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 longworth1
Joined: 12/7/2012
Msg: 93
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culturePage 5 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Adolph Hitler understood society as an organism. Now Europe is plagued by migrations of biological and
cultural aliens. Not a pleasant ending ahead.

(What decadence contributes to the wimpish posture of Western countries i.e. culture
distorting immigrants?)
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 94
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/11/2013 3:19:03 PM

Of course the Biblical scriptures have had a HUGE influence on western culture. Before those the Kemetic culture builders. Yeshua Ben Yosef is by far the most influential single figure in the history of "western culture" development.

From there, there is a long list including-
Ptahhotep

Duauf

Merikare

Khunanup

Aristotle

Muhammad

Akhenaten

Ts'ai Lun

Johann Gutenberg

Cristoforo Colombo/Cristobal Colon

Plato

Charles Darwin


Very interesting and unique perspective. The Greeks did learn from the Egyptians and Ethiopians, they themselves said this. Numerous Greek scrolls have indicated that they felt civilization began in Egypt/Ethiopia. Greek scholars went directly to Egypt to learn including Solon, Thales, Plato, Lycurgus and Pythagoras. Plato taught Aristotle, Aristotle taught Alexander son of Phillip of Macedonia. In the west great influential minds like Ptahhotep, Duauf, Merikare and Khunanup not to mention Akenaton are often forgotten. Most people have never heard of them.

The importance of Colon is also sometimes misunderstood. Perhaps Darwin should be placed higher on a list. After all, some of his theories and theoretical offshoot are more strongly adhered to than most religious doctrine. Even many who claim to espouse certain religious/spiritual beliefs hold some Darwineque theories more strongly. Excellent and interesting list.
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 95
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/23/2013 3:37:51 PM
Cristoforo Colombo/Cristobal Colon=actual names "Christopher Columbus" would have answered to.
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/23/2013 4:05:01 PM
I haven't commented in this thread, because I don't think I know much at all on this subject, as far as the particular question is concerned. This is an area where I'm a bit ignorant. I haven't even read much in this thread yet.

However, I still have a vital question and a possible answer...and would love any feedback as to how warm or cold I am in understanding what we're even talking about here.


Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture


First, what is "western culture"?

Secondly...to be very, very reductionist, or overly fundamental (not sure how to say that, because I'm not sure if I even know what I'm talking about here), I'd take a stab by saying that the most important person in the development of western culture would be the first person to ever rebel against the basic idea...or convention...of the centralization of governing or knowledge-dissemination...or convention...and the spark of this particular person's "re-examining" attitude just happened to perpetuate and spread.

