All posts tagged: reform

A Case for Change: Reform and Church Teaching

Among the most intriguing figures in the ancient Greek world are the two pre-Socratic philosophers, Heraclitus and Parmenides. Heraclitus’s famous saying about the impossibility of stepping into the same river twice encapsulates one of his central teachings: The world is always fluctuating and the only constant is change itself. Parmenides, on the other hand, envisioned a world which was equally extreme, though in the opposite respect. For Parmenides, change is impossible. As his disciple Zeno argued, we may imagine ourselves to observe many things—arrows, tortoises, and athletes—undergoing changes. However, reason is more reliable than observation, Parmenides held, and change, which requires things to “pop” spontaneously in and out of existence, is eminently unreasonable. If it is new, where was it before? If it was there before, how is it new? As bizarre as these outlooks sound, they left an immense impression on the Western world that would follow. The most illustrious ancient Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, each grappled with Parmenides and the possibility of change in their own unique ways. Plato famously distinguished between …