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Is It Dangerous To Think Too M

1114 words - 4 pages

Is it Dangerous to Think too Much? ?Cogito, ergo sum? (?I think, therefore I am.?), Descartes famous basis for his philosophy of Cartesianism, is also compelling evidence towards the defense of one of the most famous of the early Greek teachers, Socrates. In order to be, one must think. Socrates was a seeker of truth, and the highest knowledge is knowing what is best for oneself and one?s community. He was penalized and served the ultimate sentence for his belief in the true nature of education. He was blamed for opposing the authoritative belief that education had the sole purpose of transmitting social mores intact. He believed instead that education was meant to examine and re-evaluate social norms for the betterment of society. It was his re-evaluation of social norms that was perceived as dangerous by his society. This leads to the question, ?Is it dangerous to think to much?? Is it sometimes better to let things be, in order to keep the peace? One of the many charges brought against Socrates was the charge of corrupting the youth with his teachings. Instead of letting the laws govern their lives, he was attempting to show his pupils ways of rationalizing their own world. God originally gave mankind free will so that we would not become a bunch of robots walking around doing his bidding, and yet this is what traditions were doing. The customs of early Athens were limiting on what a person could or could not believe. Socrates believed independent thought in itself could never be bad. It is what one does with this knowledge that determines its worth. Socrates believed that ?self-knowledge? is different from the "knowledge of information? that had been handed down from generation to generation. Socrates was more concerned with ethical knowledge: self-understanding means self-improvement. Not only must one know what it means to be a human being and understand one's own character (and how it falls short of the ideal), but knowing better means doing better. Knowledge becomes a virtue. One must transform one's own character in the light of one's vision of what is best. Socrates believed true knowledge or human wisdom was not abstract information or facts that filled the brain. It is knowledge that transforms character, brings order to a disorderly life, refines attitude, and makes one better.This self-understanding that Socrates taught his pupils is actually beneficial to a community. When one has order in their lives, it is easier for them to bring order to the world around them. When you smile the world cannot help smiling too. Conversely, when one allows himself to be corrupted, he corrupts the society around them. Self-improvement equals social reform. At the same time, social reform requires knowledge of what is best for the community (as a whole). Thus, since self-improvement and social reform are interdependent, self-knowledge and knowledge of social justice are also interdependent. Ethics is inseparable from politics and individual good is...

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