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June 13, 2016 | Seven ‘Intellectual’ Giants from History! (Summarized)

Donald B. Swenson: Born January 24, 1943, Roseau, Minnesota. Graduated H.S. 1961, Moorhead High, Minnesota. Graduated College 1968, Moorhead State University, Minnesota. Designated member of Appraisal Institute (MAI), 1974. Employed with Western Life Insurance Company, 1968 – 71; Iowa Securities Company, 1971 – 73; American Appraisal Company, 1974 – 81. Part-time teacher/valuation consultant/bartender, 1979 – 2008 (taught workshops at Waukesha County Technical Institute, Wi. and Madison Area Technical College, Wi.). Retired 2008 (part time teacher/blogger), AZ. Self educated economist/philosopher/theologian:

My selection of the following seven (7) is based upon my personal review of our intellectual history. These seven (7) individuals have influenced my thinking and the also the thinking of billions of thinking intellectuals over the past 3500 years. Let’s review each individual and their philosophy (including their essential message) and then summarize their MESSAGE for us to understand! I think we can learn much from these SEVEN!

  1. Moses
  2. Socrates
  3. Yeshua (Jesus)
  4. Paul (Saul of Tarsus)
  5. Muhammad
  6. Jefferson
  7. Darwin

Let’s start with the person called Moses (1400 to 1201 B.C.). What did this intellectual Giant add to our history. His leadership led to ten (10) basic moral Commandments which he claims came from the Creator (God). These ten moral instructions were accepted as ‘absolutes’ (by Moses) and have been communicated to us as ‘absolutes’ for some 3200 years. We can go to Exodus 20 (in Scripture) to review these ten ‘absolutes’. I must not steal, covet, lie, murder, etc. I must submit to one ultimate Creator (no others) and I must love my neighbor as myself. The message was presented as an ‘absolute’ which means that there are NO exceptions (from the Creator’s point-of-view). The problem with this message from Moses is that ‘no-one’ is capable of following these ‘absolutes’ fully (in real-time). In real-time reality, ‘I’ can not act with ‘absolute’ morality on any of these principles. This makes these ten (10) absolutes less meaningful for real-time behavior change. Nonetheless, this was the core MESSAGE of Moses to mankind (from God, The Logos)!

The next intellectual Giant was Mr. Socrates (470 to 399 B.C.). Socrates went out into the marketplace and asked moral and behavioral questions of the leaders in his venue as well as the students who followed his teachings. What Socrates discovered from his questions is that each person revealed ‘ignorance’ when questioning was continued. Basically, Socrates, discovered that people DO NOT really ‘know’ what they ASSUME (think they know) as their reality. As he questioned leaders and people in the marketplace he concluded that NONE really KNOW anything ‘absolutely’. This, to him, was reality 101…and he concluded that ‘everyone’ really KNOWS nothing with certainty. In other words, there are NO absolutes within Human Nature as we experience it. This was NOT accepted by the political leadership (of his day) and they concluded that Socrates was corrupting the youth with his ‘findings’. This must not continue and they concluded that Socrates must DIE for his discoveries. The end of Socrates was his drinking a substance called Hemlock (a tea) as he did not want to bow to the mentality of his executioners.

Then we have the intellectual Giant called Yeshua (Jesus) who enunciated his message from 30 A.D. to 33 A.D. His message (Gospel) was that mankind could not follow the Absolutes of his mentor, Moses (as revealed in the Torah), and that all these moral/civil ‘absolutes’ must be re-interpreted and made ‘internal’ (basically subjective principles within each person’s spiritual mentality). Yeshua also concluded that his God (YHWH) should govern our planet and this resulted in his message (Gospel) called the Kingdom of God/Heaven/Creator. Yeshua also recognized that his people (the Israelites…the 12 tribes) had corrupted the principles of Moses as they attempted to impose these principles upon the people…while ignoring the principles as applicable to themselves. This hypocrisy was evident within the religious hierarchy which imposed the ‘laws’ and ‘sacraments’ upon the people…and Yeshua desired that this hypocrisy be exposed as corrupt. His philosophy was basically the ‘golden rule’ which when practiced resulted in a better relationship between man (male/female) and The Creator! The religious and political leaders (of his day) viewed his message as anathema (false and blasphemous) and much like the situation with Socrates, this person must ‘die’! Death to anyone who challenged the established hierarchy!

The next intellectual Giant of human history is the person called Saul of Tarsus (5 A.D. to 67 A.D.). Saul, an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin, was a devoted disciple of Judaism until his conversion to Christianity (via a vision experience). After his conversion on the Damascus Road, he changed his name to Paul. Paul then became a missionary for his gospel message which emerged AFTER the death of Yeshua (Jesus) and his vision experience. He wrote letters and preached to millions during his missionary periods and hoped to convert many to his New Gospel of Christianity. Paul was an ‘absolutist’ who thought his interpretation of events during and after the death of Yeshua (Jesus) meant that liberation from the LAW of Moses had occurred and salvation for believers had arrived (with the resurrection of Yeshua from his grave after being dead for three days). Paul has influenced billions since his death in 67 A.D. and many view his gospel as ‘absolute’ and equivalent to the WORD of the Creator God! Paul, however, did not really KNOW the living Yeshua (or the Gospel of Yeshua) and this made his gospel suspect in the mind of many!

