Breaking the Mold
Belligerence, chaos, greed, brutality, sanguinity. Revolutionary notions, blasphemy. Mavericks, disruptive, unconventional thinkers, radicals, whims. Welcome to the era of the Peloponnesian War. Sparked by Athens’ and Sparta’s raging war, many revolutionary thinkers, or Sophists, sought to teach and enlighten Greek citizens with newfangled conceptions such as questioning the validity of truth, and pondering the notion of right and wrong. One of the more notorious of these revolutionary thinkers was a bright man named Socrates, who had very controversial thoughts on the concept of wisdom. While on trial for causing unrest amongst the populace, one of the anonymous jurors inquired why Socrates was being badmouthed by the citizens of Greece, and how such havoc was being created by his teachings. In response, Socrates informed the juror about his encounter with an oracle, the God of Delphi. Socrates said that his wisdom was confirmed by this oracle; therefore, as an effort to try and prove this oracle wrong, he decided to nomadically travel and speak with the citizens of Greece to find a person with more wisdom than he. Contrary to popular belief at the time, Socrates was convinced that wisdom is a trait that is acquirable by man simply by being humble. Plato’s Apology, a transcription of Socrates’ trial, is a revelation of Socrates’ ideas and beliefs: the wisdom of citizens involved in a certain trade, his own wisdom, and the wisdom of God. When visiting these citizens, Socrates witnessed that some groups of men, specifically politicians, poets, and artisans, possessed more wisdom than Socrates in their respective field. The quote “I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many and wiser still by himself,” illustrates this quite well. The words they spoke were very foreign to themselves, and the men did not seem to have a concrete understanding of the sound waves...
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