Socrates Essay, Research Paper
socrates By: mike The Key to Happiness Truly, many of life’s unteachable lessons are those most sought to be learned. The cycle that life revolves in is a direct product of mankind’s knowledge. For without answers to many of life’s mysteries, there is no progress, no change. The missing piece to the puzzle is God’s wisdom. “Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.”(Ecclesiastes Ch. 11 v. 5) The reminder that man will never possess this knowledge is also found in Socrates apology. “Real wisdom is the property of God, and this oracle is his way of telling us that human wisdom has little of no value.” (Socrates’ Defense pg. 9) Instead, man falls short of his desire to fill the gap between mortal and God. It is thought that the resolution of this one key issue would bring satisfaction, but to have everything one wanted would not bring happiness. “For much wisdom is vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.” (Ecclesiastes Ch. 1 v. 18) For the truly wise man is one who knows he is not. Both Socrates and Solomon (if he did indeed write Ecclesiastes) understood the concept of being wise and the price that one must pay to achieve that type of wisdom. Ecclesiastes and Socrates’ apology, both show how ” all toil is vanity.” It is futile for man to even try and gain the status that He, God, holds above man. Although each man chose a different lifestyle, they arrived at the same conclusion, and in terms walked a similar spiritual road. Socrates believed though, that he walked with God’s intervention and direction, whereas Solomon seemed to just believe He existed. Each seemed to doubt and question others and their actions, believing that inside all was a hidden ignorance. There was to be gathered from these methods, a truth so simplistic that it should be know innately by all. However, normal man would not want to be shown these truths, for they turned their “attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honor, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul.” (Socrates’ Defense pg.16) Solomon too saw others straying from goodness. He then lent his spirit to the “be merry and drink” attitude, to see if any change in personal feeling could be reached. Still he wrote, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes Ch. 12 v. 14-15) Daily, Socrates strove to find enlightenment. In a time where most observed, he instead speculated, journeying to find reality and an understanding of values. In turn, he would trade his life of being an aging, impoverished man, for something much more. His ideas propelled him to the forefront of contemporary philosophy. But is that how Socrates would like to be remembered? I think not! Instead he should be thought of as a man who searched for and found what he always desired. Neither wisdom nor knowledge was important to him, but happiness and truth gave him reason to live. He battled injustice and evil with equanimity, because there was no other life for Socrates. It was a mission of God, in which he tried to show others that life’s lesson, is in goodness and morality not immortality.