Socrates and authority in the apology and crito

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Socrates and authority in the apology and crito

WHAT an unaccountable thing is it for so many men to blindfold themselves on purpose to fall foul upon Christianity! And to such a degree that they cannot talk about the noted probity of any Christian without allaying his character with a dash of his religion! I will tell you what says anotherI wonder that Lucius the philo- sopher is all of a sudden turned Christian.

Tertullian: The Apology, translated by Wm. Reeve, ( reprinted )

And none has sense enough in his passion to put the question right, and argue in this manner. Is not Caius so good, and Lucius so wise, merely from the influence of their religion? Or was it not the probity of one, and the wisdom of the other, that prepared the way, and brought them over to be Christians?

Thus indeed they praise what they know, but vilify what they know not; they blot the fairest examples of virtue shining in their very eyes, because of a religion they are entirely in the dark about; whereas certainly, by all the rules of reason, we ought to judge of the nature of causes we see not, by the effects we see, and not pre-condemn apparent goodness for principles we understand not.

Others, discoursing of some persons, whom they knew to be vagrants, and infamously lewd before they came over to our religion, drop their praises upon them in such a manner, that they stigmatize them with their very compliments; so darkened are they with prejudice that they blunder into the commendation of the thing they would condemn.

For say they how wanton, and how witty was such a woman! Some others are arrived to that pitch of aversion to the very name of Christian, that they seem to have entered into covenant with hatred, and bargained to gratify this passion at the expense of all the satisfactions of human life, acquiescing in the grossest of injuries rather than the hated thing of Christian should come within their doors.

Socrates and authority in the apology and crito

The husband, now cured of all his former jealousy by his wife's conversion to Christianity, turns her and her new modesty out of doors together, choosing to dwell with an adulteress sooner than a Christian; the father, so tender of the undutiful son in his Gentile state, disinherits him now when he becomes obedient by becoming a Christian; the master, heretofore so good to his unfaithful slave, discards him now upon his fidelity and his religion.

So that the husband had rather have his wife false, the father his son a rebel, the master his servant a rogue, than Christians and good: Now, therefore, if all this odium arises purely upon the account of our name, pray tell me how a poor name comes to be thus to blame, or a simple word to be a criminal?

Unless it be that the word is barbarous, or sounds ominously, reproachfully, or obscenely. But Christians is a Greek word, and means nothing more than a disciple of Christ, which by interpretation is the Anointed; and when you misname it Chrestian1 for so far are you from under- standing our religion, that as yet you know not our true nameeven then it implies nothing worse than a benignity and sweetness of temper; thus outrageous are you at the sound of a name as inoffen- sive and harmless as those who bear it.

But do men use to let loose their passions at this rate against any sect merely from the name of its founder? Is it a new thing for scholars to be named from their masters?

Is it not from hence that philosophers are called Platonists, Epicureans, Pythagoreans, etc.? Do not the Stoics and academics derive their names from the porch or academy,2 the places where they meet and discourse together?

And do not 1 Sed et cum perperam Chrestianus pronunciatur a vobis. See the notes upon Justin's First Apol. Tertullian's Apology for the Christians. In a word, before we give entertainment to hatred against any sect whatever, upon account of its name, we ought in the first place to have competently examined the nature of the institution, and traced out its qualities from the author, or the author from them ; but both these ways of inquiry are quite neglected, and our enemies storm and fire at a word only.

Our heavenly Master and His heavenly religion are both unknown, and both condemned, without any other considera- tion but that of the bare name of Christian. THUS far I have been something severe, as it were, by way of preface, to make men sensible if I could of the injustice of the 1 Erasistratus.

This physician is mentioned by our Tertullian, lib. A noted grammarian of Alexandria, Aristotle's contemporary, tutor to the son of Ptolemy Philometer, celebrated by Tully, ad Appium Pulchrum, lib.

An epicure of famous memory, styled by Pliny Nepotum omnium altissimus Gurges ; and so again by Juvenal: And here I shall not only refute the objections against us, but retort those very objections against the objectors themselves, to let the world see that Christians are not the men they take them to be, nor sullied with those crimes they are conscious of in themselves; and to sec also whether I can make our accusers blush, not by charging them in general, as the worst of men accusing the best, but supposing us both upon the level of iniquity.

I shall touch upon all the particulars we are taxed with for committing in private, and for which we are publicly branded as immoral, superstitious, damnable, and ridiculous; these very crimes, I say, which you grant we have not the forehead to do without the protection of darkness, we find our enemies hardy enough to commit in the face of the sun.

But because we meet you with unanswerable truth at all your turnings, your last resort is to the authority of the laws, as more inviolable than truth itself; and it being so frequently in your mouths, either that nothing ought to be revoked after once con- demned by law; or that your sworn obedience is a necessity upon your actions, weightier than that of justice.Harmony sinks deep into the recesses of the soul and takes its strongest hold there, bringing grace also to the body & mind as well.

Music is a moral law.

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Socrates (— B.C.E.). Socrates is one of the few individuals whom one could say has so-shaped the cultural and intellectual development of the world that, . In his use of critical reasoning, by his unwavering commitment to truth, and through the vivid example of his own life, fifth-century Athenian Socrates set the standard for all subsequent Western philosophy.

page note 2 The fact that Socrates in the Apology is unwilling to contradict the Crito openly and explicitly provides further justification for taking the two works together. In the Ευθυφρων (), for example, Socrates engaged in a sharply critical conversation with an over-confident young man.

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Gregory's new book begins from the conviction that Socrates strangeness is the key to his philosophy. It is a marvelous book, in which no major aspect of Socrates career is eclipsed.

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