I see that there is a great debate on DF about Religion. In particular over the merits or lack thereof of some of the great mono-theistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
With an occasional harangue from Dattaswami. Poor soul got BANNED for all his efforts into the bargain!
I have often wondered, for many years, about the right path to follow. I have tried so hard to reach some sort of a conclusion, to put my mind at rest that a particular path that I am following is the one that will lead me to riches (spiritual and otherwise) on earth, and to heaven beyond.
Unfortunately, I remain as much a skeptic now as I was when I started!
As a consequence, my search goes on and my current research has led me to a superficial study, to begin with, of the great Classic Greek thinkers of antiquity, in particular Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
And I was amazed at the influence these Philosophers and Thinkers had and still have on Planet Earth to this day! Christianity, and then Islam, adopted Greek thought, with some tampering, and added their own ingredients in the form of God and His Angels. Saint Augustine was one of the Thinkers who followed Plato’s teachings and then became a devout Christian.
Plato, for example, proposed that reality for humans existed at two levels. At one level was what he called the World of the Senses. This is the world that we perceive with our five senses; the every day world. This, according to Plato, was an imperfect world because our senses can deceive us ( scientifically proven fact by current science).
But, according to Plato (and Socrates) it was what he called the World of Ideas where everything was perfection. Thus when we see a horse in the World of the Senses, it can only be an imperfect horse, no matter how beautiful it looks to us. A perfect horse exists in the World of Ideas, of which this horse is only a replica; almost like a mold from which all other horses are made. He said only a very select few humans are able to understand and glimpse the World of Ideas, and gave the famous Allegory of the Cave.
Greek thought was adopted by the Romans after the Greeks.
GreekoRoman culture extended from Europe to India and North Africa, where it was definitely picked up by Christianity and Islam.
I had often wondered why Muslims Christians and Jews lay so much stress on the importance of the Hereafter. Its origins lie with the Greeks of antiquity! In the World of the Senses and the World of Ideas! Greek thought, and in particular Plato’s philosophy, runs like a seam all the way to the present day and age.
His World of Ideas is still being debated 2500 years later!