Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Socrates and Abraham Walk into a Bar..."

So during class Nathan played upon the two men walk into a bar joke to help us compare the views of Socrates and Abraham on religion and piety. While I found this statement very humorous, I can't help but sit and actually wonder what would the two men have discussed.

I believe it is true, as I think Carrie said, Abraham appears to be so strong in his faith that he would be able to provide a stronger argument for Socrates. Abraham worships only one God, so that would eliminate Socrates' first challenge to the definition of piety. Abraham might actually be able to persuade Socrates that piety is what God loves and the opposite is what he hates. Abraham would be able to back up this theory because he has actually conversed with God. From the view of Abraham his argument seems plausible.

Unfortunately I believe Socrates is too intelligent to ever allow himself to give in to defeat. I believe that he would attack Abraham's statements that he talked to God. Abraham can never prove that he actually talked to God. How can Abraham be sure he wasn't talking to the Devil or that the voices he heard were not a figment of his imagination? He cannot, and because of this, Socrates will have the opening he needs to go in for the kill.

Socrates is at a distinct advantage both against Euthyphro and Abraham. Socrates must simply sit back and wait for the other men to disclose a flaw in their arguments. Once they do so, he can pounce and make a fool of them. Socrates himself does not need to provide any definitions. Many people assume that Socrates has already come to his own conclusions about the topics he asks others about. I, however, am not convinced. I believe that Socrates may have questions just like the rest of society and he actually is interested in collecting data to formulate his own conclusions as he goes along.

The questions that Socrates asks are always so broad and influenced by opinions and beliefs that it is almost impossible to establish one solid definition. There is always room for interpretation and change.

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