Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Trial and Truth of Socrates

The city of Athens was one of the greatest ancient civilizations in history. One of the most influential men to be produced by Athens was a philosopher named Socrates. During the course of his life he became arguably one of the greatest minds who ever lived. Socrates was viewed in a number of ways. One was as a great philosopher and teacher. Another was as an antagonistic pest and the anti-democratic character of Athens. Although he was loved by many he was also widely hated. The effects of his teachings, beliefs, and relationships would ultimately lead him to a trial for his life. To quote the author of The Trial of Socrates by I.F. Stone,

“No other trial, except that of Jesus, has left so vivid an impression on the imagination of Western man as that of Socrates” (3).

In a city known for its’ culture, arts, and democratic freedoms, it’s hard to imagine how a person like Socrates could fall into such a predicament. Again the common reoccurring theme is present, it is through deeper understanding that we may come to find logic or reason where it previously did not appear. Or in other words, when the context of Socrates’ background is examined, it is easier to see how the people of Athens came to the conclusion that they did.