This was originally posted by me on Facebook in response to a cartoon about dialectical thinking which I think was way off point – even if it was funny (sort of)
Here is what I posted:
Socrates’ point was not make people feel foolish. If it were, he would not have had so many followers. No one is going to love a person who makes them feel stupid all the time.
Dialectic thinking and arguments are not about making people… feel stupid, it is a method designed to help you form your own understanding of what the truth is or may be.
If more people would think dialectically – it WOULD be a better world. Unfortunately, that is not the case. too many people are willing to let others do their thinking for them – leaving those people vulnerable and exploitable. And this is truly sad.
Socrates had won the hearts of the youth in Athens. Some of those young people chose to revolt and nearly succeeded in overthrowing the government.
Instead of punishing the youth (who belonged to many aristocratic families) they decided to punish Socrates (who in no way encouraged people to overthrow the government -as far as I can tell).
He was faced with an opportunity to exile himself – which he turned down – they then decided that he had no choice but to drink a cup with hemlock in it.
Obviously, he died. it wasn’t right.
You see, this same story keeps happening over and over again to those who try to open the eyes of others. This is the world that we live in and in this respect it hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. Human nature does not seem to change much! This is the problem!
I’m sure you can think of some examples for yourself. Some are ‘sacred’ examples.
Some are similar to the Assange story with Wikileaks. Opening peoples’ minds often leads to incarceration, persecution and obviously death.
Nothing has changed much from 2 or 3 thousand years ago has it?