But, obviously, this depends on what I think the defining quality of "western culture" is in the first place. Never really thought about this one much. If nothing else, I know that my type of post should get the conversation going properly.
 Paul9473
Joined: 2/12/2013
Msg: 97
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/23/2013 7:36:19 PM
How exactly do you define western culture? Geographically? The west has always been in a constant state of flux due to people movements. Maybe in contrast with what is defined by Eastern culture, but then that begs the question what is Eastern culture.
The flux of people moving into the west has always been more influential on the west than anything inherently western.
Furthermore we can see by a lot of responses that people from Eastern lands are often picked as #1: Jesus, Mohammad, Genghis Khan (I haven't seen Tamerlane yet). They all have had a much greater hand in shaping the west than any actual westerner, Alexander the Great included. I don't know if you can really say yes that's western culture unless it's actually homegrown and distinctly western. These people are very strongly influential, though there influence is largely transcultural (otherwise they wouldn't have been able to adapt their influence from East to West) rather than anything distinctly culture bound. I'm Australian and a large proportion of our societies functioning is from European influences (~80%) , but these influences are not what fit naturally with us, are what we would identify as being our culture or shape our national identity. It is often the reactions against this, which have grown up in an Australian context, (small an influence though they may be) that we identify as being true blue; as our own identity.
I still don't know exactly how to class western culture. Maybe European culture might be a step in the right direction?
Another Easterner to throw into the mix.
What about Harun Al Rashid. He set up the Bayt al-Hikma library. Vast quantites of western literature (Aristotle Archimedes etc.) would be lost to history if it had not been collected and stored by the Abbasid caliphate while Europe lay in the clutches of the Dark Ages.
 Blueberryeggos
Joined: 1/24/2012
Msg: 98
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/23/2013 11:56:52 PM
Martin Luther. Imagine life right now if he didnt stand up to the catholic church and its power over the everyday folk. The earth would still be revolving around the sun .
 Ford_Galaxie
Joined: 6/3/2012
Msg: 99
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 12:04:02 AM
Tesla. The father of AC power and radio communication. Self explanitory. All things that modern society take for granted- too many people have forgotten that mankind has lived like shit until recently.
 Blueberryeggos
Joined: 1/24/2012
Msg: 100
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 9:08:47 AM
Yes funnygirl Im vaguely aware the earth doesnt go around the sun. Bullet point I was trying to make was if he didnt stand up to the stranglehold the catholic church had we'd still be living in the dark ages.Cant see what POFwould be like if we were all still a bunch of field toiling serfs.
 jed456
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 101
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 10:15:13 AM
^^^^^^^
Watch religulous, The Vatican astronomer even agrees the world is round. He also states the bible is not the literal word of god but to be taken as metaphors. I'm an agnostic and a "fallen' catholic". In many ways the Catholic church is still in the middle ages. You will probably get a kick out of a park in Florida that has humans and raptor's living together.Also a Rabbi who sides with Iran it shows you the ridiculousness of it all. Although I do admire some of jesus's teachings helping the poor being compassionate, being kind to children not to be confused with raping children. Universal teachings found in many of the world's religions( One of the best part's is bill mahrer speaking to a high level franciscan friar and pointing to the Vatican and asking if this is what Jesus had in mind and the friar laughing and saying of course not!
 jed456
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 102
view profile
History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 10:16:53 AM
Adolph Hitler understood society as an organism. Now Europe is plagued by migrations of biological and
cultural aliens. Not a pleasant ending ahead


Nice to see bigoted a-holes have free speech on pof. Hitler Are you kidding me!
Sorry for going off topic but I had to address that.

I say john Locke the enlightenment and the founding father's who refused the idea of a Monarchy. Einstein, Salk,newton,Martin Luther,the printing press.Kepler.
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 103
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 12:05:11 PM
It had been rumored, hypothesized, guessed by mariners and the intellectual classes for years.

That there was an "Americas"? NONSENSE! Besides, rumor of another path to India and actually providing factual evidence of 2 continents are far from being even in the same category.



Not to mention the Vikings who were in American 400 years before Columbus, and Native Americans before that
Yes, there is clear evidence that Norsemen traveled to the far reaches of the North American continent before Columbus using a different route and without actually revealing the route to the rest of Europe. Yes the "Native Americans" came millenniums before them. There is also evidence that Africans or an Afro-Asiatic people also traveled and established the 1st civilization in the Americas in southern Mexico through Honduras. They also failed to tell the rest of the world. I do not distract from them at all because all of those things are actually remarkable even far more remarkable than what Colon did. However, the question is the impact on western civilization and the fact is that Colon had more of an impact that the Native Americans, Afro-Asiatic Olmec and Norsemen combined on western civilization as we know it.


Martin Luther. Imagine life right now if he didnt stand up to the catholic church and its power over the everyday folk.
The Waldensians did long before Martin Luther and quite possibly were the catelist to get him to actually study his scriptures more thoroughly.

Nice to see bigoted a-holes have free speech on pof. Hitler Are you kidding me!
Sorry for going off topic but I had to address that.
Yep...actually there are plenty of them here on POF.


How exactly do you define western culture? Geographically?

Obviously geographic in nature, there is no western culture but rather western cultureS.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 104
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 12:10:26 PM
The longer I've thought a bout this thread, the more solidly I've come to think that there isn't any way to say that ONE person had more to do with the huge thing that Western Culture is. A culture is the result of the efforts and experiences and input of all of its elements. It constantly evolves, slowly and subtly. It isn't something that a single person or group sets up, and then indoctrinates everyone else into, like a club or a business.

What we call Western Culture now, is not what we would have recognized as Western Culture when it all started, or at the half-way point between the beginning and now.

