9 Answers

  1. I will reproduce here the text that I wrote on this topic earlier.

    The Hellenistic era is notorious for the dominance of a wide variety of sects and teachings, Christianity was just one of many. Skeptical philosophers are to blame for their popularity, as well as the widespread spread of scholarship itself. Doubting is often easy, but not always useful, and sometimes even very harmful. The ancients began to indulge in skepticism very early, Hecateus already in the VI century came to the conclusion that mythology, without a doubt, is an empty fiction, and Democritus a century later ruled that the gods and the afterlife are invented by people with a miserable life and because of the fear of death; For that matter, Homer was already making fun of the belief in the gods. In Periclean Athens, all educated people were influenced in one way or another by the sophists, who taught that it was necessary to accept reality as it was, and not to invent what it should be, as many do. Later, this view was strongly opposed by Socrates and Plato, who liked to do the opposite; moreover, these philosophers declared our observable world to be an illusion, and placed the truth in a deliberately unattainable place. It is for this reason that Nietzsche denounces them in his last words and declares them the forerunners of the life-denying religion known as Christianity. The Christians themselves, who declare Socrates and Plato to be “Christians before Christ,”do not dispute this.

    However, it was still a long way away, and the first wave of reaction had smoothed out. The sophists were later called the first skeptics; now there are actual skeptics, the real ones. They affirmed the view that reality is basically unknowable, and one should not even try. Even Socrates ' claim that he only knows that he knows nothing was considered by Pyrrhos to be overly bold. The correct behavior, in their opinion, will beπποχή, the suppression of the propensity to reason, if and only then will ἀταραξία, serenity, be achieved. Later, skeptics still identified the conditions under which the study of the world can still be considered objective, among them was repeatability; thus, the concept of experiment was discovered. However, the damage has already been done. B. Russell notes that skepticism has managed to ” sow … dissatisfaction with the state religions, but had nothing positive, even in the purely intellectual sphere, that he could assume in return for it … By not responding to the skeptics ' arguments, the old world has turned its back on them. Since the Olympians were discredited, the road was opened for the invasion of Eastern religions, which competed in superstition until the triumph of Christianity.” From all this it follows that doubting, of course, is healthy, but it is necessary to know a certain measure in this.

    Antiquity ended with the greatest regression of thinking, straining in the truest sense. Classical discourse did not know theology in any form, and, moreover, in any reflection on religious topics, the deities were obliged to submit to a causal relationship. Even mythology suggested that Zeus himself was in the hands of Moir, and later Pittacus of the Seven Sages said that ” the gods do not argue with inevitability.” Out of this mindset, science was born, and this opinion is still held by the same Russell: “the [Greek] idea of fate … it may have been one of the sources from which science derived its belief in natural law.” The learned Greeks were not believers in any broad sense, treating the very concept of faith with a fair amount of contempt. Instead, they trusted reason, as the Bible notes with annoyance: while ” the Jews demand miracles, the Greeks seek wisdom.” Some contemporary Christian scholars have pointed out that for the Greeks, even the later ones, such as Plotinus, “it would be the height of madness to provide a solution to such an important question … not reason, but faith … [he] is looking for a 'scientific', strictly proven path.” In comparison with all this, Christianity is nothing less than bioenergetics and extrasensory perception, where there is a call to blind faith, which is presented as a great dignity of the individual. Worse, it is presented as a way of life that our ancestors led, as a tradition that we must return to if we want to achieve lost greatness. In reality, of course, everything is exactly the opposite.

    Something similar to ancient skepticism, as you can see, is very widespread even now, in our days. It intuitively corresponds to the worldview of the broad masses living in times of any decline, and now it is just like that. Skepticism offers an antidote to all anxiety, because nothing matters, but more importantly, it provides an excuse for lack of education, legitimizes self-withdrawal from the knowledge of the truth, which it declares impossible under any circumstances. Today's so-called “popularizers of science” teach skepticism, which they believe is used to fight pseudoscience; however, they do not understand that the average person is not capable of being moderate in any way. Once he starts to doubt, he can't stop. A skeptic, even if he is familiar with many branches of knowledge, does not agree with anything he has studied, because he believes that only a naive person can hold views and have a position. The skeptic fears losing, being deceived, more than anything else in the world, and therefore he resists the world with the help of sophisticated cynicism, feigned fatigue from life, although he most often did not even see it in his eyes. It is not surprising that such behavior again, as in the old days, has become fashionable to respond with blind, unconditional faith in God, coupled with a denial of science. Even this obscurantism seems to them better than complete emptiness, there is at least something here. A new Dark Age awaits us.

