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Thread: How can I walk in the shoes of Socrates?

  1. #1 How can I walk in the shoes of Socrates? 
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    How can I walk in the shoes of Socrates?

    The following is an attempt to develop a means for us to empathesize with Socrates.

    Many decades ago a professor of philosophy told me that “philosophy is about radically critical self-consciousness”. It was thirty years later that this statement began to make sense to me.

    To become critically self-conscious is to tread on the path to a philosophical frame of mind. If you treat this imaginary problem that I lay out here as more than thoughtless past time you might begin to comprehend what that philosophy professor thinks philosophy is about.

    Imagine that you and a thousand other people live deep in the isolated and frozen interior of Alaska. Imagine further that every one of you had been born colorblind and none had any idea what color was. Imagine further that you are an exercise nut and discovered, quite by accident, that if you performed a certain sequence of exercises you developed color perception.

    What would you do?

    If you tried to tell the others what would they do? Would you be able to convince any one of them to follow your example? How would you explain to them what you had accomplished?

    Would they eventually kill you like the Athenians did Socrates?


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  3. #2  
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    >> What would you do?

    I’d think that to reach that state, you’d have to engage in sustained un-natural
    behaviour, and that perceptions resulting from that behaviour are therefore, warped and unhuman. False in a deep sense.

    Like the perceptions of drug-takers.




    Socrates annoyed people in a much simpler way than that.


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  4. #3 Re: How can I walk in the shoes of Socrates? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Imagine that you and a thousand other people live deep in the isolated and frozen interior of Alaska. Imagine further that every one of you had been born colorblind and none had any idea what color was. Imagine further that you are an exercise nut and discovered, quite by accident, that if you performed a certain sequence of exercises you developed color perception.

    What would you do?

    If you tried to tell the others what would they do? Would you be able to convince any one of them to follow your example? How would you explain to them what you had accomplished?

    Would they eventually kill you like the Athenians did Socrates?
    What would you do?
    The discovery of color perception would immediately prompt me to tell others about my discovery. But if I can control my excitement and consider the discovery for a moment, I would not do anything. This is because we have no idea what is the consequence after revealing to others the 'colour revelation'.

    I would instead continue to indulge in the new discovery, constantly perform the sequence of exercises until someone comes up to me to ask.

    If you tried to tell the others what would they do?
    1. Some people will be interested and eager to try.
    2. Some will be disinterested.
    3. Some will react negatively.
    ~ One’s ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society ~ Kabbalah
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  5. #4  
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    I had once concluded it to be natural that when confronted by a new idea humans tended to do a turtle; withdraw into their shell until the coast was clear.

    After some time posting in cyberspace I have modified my view somewhat. I think that we tend to display two types of turtle responses to our encounter with new ideas.

    The terrapin withdraws quickly into its shell and the snapping turtle hisses, spits, and snaps when such an encounter happens. I suspect that cyberspace has allowed many people to display a more vulgar attitude than they would in face-to-face encounters.
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    It maybe because the Internet offers a veil of anonymity thus allowing people to openly critic (either vulgar or non-vulgar) other people's opinion.

    I would think that the responses to those questions would still be the 3 probabilities that I mentioned and it would probably be distributed in a bell curve. Each end of the bell curve represents the minority of people who totally accepts the new idea, the other totally opposes (or vehemently oppose) the new idea. Majority will be neutral on the new idea and choosing whichever is the mainstream.
    ~ One’s ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society ~ Kabbalah
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    It maybe because the Internet offers a veil of anonymity thus allowing people to openly critic (either vulgar or non-vulgar) other people's opinion.

    I would think that the responses to those questions would still be the 3 probabilities that I mentioned and it would probably be distributed in a bell curve. Each end of the bell curve represents the minority of people who totally accepts the new idea, the other totally opposes (or vehemently oppose) the new idea. Majority will be neutral on the new idea and choosing whichever is the mainstream.
    I guess the crux of the matter is that anyone proposing an idea that is ailien to the community had better watch his or her back. People do not take kindly to new ideas, unless they can make money with those new ideas.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    It maybe because the Internet offers a veil of anonymity thus allowing people to openly critic (either vulgar or non-vulgar) other people's opinion.

    I would think that the responses to those questions would still be the 3 probabilities that I mentioned and it would probably be distributed in a bell curve. Each end of the bell curve represents the minority of people who totally accepts the new idea, the other totally opposes (or vehemently oppose) the new idea. Majority will be neutral on the new idea and choosing whichever is the mainstream.
    I guess the crux of the matter is that anyone proposing an idea that is ailien to the community had better watch his or her back. People do not take kindly to new ideas, unless they can make money with those new ideas.
    Yes, and also if new ideas proposes something better than what they currently have.
    ~ One’s ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society ~ Kabbalah
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  9. #8  
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    To walk in the steps of Socrates who said that "the unexamined life is not worth living" one first has to examine one's own life. How other people react to that is not something that you can ultimately control or predict. However, you can have some influence other people by the way that you present things.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Far a day
    To walk in the steps of Socrates who said that "the unexamined life is not worth living" one first has to examine one's own life. How other people react to that is not something that you can ultimately control or predict. However, you can have some influence other people by the way that you present things.
    Wise comments.
    They called to mind some words of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns:

    "O wad some Power the giftie gie us,
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An' foolish notion:"

    Which if you require a translation from lalland Scots would read:

    "Oh, would some Power the small gift give us
    To see ourselves as others see us
    It would from many a blunder free us
    and foolish notion:"

    Only by fully exploring how we are perceived - and amending our behaviour and words accordingly - can we hope to achieve the more difficult acts of persuasion.
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