Xenophanes’ Critique of Greek Religion
In this paper, I will show how Xenophanes was a man before his time. Even though everyone around him followed and believed in all the same things, he was not willing to conform or stop attaining knowledge for anyone. He is a man who will challenge the belief of not only his generation but of generations to come. During a period where people prayed to many gods and had beliefs in gods that we now today view as fiction, Xenophanes was not afraid to stand up and tell them that they were wrong.
Twenty five hundred years ago Athens, people believed in the stories of Homer and Hesiod. Greek religion studied the religious text of Hesiod, which is called “Theogery” and the religious text of Homer, which is known as “Iliael”. It took Xenophanes and other Pre-Socratic philosophers to come along and dispute these texts. Greeks believed that the universe was created by different gods like Krenos and Zues. According to Greek text, Kronos created the world after being horny and masturbating it into existence. Now you and I might find this ludicrous but until men like Xenophanes came along it was life.
Xenophanes critique of Greek religion could be called explicit. He believed that a God had to be worthy of your worship because god is perfect and so much better than us. He proclaimed that the works of Hesiod and Homer were fiction due to the fact of how the Greek gods behaved. According to Homer and Hesiod, the gods had not problem with stealing, killing, lying, cheating and even raping women. Xenophanes was the first to suggest that there was only one God that they should be worshiping instead of all the hundreds the Greeks worshiped.
Not everything that Xenophanes taught I believe in, however he does make you think. I was raised to believe that we are made or created in the image of God but a quote from Xenophanes states that, “God does not make us in his image; rather we make god/goddesses in our image.” Which...
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