Adopt a Better Worldview!
email: mbethany@betterworldview.com
How did the ancients articulate “philosophy”? They expressed themselves in “thought-pictures,” because they thought in pictures. If we define philosophy as systematic contemplation, we can clearly see that contemplation is not restricted to the Greek art of persuasion by pure logic. However, the Academy of Athens instructed the art of communicating ideas with words only, and verbal language became the norm for putting forward philosophical concepts. Nevertheless, before the method of philosophical argument was known, before the general influence of the sophists and Socrates became widespread, and most significantly before Plato founded the academy, people described abstract thoughts in “pictures”-meaning with illustrative literary tools. This was true for the entire ancient world, the Greeks included. The Greeks were especially good at making meaningful mind-pictures, and in addition, they cleverly acted out some of them as tragedies and comedies. These were all “earnest” expressions on the problems of life, showing as they “saw” it.

But may we call these representations “systematic”? Yes, if they successfully confirmed a specific world view and they expressed the spirit of their age. They usually used traditional images, complying with their culture. But what if they had not? Then people would have regarded them as new, shocking, and revolutionary, just as much as if they had expressed their thoughts with words only, according to the rules of logic.

Most of the material in the Bible is written by the old rules of communication. In our age, when we use this method, we use it in fiction, while logical language suggests “serious” matters. Often, we regard unembellished words as “truth” on face value. This is why so many consider the Bible “fiction,” but at the same time we are surprisingly uncritical of essays in the “philosophical” persuasion. The point is, it is possible to tell lies with pictures, and it is possible to tell lies with words. Truth or falsity is in the content, beyond the form.
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