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Socrates would have responded to Kierkegaard’s assertions that; the most important truth is radically individualistic and subjective, that conversing rationally leads nowhere, that faith is the only solution to the problem of happiness, and that faith transcends and even rescinds morality, by questioning what the characteristics of Kierkegaard’s philosophy include. He understands that many of the questions will have no answer but they will eventually lead the person to examine their lives through self-exploration of the truth. Additionally, he would go over some factors that compose happiness such as love and justice as part of faith. Surely, he also would agree with the idea that faith is independent of morality. Socrates goes beyond saying that the important truth is more than fundamentally self-reliant experience, he would say that the ‘universal truth’ is the genuine knowledge of other individual’s truth. Making oneself examine their life as to how they should live it. Yet in order to achieve genuine knowledge, Socrates questions whether the knowledge of the gods or god comes before the knowledge of piety or whether it is influenced by human understanding. In trying to find what the key concepts; faith, piety, good and evil mean, and what their universal definitions are, he would be forced to face human rationality. In his statement, that people are just like gods because they too argue over the just, noble, and the bad, Socrates ask why are these virtues argued, to begin with?
To understand what makes something right or wrong, one will have to tackle morality and its role in understanding the truth. The way explained by Socrates is that morality is relative to everyone. There is no universal agreement as to what morals are because each person has their own interpretation based on their culture and religion. Socrates at the time lived when multiple Greek deities were worshiped. So when morality is fought over or debated about, one is actually fighting over who is the most “loved” by gods or who pleases the gods the most. In a sense, those arguing about morality are saying that they have had divine revelations and know the gods. So, Socrates would then ask how do they know what pleases the gods and what love is? To know such a thing means that people have understood that it is all based on the gods’ preferences and/ or moods. Evidently, they would be putting gods and humans on the same level because both can change whims rather quickly and argue about specific meaning. Human nature doesn’t allow someone to think they are good or believe they are just, it’s either they are morally good or they are morally just because rationally thinking one is better than the other.
To be good, a person could behave in a matter that provides benefit to people other than one’s self. Even then, the person is not truly good as a result of their intention; was the individual attempting to be rewarded in some way? Is the texture of the universe where you give something, it gives back something of equal or greater value? If the individuals are happy and are enjoying the solution it would be no problem because it’s not depended on something. For example, when you one is useful, the person is diligent. If one contributes the most, then they sacrificing the most. If someone gives, without expecting something in return they are called noble. Some to be considered worthy would say that they shall be seen by another and rewarded by said other. On the other hand, when something bad happens, people say “I don’t deserve this.” On that account, what happens when the intentions are malicious by action or by context? Socrates makes sure Euthyphro catches on to the point that those who did ‘good’ to later receive a blessing, are just making an exchange with god (also known as the calculators). Socratic thinking forces the question; who knows if you will get something after sacrifice? Said question establishes that ‘no one deserves anything,’ even those who have lost everything are still considered fools. Hence, Socrates would respond that if there is no entitlement, gods become irrelevant. Even more so, once an individual discovers justice it does not matter if god is real or not. Say God does exist, but this God would be considered a tyrant and unjust, would people still make sacrifices and worship said deity? Evil then becomes relative to the conversation, especially since society deems evil as chaotic behavior that intentionally hurts humans both physical or psychologically. In respect to the Socratic evil, evil is just blissful ignorance. To not question life is the ultimate sin so to speak. In fact, one of Socrates famous quotes happens to be “I know that I know nothing.” The fear in this becomes that there is infinite knowledge out there it will be impossible to grasp before death eventually occurs. So for one to say that they simply do not know anything, they become wise in truth.
