EG (liffyboy) wrote in centrallight,


Socrates (470-399BC) was the one responsible for establishing philosophy based on reason. To him, concepts regarding metaphysics were futile on how to properly conduct ourselves morally. We should instead base our ideas on constant questioning. This questioning he ascertained would be the means to finding out what ultimately is true. He had one basic ethical idea: being true to yourself. He suggests that we don’t truly do wrong knowingly because full knowledge of it would include the knowledge not to do it full stop. It is better to suffer harm than to commit it on others. This idea is something that is drawn on substantially both as a legacy to Socrates and as a coinciding theme in other world traditions as well. In Buddhist philosophy it is in accordance with the idea of the bodhisattvas completely understanding that where someone commits wrong it is as a result of a delusion that causes ignorance to cloud their full understanding. When ignorance is destroyed nothing more can cause someone to commit wrong otherwise it means there’s still a little bit of ignorance left. Then though we flinch at the idea of harm being done on us when we know we didn’t do anything to deserve it at least we can turn to the truth to console us because the truth is that we are innocent. The illusion that we are guilty exists only in the limited space of the persecutors but the truth is fundamental and is fixed in time such that it cannot be destroyed. And so we need not punish the persecutors because in this context (a) the truth can bring more instant and lasting justice to us, (b) the injustice is the result of a clouding delusion and (c) the persecutor is, like us, a sentient being that aspires ultimately to happiness going through sufferings similar to us and having been born innocent.

Part of the GREAT PHILOSOPHERS series.

This journal entry may be edited later on
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