EppsNet Archive: Socrates

What Are Friends For?

27 Sep 2015 /

A young man once approached Socrates and asked to be given knowledge and understanding. Socrates took him down to the seashore, led him into the water and forced his head under the waves. The youth struggled and when his resistance had nearly stopped, Socrates dragged him up on the shore.

Later, the youth asked why Socrates had acted as he did.

“When you were under the water, what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?” asked Socrates.

“Air,” was the reply.

“When you want knowledge and understanding as badly as you wanted air,” said Socrates, “you won’t have to ask anyone to give it to you.”


I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. — Socrates


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: “He Was Even Better as a Person”

12 Aug 2014 /
Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State on 14 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A person named Will Arnett was taping the Conan O’Brien show yesterday when they found out about Robin Williams’ untimely demise.

Arnett said this: “As funny as he was — he’s truly one of the all-time greats — he was even better as a person.”

That’s a reliable formulation: As great as he was as a [thing the person was known to be great at], he was even better as a person.

Of course because the person was known to be an outlier at the one thing, he (or she) was almost certainly NOT even better as a person.

How great was Robin Williams as a comedian? Top 10? I don’t know, that’s pretty competitive . . . I’m thinking of Groucho, Cosby, Charlie Chaplin, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Leno, Letterman . . .

But I’d say Top 20, definitely. So according to Will Arnett, Robin Williams was one of the 20 best people of all time!?

Was he a better person than Buddha? The Dalai Lama? Jesus? Mother Teresa? Abraham Lincoln? Gandhi? Socrates? Albert Schweitzer? Raoul Wallenberg? Nelson Mandela? Aung San Suu Kyi? Mr. Rogers? Your sweet, elderly grandma? Billions of other people doing their best to get along in the world?

I get that you might find yourself on the spot to say something nice about a person and you can’t think of anything to say but this “even better as a person” bullshit cannot be eradicated too soon in my opinion.


The Unexamined Life

2 Sep 2013 /
English: Bust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum

Socrates

Socrates has said that the unexamined life is not worth living. He neglects to add, however, that the examined life is no picnic either.


Socrates’ Apology

17 Mar 2013 /
The Death of Socrates

The Death of Socrates

When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing . . . And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.


Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. — Ralph Waldo Emerson