm others who have caused us harm. Crito considers this and then concludes that wrongdoing, by nature, is never justified and that we must never do wrong to others even when we suffer under injustice. Socrates consents to this point and acknowledges that many would not agree with him on this matter. He even states…

Cyrenaic Hedonism: A Life in Pursuit of Pleasure

by on June 25, 2020

Written by Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom 

“If it were wrong to be extravagant, it would not be in vogue at the festivals of the gods.”

~ Aristippus (Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of Eminent Philosophers)

We have seen, through our examination of ethical egoism last week, that some philosophers believed that the best life consisted of getting whatever we want, so long as whatever we want is admirable or good. That then leaves us with a tricky question: what types of things are considered admirable and good? The ancient philosopher Aristippus had a rather controversial answer.