The ancient wisdom of the Jews and ancient Greeks from Antiquity became the foundation for the ethical and political values at the foundation of Christian Western Civilization.
This is illustrate eloquently in the book of Wisdom from the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible (Martin Luther scrubbed this book from the Protestant Bible because it was written in Greek, not Hebrew).
Nevertheless, to anyone who has studied history by reading from the works of the people who were actual witnesses to history, it is obvious that Christian Western Civilization is the most just, most technologically advanced, most prosperous and most powerful civilization in human history.
This truth is completely at odds with present day atheist thought which rejects the legitimacy of Christian Western Civilization, all together.
For that reason comparing this brand of wisdom from antiquity with present day atheist thought is of immense value. And that includes value for Protestant thinkers also, who by doctrine, are taught to reject tradition which imparts critical coherence to past, present and future.
Let’s compare fundamental atheist doctrine, that everything just happened all by itself, with the reasoning of the Plato, Aristotle and Jewish Old Testament, as expressed in the book of Wisdom, a century or so before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Wisdom references come from Friday’s (November 13, 2015) reading of the Catholic Rite of Worship of the Word, Wisdom 13:1-9:
“1 All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan…”
This first verse sums up the entire Old Testament with regard to truth about human nature which is that without an objective standard of truth, good and evil (God), man reduces truth, good and evil to mere personal opinion.
And so decades after Wisdom was written, we get the jaded but shrewd Pontius Pilot asking Jesus of Nazareth, “What is truth?”
Amazingly this first verse also includes the Greek understanding that the universe had a First Cause (the Creator), that is, everything just did not happen all by itself.
From Wisdom 13:5 is given an appeal to common sense:
5 For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
For those like myself who lack common sense, the study of modern science actually proves Wisdom’s appeal to common sense to be true, indeed. For modern scientific discoveries actually prove the existence of God beyond a shadow of a doubt.
And so it is that the ancient Greek value of getting a good education as a means of fulfilling human nature, is proven yet again in modern times (See Article III of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 in which the Founding Fathers likewise express the same ancient Greek value concerning the critical importance of education).
In conclusion, the intellectual and spiritual tradition of Christian Western Civilization goes to great length over the centuries, to explain the nature of God, man and universe.
Contrast that with the fundamental dogma of atheism we are expected to accept without explanation:
Everything just happened all by itself.