The more the studies of Jesus and Socrates are reminisced, the more surprising the result becomes. It would appear as though Jesus is retelling the story of Socrates. The two in their philosophies are describing a similar path to attaining a fully functioning individual in the society. As learnt in the humanistic psychology, the global acceptance for personal development is perpetuated by both Socrates and Jesus who undergo many trials and persecutions in their teachings to attain this completely functioning individual. The humanistic appearance is observed by people as an instinctively accessible approach to personality (Vlastos 34-66). The insightful appeal of this perception comes from the focus on the dependability and personality of the experience of a person in a similar manner both Socrates and Jesus go through. The views presented by the two takes each experience of the individual as being of great importance. The focus on the experience of a person sits squarely with what many people realize after reflecting on these two people. This term paper seeks to give a comparison between the trials, personalities and teachings of Socrates and Jesus.
One of the humanistic perspective engaging aspects as found with Jesus and Socrates is the fact that it takes positive approaches to the personality of humans. Socrates and Jesus have maintained determinedly that people are importantly virtuous and are motivated genuinely to become the most excellent they can ever be. The Socrates and Jesus display a confident personality presenting a sanguine perception on humankind in general which has been echoed a factual asset of the humanistic view. The magnitude of completely recognizing and experiencing the value of their personal realism together with the preservation of a close connection with the emotions tells the commitment both have made in attaining their goal. They portrayed a determined personality to achieve their purpose against all odds. The trails they have gone through clearly bring out their personalities. No amount of favors could change their conviction on what they believed in. Such kind of a perception provides a strategy for living that many people have drawn on to promote their existence.
Socrates and Jesus both underwent criticism for presenting a viewpoint
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Socrates and Jesus viewpoint was termed an ironical optimistic perception on human beings having inherent goodness. Their views were occasionally disparaged as capricious, idealistic and ingenuous. Many people did not accept their teachings as true and thought that they had no basis despite the certainty Socrates and Jesus put that people are virtuous innately. Well, the two were dishonored because they chose to demolish any selfish end. They were both committed to fulfill their duty. Socrates apparently had a god given task although was reprimanded and ultimately killed for his masterwork which was unintentional. Like Jesus, Socrates’ choice of saving himself would be a dishonor to him and a humiliating affair to the followers of Socrates philosophy. Both Jesus and Socrates stayed true to their identities accorded to them. Through them, it would be correct to say that there is nothing which is worth of value than maintaining honor and failing to disappoint the believers.
Their legacy and teachings leads many generations to terms with their true selves, and confide in the voice even if people will constantly test their honor and morals. Comparable to Jesus, Socrates persistently sustained his theory of identity versus reasoning. The journey of Socrates to get reasoning enlightened on corruption. After learning he was the brilliant man as given by the gods, Socrates was focused to prove wrong the prophecy. The journey he made proved unfavorable to his life. The strategy of Socrates to search for the wisest person annoyed the higher authority. In a similar case, Jesus’ teachings and expositions did not get a warm welcome from the governing authority. He spoke with a lot of authority that was questioned by the ruling authority. All the same, the threats did not stop both of them (May 39-40).
Looking at the wise men who proclaimed themselves, Socrates gets an exact opposite of what he believed in. In a similar manner, Jesus questioned the authorities of their leadership both in the churches and the secular regime. According to Socrates, prestigious men spoke greatly yet they did not know anything. Socrates had the belief that he did not know anything and could not make assumption that he knew. Socrates found that the men who were highly honored were the most foolish while those who were not held in high esteem were the better and wiser (Vlastos 34-66). Socrates defined them as more ignorant than the simplest of all people. Likewise, Jesus likens his teaching to what the Socrates did. He makes reference to young children and the poor; people who would never be found at the high seats. He compares his kingdom to such who are not recognized but attests that God has a place for them.
