The Liberty of the Ancients and the Liberty of the Moderns

The people of ancient Greece had a very different idea of liberty than the people of the modern world. When we in the modern world think of liberty, we usually think of liberties that pertain to individuals. These individual liberties usually take the form of rights. Some of these rights protect an individual’s privacy, personal property, etc. from other individuals or from the government. Other rights allow people to do what they want, such as express their opinion, without being bothered by the government.

Ancient Greece was made up of  several sovereign city-states. Athens would be a good example. Athens was a democracy, and every man who was of age in Athens could meet as members of the assembly to vote on matters and pass new laws. Athens did not have an enormous population, which made it possible for all of its citizens to gather.

Liberty for the people of Athens was not as focused on the rights of individuals. Liberty meant mostly the collective rights of the citizens of Athens. These collective rights involved the political participation of the citizens of Athens, such as the right of the assembly to make decisions, or the right of the assembly to prosecute the magistrates. Political participation of the people was very important because the small size of Athens gave every citizen an important say on the matters concerning Athens.

The modern idea of liberty is very different from the ancient idea of liberty. This is partly due to the fact that commerce is much more developed now than in the ancient world. Commerce naturally incites animosity towards government intervention in private affairs. Athens had more commerce than the other city-states of Greece, because it was not able to produce enough food to sustain its population, so it relied heavily on foreign trade. This made Athens slightly more oriented towards individual rights than the other Greek city-states, but not much.

The Differences Between Genesis 1 and Theogony

Genesis 1 and Theogony both detailed the creation of the universe according to the religions of the Hebrews and the ancient Greeks. In Genesis 1, the earth and the heavens were created out of nothing by one God. This God also created plants and animals to fill the earth. God had the unique qualities of being omnipotent, sovereign, and good. Theogony had a much different story for the creation of the universe.

In Theogony, the Earth and the Heavens were gods which sprung from chaos (it is not clear if chaos was some sort of god). Earth and the Heavens propagated yet more gods, of which some were material things, such as the Sun and the Moon, and others were immaterial things, such as Strife, Friendship, and Deceit. None of these gods were omnipotent, sovereign, or good.

Genesis 1 centers around the creation of the world by the hand of one almighty deity. In Theogony, creation is the result of the procreation of many deities.

The Hebrew and Ancient Greek Religions

The religion practiced by the ancient Greeks was very different from that of the Hebrews. In many ways, the two religions were polar opposites. The Hebrews believed in one, omnipotent, completely sovereign God. The ancient Greeks believed that there were many gods, and that these gods were not all-powerful.

The Greek gods could be thwarted by one another, and deceived by one another. Zeus, the ruler of the gods, was not completely sovereign over the other gods. For instance, he needed help fending off the Titans in Hesiod’s Theogony. Another huge difference between the Greek gods and the Hebrew God is that the God of the Hebrews was ethically predictable, and the Greek gods were definitely not ethically predictable. The Hebrew God would provide positive or negative sanctions based on whether the recipient performed an ethical action or a non-ethical action. The Greek gods favored people based on whims, not because that person was ethical or not. They were fickle, exhibiting human vices and faults. The God of the Hebrews was transcendent, existing apart from the material universe. Some of the Greek gods were the material universe. The sun was a god (Helius), the moon was a god (Selene), and the dawn, the earth, and the heavens were also gods. The story of creation is very different as well. The Hebrews believed that God was the creator of the universe. The ancient Greeks believed that chaos was the source of some of the gods, and those gods were the source of other gods.

There are, however, some similarities between the religions. The Hebrews and the ancient Greeks both believed that deities must be appeased by animal sacrifices, and they both built temples to honor their God (or gods).

Essay 3: On Non-Hereditary Genetic Disorders

Genetic disorders that cannot be inherited are caused by mechanical errors in meiosis. Sometimes, sister chromatids do not separate during anaphase I. This is called nondisjunction, which causes multiple sister chromatids to stay in one daughter cell, and fewer to stay in the other. The condition of a gamete having more chromosomes than normal is called polysomy. When a gamete has only one copy of a chromosome, it is called monosomy. If fertilization occurs with aberrant gametes, it is called aneuploidy.

Turner’s syndrome, the only total monosomy which can be survived, involves monosomy of the X chromosome in women. Women with Turner’s syndrome are unable to have children, and some have an unusual abnormality called neck webbing. Cri du chat (French for cry of the cat) syndrome, a partial monosomy of chromosome 5, also known as deletion, is named for the malformation of the larynx that causes afflicted babies to cry like meowing cats. One of the more well known chromosomal disorders is Down’s syndrome. Down’s syndrome occurs when a gamete is fertilized with three copies of chromosome 21. Three copies of one chromosome in one gamete is called trisomy. One in one thousand girls are trisomic for the X chromosome. Unlike other chromosomal conditions, women with an extra X chromosome don’t exhibit any abnormalities.

The Circumstances Leading to the Persian wars, and their Significance

The Persian war started with tensions between Athens and Sparta in the 6th century BC. Sparta had opposed the Athenian democratic reformer Cliesthenes, and intervened politically on behalf of the Athenian aristocracy. Athens was upset by this and sent representatives to Persia to ask for an alliance to protect against any more Spartan incursions.

The Persians viewed themselves as the greatest nation in the world. Because of this, they did not make bilateral agreements with anyone. In order to seal the agreement, Persia  demanded tokens of Athenian earth and water. The Athenian representatives thought that the Persians just wanted superficial gifts. But, according to Persian diplomatic protocol, tokens of earth and water meant that Persia had sovereignty over the other country’s land and sea. The Athenians were upset when they discovered that they had entered into an agreement as inferiors, but they never actually ended the agreement. This misunderstanding set the stage for the Persian wars.

Hostilities started when Athens sent 20 ships (a substantial force for Athens at the time) to assist an Ionian Greek uprising against the Persians in 499 BC. The Persians were very upset with this and sent legates demanding tokens of earth and water from all the Greek city-states. When they came to Sparta, they were murdered. Persia sent ships to Greece as a show of force, and started the war.

The Greeks defeated the initial Persian invasion at the battle of Marathon. After eleven years and a second Persian invasion, Greece, and namely Athens and Sparta, emerged victorious. This was an amazing victory for the Greeks. Persia was a huge empire and Athens was so tiny that the Persian Emperor didn’t know it existed until the failed agreement between them.

After the war the Athenians got together with several other city-states, and formed the Delian league, just like the Spartans and their Peloponnesian league. This league was meant to protect Greece in the event of another Persian invasion, but eventually was used to make Athens richer and more powerful. This set the stage for the devastating Peloponnesian war between the Delian league and the Peloponesian league, which weakened all of Greece and changed the course of western civilization.

The Significance of Aristotle

Aristotle was the father of science as we know it today. Unlike Plato, he was more interested in the material world. He believed that the non-material, or universal world is less real, and derived by the mind from the particular, or material world. He studied  the material world, classifying animals, explaining meteorological phenomena, and the like. there were many errors  in his studies, but the errors weren’t important. What was important was that Aristotle studied the world around him, and not a theoretical universe that no one can see.

The Relationship Between Ethics and Sanctions in Proverbs 1-7

In proverbs 1-7, there is a contrast between those who seek wisdom and those who hate wisdom. For those who seek (and find) wisdom, there are positive sanctions. In proverbs 3:15-16, for those who find wisdom, there will be the positive sanctions of long life, riches, and glory. Wisdom is ethical, therefore, those who hate wisdom are wicked, and there are negative sanctions for the wicked:”but the wicked shall be destroyed from the earth: and they who do  unjustly will be taken away from it” proverbs 2:22.