Socrates did ask why should humans please the gods or be loved by them? What does a human have to offer gods who are considered perfect? To answer these questions the person being questioned would then have to identify who or what is a god. Due to the infinite or mysterious knowledge of God, this divine being could be a helper, an educator, or the center of the universe. Say god was a lover, the previous question of ‘how does one know they are lovable by god?’ will show up again. This then develops into the question of; what is love and how does it relate to god? Socrates describes in his dialogue that love comes in many parts. He has stated that love is giving up free will rather than piety as care. In other words, to give up will, one then admires those who are beloved. Yet, in the dialogue (12d), Euthyphro says that in spite of love, a fraction of justice is concerned with the caring toward gods also known as piety, while the other fraction is caring for human beings. As a consequence, his point brings to the table that both being just and moral is important. Socrates eagerly questions, what the definition of ‘caring’ is at this point.
Amusingly, care is intertwined with love. The difference between both when it comes to religion would be that; care indicates the need a God has for a human while love is seamless admiration that the divine expect of their believers. Euthyphro makes the correlation of a person serving a god as the likeliness of a slave serving his master. Therefore, once again the Socratic thinking would ask two questions; what are the Gods up-to that there is a need for puny humans? and and what is the point of religion exactly? What is the point of piety in human lives? Within rationale, one could say that Religion helps human live their lives with a peace of mind, but Socrates goes as far as to ask; what does religion give that cannot be found elsewhere, since people, for the most part, have found solutions for many problems even those deemed psychological. All these questions left unanswered are then filled with what Kierkegaard defined as faith. In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard suggests that Socrates’ way of thinking was merely an objective uncertainty that was worth living and dying for. Au contraire, K. finds that faith is individualistic and subjective. Through this logic, faith then becomes knowledge and the truth. By way of explanation, K. finds that both truth and knowledge are based on the personal point of view of their position in society. Say one was to put themselves in the middle of the “universe’ when it comes to understanding how the world works, then one would be called a narcist or said to have a big ego. Yet, if one does not put themselves in the middle, one may find how the world works, but their role in society is not fully understood. By not putting themselves in the middle the truth is not fully asserted. Sure, they might prance around it, but it is not fully found. The truth becomes a generalized truth but not the ‘universal truth’ as Kierkegaard has mentioned. Hence by putting the individual in the middle, said person creates a barrier in the universal truth, becoming their truth. Therefore, one now must compare the value of the individual versus society. What makes the individual truth more important? Socrates would say it is because it is the only truth the individual is in control at least to some degree. Since the person is in control of their decisions the person than worries if they are wrong or right.
Despite the fact that Socrates does not deny the vulnerability, due to how radical reality shows up, it turns into his motivation to explore further. Nonetheless, Kierkegaard notes that “since the paradox is not in itself the paradox, it does not thrust away intensely enough, for without risk, no faith; the more risk, the more faith; the more objective reliability, the less inwardness (since inwardness is subjectivity); the less objective reliability, the deeper is the possible inwardness”. The concept of paradox that Kierkegaard bases his philosophy on is that no matter how much effort goes into trying to find the truth, it will never let itself be found because the more it is searched the farther it is, especially when it binds itself to every individual in a form to a person comprehend their place on earth.
Subsequently, Socrates goes past saying that the critical truth is more than essentially independent experience, he would state that the ‘generally accepted fact’ is the veritable learning of other person’s reality. He comprehends that a large number of inquiries will have no answer yet they will, in the end, lead the individual to analyze their life through self-investigation of reality. Influencing oneself to look at their life with respect to how they should live it. However so as to accomplish certified information, Socrates would address whether the learning of the divine beings or god precedes the information of devotion or whether it is impacted by human comprehension. In his announcement, that individuals are much the same as divine beings since they also contend over the simple, honorable, and the awful, Socrates inquire as to for what reason are these ethics contended, in any case? Doubtlessly, he likewise would concur with the possibility that faith is free of ethical quality. Furthermore, he will go over certain variables that create bliss, for example, love and equity as a component of confidence. In attempting to discover what the key ideas; confidence, devotion, great and malevolence mean, and what their all-inclusive definitions are, he would be compelled to confront human sanity.
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