|The Ancient Greeks contributed much to the development of
Western culture in so many different areas: alphabet, drama, comedy, poetry, politics, democracy,
medicine, architecture, sculpture and philosophy. Much of the Greek experience remains deeply embedded
in the Western world today; and not just as letters to distinguish one
fraternity or sorority from
another. The Greek use of rational
thought, and not supernatural explanation, to understand the natural world formed the basis of
Western philosophy and science. Greek appreciation of the value and beauty
of the individual were crucial
to the ensuing artistic and aesthetic history of the West. The Greeks also developed
the idea and practice of "democracy," an idea and practice new in the ancient world and much different than the
current understanding and use of the concept.
Whereas the Hebrews provided an ethical religion for the West (in the form of Judaism and the idea of ethical monotheism), the Ancient Greeks provided an ethical philosophy. Both focused on the role of the individual (and not community responsibility), and both complemented each other (ethical irrationalism in the form of religion and ethical rationalism in the form of philosophy) when merged later in Christianity. Not sure if that makes much sense.
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