Opinions on Socrates

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When analyzing Socrates as a person, I think it is apparent that there is much more to his personality than appears on the surface. Many people assume that his aims are pure, that he questions those around him solely in the pursuit of knowledge. I think that if his conversations are considered as a whole, strong arrogance shows through. Socrates often flatters the person he is questioning in order to initiate the debate and he continues to do this as the conversation progresses in order to keep the other person conversing. For instance, Socrates continually tells Euthyphro that he is very wise in matters of piety. While on the surface this appears an honorable supplication, it must be considered that this was done in order to mock Euthyphro. He was giving compliments while at the same time telling Euthyphro he was wrong. If I were to participate in the conversation from Euthyphro's position, I would leave the conversation feeling mocked and ridiculed. Socrates seems to go out of his way to make the people he is debating feel foolish. Rather than simply oppose a statement, he leads the other person into verbal "traps" which make the person refute their own statements. This is a point of view that I take because it is something I find myself doing. If there is a topic that I am passionate about, it bothers me greatly when someone else acts like they know everything about the topic. This is especially true if I have knowledge that they're wrong in some form. In this situation I find myself doing much like Socrates…I get the other person to talk in circles and make them admit that they're wrong. What bothers me is not that the person is saying something that I know to be wrong, but mostly that they infer that they are knowledgeable about the topic and act like they know everything about it. In the conversations of Socrates that I've read, admittedly not more than a dozen, he tends to do the same thing. Socrates even admits this in the Apology when...
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