Do conservatives/liberals prefer Aristotle/Plato

Hank: so good to see you here! Kyle posted an interesting question asking if conservatives tend to favor Aristotle and liberals tend to favor Plato. During the course of that dialog I suddenly remembered your Facebook page where you mention that you are a conservative and you feel certain that given sufficient time for dialog that anyone would come to agree with you. I speculated whether you might lean more towards Aristotle than Plato. My notion is that Aquinas in the Summa quotes Aristotle so often because of a desire for some line of syllogistic reasoning to lead one ineluctably (will he, nil he) to some unavoidable conclusion just as Socrates seems to do in various dialogs and just as Euclid does in his theorems. It is interesting that during the first 1000 years of Greek Orthodox Christianity there is hardly any mention of Aristotle or Plato. Regarding Aquinas’ Summa the question is posed “which comes first, understanding or faith?” and Aquinas reasons that UNDERSTANDING comes first and faith follows from understanding (Aquinas was something like 12th century I think). Maximus the Confessor, sixth century Greek monastic who wrote about half of the Philokalia which has 70 authors spanning from 4th century to 11th century.. Maximus takes the OPPOSITE position, namely that FAITH comes first as a gift from God offered only to some because of God’s foreknowledge of HOW a given individual might exercise his/her free will to receive that gift. Maximus explains that UNDERSTANDING comes after the gift of faith but only as much understanding as is necessary to be saving or salvific for that individual in their current circumstances.

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Perhaps this will help: 1.) find a word you can all agree upon which will describe Palin, McCain, Bush (and various others). 2.) now find a word which you can all agree upon which accurately describes Obama, the Clintons and various others. I am not cut out for this sort of thing so I cannot be of much help. There is an old saying (presumably by an old Zen master) – “Show me that person who has forgotten speech for it is with such a person that I desire to converse.” So @Edward, in answer to your question, I cannot clarify “conservative” and “liberal” … and I very much doubt that I would succeed in clarifying any pronoun, article (definite or indefinite), gerund, adverb, etc. I should mention that I never argue. I find it distasteful. I don’t see that humanity has ever reached unanimous agreement on any significant issue (political religious or otherwise.) So if someone finds it distasteful to converse with someone who sees no value in argument and cannot define words, then… well, what can I say. Perhaps there is someone who will come along and find no problem with these terms and will say something interesting (or perhaps not.)

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