  2. I honestly admit that I didn't understand the question at all at first… and I don't understand it.

    There are quite a lot of questions on Q based on the saying: “One fool can ask such a question, a hundred wise men will not answer.”

    What exactly did the ancient thinkers” run into “and what” wall”?!

    What kind of crisis are we talking about, and what kind of “exit” did Christianity become?!

    That is, in fact, you need to answer four questions already… but none of them can be answers to the question itself by an anonymous author!

    Therefore, it is extremely abstract.

    The crisis of ancient philosophy, first of all of the Greek philosophers, and later of the Roman philosophers, was expressed in its degradation to magic and astrology. However, Lucretius Carr in the first century BC wrote a work, most of which becomes the basis of modern science, and Stoicism and Neoplatonism are the leading philosophies of the late Roman Empire, which were already banned by law by the Christian state authorities from 391.

    In addition, the very time of the so-called Renaissance in the Middle Ages, when Christian culture completely dominated the minds of people, is primarily a revival of ancient philosophy, its strengths and weaknesses of such well – known representatives as Aristotle and Plato.

    Christianity as a religion was born at the end of the first century in the ghettos of the slaves of overgrown Roman cities and was only one of many religions of that time that entered into a kind of historical tender for a new type of religion-a religion of a supranational nature.

    Christianity in this sense had a number of important advantages. First: the agitational character of religion, which is expressed in the holy scriptures-the Gospels, according to which the first sermons were conducted. In Judaism, the role of the “pagan idol” is played by the so-called “holy scriptures”. However, it is Christianity that turns its ” writings “(the “Good Word”) into a means of agitation and attracting new believers.

    Second: the hierarchy and structure of the first Christian communities, which was taken by analogy with the Roman power structure. This is a horizontal system of apostles, who later became known as bishops, who are the leading elite of the Church. And although disputes between communities were often extremely fierce, it was precisely in these disputes that the canons of the new faith were born, the most successful of which were then consistently preached. It is enough to read Paul's letters to see the fierce agony of the birth of religion, as well as the development of the conviction of one's Faith.

    Third, the close nature of the main legend of Christianity-the resurrection of Jesus – found a broad echo in the related ideas of the resurrection of religions that were extremely popular at that time. These are the cults of the Persian Mithras, Greek Adonis, Egyptian Osiris and a number of others.

    Fourth: the promise of retribution after death and the severity of the wrongs of life. One could put this point as the main one, because the life of slaves in ancient Rome was hopeless and hopeless. Christianity gave the main thing-Hope. At least after death.

    Fifth: the general availability of the baptismal rite for anyone.

    And finally, the last thing: representatives of different faiths somehow participated in the politics of the state. Christianity originated in Syria (Asia Minor) and North Africa – the main grain provinces of Rome. Therefore, by the end of the third century, representatives of the state elites of these provinces were often Christians. For the reasons listed above, the provincial elites were well connected by a common religion and, given the crisis of Roman power, became important, as they would say today, “players” of political intrigues and preferences.

    I think that this “factor” was decisive for the Emperor Constantine when he approved the new religion as a state religion… But this is a completely different topic.

  3. Only in the sense that their ethics were aristocratic and could only be supported by a situation of war and emergency, where the courage of people is shown. Any peaceful life led to a crisis of philosophical schools and an increase in skepticism, while Christianity offered a more democratic ethic, which made it possible to overcome the intellectual and social crisis.

