Wednesday, June 15, 2011
"Love, and do what you will." --St. Augustine
One of my favorite books is A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. In that book, Tolle quotes St. Augustine's "Homily Number 7 on the First Epistle of John," reproduced below in it's entirety, in which Augustine preaches, "Love, and do what you will."
Augustine (354-430 AD) was the Bishop of the city of Hippo in what is modern-day Algeria. His simple precept is a far cry from what the Roman Catholic Church (and most Christian denominations) are today, with its complete incorporation of ethics, morality and judgment, a result of the adoption of Aristotelian philosophy in the thirteenth century via the writings of Thomas Aquinas, most notably Summa Theologica.
"Love, and do what you will," is the original Gospel with a capital G. Jesus taught people not to judge.
The problem is, you can't have a conception of morality or ethics without judgement. Most people just laugh this off, thinking, "That can't be what Jesus really meant. He just meant to say, 'don't be a judgmental person,'" as if this answers the question. What is a judgmental person? Where do you draw the line? Judgment is judgment and Jesus didn't misspeak.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Aristotle and Christianity
This is the final section of an article called The Philosophy of Success.
So Jesus had his say and then he was crucified--most of us know the story--and then another religion developed in his name. This is where the story really gets good.
So what do you think that religion did? Do you think they kept up the fight with Aristotelianism that Jesus had started? Far from it.
Christianity plugged along for several hundred years under the auspices of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, a neo-Plantonist (i.e. pre-Aristotelian thinking; for more information see Radical Academy); along with the inspirational handbook, The Consolation of Philosophy: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics), by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, also a Platonist.
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