Socrates (ca. 470-399 BC) is not just one more “dead white male” despised by our university elite but a man whose philosophical breakthroughs reverberate down via the centuries and profoundly impact us nowadays. Athens in the fifth century BC was the age of Pericles. The grandiose building projects undertaken by Pericles such as the Parthenon had been getting constructed through Socrates' lifetime.
Philosophically, Athens was in a time of confusion, flux and disarray. The pre-socratic philosophers, namely the sophists such as Protagorus, Gorgias and Thrasymachus had been teaching moral relativism in their philosophical schools. The term “sophist” suggests “sensible man” and these sensible guys implicitly regarded their personal individual wisdom as the foundation of understanding appropriate behavior.
Protagorus, Gorgias and Thrasymachus had been not native to Athens and had traveled extensively. In their travels they had observed that what was forbidden in a single culture was permitted or even encouraged in one more. This led them to the erroneous conclusion that morals are relative and thus there is no foundation of truth or firm way of figuring out appropriate and incorrect.
The term “sophistry” nowadays has unfavorable connotations as effectively it ought to. Considering that the sophists believed morals had been relative they descended into philosophical pragmatism which is the thought that the most effective philosophy is that which is sensible or that which “functions” regardless of its moral implications.
Pragmatism is extremely well known in western civilization nowadays. The pragmatist philosophy of the American philosopher William James is a flowering of modernist sophistry. In the West we now have a circumstance related to that of ancient Athens. The ancient sophists charged higher charges for their courses of instruction and this also was a departure from Athenian tradition which had normally maintained that philosophers not charge for their instruction. Socrates was educated by the sophists but could only afford the brief course.
The sophists taught rhetoric which is the art of verbal persuasion. Considering that the sophists produced no firm truth claims so they just taught how to persuade. Every single man produced up his personal truth and the far more clever could persuade other people.
Socrates saw the emptiness of this and feared for his city that the sophists, via their relativism, would destroy the foundation of morals and at some point lead to an extinction of ethics and a return to barbarism. Socrates' strategy to the circumstance was to appear to the intellect to attempt to learn the foundation of truth. He looked to the human conscience. Socrates had stumbled onto a single of God's methods of providing revelation to man.
The Bible in Romans two: 14-15 tells us that Gentiles who do not have God's written book, the Bible, do have their consciences which inform them appropriate from incorrect.
All people today all through human history have the inward witness of conscience which regardless of cultural instruction offers witness to God's will. The Bible also teaches that all people today have the witness of nature (Psalm 19: 1-three Romans 1: 19-20) which reveals items about God. Socrates had no Bible but was not completely devoid of access to revelation of God's will. God has provided light to all people today which includes Socrates. Socrates did his most effective to reside by the light he had.
I do not claim to know no matter if or not Socrates ever came to correct repentance and received eternal life. I do think that he produced philosophical breakthroughs that brought about moral reform.
Socrates preferred argumentation more than rhetoric. He sought to tease out a strong definition of virtue. His type of argumentation is named “dialectic.” Dialectic is the practice of examining statements logically via query and answer. Therefore arose the popular “Socratic questioning.”
You can visualize how annoyed the older sophist philosophers had been by this intelligent young man asking embarrassing inquiries. They could not answer his inquiries and their inadequate answers revealed the logical absurdities of the sophist positions.
Socrates changed the course of philosophy and is a hero to these of us who stand up for principle against persuasive demagogues. Later on Athens lost a war with Sparta and in that turmoil Socrates' enemies had been in a position to level charges against him which resulted in a death sentence. The parallels among Socrates' Athens and modern western civilization are inescapable. Universities are presently rife with sophistry. Moral relativism, the thought that there is no genuine appropriate or incorrect, that every single particular person tends to make up his personal morals is taught in the college classroom.
At 1st glance moral relativism seems to be open minded and tolerant but because it gives no basis for appropriate behavior it threatens the erasure of ethics and a return to barbarism.
There are 3 worldviews:
1) The modern day worldview is the thought that absolute truth exists and that it can be found by human cause alone independent of the Bible or any other verbal revelation from God.
two) The postmodern worldview is the thought that no absolute truth exists and that truth is relative, truth is purely subjective and is designed by every single person human thoughts.
three) The Christian worldview is that God has provided us absolute truth via His divinely inspired book, the Bible and God has also provided absolute truth via the human conscience and also via nature (God's laws are embedded in nature which is the notion of organic law).
Suitable now there are millions of young people today who see themselves as getting in the very same position as Socrates. These young people today see via the sophistry of the university elite. The distinction is that though Socrates had no Bible these young people today are born once more Christians who know their Bibles and get from the Bible a clear instruction of God's morality. There is an army of these holy Socrates' going forth, Bible in hand, to give western civilization absolute truth, the very same absolute truth on which the West was initially founded. This truth is the Christian Gospel.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came in fulfillment of more than 300 prophecies written centuries just before His birth. No other figure in all of history can make this claim. The reality that Jesus would come to die for our sins and then be resurrected from the dead is foretold by Old Testament prophecies. These prophecies give Jesus Christ supernatural proof of His authority to give us absolute truth