Thucydides vs. Plato
In philosophy, an empirical approach takes into account evidence and assumes a realistic approach of things. The views represented in an empirical approach depict factors that have been observed and can be thus verified. Thucydides showcased his ideas on a good life and the nature of humans through his experiences, especially in the Peloponnesian war. In the war, the historian learned a lot about the nature of human beings and adopted a pessimistic approach to what is considered as good. He identified that the human nature did not exist in a state of purity that established the known phenomenon of a good life, but included aspects of power, personal interest and fear. The aspect of a good life is interrupted by the constant passion of the human nature to exploit each other and engage in the passions of war. The philosopher suggested that the need for humans to engage in fighting is fuelled by a desire to achieve control and be in power. The need of human beings disrupted any form of goodness from occurring in the society because of their selfish need to exploit one another, in which case the weaklings suffer more. He cited that the war revealed the lack of injustice in the nature of humans who do not have a sense of judgment because they use their emotions to cover for every bad act they commit. The war involved barbaric acts and attacks on people who were so unarmed that they left their gates open. In his account of the war, Thucydides gave evidence of the Thracians who were attacked even though they lived good lives in peace.
According to the philosopher, the human nature is blinded with passion and need that it does not regard laws that are often established to ensure that people live a good life. However, he did not blame the humans but blamed such atrocities on their desires. For him, man was made with desires that hinder the goodness in him, and blame should, therefore, be put on these desires. The emotions humans have were seen as the cause of the war that cost many lives. The war was nothing that was opposite to the expected human behavior, and thus showcased the bad side of humanity that made the possibility of a good life minimal. The human nature was observed as being governed by forces that were much stronger than the humans themselves. They killed everyone they encountered who was not of their side. Children, women and defenseless men all perished during the war because of the forces behind the nature of human beings. In such a setup, a good life is impossible to exist. Life would always be interrupted by the aspects of greed, fear and self-preservation.
Plato, on the other hand, took a different approach from Thucydides on the aspect of a good life. The philosopher used a normative approach to his description of the nature of humans and good life. He used values, ethical approaches and justice to explain how people should live. Plato identifies justice as an ingredient of an ideal society. He cited that everything had a role that it played in the way things in the society run, and justice was one of them. Justice makes a society function naturally and establishes virtues among the people. Justice is needed because human beings are propelled into action by their nature, where every element in them performs the function for which it was intended. Plato identified that there were three elements or parts on humans. They have a mind, body and the spirit. Each of these elements functions coherently but performs unique functions in that would determine the good life in humans. The human mind is the decision maker that is expected to steer all reasonability in a person. The spirit encourages and individual to act because it provides courage and the body is responsible for initiating different pleasures. For a good life to be achieved, the human nature must observe virtues, which the above elements help to achieve. It is hard to reconcile all these to work effectively, and as a result, human beings are always involved in conflicts. The body parts are often in a competition because of the each of them has a pronounced function that they need to facilitate. As a result, embracing virtues may be difficult, but it is not unattainable. One needs to bring all these parts and functions together to form a pure soul. The three must carry out their duties appropriately for a state of happiness and good life to be achieved. Justice helps in the carrying out of duties between the three.
In this case, Thucydides makes good sense of the true human nature and gives an example that is not based on a set of value. He was a first-hand observer and had a kind of persuasion and reasonability needed for the concept of a good life in reflection of the human nature. Values in the society are indeed hard to achieve because of the evilness in the emotions that propel the human nature to actions that are beyond its control.
The bible is in constant conflict with the scientific interpretation of nature and the existence of human beings. The bible opposes most of the scientific views that relate to nature and man. Science establishes that humans came from chemical reactions and other procreation theories of evolution. The bible, on the other hand, establishes a divine approach and view into the coming to being of humans. The bible looks at science as opposing the laws of the divine nature and the supremacy of a being who made it all come together. Even the bible does not expressly state that it is opposing to science, many Christian interpretations of science have disapproved the approach it uses. The bible has different views as science, and leading Christians to interpret science as being the wrong approach to life. The reason is science does not believe in a divine existence. In science, everything has to be supported with evidence and observation, which the bible does not do. As a result, most Christians use biblical interpretation to view science as opposing the truth about how the world exists.
Even before technology happened, the bible had already talked about its existence. The bible had warned people of the time when knowledge will increase, which can be interpreted to reflect the time when the world is technologically advanced. Therefore, technology is not a new concept to the world. The biblical view of technology is based on the use it is put to. The bible as a whole lacks a problem with the development in humanity, for as long as the lord is glorified. The view on technology would, therefore, be exploited in terms of how much Christianity it had advanced. The bible had the sole goal of spreading the gospel, in which all agents in life would be used for this purpose. Therefore, the view of the bible on technology is not definitive because there are benefits that have been accrued to Christianity through technology, and there have been destructions. Technology has been used to further the work left by the apostles as the bible commanded. The holy book is now available in devices and can be accessed from any place. In the same manner, technology has been a destruction for mankind to access the holistic values that the bible desires them to have. Technology has been the hallmark of many evils that are against the commandments of the bible. It has steered human beings to a different direction. Therefore, the biblical view on technology is divided and limited to the use to which it is put.
The bible is against the idea of business because business interferes with biblical principles and ethics. Aspects of selfishness, greediness and the need for power were all promulgated by the introduction of business and economics to the world. The indigenous society lived a peaceful life because there were no competitions and everything was communally shared. It reflected the principles of the teachings in the bible. However, business has distorted the ideas of biblical principles. In addition, the bible asks humanity not to conform to the things of the world, which mainly suggests the riches that most people seek through businesses. Business initiatives make people get too invested in things that affect their morality and thus make them lose their souls. For instant, the bible suggests that the people should not lose their souls in pursuit of riches and gold.
The 18th century was the rise of Utilitarianism. Many economic activities were launched in this century, and people were in pursuit of happiness through affluence and social positions. The 18th century involved the most radical economic decisions that led the world to what it is now. Therefore, utilitarian advocators in that century would look at the view of the world about the bible as a hindrance to the happiness that people acquire through financial freedom. The century involved activities that aimed to reduce poverty and eventually, the sadness in people.