Sunday, June 23, 2013

Top 10 Sportsman of All Time

muhammad ali
If you want to start a good debate, why not try to choose the top 10 sportsman of all time. There are so many to choose from it becomes very subjective. But, here are 10 sportsmen who were outstanding at their sport and also great personalities.

  1. Muhammad Ali At his peak, Muhammad Ali was undoubtedly the greatest boxer of his generation. But, Muhammad Ali didn't just beat his opponents and become a world champion. He became a world champion with great style and capturing the imagination of the public. His career would have been much greater, if it wasn't curtailed by his decision to refuse to fight in Vietnam.
  2. Pele. During his career, Pele scored over a 1,000 professional goals. He was instrumental in the success of the Brazilian national football team - from his world cup debut in 1958 to the historic Brazilian win in 1970. Pele stands as a symbol for the best traditions of football - the world's most universal and accessible sport.
  3. Eddy Merckx. Eddy Merckx was the greatest cyclist of all time. His scope of victories were breathtaking. From five Tour de France victories to all the great one day classic. Merckx broke the world hour record, was world champion and won the Giro d'Italia five times and the Vuelta a Espana once. True, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times, but he could never match the breadth and scope of Merckx in one of the world's most gruelling sports.
  4. Carl Lewis - 10 Olympic golds over three different disciplines - 100m, 200m and the long jump.
  5. Roger Federer. Greatest tennis player, holding record for most grand slam titles.
  6. Babe Ruth. Greatest baseball player of the twentieth century.
  7. Donald Bradman. The most dominant batsmen in Cricket. Finishing his career with close to 100. Other batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar have scored more runs, but none have ever dominated the bowling as much as Donald Bradman
  8. Haile Gebrselassie. Greatest distance runner of his generation. Gebreselassi won Olympic gold at 10,000m in both 1996 and 2000. He also won four world titles. Towards the end of his career he broke the world marathon record twice in 2007 and 2008. Still running in his 40s, Gebreselassie is also great ambassador for the sport.
  9. Jesse Owens. Olympic medalist in 1936 Olympics. Jesse Owens helped to smash Hitler's pride in the superiority of Aryan race. Despite racial discrimination at home, Owens always carried himself with great digniity.
  10. Usain Bolt In smashing the world record at the blue ribband events of 100m and 200m in such style, Usain has already established himself as the fastest man on the planet. He went on to repeat his Beijing feats winning Olympic gold at London.
Who would you nominate for most inspiring sportsman?


Monday, June 3, 2013

Most influential philosophers

(BC) 1. SocratesSocrates was influential for creating the 'Socratic diaglogue' Socrates taught his pupils to think for themselves and always challenge conventional wisdoms. Socrates showed the practical benefits of philosophy by remaining calm and detached when faced with his own death. Socrates' philosophy had an underlying spiritual dimension with his philosophy challenging people to know who they really are.

writer 2. Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) Dubbed the father of modern philosophy, Descartes was influential in a new rationalist movement. The importance of Descartes was that he was willing to challenge previous beliefs - even the existence of God. At the time, this was very radical, and Descartes' books were put on the list of books banned by the Vatican. By allowing people to question previous assumed realities, Descartes opened up a new dimension to philosophy.

3. Tom Paine (1737- 1809 ) Thomas Paine was an influential philosopher because of the impact he had on the American revolution. His short books 'Common Sense' (1776) and the Rights of Man (1791) supported the principles of revolution and republicanism. This was very influential in overturning the prevailing view of the 'Divine right of monarchs'

writer 4. Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) Political philosopher. His book Leviathan (1651) which expounded the idea of a social contract and had a big bearing on western political thought. Hobbes' importance was the growing influence of democratic ideas in politics.

writer 5. Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180) - Roman Emperor and philosopher. Aurelius gave practical wisdom and a stoic outlook on life.

writer6. Confucius 551–479 BCE Chinese philosopher and author of The Analects. Confucius was hugely influential in China and Asia. His philosophy laid down a framework and morality for governance and the rule of the state.

writer7. Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) - Aristotle became the leading figure of science and philosophy for many centuries. His scientific works and ethics were the source of much early Western thought.

writer8. David Hume (1711 – 1776) - Scottish enlightenment philosopher. Hume was an important empiricist and skeptic. Hume had a great influence over philosophers's such as Immanuel Kant. Hume was a free thinker who questioned the religious beliefs of his time and proved hard to pin down.

writer9. J. S. Mill (1806 – 1873) - J.S. Mill was a utilitarian philosopher, but his greatest contribution to political philosophy came with his work 'On Liberty' By clearly stating the principle of individual liberty in the face of state involvement, Mill stressed one of the most important principles of 20th Century democracy.

writer10. Thomas Acquinas (1225 – 1274) Influential Roman Catholic priest, philosopher and theologian.

writer11. Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) Karl Marx created the philosophy of Marxims and the strident criticism of capitalist society. Marx created a philosophy which was to challenge Capitalist societies in many ways.

writerVoltaire (1694 – 1778) - French philosopher and critic. Best known for his work Candide (1762) which epitomises his satire and criticisms of social convention.

writerMary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) - Feminist, author. Her work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) was an early defence of womens' rights. An influential figure in feminism and the campaign to give women the right to vote.

writerThomas Jefferson (1743- 1826) Third president of the US. Principle author of the Declaration of Independence. Passed law on religious tolerance in his state of Virginia and laid principles of democratic government in America.