Socrates and Siddhartha Guatama Buddha have many similarities; they both believe in the importance of justice and good, and a simpler way of life. However, they have different goals: Socrates concerns with worldly meanings and codes, he deals with truth and morals. Buddha concerns with attaining the outer-worldly through mastering the worldly. Socrates relinquishes sensual desires in hopes of spiritual rebirth after death and achieving enlightenment in life. Buddha relinquishes the same ideas, but in hopes of living an enlightened life on earth. (The Dhammapada: Socrates & Buddha Vs. Desire) My contention is to compare Philosopher Socrates from Plato and Siddhartha Guatama Buddha, and I will demonstrate their similarities and differences based on their practices and beliefs.
Buddha Siddhartha Gautama is the historical founder of Buddhism, and naturally his name expresses numerous myths. The records from ancient times suggest that Socrates was born to a family of a sculptor during the Peloponnesian war. He was married to a shrew, and had trivial financial independence. In opposition, the historical Buddha was a splendid prince, who floundered in luxury with his wife in the genial palaces which kept ignorant of the wretchedness of the world. . Once he discovered the austere reality, he took the path of a loner and by trial-and-error method, from practicing extreme austerities to meditation; he reached enlightenment. (Socrates Biography)
Regardless of the fact that Buddha and Socrates were of divergent origin, lived in different era, led contrasting lives, they seem to have been unified in their seeking for the Universal Truth. Guatama Buddha defines that truth is the concepts of morality are changing, it happens everywhere. For example, depending on traditions and societies, abortion can be either right or wrong; as for people who believe in the benefits of modern science, abortion is crucial in certain cases, but it is absolutely not an immorality. In contrasting, other believers view abortion as an immorality. Because of this, the principle of free will does not allow any forecast based on the so-called prior cause, but it allows the self-determined and the external forces. The fact is that the principles of ethics are products of human beings, and moral responsibility itself is not indistinguishable in different traditions and societies. Therefore, according to Libertarians The Ideas of Free Will and Responsibility in Buddhist Ethics, “ if human beings are controlled by prior causes as a mechanistic system, then human behaviors can be predicted with the same degree of certainty”, however, human behavior is in fact non-mechanistic and exists in a biological system. With this being said, human beings acquire free will. Thus, human existence, in the ethical sense, is controlled not by external surroundings or by any prior foundation, but by the inner free will of each individual.