Daily Kos :: Comments The Philosophical Workbench

by ek hornbeck

Augustine of Hippo

Founder of Neoplatonism. Probably attracted to Platonism by the doctrine of absolutes (Plato's 'we see but shadows on a cave wall' wackiness).

He had a college experience that can only be called 'Animal House' on steroids ("oriental vaporings", "a proud desire to be first, even in evil", Monica (Lewinski, I know you're thinking it but truth is stranger than fiction) and that darn bastard kid of theirs. Just for the record, his Monica was "too young to wed"; even though she did make a play for the ring.

He even, shudder fell into the hands of the evil Manicheans. These guys were soooo evil they "claimed to have discovered contradictions in Holy Writ; and, above all, by the hope of finding in their doctrine a scientific explanation of nature and its most mysterious phenomena."

He lectured, he wrote some essays and books. Might have been entertaining at the bar, but was probably a pretentious gasbag like me.

Now maybe you're thinking, so ok. This guy is at the workbench. He know what the tools are, some of 'em.

Then, at 29, he gets sick and nearly dies. Gives his soul to Jesus Christ and finds his first copy of Plato.

Bang. Its all about light and dark and shadows on the wall (in all fairness the source indicates it took him 3 more years to totally jump the shark)...

Back to the workbench metaphor- I'm thinkin' that from about the age of 33 'til the day he died, I'd as soon have a brew with James Dobson as Augustine. But I don't troll rate him because of that or because of his personal life- it's the hypocrisy and anti-intellectualism that I remember from philosophy 101.

I think he's AS responsible for the Dark Ages as any Goth or Hun. He hid some tools man, that ain't cool.

Daily Kos :: Comments The Philosophical Workbench


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