Is Socrates a Buddhist?
Socrates was not a Buddhist of his era. There has always been a comparison between the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama and Socrates because each of these individuals had similar dialectic. Both Siddhartha's and Socrates' philosophies consisted of exchanging arguments and counter-arguments respectively advocating their theses and antitheses. Therefore many would question whether Socrates was Buddhist even though these two individuals were from different eras. However Socrates is not a Buddhist for many reasons. Some of these reasons include: that the Buddha is categorized as a salesman and Socrates is categorized as a maven, and the Buddha claims to be enlightened while Socrates claims to know nothing. In Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, Gladwell gave specific titles to individuals who demonstrate their knowledge in certain ways. These titles included mavens, salesmen, and connectors. The two titles which apply to the Buddha and Socrates are maven and salesman. Gladwell defines a maven in his novel: To be a Maven is to be a teacher. But it is also, but it is also more emphatically, to be a student. Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. For a social epidemic to start, though, some people are actually going to have to be persuaded to do something. (69) The title of maven best fits Socrates. In The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato, Socrates is constantly engaging in conversation with someone claiming to be an expert, in this case, Euthyphro. By questioning Euthyphro, Socrates would gradually reveal that the interlocutor was in fact very confused and did not know anything on about the matter which he spoke to be an expert. Socrates used dialogue and inquiry of others in his quest for wisdom. In comparison to Socrates, the Buddha is given the title of salesman, based on the way he presents his knowledge. Gladwell defines a salesman in his novel: "There is also a select group of people-Salesmen-with the...
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