Take only American culture as an example. When this country started, the thought that EVERYONE would be able to vote on how to run things, was thought to be absurd. Now, when one group advocates restricting who gets to have a say, a lot of other groups express outrage. Which group truly represents western Culture? Neither and both.

Back at the start, I and some others suggested answers based on individuals who made it possible for what became our culture, to survive, and not be supplanted by force. Others cited people who we currently teach each other, to have been the sources of our modern sense of selves; but I think that many of them (especially the philosophers) are more a reflection of what we like to think we are, rather than being the motivating forces that created what we are. John Lennon and other wonderful artists gave voice to our lives, and created themes we still sing and talk about. They played a part in building our culture, but they did not determine it. The same is true for any single person you can name.
 jed456
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 105
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 12:18:04 PM
A very well thought out post Igor (applause)
 Albvs
Joined: 2/14/2013
Msg: 106
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 12:53:50 PM
Based upon wiki's definition of Western Culture (essentially, a melting pot), I would suggest that Thomas Jefferson was then the most influential person to have shaped the genesis of this style of open immigration.
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 107
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 1:12:12 PM
I've come to think that there isn't any way to say that ONE person had more to do with the huge thing that Western Culture is.
Thus those who have provided a list of significant contributors. I'm not sure that any would have ever suggested that a single person developed culture but rather there is a list of those KNOWN to have had huge impact upon it.

When this country started, the thought that EVERYONE would be able to vote on how to run things, was thought to be absurd.
Sorry, 1 adult 1 vote long proceeded the very hypocritical "founding fathers" of the USA. It was simply thought absurd by Monarchy loyalists most of whom were very privileged or uneducated...often both. 1 person 1 vote is NOW a part of American political structure but it wasn't from it's start and it most certainly wasn't a new idea but rather 1 of many centuries if not several millenniums old.
Culture is far more broad in scope than politics. I teach elementary students and for the youngest of them I give a very basic definition....culture is the way a group of people, eat, sleep, work, pray and play. In other words culture encompasses all aspects of life, from foods and dining habits/customs, to spiritual beliefs, to entertainment(songs,games,hobbies), to domiciles, to stratification and diversification of work to clothing. American culture is most certainly a "western" culture and amalgamation of western and eastern cultures. in the venue of the Americas.

Wouldn't it be safe to say that the philosophers actually inspired thinking outside of boxes? Thus philosophers have had an absolutely tremendously huge impact on culture and civilization.


I would suggest that Thomas Jefferson was then the most influential person to have shaped the genesis of this style of open immigration.

I would suggest that to be a joke. Jefferson was a hypocritical,dishonorable, grandstanding racists.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 108
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 3:05:22 PM

1 person 1 vote is NOW a part of American political structure but it wasn't from it's start and it most certainly wasn't a new idea but rather 1 of many centuries if not several millenniums old.


Actually, that's not true. The trick that was played in the past, was the same one that was played by early American leaders: they played around with who was defined as a person. For example, in the places where "all citizens" got to vote, they defined "citizen" as "large property holder, with no mortgage."
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 109
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 3:35:29 PM
I would say back in the Tang dynasty , in China when gunpowder was invented , that changed everything .
 billingsmason
Joined: 2/3/2012
Msg: 110
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 3:40:39 PM
tsk tsk....
look around you right now and take note of all things with a right angle, square, level and plumb.
it's nearly overwhelming yet easy to overlook because it's become so ingrained in our lives.
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 111
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 4:49:34 PM
Actually, that's not true. The trick that was played in the past, was the same one that was played by early American leaders: they played around with who was defined as a person. For example, in the places where "all citizens" got to vote, they defined "citizen" as "large property holder, with no mortgage."

