Free «Did Socrates Believe in God» Essay Sample

Socrates turned out to be one of the most influential philosophers of his time. This was clearly exhibited through his dedicated stands he took on emerging ethical situations. He mastered the art of defending his actions and thoughts by expounding situations based on the logical meaning attributed to his decisions. Consequently, this has led to an emergence of a debate regarding Socrate's allegiance to religion and individual belief that God exists. In as much as Socrate's arguments tended to lie more towards logical reasoning, Socrates actually believed in god, which is shown by his personal choice to undergo suffering, belief in the existence of other gods, belief in life after death and belief that God chose him as a messenger.

First, Socrates personally chose to undergo suffering during his trial. Socrates tells his jurors that he was told to choose between undergoing execution for his impiety and corruption of the young minds, and giving up his field of philosophy in order to achieve freedom, he would rather proceed undertaking his philosophical involvement and become executed (Johnson, 2005). He emphasizes that regardless of the circumstances at hand he will still choose the stated alternative. This can be partly attributed to his knowledge that he was not guilty and by accepting this he would be changing the society, which simulates Jesus' crucifixion. According to Johnson (2005) "He will never knowingly do wrong, and accepts the hemlock, even while knowing it is wrong to take one's own life, only because 'the god sends some necessity upon [me]" (p.195). This shows that he personally believed that god was using him. In essence, all the evaluations presented by Socrates tend to equate objects connected to choice with actual performance of good actions depending on how people value them with depending on the pleasure derived (Johnson, 2005)

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Secondly, Socrates expressed belief in the other 'god's as opposed to the chosen 'God' upheld by fellow Athenians. By virtue of expressing belief in other gods, this shows that he believed another God was in existent. Socrates willfully discredited the numerous accusations brought upon him regarding the fact that he practiced non conventional worship practices through revealing Meletus's pure ignorance and lack of understanding on the matter (Lim, 2005). Socrates was being accused of worshipping gods that were deemed unacceptable to the state and he made Meletus label him an atheist or person having no belief in any god (Lim, 2005). This proves that the accusation brought upon him that he was an atheist did reflect his true personal character regarding belief in a god. Lim (200m5) observes that "if Socrates was an atheist as Meletus claimed, then Socrates did not worship any gods, including those which Athens objected. Therefore, Socrates was not guilty of the claim that he worshipped gods deemed unacceptable to Athens" (p.81). Therefore, the charges were unfair and ought to have been based on the fact that he actually worshipped other gods.

Thirdly, Socrates shared the belief in the existence of life after death. This is partly reflected during his trial during which he strongly expresses belief that he cannot wait to experience life after death. Lim observes that "Though often preoccupied with the ethics of daily life, Socrates was a spiritual man who believed in the afterlife. In Greek though, the River Styx was a border between the worlds of the living and the dead" (p.82). This figuratively expresses Socrate's silent belief and was captured in a painting done by him. Moreover, when Crito who considered Socrates as a mentor came with a plan to sneak him out of the jail where he was, he willfully refused to abide by their plan. Instead Socrates attempts to justify the need to fulfill what the law has stipulated. "Tell me, Socrates, what are you intending to do? Do you not by this action you are attempting intend to destroy use, the laws, and indeed the whole city" (James & Stuart, 2008, p.40). This is a clear biblical embodiment that serves to bring into life Jesus' execution in which he intended to emerge triumphant afterwards.

Fourthly, Socrates believed that he was God's messenger, which meant that his philosophy emanated from God's intelligence. Socrates continued to carry out his interrogations on others because of his silent belief that god was essentially using him as a tool or a paradigm to deliver important messages through wise personalities who are cognizant of the manner in which they are worthless compared to the divine wisdom entailed in the message (Scott, 2002)., p.114). Socrates proceeds to tell Crito "Now you depart in innocence, a sufferer and not a doer of evil; a victim, not of the laws, but of men. But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us, and wronging those whom you ought to least wrong" (Lim, 2005, p.87). Thus, by doing this Socrates was considering himself as a conduit for cleansing the society's evils.

Finally, indeed Socrates clearly expresses himself that he believed in the existence of a god. Nevertheless, one would say that Socrates never intended to make his stand clearly known by indulging his readers through carefully chosen sessions of logical reasoning. However, when we analyze the background of his logical reasoning we notice that Socrates actually believed in god, which is shown by his personal choice to undergo suffering, belief in the existence of other gods, belief in life after death and belief that God chose him as a messenger.


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