Marcus Aurelius: Thoughts on Death & Christians

Near the end of his life Marcus Aurelius (121-180 C.E.) wrote in Meditations about his thoughts on the readiness for death.

"How admirable is the soul which is ready to be released from the body at any requisite moment, either to be extinguished or to be scattered or to persist! But this readiness must come from a specific decision, not in accordance with a simple lining up, like the Christians, but after reflection and with dignity, and so as to convince others, without stage-heroics."

Translators, philosophers, and historians mostly agree that in his thoughts on readiness for death he is criticizing Christians on their being trained in their belief instead of coming to it by thought and examination. And for lining up for battle unarmed, ready to die, because they have been taught that the other side will be better. Also criticizing their stage-acting to convince others of their convictions.

Marcus' philosophic teachings had taught him to be a skeptic; he notes that some of his first teachings in philosophy was "to distrust the stories of miracle-workers and impostors about incantation and exorcism of spirits and such things." He was known to have called out a few public performing miracle-workers, including a few that were most likely Christian.

It seems that even in the early days of Christianity it was about showmanship, blind belief, and getting to the next life.




Sources
Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. Edited by Gregory Hays. New York: Modern Library, a division of Random House, Inc, 2003.

Birley, Anthony R. Marcus Aurelius. London: Routledge, 2000.

Views: 2003

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Unfortunately the great men of history seem to  get buried underneath the piles of BS slung by the theists. Wouldn't it have been great if all of this nonsense had been quashed back then. One could only imagine how far we could have developed by now.

I had the very same speculation.  We would probably be complaining about worshipers of the Gods then.

RSS

Forum

LOCATION

Started by Jake LaFort in Small Talk. Last reply by Madelyn Picard 1 hour ago. 3 Replies

Do humans benefit the Earth? If so, explain.

Started by Tyrion in Small Talk. Last reply by Gregg RThomas 8 hours ago. 22 Replies

Poem: Clergy

Started by Fred Hampton in Religion and the Religious, Atheism and Atheists. Last reply by Gregg RThomas 12 hours ago. 1 Reply

Ernesto Che' Guevara

Started by Fred Hampton in Quotes. Last reply by _Robert_ 1 hour ago. 20 Replies

Fred Hampton Is New Here

Started by Fred Hampton in Welcome to Think Atheist. Last reply by Fred Hampton on Tuesday. 8 Replies

Blog Posts

I am Ayaz Nizami

Posted by Noon Alif on March 27, 2017 at 10:30am 13 Comments

Seraphims and Cherubims

Posted by Fred Hampton on March 27, 2017 at 2:04am 0 Comments

© 2017   Created by umar.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service