The fifth intellectual Giant was the person called Muhammad of Arabia who lived from 570 A.D. to 632 A.D. Muhammad received words directly from the Angel Gabriel (he claims) and this led him to think that his message (the words) were directly from The Creator (Allah). This led to a NEW Gospel for a new religion called Islam. Muhammad viewed his messages from the spiritual realm as words of God (Allah in Arabic means God) and words which could change the lives of all believers on this planet. The central theme of his Gospel was ‘submission’ to this Creator God (Allah) and a political/religious theocracy for all believers. After some 1400 years of practicing this belief system there are now some 1.6 billion followers of this Gospel. The Gospel is an ‘absolutist’ philosophy for all believers and this leads to the idea that God (Allah) has ordained the goals of these strong believers (and their message as the final word from The Creator). Jihad (the struggle) is the Islamic mode for creating acceptance of this universal/absolutist philosophy to the world!



The sixth intellectual Giant who needs recognition is the philosopher/founding father of America by the name of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas lived from 1743 to 1826 and his prime message to mankind was the Declaration of Independence written mostly by Thomas in the year 1776. Thomas wrote the words of the Declaration during the period when young America was at war with its mother country, Great Britain. His words in the Declaration reveal his view of reality. Thomas wrote “We hold these words as self-evident that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These words were vital to the creation of America and its subsequent governmental institutions. Thomas Jefferson was also instrumental in establishing the monetary system for America and choosing the ‘dollar’ as the American currency unit. His definition of the ‘dollar’ as 371.25 grains of silver revealed his view that a ‘currency’ must be ‘defined’ to have validity in the marketplace! Thomas also helped to establish the ‘individual’ as supreme within the American intellectual philosophy! The State was to be subservient to the ‘individual’!



The final intellectual Giant from history is the man, Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882). This person started a scientific revolution with his imagination and thinking. His Theory of Evolution has predominated the thinking of all science these past 150 years. His ideas allowed thinkers (especially scientists and philosophers) to ASSUME that a Creator God was not necessary to explain history and change. Change occurs because of ‘matter in motion’ and this allows a materialistic explanation for all events. The concept of a Creator God is basically unnecessary as ‘change’ can be explained within ones ‘imagination’ and over vast periods of historical ‘time’. The ‘origin’ of species can be explained via micro and macro ‘evolution’ over time. This ASSUMPTION revolutionized all science and most education and it diminished the concept of the spiritual realm (as a reality) and the idea that a CREATOR rules over our planet and universe! The Darwinian revolution is now being severely tested by modern thinkers as being mostly ‘fantasy’! quote-throughout-human-history-our-greatest-leaders-and-thinkers-have-used-the-power-of-words-tony-robbins-106-21-54


Let’s summarize these intellectual thinkers in a few words. Moses gave us a ‘moral’ code to think about. This code was viewed as ‘absolute’. Socrates gave us real-time understanding about human nature and human knowledge. Human beings are ‘uncertain’ and their views are ‘relative’ when challenged in the open marketplace. Yeshua (Jesus) gave us the idea that God rules in the affairs of men and that the Kingdom of God is the ultimate goal for achieving peace and happiness on this planet. Paul (the visionary apostle) gave us Christianity and the idea that man is ‘flawed’ and therefore needs ‘salvation’ to survive. The ‘old’ man needs to change into a ‘new’ man via the concept of ‘faith’ and ‘grace’. Muhammad gave us a direct message from the Creator (via Gabriel) that we must ‘submit’ to the Creator to inherit salvation. The new religion became known as Islam. Jefferson gave us Capitalism, our money system, value in exchange, and a government which was supposed to be ‘subservient’ to the people (ultimately). Darwin gave us a reason to advance science and education (without the concept or need for The Creator God). Change over ‘time’ was the mechanism with ‘matter’ as the ultimate reality.



All the seven (7) above (plus countless more) contributed immensely to the advancement of human history and also the huge ‘problems’ which we now experience. What we now need is to digest this history and eliminate the myth from the realities…so we can discern the direction needed going forward! My view is that the contributions of all these thinkers can be re-evaluated in the light of current events. It seems obvious, to me, that the spiritual realm of reality must predominate going forward. This means that the realm of ‘matter’ and ‘material’ objects must take a back-seat to concepts of the mind and our consciousness. Ideas and words are spiritual phenomena and we now live in an economic world which is also mostly spiritual at the core. Concepts like ‘value’, ‘money’, ‘currencies’, and trading among nations involves mostly an understanding of the spiritual realm of reality. ISIS and similar issues demand that people become AWARE of the spiritual nature of reality. Enjoy this review and summary of history! I am:



P.S. Some thinkers which also could have been added to the above list (as effecting change within our markets and thinking): Einstein, Smith, Keynes, Descartes, Plato, Aristotle, Eve, Mary, Luther, Calvin, Newton, Gandhi, Locke, Marx, Hamilton, Adams, Lincoln, plus some of the current thinkers above (which reflect more current personalities)! The list is endless and each person will choose a different seven IMO. My seven gives my view of our history and my view of what is important!

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June 13th, 2016

Posted In: Kingdom Economics

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