Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Greek beliefs about the human being and the human body are continued today?

Human being: Humanism. The notion that, “humans are the measure of all things”. I don’t claim to comprehend Greek humanism, nor do I fully understand modern day humanism, but I do understand the statement above. Much of society places human accomplishment on a pedestal, believing in only what can be seen or felt. The social elite of today are honored much like the philosophers of ancient Greece were; their word is the word. Celebrities are idolized to the point where people think their opinions are doctrine. Donald Trump is so proud of his accomplishments he slaps his name in giant letters across everything he does! Evolution, patriotism, and heroism are also Greek ideas and beliefs that still continue today.

Human body: Perfection. The Greeks seemed to advertise perfection in their sculpture. To look at a Greek statue, especially from the Archaic up to the Hellenistic period, you would think these people were super human...flawless physiques, perfect proportions, and not an ugly mug in sight, save for some rare exceptions. We do the same today in our advertising of the perfect human ideal, only we use Photoshop. We slim waistlines, we correct eye shapes, remove wrinkles, etc. As Paul Gauguin said Greek art is a lie, and so is our portrayal of the perfect body.

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