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Crito Review

The opening of Crito, the third dialogue of the last days of Socrates, involves the appearance of the title character at Socrates' prison cell before dawn, having "done a kindness" to the warden and gained ingress. Crito does not initially awake Socrates for he is in such a peaceful slumber given the burden he bears. As with the Apology, Socrates again mentions that at his age death should not be something that someone at his age should be worried about. In any case, Socrates has dreamt that on the third day a ship from Delos will arrive and that will be when he dies.

Taoism Review

1. What is the Confucian Triad and how does it form [a] cosmological basis for Taoist thought?

Leonard Felder: The Ten Challenges (The Third Challenge)

The historical Third Commandment is a point where the Talmadic and Philonic divisions meet, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." (Exodus 20:7); according to the Augustinian division this is the Second Commandment. Historically, as Felder points out, this has taught to children as to not swear or curse. Further examples are used, which are a more mature application, that one should not make promises or condemnations ("I swear to God", "Damn you") with Divine invocations unless they are treated with appropriate seriousness - after all, this is the Divine and inner core of a person that is being put on the line here. It would have been appropriate here to also mention the historical and Biblical link between testify (attest, testament, contest etc) and testes.

Apology Review

The second book of the Last Days of Socrates is the Apology, which refers to the early definition of that word as a defensive explanation, rather than an admission of guilt and request for forgiveness. With the exception of a brief discussion with his accuser, Meletus, the text is effectively a transcript of Socrates' own defense. Adopting a philosophical position from the outset, Socrates requests that the jury do not allow themselves to be swayed by his eloquence, but rather to concentrate on the truth; obviously he has high opinion of his own speaking ability! He also asks for complete impartiality - that they treat him as a stranger, rather than a well known public figure.

The Monadology

Gottfried Leibniz's The Monadology (1714) is a brief, numbered text, of some ninety paragraphs. The style is similar to to Nietzsche's aphorisms or Wittgenstein's Tracatus Logico Philosophicus. The latter is a more accurate description as the content is meant in strictly logical sequence whereas Nietzsche was far more poetic in style and sequencing (Leibniz and Wittgenstein had their poetic moments of course). The two core metaphysical arguments in The Monadology refer the principle behind "the monad", the fundamental building block of universe, and an argument concerning theodicy, divine justice.

Leonard Felder: The Ten Challenges (The Second Challenge) Review

The Talmadic Second Commandment, or First Commandment in the Philonic or Augustinian traditions, is phrased "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Felder notes that this is usually, and incorrectly, interpreted as an edict against building and worshipping idols.

The New Seminary Buddhism Review

1. What are the Four Passing Sights that Siddhartha saw and what did they mean to him?

According to the traditional biography, Prince Siddh?rtha Gautama was shielded from religious teaching and knowledge of human suffering by his father King ?uddhodana, who desired his son to develop expertise on secular and royal affairs. According to the prediction of the shramana (ascetic) Asita, he too would become a ascetic if he came into contact with the existential conditions of life. Siddhartha thus spent 29 years as a prince in Kapilavastu [1], a region of the ancient Shakya kingdom, near the border of contemporary India and Nepal, in relative luxury.

Euthyphro

The Sacred Text archive lists Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo by Plato as separate dialogues, which they are, they are of the same narrative to be included as study in sequence, as has been done for some time (e.g., the Penguin edition of The Last Days of Socrates). Expressed in dialogue form, they provide some of the most insightful moments in philosophy on the issues of religious piety, virtue and the role of conscience, justice and the notion of a social contract, and the nature of the soul and mortality. "The use of God in the singular is a reflection of the interest of Greek philosophy to discern generic essences from particular cases e.g., Athena, Zeus, Hermes etc are Gods - what is their common "God-essence"?

The New Seminary Hinduism Assignment

The "four desires" of Hinduism is normally interpreted as the puru??rtha [1] (purusha; god, human., artha, object and objective), the objectives of human. These are normally considered within four types; Dharma, Artha, K?ma, and Mok?ha. Dharma suggests devotion to the natural and moral laws (rta) which has conceptual similarity to the Chinese notion of dao, or the European logos. In comparison Artha suggests properity, in the sense of both material well-being as well as reputation and social standing.

Review: To Be Or To Become

'To Be or To Become: The Emzine Dialogue' by Dr. Marc van der Erve is "a new and unifying theory of our world that goes beyond present-day science and religion." The author's academic background is in applied physics (bachelor's degree) and sociology (doctorate), with employment in various managerial roles in organisations such as Xerox, DEC and KPMG and more recently in leadership consulting.

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