How does Plato's theory of forms address subjects such as religion, particularly the Greek pantheon of gods during that period?
I only ask because I really want to discuss this question, but haven't had the chance to read Plato's dialogues.
Uh, hard to say. With respect to the existence of a god or of gods, there's a discussion in the Republic wherein Socrates offers something like his views, and the Timaeus where the title character offers a "likely story" (literally "likely myth") that offers an account of a godlike being called the demiurge (literally "craftsman" or "worker for the people") who makes the universe by using the forms as his models.
That doesn't really quite get at some of the perplexities though. Socrates, pretty consistently holds to the sentiment that the popular stories told about the gods are false. This still leaves unclear which stories Socrates would take to be true about the gods, if any. In the Euthyphro, there's a strange moment where the "Euthyphro's dilemma" comes up--in that passage, most scholars pay attention to the formulation of a certain problem, namely, do the gods love what is pious *because* it is pious, or is the pious such only because the gods love it? If the latter, then the cosmos is willful, i.e., arbitrary, but both Euthyphro and Socrates immediately assent to the former view. That view, that the pious is independent of the gods, suggests that whatever the existence of the gods, we need not have any necessary dealings with them, since the pious (that is, the forms), insofar as they function as models for the gods, do just as well themselves as models for us.
So, in a very limited way, I suppose it does, but not directly.
>Horite wisdom was unrivaled in the ancient world and much of the wisdom ascribed to the ancient Greeks was borrowed from the Horites. Iamblichus wrote that Thales of Miletus insisted that Pythagoras go to Memphis to study because the priests there were esteemed for their knowledge and wisdom. Plato studied for 13 years in Egypt under the priest Sechnuphis and his conception of the eternal Forms was based on Horite metaphysics.
The Egyptians had many gods and goddesses, but the Horites were followers of Ra and Horus from whom they received divine enlightenment, they were very concerned with preserving the bloodline through the mothers, and their concern was motivated by an expectation that a great King and Savior would be born from them whose radiance would shine over all the earth, who would be a light to the nations.
Not really, if speaking by mythological counterparts
Aten was solar deity
Not even jovian deity is similar comparison, albeit often held
closest would be Brahman, Ohrmazd, and well... Allah (contrary to popular belief lunar god was called Hubal), not even Demiurge
Also why "Catholics" and not all Christians? How are Orthodoxes or others different in that manner? Or is this some butthurt prottie shitposting?
Paul's training in Greek philosophy is evident also in his Platonic allegorical approach to Old Testament figures.
Paul speaks of the first man, Adam, as imperfect and the second Man, Jesus Christ, as the perfect and the true Form of humanity. God made humans in God’s image and likeness, but sin marred that image so that the first is imperfect. In Platonism, types are imperfect reflections of the true eternal Forms.
Using this same method, we are able to discover that Noah, Abraham, Moses and David are all types of Christ. All fail to accomplish righteousness, yet point to the One who does fulfill righteousness. Both Abraham and Moses met their wives at wells. So Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well speaks volumes. She is the symbol of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
>Plutarch gives a more detailed description on the Greek philosophers who visited Egypt and received advice by the Egyptian priests in his book On Isis and Osiris.
Thus, Thales, Eudoxus, Solon, Pythagoras, (some say Lycurgus also) and Plato, traveled into Egypt and conversed with the priests. Eudoxus was instructed by Chonupheus of Memphis, Solon by Sonchis of Saïs and Pythagoras by Oenuphis of Heliopolis.
Plutarch barely says anything on the matter; certainly he doesn't go into detail.
Confer yourself with the text:
"Witness to this also are the wisest of the Greeks: Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, who came to Egypt and consorted with the priests; and in this number some would include Lycurgus also."
That's all that's said about Plato's time in Egypt. Note that there's no reference to the figure named above, or anything to suggest that Plato's metaphysics owed something to "Horite metaphysics". For the specific claim made above (which is not the claim about Plato studying at all in Egypt), Clement is the only source that keeps coming up in my searches.
>In Platonism, types are imperfect reflections of the true eternal Forms.
Which dialogue are you thinking of? I've heard of entities being imperfect instantiations of Forms, but don't recall anything about types.
Already referred to the Republic's discussion of the *pantheon* gods; Socrates speaks both of a singular god, *and* of the gods of the Pantheon, e.g. Uranus, Chronos, Hera, and Hephaestus are the names that appear from 377e-378d, and Zeus, Athena, and Themis are named at 379e-380a. You can look at the Greek yourself on Perseus:
Either way, that still ignores that The Good, which is an idea, is not a god and is ultimately primary. That still also ignores what's implied in the Euthyphro. Gods even if they exist aren't worth worshipping and modeling oneself after if there are forms that the gods model themselves after.
It's not, the word is "theos".
>I really want to discuss this question, but haven't had the chance to read Plato's dialogues.
What?? How retarded are you? Why would you want to talk about Plato without having read it? You literally just admitted to being stupid and a bullshitter.
I haven't made any other posts in the thread, I just wanted to get people's opinions because I had a specific question and didn't want to read all of Plato's work just to answer it, when it may not even be addressed.
Essentially what I was looking for was if there was a relationship between divinity and the forms.
Were what I was really getting at. However there seems to be a contradiction, as one states that the demiurge uses forms to create the universe, and the other is that the gods aren't that worthwhile since they aren't forms, only something like superhumans. Was this demiurge equal to the gods, or someone lesser or greater?
I am also now interested more in the relationships between Greek, Egyptian, and Catholic myth.
Overall I still have more to find out.
>Were what I was really getting at. However there seems to be a contradiction, as one states that the demiurge uses forms to create the universe, and the other is that the gods aren't that worthwhile since they aren't forms, only something like superhumans. Was this demiurge equal to the gods, or someone lesser or greater?
Not really in contradiction; the one account belongs to Socrates, the other to Timaeus, who says outright that he's telling a myth. The demiurge is like a god, but he, like a craftsman, is using resources that are already there, namely the forms, which he didn't create. The Socratic stance is more ambiguous, since he'll say things like how the god must be only good and reasonable, but then he'll say something that gives primacy to the forms. One possibility is that when he discusses how all good things come from the god (singular), he's referring to the Idea of the Good. In this case, it's "like" a god insofar as eternal and unchanging, but it's otherwise nothing like the pantheon gods, or any other willful deity.
The Timaeus account would need to be worked out separately, since that dialogue does everything it can to frustrate interpretation.