How smart were the ancients?
Sorry I mistook ancients for elders. Because the word "elder" in English is translated into French by JWs with the word "ancien".
is translated into French by JWs with the word "ancien".:
TFA:"Les anciens" old time elders will appear to be smarter and smarter compared to the new crop of jws, once all the wonderful changes come into play. (see the "new instructions" thread).
Xanthippe: Yeah google Atomists. The ancient Greeks were incredible.
Agreed. Reading of the conclusions of Leucippus or Democritus, both of whom lived in the city of Abdera, it's difficult not to be impressed by their intuitive reasoning and their conclusions.
Of course, its difficult to be absolutely sure as much of their writings have been lost, but sufficient documentation remains for us to follow their reasoning. Basically, Leucippas proposed that the world was ultimately made up of things which did not have qualities (like wood as an example). He concluded that if you continued to divide any substance, you would eventually reach things which were not further divisible. He called these things atoma i,e, indivisible. He was wrong on that point as we now understand, but to conceptualise about invisible atoms was a huge step in human knowledge, and even though, the Israelites/Jews lived in an area that was on a trade route between Greek cities and Egypt, nothing that is extant tells us that the Israelites/Jews ever learnt a thing from those early Greek thinkers.
A publication by Oxford World's Classics, called The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and the Sophists (trans: Robin Wakefield) contains an excellent chapter on the process of deductive thinking that led to the above conclusions.
Another publication in the same series, by the ancient thinker Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, (trans. Ronald Melville) may similarly impress you.Lucretius composed his thoughts in verse, which makes it all the more impressive (to me, anyway) Lucretius cites the works of many other early thinkers, so its particularly valuable.