Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived between 469 and 399 BC. The son of a stone mason and a stonecutter by trade. Socrates unquestionably exalted many of the ethical values that are identified with Christianity - temperance, justice, courage, nobility, truth. The great Christian humanist Desiderius Erasmus wanted to exclaim "Saint Socrates, pray for us." Socrates' method was profoundly sceptical; he believed that the only possible virtue was true knowledge.

Socrates was clearly the greatest teacher of the 5th century. He met the Sophist view of how to get on in life with the full force of his intellect and will. He was not a defender of the Olympian religion or of traditional morality; he was convinced, rather, of the existence of a higher truth and a higher God. He did not claim to know this truth but spoke of himself only as a seeker after knowledge.

Socrates believed that knowledge began by doubting, he forever posed questions and tested the answers people gave him. He was frequently called a sophist, though he protested he was not. He had no classroom, gave no formal instruction and took no pay. Socrates was one of those who, as Cicero said afterward, brought philosophy down from heaven to earth. God obviously taught him and he himself heard often a divine voice forbidding him to do things he should not do He describes the earth at length, as "a round body in the center of the heavens." Socrates left nothing in writing, all we know about him is from Plato. At the very beginning... stands Plato's Socrates on trial for treason: Men of Athens, I honor and love you, but I shall obey God rather than you.. Either acquit me or not; but whichever you do, understand that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times. I understand Socrates, It is because you say that you always have a divine guide. I mean, because I find it hard to accept such stories people tell about the gods?

Socrates prophesied upon his death. He devoted his life to the pursuit of truth and was the sincerest of the great thinkers, most self-regardless of great teachers, serenest of great souls. There was no dogmatism in his teaching. His mission was to cure men's minds of half-thinking and to drive them to the end of a thought, to force them to rummage the contents of an idea and find all that belongs to it. The actual charges against him were corrupting the youth and impiety. He laughed and joked on the day of his death.
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