Time to broaden your historical scope. 1 person 1 vote has been around even in some of the most primitive cultures. In recorded history of civilization it predates Periclean Athens/Greece. There is proof of democracy in city states in Mesopotamia, India, China and Africa. The idea also blossomed before the establishment of the USA in Europe of the Renaissance. Now tell me exactly what is not true? Are you actually telling me that your interpretation of a "trick" is what was present in ancient India? Ancient pre dynastic Upper Egypt ? The Swiss Cantons? The people of the Six Nations had a participatory democracy before Europeans came to the Americas. They have the oldest living unchanged constitution in the world, and is the basis of the United States constitution. Participatory democracy has been a feature of human society since time immemorial. Broaden your scope dude.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 112
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 5:51:59 PM

They have the oldest living unchanged constitution in the world
well, not to split hairs too much (I'm sure you are right, that some true democratic groups might have existed in the past, but I know of none in the West, that gained hegemony, until the U.S. evolved), according to what I read about the Six Nations, women and slaves were not allowed a say in things there either. Perhaps you have better sources than I have? And as for the city states, again, I have not myself seen any proof that other than propertied peoples were allowed to have a say in those places either.

One of the greatest problems for all Historians, has always been that what gets written down, is almost always just about the top one to ten percent of what a society consists of. When an ancient Historian, or royal records keeper, or other writer talked about what went on, they almost always completely ignored the lower strata of society.

I stick by my statement: participatory democracy HAS been around a long time. What has changed, is who was allowed to BE a participant. And those who were not allowed to have a say, also don't show up in the histories written about the period, so it's no surprise that you might think they were included.
 purrfectmeow
Joined: 2/8/2013
Msg: 113
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/24/2013 9:41:37 PM
No one mentioned my all time favorite, Helen of Troy.
She started a cultural war that still exists today.
Are men ruled by emotion and not logic?

That woman must have been one hot chicka.
 woobytoodsday
Joined: 12/13/2006
Msg: 114
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/25/2013 8:03:25 AM
Igor, I don't know about slaves, but women among the Iroquois were pretty damned powerful. . . .


The Gantowisas or Clan Mothers in council were female officials among the Six Nations who enjoyed political, economic, religious and social powers. They conferred or retracted citizenship, called or ended wars, appointed war chiefs, named and impeached officials and set the agenda of the Six Nations Grand Council.


http://www.galafilm.com/chiefs/htmlen/mohawk/gl_brant.html
 zenpeacelove
Joined: 9/16/2011
Msg: 115
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/25/2013 9:30:15 AM
Ok, I thought about this for a while and it's a bit of a stretch here, but if Jesus could be thought of as a person, and other Gods, like Hermes, Zeus etc. Then I would say God. I am not even Christian, so I am not saying this to be preachy or anything. But the idea of God and then the idea of living under a set if rules as given by God, either the Christian, Jewish, Muslim all thought of as "God" I would say has been the most influential, as the ideas of living a "Godly" life, looking towards God as the creator of all things including Earth, mankind, animals etc. Again, I think it is a bit of a stretch, but presuming that God is real, I would say that Western culture was absolutely shaped by, influenced by and had more to do with the shaping of culture than any other entity/person...Just my opinion though.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 116
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/25/2013 11:05:16 AM
Wooby; thanks. I know that there are lots of cultures that elevated women to positions of power and influence. What we were mini-debating, was whether a large, influential, organized civilization had universal suffrage before modern times.

I am certainly open to being educated further at any time. At the moment, my information is that prior societies with representational governments on a large scale, did NOT shape policy or rule, based on all the people in said society having and equal say. This most especially included the Greeks, which were held up as shining examples of democracy by our forefathers, when they were setting up our Republic.

The Six Nations form of government has been suggested as being more influential on the second constitution of the U.S., even though they weren't cited by the men who wrote the Constitution. Nevertheless, and perhaps even because of that influence, the 1789 Constitution did NOT grant voting rights to most Americans.
 Solomonlike
Joined: 1/18/2013
Msg: 117
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 2/25/2013 11:36:19 AM
according to what I read about the Six Nations, women and slaves were not allowed a say in things

Hummmm now forgive me if I've mistaken something but are you contending that this was not the case in the beginning of the USA? 19th amendment=1920, 24th amendment=1964, civil rights act =1965
When this country was founded, in most states, only European American "white" men with real property or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Unpropertied European American men, women, and all other people of color were denied the right to vote or as you put it "a say in things". It took the years of after the war of 1812- pre civil war for that to change for European American men. Even by the time of the American Civil war literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, "people of color" specifically African Americans and Native Americans still could not vote.