Socrates looked the writings of the highly esteemed men and wondered what he would have learnt from them. Jesus on the other hand wondered the kind of faith the scribes and Pharisees were ascribed to. Their actions were not true to what they did in the synagogues. The case of the Samaritan woman also shows Jesus’ disregard of the teachings the “thought-to-be wise” taught their people. Jesus did not find their teachings helpful to them. As sent of God, Jesus had a deeper teaching to his followers just like Socrates. Socrates disregarded the wisdom of the men of the earth even ion their poetry works. Socrates left their work considering himself to be superior more than them for a similar reason that he was even above the politicians of the time. The wisdom and teachings of Jesus also amazed and vexed the rulers of his time. There are those who considered themselves great and sat on high seats and controlled the way people thought. Jesus did not succumb to their teaching and he even dispensed with the venerated group of leaders. This is because he did not believe in the things they taught. Socrates and Jesus present a robust character and independent mindedness on concrete subjects with valuable truths. They both rise above the confrontations of men and were ready to defend their teachings at all costs to the point of death (May 39-40).
Fraudulent men in the times of Jesus and Socrates felt retaliated and threatened through their teachings (Theissen & Merz 123-34). Their intelligence was put under test and they reacted by protecting their authority and power. The quest of Socrates of moving from noble to noble was a great insult to the honor and pride of men. The same happened in the times of Jesus until they planned to crucify and kill him. Any poor man invading his accusations upon men who were well established was something that could not be imagined. This way, they would take up an innocent person and make an attempt of tainting his accomplishments and honor. Socrates and Jesus had strong character that made them stand their grounds to challenge officials who boasted power and greatness. They made people understand that the officials had nothing to present to them other than complete ignorance and hot air (Vlastos 34-66).
Socrates was persecuted for the gift that was in him
He did not seek forgiveness of any kind along with the persecutions. Jesus reacts to his persecution in a similar way. They both endure their suffering like lambs headed for the slaughter house. Socrates’ friends plead with him that he may ask for something lighter as punishment but he does not succumb to the advice given. He keeps identity by persisting in what he confided in. The gods blessed Socrates with the power to enlighten and teach others. This was the identity that had been given to him. In the same way, Jesus had a God given identity to expound on the hidden things of the Kingdom of God. He was also given the ability to teach and make known the things that people needed to exploit the potential in them. Both did not deny their identities. They accepted who they were and went a long way to give their lives for their followers. They both exercised strict discipline in staying focused and accomplishing what was necessary and required of them.
Jesus and Socrates were committed not to give the society corruption as the governments during their times did. They maintained their intelligence and integrity in executing their roles in the society. The two personalities exuded calm confidence in their teachings. Socrates pointed out ignorant fellows, in an approach that knowledge is power. Socrates further defied the accusers’ wishes and devoted himself in maintaining his identity. Although humble, it is unbelievable the impact Jesus and Socrates caused for their followers. Their duties became their identity as leaders even including sacrifice. Socrates was in search for the wisest person as he believed he was not the one (Vlastos 34-66). Jesus in a similar way helps to describe the greatest in the Kingdom by taking examples of servants who are the least in all humanity but find great rewards for their work. Jesus says blessed is the wise servant who the lord has kept over the house to provide food at the required time. He shall be blessed if the master of the house will find him so doing. With such an analogy, Jesus describes the wisest and greatest of all. The people doing what they are supposed to do at the right time and without sleeping on their jobs.
As he goes on with the search he becomes above the knowledgeable and the noble. He again puts it that the fellow poor individuals are wiser than their officials. Socrates gives other men the confidence that they need not feel abased owing to their class but since they have high reasoning and understanding like Socrates. The leadership of both Jesus and Socrates had a lot of impact to the followers because they spoke with such a lot of wisdom and confidence that won their listeners more than what the officials could do. Socrates said that what he was teaching was his own and that they should consider him a mischievous person if the doctrine was found to corrupt the youth. He further states that if a person declares that it was his teaching, he should have been lying… he insists that he was not ready to change his ways, even if it meant dying several times (Lewis, par. 24).
