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Dreams of Atlantis

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Author Topic: Dreams of Atlantis  (Read 4119 times)
Hermocrates
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2016, 12:32:23 pm »

Here is another example that I ran into of pure speculative nonsense for identifying an Atlantis location. It is an essay to fortify the idea that Plato plagiarized from Hanno's journey log to come up with the tale of Atlantis. I have cited a couple of small passages to make some points. I selected these because of the insinuations made about Plato's mental state, and also because of the hypocritical nature of the author of the "essay."

"Once it is understood what was the true nature and scope of Hanno’s discoveries, it becomes possible to face the hoary problem of the location of the island of Atlantis described by Plato." "Therefore, it is not surprising that the voyage of Hanno influenced Plato’s image of the ideal city."

" The majority of modern classical scholars have interpreted Plato so as to make him appear to have written his dialogues in a state of mental frenzy and made pronouncements that are as profound as they are incomprehensible or absurd. By this they have provided a justification to pathological characters whose minds conform to this description. As a result books on the subject of the location of the Island of Atlantis mentioned by Plato, written by graphomaniacs with pseudoscientific delusions, appear at the rate of about one every year or every two years. Since classical scholars have presented Plato’s statements as being totally chaotic and self-contradictory, this has made it possible to place Atlantis anywhere on the surface of the earth and even at the bottom of the seas, since Plato reports that most of the territory of Atlantis was sunk under water. It would be probably easier to list the areas of the globe where Atlantis has not been placed, but I shall not try to draw such a map, since I do not know but a fraction of the literature on the subject, although I have perused more than one hundred books and essays specifically dedicated to the location of Atlantis. All I can say is that the explanations written by academic persons in their commentaries on Plato’s works are somewhat duller and less imaginative, but not more rational."

Wow, Plato wrote his dialogues in a state of mental frenzy? This mindless statement clearly reflects total ignorance of having understood Plato.

But I think that whomever authored the above piece is rather looking in the mirror when he/she accuses others of being graphomaniacs with pseudoscientific delusions. Why, the pot is calling the kettle black.

However, personally, I would say to this person: How can you say to your brothers, 'Let me take the specks out of your eyes,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the specks out of your brothers' eyes.

In my own case, as it appears outwardly, I would do good to follow my own advice, but it's not quite the same. It's more like: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Now this piece on Hanno's journey and how it relates as having inspired Plato continues, but I'm not going to expound on the rest, and will just re-quote a portion of the above, and comment.

"Since classical scholars have presented Plato’s statements as being totally chaotic and self-contradictory, this has made it possible to place Atlantis anywhere on the surface of the earth and even at the bottom of the seas."

Well for this statement, the classical scholars were obviously only referring to the myth of Atlantis, and has some merit, but missed the mark all together, nonetheless. It is true that to someone who has no idea who Plato is, and what the tale of Atlantis is meant to be, Plato's own description of the particulars for the tale of Atlantis are, outwardly, totally chaotic and self-contradictory, as I have, myself, pointed out. 

Without needing to further cite the complete argument that Plato came up with Atlantis based on Hanno's journey, nor without citing the original source, since it was someone else that first brought forth this argument, as a base, using Hanno's account of one of his voyages, because many here may already be familiar with it, and if not, it can be looked up easy enough, I will say this. It is this kind of nonsense (complete imaginative speculations, baseless and itself self-contradictory to Plato's account and logical reasoning) of which we have tons and tons of it, which makes one lose complete faith in believing that the tale could be true. And then, one becomes a sort of misologist.

No worse thing can happen to a person than this. For as there are misanthropists or haters of men, there are also misologists or haters of ideas, and both spring from the same cause, which is ignorance of the world. Misanthropy arises out of the too great confidence of inexperience; — you trust a man and think him altogether true and sound and faithful, and then in a little while he turns out to be false and knavish; and then another and another, and when this has happened several times to a person, especially when it happens among those whom they deem to be their own most trusted and familiar friends, and they have often quarreled with them, they at last hate all men, and believe that no one has any good in themselves at all. You must have observed this trait of character?
 
Now there, I was led on by you to say more than I had intended at this time; but the point of comparison was, that when a simple person who has no skill in dialectics believes an argument to be true which they afterwards imagine to be false, whether really false or not, and then another and another, they have no longer any faith left, and great disputers, as you know, come to think at last that they have grown to be the wisest of mankind; for they alone perceive the utter unsoundness and instability of all arguments, or indeed, of all things, which, like the currents in the Euripus, are going up and down in never-ceasing ebb and flow.

Yes, and how melancholy, if there be such a thing as truth or certainty or possibility of knowledge — that a person should have lighted upon some argument or other which at first seemed true and then turned out to be false, and instead of blaming themselves and their own want of wit, because they are annoyed, should at last be too glad to transfer the blame from themselves to arguments in general: and forever afterwards should hate and revile them, and lose truth and the knowledge of realities.

Let us then, in the first place, be careful of allowing or of admitting into our souls the notion that there is no health or soundness in any arguments at all. Rather say that we have not yet attained to soundness in ourselves, and that we must struggle manfully and do our best to gain health of mind — you and all other people having regard to the whole of your future life, and I myself in the prospect of death and reincanation. For at this moment I am sensible that I have not the temper of a philosopher; like the vulgar, I am only a partisan. Now the partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions. And the difference between him and me at the present moment is merely this — that whereas he seeks to convince his hearers that what he says is true, I am rather seeking to convince myself; to convince my hearers is a secondary matter with me. And do but see how much I gain by the argument. For if what I say is true, then I do well to be persuaded of the truth, but if there be nothing after death, still, during the short time that remains, I shall not distress my friends with lamentations, and my ignorance will not last, but will die with me, and therefore no harm will be done. This is the state of mind in which I approach the argument. And I would ask you to be thinking of the truth and not of me: agree with me, if I seem to you to be speaking the truth; or if not, withstand me might and main, that I may not deceive you as well as myself in my enthusiasm, and like the bee, leave my sting in you before I die.





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