Now, I've suggested your broaden your scope for good reason. Your perceptions are rather limited. The women in the 6 nations as well as among the Bambuti for example have always enjoyed "say in things". You also seem to like to change goal posts in this discussion. Do recall that I posted"1 person 1 vote is NOW a part of American political structure but it wasn't from it's start and it most certainly wasn't a new idea but rather 1 of many centuries if not several millenniums old." To which you replied-
Actually, that's not true. The trick that was played in the past, was the same one that was played by early American leaders: they played around with who was defined as a person. For example, in the places where "all citizens" got to vote, they defined "citizen" as "large property holder, with no mortgage."
Now that I've shown clearly that what you contend there is in fact false and have proven my point, you choose to contend that the 6 nations didn't allow women to "have a say in things". Which is FALSE. However, you go on to contend
I stick by my statement: participatory democracy HAS been around a long time. What has changed, is who was allowed to BE a participant. And those who were not allowed to have a say, also don't show up in the histories written about the period, so it's no surprise that you might think they were included.

Let's see, you contend that the USA or American Culture was a novel idea thought absurd. I counter that the idea had been around for thousands of years as was it's practice. In fact the USA took 80% of it's history as a nation that hypocritically claimed the practice to finally get to a participatory democracy equal to that of 6 nations, the Imajaghan and not even close to the level of the Bambuti all of which had the system hundreds if not thousands of years before the USA. They are not alone. It is therefor a much safer conclusion that in wake of the fact that we do not know details of the early Indus Valley and Nubian city states democracy that they were very much like those of the nearby Imajaghan and Bambuti than to think that simply because the USA was slow to grow into such an ancient practice that they did not. Regardless, the fact remains that there is clear evidence that the practice as it exists to day in the USA still has not grown into a true democracy as practiced by for example the Bambuti.

If your point is that over time the USA evolved into the principles that it hypocritically claimed to represent the answer is yes. However, the following...
When this country started, the thought that EVERYONE would be able to vote on how to run things, was thought to be absurd.
"
Is not true outside of some of those who were wealthy, uneducated or both. Still, participatory democracy is NOT an American invention nor part of an American ingenuity. It is NOW a part of the culture. It spent about 80% of its history growing to this point. 805 of the history of this country was 1 in which the ideas you say other cultures didn't have were NOT reality in the USA.
What has changed, is who was allowed to BE a participant. And those who were not allowed to have a say, also don't show up in the histories written about the period, so it's no surprise that you might think they were included

So you contend that it is wise to assume that because historians cannot say specifically the conditions for citizenship or voting in some cultures there must be some segments not allowed? Are you serious?
For example, in the places where "all citizens" got to vote, they defined "citizen" as "large property holder, with no mortgage."
Well, I've shown that this was not true of The 6 Nations. There is more proof.
In Africa, Imajaghan have practiced a participatory democracy as far back as they can recall. Bambuti have had exactly the type of participatory democracy in which ALL people can be and are participants and they have had it as far back as they or anyone can remember. Thus, why would you or anyone assume that simply because it was not done much in Europe it was a new idea or practiced only by a wealthy class. Again, my point is broaden your historical scope.
What we were mini-debating, was whether a large, influential, organized civilization had universal suffrage before modern times.

Wow, again...changing the goal posts! The size and scope of the culture is NOT what anyone is debating. You only contend this NOW however, it is not evident in your 1st few posts on this until challenged by evidence that has shown your original premise false. Regardless, it is the IDEA or CONCEPT; the principles of participatory democracy that I've contended have been around thousands of years prior to the formation of the USA. The concepts have traveled the world before there was a USA not to mention the fact that the USA spent most of it's history in hypocrisy.
This most especially included the Greeks, which were held up as shining examples of democracy by our forefathers, when they were setting up our Republic. The Six Nations form of government has been suggested as being more influential on the second constitution of the U.S., even though they weren't cited by the men who wrote the Constitution.
1) The Athenians(Greeks) very likely got the idea and concept from the more ancient civilizations that proceeded them.
2) It is FACT that the men who wrote the U.S. constitution were hypocritical, pompous racists. Why would they openly site a group of people they deemed inferior for enlightening them to a superior form of government and existence?
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