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Plato and Christianity?[edit]

Would anyone care to explain why Christianity is based upon platonic ideas. It may very well be true but I'd like to see how.

There are those who assert that supposedly revolutionary 'Christian' teachings are either blatant rehashes of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophical principles or else heavily influenced by them, which would be very much in line with the Greek influence on the early church. I would need to brush up on my dialogues to make a better case for this, but I do recall Plato arguing for a single omnipotent, omniscient God, as well as the existence of an eternal soul.WilhelmJunker 17:34, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

I guess it's mostly through his influence on the early Christians, although indirectly - many of the Church Fathers, such as Augustine, Origen, Pseudo-Dionysius and others were quite strongly influenced by the Neoplatonism of Plotinus. And of course, Platon was probably the primary influence on early medieval Christian and Jewish philosophy until the rediscovery of Aristotle in the 11th to 12th centuries. That said, it's easy to overestimate his influence, and to say as the article does that "Christianity is largely based on Platonic ideas" seems a pretty heavy exaggeration. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:50, 14 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, Plato did argue for the perfect form of "Goodness" and "Evil" which I guess is analogous to God and the devil. His notion that there is a perfect world of forms if taken literally could be analogous to heaven. He certainly believed in the existence of the soul as a "form". Is this the kind of thing we're talking about?
If so it is rather weak.--Damo2353 17:52, 14 July 2008 (EDT)
Plato did not argue for the perfect "form of evil", "evil" (which Plato never even used) was merely the total absence of "the good", in other words someone "evil" is just extremely foolish as they lack knowledge of "the good." Secondly, the world of forms cannot be taken literally as a physical Heaven, as in Timaeus the forms are used as a blueprint for the Demiurge as it tries to fashion the material world in the image of said forms. The Demiurge and the forms are two distinct things. If you want to know, Plato regarded Heaven more as existence in the conscious form of planets and other spherical celestial bodies after transmigration, which again is in Timaeus. (talk) 13:49, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
The article could be simply edited to read that "Due to certain parallels between Platonic thought and early Christian teachings, some have asserted that he was a strong influence on the Church Fathers(sic)". Of course, that would require some sourcing of the parallels in question. It may be more expedient to simply delete the line entirely, unless you wanted to really put some effort into the Plato article (which, for the sake of completeness, I'm totally in favor of).WilhelmJunker 18:03, 14 July 2008 (EDT)
I think I might, its rather an interesting subject and I've just been made redundant so I've got some time on my hands.
Awesome! When I have time I think I'll add a rudimentary article on The Allegory of the Cave; maybe make the Aristotle article less of an argument between two archaic schools of philosophy. She's a real fixer upper, that one.WilhelmJunker 18:11, 14 July 2008 (EDT)
That's putting it... very charitably. :D
Unfortunately, my knowledge of Plato himself is a bit too limited to help out much here, but it'd be great if the article could be improved. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:14, 14 July 2008 (EDT)
While Gnosticism (and perhaps Jesus' actual teachings -- whatever they might be) might well be very Platonic, i have to say I disagree that Pauline Christianity is Platonic at it's core. the "good and evil" in Christianity is an import from Zoroastrianism, not Platonic thought. In Paulitheism you do not see the idea of "forms" you do not have the "ideals", the body is not a vessel for the spiritual (despite the concept of a soul... the body is still to be protected throughout life). There is no "denying of the physical" that dominates the Platonic worldview. Pauline Christianity does not emphasize the "insight" aspect of Knowledge that is found throughout Plato's works. The analogy of the Cave is not something akin to Christian's heaven, but far more "eastern" in thought, that you are not seeing reality, mearly the shadow of reality. {unsigned|WaitingforGodot}}
Yes, but keep in mind that it is not so much genuine Platonism, but rather Plato as interpreted by the Neoplatonists (such as Plotinus and Porphyrry) that has influenced early Christianity. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:46, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

Alas, as much as I would love to, I have nothing to offer here. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:53, 14 July 2008 (EDT)


A redlink to Kurt Goedel has been blued (via Wikipedia) and clarified (via RW's article on the incompleteness theorems). Frostbyte (talk) 22:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)


Can someone explain why my edits are rejected? They merely clarify Plato's views. (talk) 13:40, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

You replaced text that was fine to begin with. I recommend you add to the text rather than completely replacing it. Also sorry for the small edit war we just had. I honestly should have been the one to say something in the talk page rather than rollback your edits without telling you. I apologize. I like what you did with the first paragraph btw but it shouldn't replace what is already there. Again, I apologize for not being the one initiating this conversation, it was a dick move on my part. RationalHindu (talk) 13:46, 1 December 2020 (UTC)