Shianne Buie Professor Hairr PHI 215-FN1 December
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Shianne Buie Professor Hairr PHI 215-FN1 December 1st, 2017 Towards the end of his infamous trial, the renowned philosopher Socrates is said to have uttered the statement, " a n unexamined life was not worth living " before his death sentence. Many have pondered over what the man meant by this and have come up with their own various answers. Some believe that Socrates was referring to a life of being unexamined, as a life of people not acknowledging his existence, to be pointless. While others say that he was merely referring to the fact that exile would be worse than death because of the boredom or isolation he would face. However I sense that the words have a much deeper meaning entirely. Since Socrates thought a bit differently than average men, I think that he believed his life would have no meaning if he were to renounce his beliefs and instead succumb to those of others. By looking at what kind of man Socrates had been, what he taught his students and his unwavering resolve to stand by his principles until the very end. I have gathered that h is statement meant that living a life which revolved around submitting to the beliefs of someone else was not worth living at all. It is the basis of philosophy to ask questions and come up with new ways of viewing ones entire existence and everything about life itself. The number of ideas that have come from people who have gone against the status quo just goes to show how important thinking for ones self really is. Socrates himself is known as the fist modern philosopher for a good reason, he questioned everything that was considered to be absolutely concrete within his society. While others accepted what they were told to without hesitation, Socrates instead questioned everything that he was told was true. As a result he came up with his own ideas regarding the Gods which the Greek people had worship for so long. His newfound philosophies eventually lead to him to be branded by the elder generation as an outsider and even a traitor. Though even in the face of adversity he remained dignified and continued to spread his knowledge wherever he went, even in court. His trial itself is a perfect example of what Socrates thought about life and how he chose to live it. Thankfully his students were there to record the events because otherwise the truth and wisdom of his words may have been lost forever. Socrates based his teachings on his beliefs and taught his followers to think for themselves so that they would not lead an " unexamined life. " He did not want future generations merely following in the footsteps of previous, he wanted to make certain that the young people were more innovative than their predecessors. His intentions were neither malicious or treacherous, he had no wish to lead an uprising or turn his students against their families and repeatedly stated just as much during his trial. " Socrates three times took up the charge that he corrupted the young, insisting that, if he corrupted them, he did so unwillingly; but if unwillingly, he should be instructed, not prosecuted " ( Mulvaney , 2012) However his prosecutors and many of his student ' s families absolutely refused to see things that way. They viewed his teachings as a means of turning the younger generation against the very values of their society and demanded Socrates be charged with treason. All because the man only wanted to teach the young adults how to think for themselves, how terrifying indeed. Although I will say that he did have quite a profound influence on his students, honestly they even seemed to have worshiped him a bit. Though it is my opinion that this admiration was due to him actually giving them a chance to form their own ideas rather than have some else force their beliefs on them. Even after death Socrates had a profound influence western philosophy through the work of his students. They went on to great things armed with his teachings, his most famous student Plato become a renowned philosopher himself and his own
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