Those who made first steps in a virgin field of knowledge are destined to be viewed by public as revered (if they're lucky) yet quaint weirdos. Their funny baffling with clumsy apparatus look miserable compared with impressive advances of their follower. For example, it's really difficult to understand why Otto Lilienthal jumping with a couple of feeble wings attached to his back is considered a major step in aviation when only in a less than twenty years after him air bombers were already employed in combat.\n \n\n Something similar happens when an uninitiated noob is getting introduced to the in philosophy. The quotes of the presocratics one usually finds on the first pages of the books like “Philosophy for dummies” sound utterly childish:\n \n\n Thales: “water is the principle of all things”\n Anaximenes : “everything in the world is composed of air”\n \n\n or obvious\n Pamenid: “What Is is”\n \n\n or confusing\n Heraclitus: Under the comb the tangle and the straight path are the same\n \n\n Then when a layman compares those poor bits of wisdom with straight lines of volumes of Aristotle, Kant or Schopenhauer proudly parading on the book shelves he or she gets strong understanding about how the real philosophy should look like.\n \n\n Yet there are very few brave souls who dared to endeavour a journey through the philosophical jungle and even fewer who successfully went far enough to at least feel acquainted in its thickets. \n\n\n Of course I can't claim that the humble steps I made allow me to judge all of it but at least I've got some nerve to accuse Socrates and all following generations of philosophers of failing to make any significant advance on the road first trod by Thales more than two thousand years ago. \n\n\n To remind, Thales, who is usually is honored to be the first western philosopher ever, figured it out that our world is governed by precise rules instead of whimsical gods as was thought earlier. This is obviously a tremendous simplification and there were others around Axial Age making similar discoveries but at least in the western philosophy he can be considered if not as founder but at least a precursor of materialism (in the India they had Ajita Kesakambali).\n \n\n So more than two thousands years ago there were already people who knew that there is no sense to pray, make sacrifices or try to please gods in any way to yield something into this life. And still up to modern times absolute majority of humans spend millions of man-hours doing the most weird stuff to fix their problems. \n\n\n Continuing analogy with air industry today's plight of philosophy resembles a super comfortable airliner gathering dust in an hangar while its passengers prefer to keep jumping from the hills dressed in fanciest attires.\n \n\n Of course I do not mean that philosophers would have to find a mathematically precise proof of god's absence. What lacks is a tradition of embracing reality as it is. Enjoying it, feeling comfortable about it. If people happily go to great lengths to please their gods and hardly receive something tangible in most cases why smartest minds failed to impress upon emulous people simple and obvious perception of this world?