Jesus on the other hand boldly declares his stand when he tells the Pharisees if they had known the text that preceded in the discussion and the statement that…I will show mercy, and does not desire sacrifice, they would not have condemned the those who were not guilty (Matthew 12:7). Jesus disapproves the Pharisees when they accuse his followers of plucking corn on a Sabbath. He reveals great and hidden wisdom they did not know about that he was lord over Sabbath. Both Jesus and Socrates in their teachings and speech overpowered the greater authorities and officials. This was not by looking down upon them but through hitting the nail on the head on facts. Their teachings were filled with substance which turned around the perceptions and thinking of their followers (Fredriksen 44-54). Broad enlightenment came to their minds and they changed their perception completely.
Many people could see the flaws in the system of justice but they could not point them out
During their times, Socrates and Jesus managed to confront these issues in the open at all cost. Moreover, the people could see a man like them give their life to show dignity more significant than succumbing to pressures merely to please the officials. It was thus a weakness as highlighted by both Socrates and Jesus to submit to the higher officials wishes. The higher officials manipulated the people using their ignorance. Like in the times of Socrates, the officials were not ready to change because they purposed to kill Jesus the same way they did to Socrates (Theissen & Merz 123-34). The higher officials were frightened and were not ready to succumb to the change that was beckoning through these two men. There was insecurity in the system of leadership since their ignorance was unveiled by Jesus, in a similar way that Socrates did. The two men challenged the authorities by exposing the much ignorant the officials were of the things the people needed to live a fully functioning life. Ignorance was the real corruption that existed in the system of leadership (May 39-40).
Death was nothing to fear
This was a deep conviction as seen in Jesus and Socrates. No form of trial and persecution made them turn a back on their followers. It was such a great wisdom demonstrated by two men. For instance, Socrates would easily accept death since there was not true understanding of what death really was. There could not be real wisdom when people pretend to know that which is not known. Jesus and Socrates happen to be the men of their on stature who could go against the authority of the officials and gain great followers. In the case of Jesus as found in the New Testament, he proclaims that the serfs were indeed the people worthy of authority and power since they had skill and knowledge. The defiance was entirely through actions which were guided by the gods. The duties of these two men were to give service to the society and assist them. It was the kind of move that was meant to liberate the people in both occasions (Fredriksen 44-54).
Socrates did exactly what Jesus came to do later. Socrates tells the men of Athens that by condemning him, they will sin against God. He considers himself a gift to the people of Athens. Socrates is confident whilst he tells the people that there would not be a successor easily found if they killed him. Like Jesus did, Socrates had already talked about the his mission that he had to neglect his concerns and patiently look the neglect of them all for many years what he calls his poverty (Lewis, par. 16). Through the god’s theory, if Socrates feared death, then he would have known what takes place the moment one dies. By making comparison of himself to a gadfly is symbolic of the way officials are reluctant to change. The high death sentence of Socrates is a great tragedy to all deities that are valuable. Socrates teaches the followers a great lesson by failing to postpone his time of death (Vlastos 34-66). In a similar manner, Jesus does not make any effort to postpone his death as he considers not his will to do so.
Knowledge is of paramount inportance
Socrates says that the officials who speak to the people are right in acting the way they act, for their assumption is that they will gain through the delay they cause but he was not ready to go after their example. Socrates like Jesus did not have the thought that he will gain anything through drinking the poison in the near future. He considered himself mischievous if he would spare and save a life which was already a sacrifice. He pleaded with the people to do as he taught and not forsake him. Likewise, Jesus came out boldly to ask the people in the many places to embrace his teaching for that is where life in its fullness came from (Fredriksen 44-54). Choosing to stay real to their identity was a common character seen with Jesus and Socrates. The only option of accepting the sentence and protecting the civic duty Socrates had was being right morally. Socrates’ voluntary idea of pointing out knowledge was against the poets and the politicians. Ignorance was an easier path of choice although knowledge is of paramount importance as propagated by both Socrates and Jesus (Theissen & Merz 123-34).