  4. Did any of them hit a wall?Why do religions exist now with an abundance of scientific explanations,voluminous philosophical systems,isn't it more reasonable to live in search of your own understanding of the world, and so on?.Simply put, it is a matter of changing society,if the majority became Christians, both the upper and lower classes, then no one will be interested in a different point of view .Plus, education in a religious system of perception of the world, there is little basis for other conclusions,as a result, the Christian perception of the world will become the base matrix.
    And by the time of Christianity, ancient philosophical thought had already degenerated,philosophy was possessed by the aristocratic upper classes, of which one way or another a minority, and the religious ideas of Christianity were possessed by the lower classes(the majority).There was almost a blank sheet, which began the change of outlook.But still, in the Middle Ages, the gaze was turned back to the ancient thinkers, in order to more convincingly put the Christian world order.

  5. No, it doesn't match. Thinkers are primarily philosophers. Despite their different camps, which for simplicity's sake can be defined as the camps of Aristotle and Plato, they were a hundred times closer to the truth than dogmatic Christianity. Christianity that has chastised its own ( even those that have been corrected and changed ) texts literally fell out of the dialectic of the cognitive process of humanity and turned for the most part into a frozen instruction for those who are in ignorance.

    A Christian who claims that “God is a Living Fire” and speaks of “Tongues of Fire” on the Day of the Holy Spirit and of the “Burning Bush” of Moses is as much a fire – worshipper as any “pagan”.

    Christianity has taken over, borrowed, stolen, etc. too much from previous sages, teachings, and even paganism to create its own clay (in the theological sense ) giant.

    Origen, Synesius, and even Clement of Alexandria were initiated into the ancient Mysteries before joining the Neo-Platonism of the Alexandrian Gnostic School under the guise of Christianity.

    Moreover, some of the doctrines of the secret schools of Hellas and Egypt , though by no means all, were preserved in the Vatican and have since become an integral part of the Mysteries in the Latin Church, in the form of distorted additions to the original program of Christianity. This, now materialized, is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This explains the brutal persecution launched by the Roman Catholic Church against Occultism, Freemasonry, and all other non-religious Mysticism.

    Thus, Christianity flourished as a kind of empty flower on the powerful trunk of ancient knowledge, the weak and inconsistent successor of which was, in particular, a well-known cohort of ancient thinkers.

    The word “Christianity” does not refer to the canon of high morality that Jesus brought to the Jews. Talk exclusively about the doctrine developed by Christ, the established church, and theology. That is, about what people created on the basis of the”good news”.

  6. Speculating about what was going on in people's minds 2,000 years ago is an empty exercise, akin to medieval speculation about how many angels can fit on the tip of a needle.

    To call one of the religious movements a “way out of the crisis” for the thinkers of antiquity is simply incorrect. Replacing the process of thinking with FAITH is disastrous for thinking, because “everything is God's will” and there is no need to think! So Christianity was the natural end of the ancient thinkers.

  7. It is clear that the majority does not take into account the teaching that Christians possessed, and in some apocrypha there is a clear logical system. Also ap. Paul relies on a logical foundation(without fully revealing it ). Do not forget that the knowledge could be secret (this is due to the late disclosure) they will be manifested in their own time and will intersect with the scientific knowledge of the world. During the formation of Christianity, all opponents were defeated in the discussion, and this means that it is based on a clear logical teaching. You don't think that the first disputes were conducted on the basis of modern canonical sources, do you?

  8. The fact that the ancient thinkers “hit the wall”.. I don't believe it , and not everything is as it seems at the expense of Christianity. Simply because the word truth means something that is a fact, actually done, consciously tested in practice. We can judge ancient thinkers only by their “works” – words that have come down to our time. and it is also very important to understand their words and utterances adequately. The same can be said about Christianity. Christianity is first of all a definition, a word, unfortunately, not many people adequately understand its meaning. They are confused with the religious interpretation common among the people.

  9. Such arguments are always conditional. Of course, there are many explanations for why Christianity emerged at that particular stage of civilization, and why it might not have been so successful at any other time or under any other circumstances. But all this is just a fantasy, based on the assumption that Christianity was invented from beginning to end, and invented for some purpose. However, there is no evidence for this, and any believer will tell you that Christianity was born with the coming of Christ at a time that God himself provided for at the beginning of Creation, and that pagan philosophers and thinkers had nothing to do with it.

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