Many philosophers have considered the variances of human nature, namely, that of our sensuality and intellect, viz. of that between our carnal and spiritual, or intellectual, natures. The opinion of Hegel, on the other hand, was that this gulf between the sensuous and intellectual natures need not be irremeable. For he saw the ancient Greeks as a peoples at harmony with their society at large, and more fundamentally, that at the level of the individual, the sensuous nature seemed to work with - not against - or even at the behest of, the intellectual nature. The nude form was not an idol, but a subject for the high arts; wine was not a drug, but the very milk of the ancients. Schiller, one of the German philosophers, even creates a philosophy about these two drives in his letters On the Aesthetic Education of Man.

Yet when Socrates enters the scene, Greek society changes. Philosophers before him had certainly questioned into the nature of things, or in Aristotelian language, into the causes of things; but these philosophers had not yet begun to question knowledge itself. Fundamentally, the method of Socrates is not merely an interrogation, but is rather the expression of a principle of absolute negativity. For when Socrates is brought to trial, his attitude changes dramatically; he speaks matter-of-factly in the Apology, - the implication of which is that, despite the Socratic ignorance in such statements as, I Know That I Know Nothing, essentially this ignorance is but the metaphysical and epistemological expression of a much deeper certitude, namely, an ethical and judicial one: a moral intuition, a conscience, a Daemon.

We may easily see why Socrates had such a profound effect upon ancient Greek society. For the pre-Socratics, being in harmony with the state, had no need to internalize their morality. When Socrates began to question, to express doubt upon the grounds of a much deeper certainty, he disassociated himself from the conventions of his society. If we apply the Hegelian dialectic to these historical anecdotes, we may consider the pre-Socratic harmony between the individual and the state, between the sensuous and intellectual natures, as a thesis; and the internalized morality in the form of a conscience or moral intuition of Socrates as an antithesis.

Shall we consider Faith to be the resultant synthesis between these two? For, unlike the Socratic doubt, faith does not so irreparably sever the connection between individual and state; hence religious tradition subsumes social convention - hence a stronger community arises within a weakened, or possibly secularized, society. Yet faith, as expressed in such statements as '"I know that I am a sinner though God is my portion" communicate a similar principle of absolute negativity as the Socratic doubt: I know that I know nothing. The Socratic principle of absolute negativity, on the one hand, can only inform one of what not to do: we might call this grace. Whereas faith, in preserving the pre-Socratic sense of harmony between the individual and state through the office of divine intercession or divinity in general, is not a mere receptive conscience, as in the case of Socrates, - but an active one, or to speak more lucidly, is a telos of moral action. Whereas the daemon of Socrates comes and goes to admonish him, religious faith does not depart.

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