The officials during the time of Socrates and Jesus only sounded to have intelligence which in essence they lacked. In a number of ways, Socrates embodied Jesus. Their teachings enlightened a mass of followers. Their convictions and beliefs were somehow similar in how to live justly having the self examination belief. Moreover, Jesus and Socrates were accused of messing with the minds of people while in actual sense they were addressing the issue of unconformity. Their killings did not accomplish anything eventually. The followers of these great men lived to criticize the things which were deemed to have greater power and authority. It is amazing in both scenarios to see how a man sent of god to help others learn about themselves was killed innocently. The idea of the authority to silence these men who would have assisted in shaping the community and the society at large failed miserably in both occasions. The men successively proved that the ignorance of the officials in authority would lead a society whose future was doomed (Theissen & Merz 123-34).
Indeed, it was a great sacrifice for these two men. Socrates may have disobeyed his identity and be a normal fellow to be controlled by the authorities. It took great the two men to set themselves aside from the general mass and set the pace for the generations and the future to come. Outstandingly, the actions of Socrates and Jesus were not put down on paper. The works which were put down are the leaving works by famous philosophers and writers. While Socrates and Jesus were criticized for being atheists, they proclaimed to have “God” who directed them through their rights which were divine in nature. Both Jesus and Socrates were selfless in that they gave their lives for what they believed in. again, Socrates and Jesus provided empowerment to men who were considered poor. The citizens of their time found identity through the sacrifice they made (Fredriksen 44-54).
There was great talk coming out of these men. In his persecution, Socrates tells the judges to be of good courage concerning death and have in their minds that there is no evil that can befall a good person be it in death or in life. He confidently tells them that the hour of going had come for each of them to go their way – Socrates to die and them to live and further asserted that only God knew which way was better. That was great wisdom as spoken by Socrates. Jesus on the other hand did not curse them that killed him but instead forgave them. Socrates took a bold step by disregarding the bargain of pleading and this resulted to a great impact on Rome’s future. The lives of Socrates and Jesus are turning points of new existence and life. Their changes mark the downfall of the people’s ignorance. There was no reason for fault found with these two men yet they were killed. All the same, men and women were liberated at the height of their teachings.
In conclusion, Socrates and Jesus share many similarities regarding their trials, personality and teachings. Their belief was that they had been charged to guide others into living maximized full lives. The beliefs upheld by Socrates and Jesus show a lot of determination in fighting the things which caused a lot of discomfort to the people of their time. Their ways and teachings were rewarded along with trails and persecution. The mindsets possessed by Socrates and Jesus are far much ahead of the time they lived. Their enlightened and visionary personalities together with their teachings link them so well. All the same, there are small differences where Socrates diverged from Jesus in his conclusion that there is no earthly man with life answers. Socrates believes in the concept of Jesus and God. Jesus has the conviction of Christianity and God. The Socrates on the other hand focused on the dependability of reason.
Well, Jesus recaps the Socrates. It would be as though Jesus was reminiscing through the experience of Socrates and living the life that he led on earth. Coming up with issues that confronted the work and actions of high authorities was apparently something that brought about the similarity in the two. Socrates and Jesus are high profile figures who stood their ground to counter the forces of ignorance that made people slaves to the officials who were filled with a lot of corruption. They were both ready to die for their cause and the cause of others. Their teachings worked on so well to liberate others. They did not disregard their identity. They made a commitment to see their dreams come true by promoting a fully functioning human being by imparting necessary knowledge. They did not choose to survive through ignorance. They both embraced knowledge which was paramount to their calling and in enlightening the masses of what was expected of them as they lived on earth. They both died because of what they believed in. Jesus’ life is therefore a re-telling of Socrates history.