Nature has a rather splendid way of impressing us. There are few who have
not been overwhelmed, time after time, by a sense of awe at the beauty of a
glorious sunset, the sight of distant mountains shrouded in a soft blue haze
of mist, or the brilliance of a starlit night. As a child, I found myself fascinated
by the mysterious patterns of the constellations, the faint glow of the
Milky Way, and the slow movements of the planets across the night sky. I
devoured books on astronomy and even managed to build a small telescope
to study the sky in greater detail. It allowed me...
Those who have denied the reality of moral distinctions, may be ranked among the disingenuous disputants;
nor is it conceivable, that any human creature could ever seriously believe, that all characters and actions were
alike entitled to the affection and regard of everyone.
The beasts of Plato
In the Republic, Plato describes the essential nature of the soul and the inner workings of the human person, and he does it “by forming in speech an image of the soul” (Republic, 588b–589b). According to this image, the human soul has three parts.
In the fourth century after Christ began that decay of the Roman Empire which had been the pride of the then
civilized world. Warriors of Teutonic race invaded its splendid cities, destroyed without remorse the costliest
and most beautiful of its antique treasures. Temples and images of the gods fell before barbarians whose only
fear was lest they should die "upon the straw," while marble fountains and luxurious bath-houses were
despoiled as signs of a most inglorious state of civilization.
The central panel of the northern and southern walls contained a quadrant painted with
xenia, while the wall of the ground floor, or west, was an image of the river Sarno as
penates placed between two festoons of flowers. The image was described as a bearded
god wearing a crown of reeds. He was sitting on the ground under the shade of a sacred
tree. Resting on his left elbow on an overturned urn, he held a reed in his left hand, and
his right hand rested on the corresponding knee. He was nude from the upper part of
This ambivalence in the pagan religions toward peace and war is found in the texts of the
main religious traditions. Many ‘sacred’ texts are flooded with images of a vengeful and
violent God: a God of war who destroys our enemies and punishes us if we stray. Elise
Boulding observes: ‘The warrior god has dominated the stories of our faith communities, so
that the other story of human caring and compassion and reconciliation, is often difficult to
Achilles tendon is beside a quadriceps one, the strongest tendon in human body. Its
name arises from the ancient hero Achilles. His mother Thetis wanted to make him
invulnerable by immersing him in the saint river Styx. As she had to hold him his heel
remained unprotected and thus his weakest point. This was a cause of his death – he
was hit in a heel by a poisoned Paris’ arrow (led by a God Apollo) in the siege of Troy
(term “Achilles heel” is so commonly used to describe the weakest point of someone).
The name Achilles tendon comes from the story of the siege...