Plato's Timaeus: The Story Of Creation

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Plato’s Timaeus is a Socratic dialogue in which the philosopher Timaeus explains the origins and composition of creation. Genesis 1, The Story of Creation, is part of the Hebrew Bible, it was composed around 1200 B.C.E., and influenced by other cultures of the time. Both Timaeus and Genesis 1 explore God’s relationship to creation and the natural world. However, the description of God and the cosmos differs between Timaeus and Genesis 1. The different descriptions of creation affect people’s view of their role in the world, and their view of justice, life’s purpose, and the transcendent.
In Timaeus, God is portrayed as a craftsman who plans and creates a world of excellence. By using reasoning and mathematics, he is able to create a beautifully ordered universe out of chaos.
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In the beginning, God made the universe to consist of only fire and earth. He then later realized those elements needed something else in order for them to be connected. The solution to this was proportions. “God placed water and air in the mean between fire and earth, and made them to have the same proportion as far as was possible (as fire is to air so is air to water, and as air is to water so is water to earth); and thus he bound and put together a visible and tangible heaven” (Timaeus 2). The goal in the creation of the universe was not to be a portrayal of intellect, but rather a model for with which souls are to understand and imitate. The soul is in the center, spread throughout the body. It was created before the body to act as a ruler and control the body, its subject. God made the soul out of three elements: the same, the other and the essence. He then blended them into one form and again divided by proportions until he was satisfied with the result. “The body of heaven is visible, but the soul is invisible, and partakes of reason and harmony, and being made by the

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