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There are men and gods, and beings like Pythagoras.
Of himself, as quoted in History of Western Philosophy (1945) by Bertrand Russell


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Pythagoras was indeed the first man to call himself a philosopher. Others before had called themselves wise (sophos), but Pythagoras was the first to call himself a philosopher, literally a lover of wisdom.
More importantly, for Pythagoras and his followers philosophy was not merely an intellectual pursuit, but a way of life, the aim of which was the assimilation to God.


According to Burton, the Ethical who talked to him did not agree with his fellows. Apparently, there was dissension even among those beings who we could account as gods. Dispute or discord in Olympus, if I may draw such a parallel. Though I do not think that the so-called Ethicals are gods, angels, or demons. They are human beings like us but advanced to a higher ethical plane. What their disagreement is, I frankly do not know. Perhaps it is about the means used to achieve a goal.

Philip Jose Farmer

It's so much easier to create our own gods; gods that are fully knowable. Those are the gods of atheism, occultism, religion and sometimes even Christianity. Then, of course, there are those prejudices that we demand of our gods. Women who take offense at a "male" God create for themselves a female or neuter god. There, we have all the racial gods, the black gods, white gods, and cultural gods, the Spanish gods, African gods, Indian gods and so on. All of them called god. And yet none of them are truly Him. Some may be tiny glimpses of Him. Maybe His big toe or little finger, but nothing more. Others are not even that. They’re only delusions from our prejudices.

Sean Sellers

It was Pythagoras who first called heaven kosmos, because it is perfect, and "adorned" with infinite beauty and living beings.


The combination of mathematics and theology, which began with Pythagoras, characterized religious philosophy in Greece, in the Middle Ages, and in modern times down to Kant. Orphism before Pythagoras was analogous to Asiatic mystery religions. But in Plato, Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant there is an intimate blending of religion and reasoning, of moral aspiration with logical admiration of what is timeless, which comes from Pythagoras, and distinguishes the intellectualized theology of Europe from the more straightforward mysticism of Asia. It is only in quite recent times that it has been possible to say clearly that Pythagoras was wrong. I do not know of any other man who has been as influential as he was in the sphere of thought. I say this because what appears as Platonism is, when analyzed, found to be in essence Pythagoreanism. The whole conception of an eternal world, revealed to the intellect but not to the senses, is derived from him. But for him, Christians would not have thought of Christ as the Word; but for him, theologians would not have sought logical proofs of God and immortality.

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