Raya, congratulations on such an appropriate question. On a site dedicated to the foundations of what is commonly named the "Western Tradition," the matter is quite relevant.<br /><br />It is possible to respect a tradition and yet not follow it. In fact, that is the only way to honor the tradtion.<br /><br />How's that for provocative?
<br /><br />When I read a Greek poem, I don't just read it. I don't just let the words wash over me. Appreciating poetry takes serious, focused engagement with the language: the meter, the sounds, the meaning all working together. And I try to take the matter in on its own terms. The author is trying to say something, and I should do him or her the favor of really trying to understand what.<br /><br />But part of that engagement is not just drawing the words in, but thinking about them. I can appreciate Homer's technique, his assumptions, and his art and still think Odysseus' treatment of Thersites beastly, not remotely comical.<br /><br />If we take this to philosophy, we can read Plato very seriously, knowing he has something important to say, and yet still be able to absorb that and stand back and reassess what he is saying in light of 2400+ years of history and learning.<br /><br />I'm a big fan of the Stoic philosophers, but they believed that the entire Universe was a purposive, intentional being of which we were only a part. Current evidence argues against that, but Stoic ideals can withstand that blow to their metaphysics (see "A New Stoicism" by Lawrence Becker). So, I can read - and respect - the Stoic tradition, but still not follow it. I might even alter it, because Stoic thought challenges us to see if it will work in changed circumstances. That respect and engagement with a serious philosophical tradition requires
continual reassesment and adjustment.<br /><br />I can read Plato, and learn from Plato, without being a Platonist; I can read Homer, and appreciate Homer, without being a Greek aristocrat. I can respect (and learn from) what ancient authors have to offer, and still decide parts of it are soul-deforming nonsense.<br /><br />I hope I'm being clear enough.