Essay about Socrates 's Philosophy : The Oracle At Delphi

Essay about Socrates 's Philosophy : The Oracle At Delphi

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The oracle at Delphi said to Socrates’ friend, Chaerephon, that there is no man wiser than Socrates. In disbelief and not agreeing to be the wisest man, Socrates went on to investigate by examining all men that he thought to be wise. His goal was to find a man that is wiser than him in order to tell the oracle he was incorrect. He went to a public man first, as he thought he would live up to the expectation of public man to be wise. However, he found out that although he appeared to be wise to himself and other, he was in fact not wise (Plato, 24). When Socrates tried to show the man that he was not wise like he considered himself to be, the man came to dislike him (Plato, 25). He then rationalizes to himself: “‘It is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know.’”. Socrates went about the same experiment with different men that were known to hold high reputations: politicians, poets, and craftsmen. To his surprise, he achieved the same results with them as he did with the first man and realized that indeed he was wiser than all of them simply because he was knowledgeable enough to not think he knows what he does not, while the other men do not possess that knowledge. In this aspect, the other man are deprived of knowledge. Here, he realizes that the god’s oracle is indeed irrefutable, as it does not lie.
Socrates’ reasoning for being wiser than the wisest men of Athens does not originate from entitlement (given the oracle claimed him to be the wisest) or arrogance, but from his great wisdom to recognize that one can...


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...one has the right to hold their own principles and theories, I do agree with Socrates that he was correct to criticize the Athens. In my opinion, some human values should be universal and not meant to vary so greatly from culture to culture. Imagine if through relativism, it was wrong to condemn terrorists for killing innocent people just because they believe themselves to be doing right by their beliefs? There are unspoken rules of human society that exit among men that should guard human life and integrity. Like the famous saying, the liberty of one ends where the liberty of another begins. Therefore, because of the values that Socrates fought for, I believe he was right to criticize Athenians for holding on to earthy values, the same way I believe he would be right to criticize my society for holding ideals that did not add any value to the improvement of the soul.

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