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Socrates

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posted on Sep, 12 2002 @ 11:32 PM
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This man's work is amazing. He was far from knowing everything there is to know in life, but he truly set down the rules for finding one's self. After being gone for quite some time from these boards, I have come back to realize that I was looking for answers from outside sources, other people's opinions, and basically any information that sparked my imagination while my blinders were on.

I've come to notice that people aren't stupid because they don't try (although most people are lazy), yet they are stupid because they don't know how to learn anything for themselves. Blind following and blind faith are truly evil qualities. A piece of myself that was always missing was my ability to understand 'why' I learned and felt the ways that I had. Now that I have been given the chance to find these things (and still finding them), I have come to notice the whole world open up a little bit more.

Socrates introduces multiple analogies about steps that people need to take in order to learn and/or teach. One of these analogies is the "electric eel." The shock of the eel is representative of discovering that one knows "nothing." All we know is what others tell us, other people's work, and information that appeases us.

A professor recently asked me, "Is the Earth round?" Of course, the answer was yes. Then he asked, "Can you prove it?" There was nothing I could give him, nothing that wouldn't be hear-say, and nothing that could even 'imply' that I knew the Earth was round (completely round). The point is not to set out on a journey to travel and document the entire planet as being round, yet the understanding that one must have dramatic, undeniable proof to show that one actually has "knowledge" of anything.

The problems with education stem directly from the lack of self-knowledge, not to mention the lack of true worldly knowledge. Society seems even more barbaric when you realize the futility of converting a people, bread on power and compliance, to become rational truth seekers.

This does not necessarily have to be thrown at religion. I believe the quote, "you do not choose what you believe, yet what you believe chooses you." At the same time, belief is a necessary condition for seeking the truth, just so long as you don't blindly have that belief. Socrates was truly a wise man in realizing these things.

So in closing, "it's not about having the knowledge, but about having the ability to find the real 'knowledge' for yourself and of yourself." Thanks Socrates.

Just something to think about,
Protector

[Edited on 13-9-2002 by Protector]




posted on Sep, 13 2002 @ 02:36 AM
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excellent.. thanks for the insight.. i believe that as well.. i just look around me and see how everyone believes what they do because they were taught it.. or someone told them.. well, you get what i'm saying.. i think you need to get at a certain place within yourself to be able to filter, if you will, all the incoming knowledge around you... but, anyway, thanks again for pointing out socrates work.. i will have to read up on him...



posted on Oct, 25 2002 @ 12:26 AM
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Another of his amazing ablilities was to be able to question *everything*. To most people of his time, he came across a a person who could question anybody into self-contradiction.

Yet, if a person cannot even question himself, then what can he truly learn about anything else?

...In case you're wondering, Socrates is my own personal hero...



posted on Oct, 30 2002 @ 05:53 AM
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that there is no "work" of Socrates in the literal sense - apart from a few incidents in theAttic comedy which reflect a very different view of Socrates -something of an old buffer and a bit of a windbag, we have only the "Socrates" of Plato's diaologues: a mouthpiece for the later ideas of the aristocratic disciple of Socrates -a man probably far better educated and certainly of greater literary talent than his master.
No one has ever been quite sure how much is "Socrates" and how much is actually Plato.
In my own view -and I'm of an age where I had to study two of the dialogues in the Greek at the end of my secondary education - it's 50% or more Plato - a view I'd support by looking at Plato's own work: the Republic.



posted on Oct, 30 2002 @ 09:57 PM
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I love Socrates(So-crates) He was great in Bill and ted's excellent adventure, he was wise, but So-crates was also killer with all the stuff he did in the mall. I can't believe him and the Sigfried never got along as well as they should. Both smart, both insightful, just different insights I guess.



posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 04:31 PM
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Socrates did not publish any work. He did not believe in it. One fact remains the same, though... Plato was his "not-quite-but-sort-of-student" and an amazing one at that. Plato did distinguish his views (more narrow) from Socrates. Of course, we have to take Plato's word for it. I would love to know if Atlantis was truth, or if Plato was just making that up. If so, maybe he just had a big imagination and Socrates was not that important. Either way, we have some amazing philosophy that came from Plato.



posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 08:55 PM
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Socrates didn't believe in anything he *could've* written, true...Mainly because I think the term "doubting thomas" was coined specifically for Socrates. He doubted *everything*; This is perhaps the most effective attribute to possess in the field of Philosophy. Otherwise, how could a person come up with new thoughts if he's unable to question the old ones?

