Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Provoking thoughts

This is the Socrates dialogue (Plato's Crito) I made mention of in Monday's class. If you have 20 minutes or so to kill I would suggest reading it if you haven't already. Not only is a great example of what it might have been like to talk to Socrates, it was brought to my mind as I read the prison scene with Samson and his father. Samson and Socrates are both incarcerated and when presented with deliverance choose to remain where they are and face whatever end is coming, explaining their reasoning to their hopeful deliverers.

The point in class I was bringing up was the distinct difference between the presence of God in Plato's piece versus Milton's, or Socrates deference to God vs. Samson's deference to God. Socrates is very much about devotion to the state and abiding by the rules that have been set forth (though I'm pretty sure that Socrates wasn't exactly guilty of what he was charged...I could be wrong though). Samson does the same not in consideration of the state and government but to the rules and mandates of God (unfortunately for him in retrospect of his disobedience).

But when I was looking for a copy of Crito to link to I happened to scroll down to the very last line. And it threw me and my original assumption a bit. It is as follows...

             Crito: I have nothing to say, Socrates. 
             Socrates: Then let me follow the intimations of the will of God. 

I'm still not sure what to make of it. I still stand by my point but I wanted to give Socrates credit for not completely disregarding deity.
I know it is off topic, but if you guys have any thoughts or explanations I'd be interested. So far what I have found is that Socrates' religious orientation was labeled as "western philosophy." What does that mean? What god is he referring to? It is definitely singular. Just questions and questions:]

1 comment:

  1. Our Lord and Savior Wikipedia has an interesting point about this. In his last trial, "[Socrates] made several references to his personal spirit, or daimonion, although he explicitly claimed that it never urged him on, but only warned him against various prospective actions." Socrates held religious views different than his contemporaries, and other works I've read posit that he believed in some form of a supreme God, though I've never found a definite consensus.