Re: virus: Looking for blame in all the wrong places
Sun, 2 May 1999 19:29:06 EDT

In a message dated 5/2/99 2:37:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> Socrates was offered the choice of exile or hemlock. He chose the poison.
> Which factor do you think is most to blame for the Socratic tragedy?
> Radical Greek philosophical notions promoted extremist beliefs.
> Violent arguments about the nature of society leads to more widespread
> violence
> His parents failed him by not taking responsibility for him.
> Experimental theatre promoted anti-social behavior.
> Poison was just to easy to find.
> No! No! No! A thousand times no! The reason we respect him today is that he
> committed suicide because it was the only ethical protest he could make in
> society that forbade other forms of protest.

>From what I have read, Socrates had recourse to public platform and
opportunity for moral suasion during his defense and as I recall it was weak, suggesting as you and other scholars imply suicide was a deliberate choice. Are you also implying it was a political act? If so, was he a pacifist? It seems that in exile he would have had opportunity to act politically more effectively. If it was a matter strictly of ethics, right and wrong, his act was a surrender. It seems ironic that his pupils were able to use his methods to their own ends ( revolt and power being an extremee form of protest ) yet Socrates himself failed.

I hope I have not infected anyone in this my first posting to this list.