According to the old stories, someone asked the Oracle at Delphi if there was anyone wiser than Socrates. Rather than giving the normally cryptic type of answer, the Oracle simply replied "no". Yet when word of this finally got to Socrates himself, he doubted everything even more than ever...

Yeah, this is likely to be just an old story, but I think it's a *good* story...



[Edited on 5-11-2002 by MidnightDStroyer]



posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 09:30 PM
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Forever fascinating: worth remembering that we have few other sources besides Plato: Xenophon in the Memorabilia and, of course, the marvellous Clouds: a contemporary comedy by Aristophanes and still funny to-day.
It is worth recalling that there was another view of Socrates -markedly different from Plato's.
As I've said, Aristophanes portrayed him as a villainous old money-grabbing fraud -And Aristophanes should have known Socrates better than Plato did. ( which isn't to say that Aristophanes is any more reliable, of course."



posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 09:35 PM
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As I've said before, I had to study both the Apology and teh Phaedo for UK A-Level so I think I know the dialogues reasonably well.
I always used to wonder how anyone ever made it through an entire conversation with Socrates. It's not correct to assert that he "doubted" everything -Plato, for example, makes it abundantly clear that Socrates was not an atheist and did believe in God or the gods.
But the endless nit-picking might have got a chap down.

Incidentally, on the negative view of Socrates, one important writer (whose father had been a pupil of Socrates) was Aristoxenus -more famous for work on Music and Harmony.
Not much of his actual writing has been preserved but anyone interested in Socrates might profit from a search for Aristoxenus (or Aristoxenus of Tarentum, perhaps): he couldn't stand Socrates.



posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 09:36 PM
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And if there's anyone left that Estragon hasn't bored to death: in the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates regretting some of his ideas in his younger days. Maybe there's a bit of truth in both pictures of the philosopher.



posted on Nov, 5 2002 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Estragon It's not correct to assert that he "doubted" everything...

Okay, so perhaps saying that he "doubted everything" was a bit inaccurate...Especially when you consider that, after drinking the hemlock but before he actually died from it, he told a friend of his that he owed a chicken to the god of healing...In other words, he asked his friend to make that sacrifice for him. It *may* have indicated that socrates was already becoming ill from a long-term disease...Or maybe even he didn't desire to experience the decreptitude of old age...Either way, I agree that he was pious.

More accurately than "doubting everything", he *questioned* everything. Without the ability to question anything, even yourself, you can never truly learn anything, not even yourself.



posted on Nov, 5 2002 @ 08:56 PM
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nicely put, MidnightD and a very fair assessment, methinks.
It is remarkable that Aristotle, a far more rigorous thinker and philosopher ,has never had the hold on the modern imagination that Socrates has -and I think that is precisely because of the focus on uncertainty in Socratic dialectic that readily finds its match in the insecurity of the modern age.



posted on Nov, 5 2002 @ 08:57 PM
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And posters who would like to explore further the idea of scepticism as a basis for rationalism would be well advised to brush up on their Descartes: the most consistent of all sceptics.



posted on Nov, 5 2002 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by EstragonI think that is precisely because of the focus on uncertainty in Socratic dialectic that readily finds its match in the insecurity of the modern age.

...And boy, have we got the type of government that needs a lot of questioning...

No, scratch that...They need to have *answers* to the questions already put to them! They've got a lot to answer for!





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