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Thales vs. Homer Philosophy

Philosophy is a rather contradictive subject which has always tried to embrace all the main principles and essential elements of our lives. This is the science which aims to explain to mankind the fundamentals of the world’s construction, its basics and the way they interact with each other. The main peculiarity of the philosophy is its rather contradictive nature, since there are no even two philosophers who have absolutely identical opinions on the similar subjects. Thus, their theories and suggestions often argue each other. Thales and Homer, ancient Greek philosophers who are to be analyzed in this paper, had different hypotheses on the humanity’s existence and the purpose of this paper is to analyze them, compare, and chose the opinion which explains the world better.

Thales is identified as the initial person whose theories based on the fundamental natural principles and the issue of investigation of the substance. Therefore, he is regarded as the initiator of the school of natural thinking. He did analysis to approximately all areas of acquaintance, mathematics, history, geography, thinking, science, and politics. He created theories to explain the environmental interactions and the origin of change. Thales appeared to be concerned with the crisis of astronomy and this pushed him to offer a number of clarifications of cosmological proceedings. His inquiring approach to the perception of heavenly observable phenomena was the commencement of Greek astronomy. Thales’ theories were novel and bold, and while denying godly involvement, he was able to pave the approach towards scientific venture.

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On the other hand, Homer’s life remains anonymous with little information known about him. However, he was a well known author of two of antique Greece’s most significant literary works that are, “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” and, as a result, his vital role to Greek society can not be undervalued. According to the available information about him, Homer is said to be a blind man from Chios Island. His works were later conserved after the Greek invented a way of writing. He represented the gods in a unique manner in a vast number of ways and believed that the supernatural powers had a lot of influence on our lives.

According to Thales, the supernatural outlook is misguiding and damaging but its arguments are not prohibited from discussion. Still, he claimed that the supernatural powers were investigated and found inadequate. However, Thales had a lot of theories that did not give clear evidence of his beliefs. This, therefore, makes a clear indication that supernatural powers have more to offer in terms of the world’s existence. Among the major theories suggested by Homer there are many relevant ones to the existence of the world which contradicts Thales’ hypotheses. Thus, they include:

  1. The gods and goddesses are active participants. Homer argued that gods who control the universe were dynamic contributors to the matters and decisions that concern world’s creation and development. He also stated that earthly beings were guided and followed these supernatural powers’ wishes. This is contrasted by Thales who gives arguments that God is the mind that created all things from water. Therefore, Thales placed water above any super powers. In addition to this, Thales believed that all things that could move had souls. As he stated “all things were full of gods” (Britton, 1993). Thales supported his argument by stating that science shows that objects changed to become other object although this could not be proven. However according to different sources, Thales posted the sovereign pre-existence of God before anything else was formed (Garstang, 1949). This is an indication that he still believed in supernatural powers but wanted to prove something different. Thus, the arguments of both philosophers are more or less based on divine beliefs, and that makes Homer’s suggestions more appealing since they are simpler.
  2. In his writings, Homer described the supernatural as extra powerful and vital fundamental force. He explained that if the gods determined on something that would undoubtedly happen. This, therefore, meant that humans were less powerful and depended on the gods’ decisions. On this, Thales considered water to be above any supernatural power placing it high with much potential to create anything out of completely nothing and supported that with the argument that the earth rests on water saying that it is wooded and, thus, able to float. Thales’ theory became invalid as he could not explain how things could be formed from water and in the end return to the initial material. He was sure that water was the principle of all things; and that God was the mind that created everything from water. Considering this, Homer’s suggestion once again sounds simpler and more logical since the gods embodied not only water but all the nature powers and they could really affect humans’ lives.
  3. One more Homer’s theory suggests that gods and goddesses are unpredictable and uneven which sometimes causes disorder in the humans’ world. This means that event can follow each other without a clear sequence or logic. On the other hand, according to Thales, lack of consistency of events is explained by the same of earth as a floating object on water. For instance, his theory suggests the cause of earthquakes: he explained that the earth fluctuates due to the waving in the oceans. From the first sight, this may appear to be more rational as it offers an elaboration that does not cite hidden entities. However, this did not give a convincing explanation of the other natural processes as its baseline is the phenomenon of water and earth floating. Since Homer with his theory of multiple gods who impersonate different natural powers can explain all of the world’s phenomena, it appears to be more rational once again. For instance, he could assume that earth’s shaking was caused by angry god and etc.
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In conclusion, a vast number of theories are employed to explain the existence of the globe. Among the major discussed hypotheses we can highlight the scientific and supernatural approaches which were supported by Greek philosophers, Thales and Homer respectively Although considering modern knowledge and mankind development over the centuries these theories lack enough evidence to support their argument, among the two hypotheses discussed above the supernatural approach has more strength compared to scientific theories. Homer’s opinion appears to be more logical and believable because it is based on the gods’ influence at once, without creating a complicated system used by Thales; he is able to explain only few processes or phenomena while ignoring the others and suggesting divine powers as the cause when his theory lacks scientific argumentation.