Not Rasputin

A man once said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing”. We are talking about Socrates, the great Greek philosopher (470 BCE to 399 BCE). He died defending his ideas and beliefs adamantly before the law. Ironically, he fought that he knew he knew nothing.

He knew he knew nothing? Nothing? Which dimension are we talking in?

Once, an oracle announced, that no one is wiser than Socrates. Baffled by this news, Socrates went on a search to find someone wiser than him, to prove his friend wrong. As you might have guessed, he never found one.

Socrates himself wrote nothing, his ideas were spread by his small circle of followers. His admirers consider him as a man of great insight, wisdom, and analytic skills. I am mostly fascinated by the events leading to his death. (Rasputin, you listening? )

Searching for the truths of the universe, Socrates used to ask people questions like, “What is ……?”. For example, “What is love?” or “What is justice?”. When an interlocutor replies, he used to dig deeper asking another question. If the bedrock is not reached, he asks another question. The dialogue continues this way, searching for the essence. He finally finds a contradiction and proves his interlocutor wrong. I know this sounds annoying. Probably this gives you a fair idea about the reason for his execution. Officially, Socrates was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth. He was sentenced to death.

The degree of liberty we experience in today’s world is a privilege. At least we are not executed for being wise. On a serious note, some of the philosophy of Socrates is phenomenal. We are lucky to have born in an era of free speech.

A man once said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing”. Now we know who said it.

If I ever meet Socrates, there is one thing I am definitely gonna ask him.

Hi Socrates, If you know you know nothing, then you know something. But then you can’t say you know nothing. Did you lie in the first place? XD

Also, do you know “What is a paradox?”

Published by Mayank

Heyy, I am your friend Mayank. I love talking about photography, tech, politics, and combinatorics. Hit me up if you like any of my articles. I love having deep discussions on interesting topics.

20 thoughts on “Not Rasputin

  1. There is a lovely zen proverb which says ‘to understand nothing takes time’. Unravelling the essence of who we are and what life is – is an act of megation and unlearning all that we see and believe

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So true.

      “…act of negation and unlearning all that we see and believe….”- Socrates negated the myths that falsely explained the world at that time. For instance, he was able to foresee the defects in democracy before anyone else saw.

      That is why Socrates’s philosophy is admired widely, and the zen proverb explains it beautifully

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked the article
      Haha even I like the last question
      The statement by Socrates is a paradox. Another example of a paradox is – “Nobody goes to Murphy’s Bar anymore — it’s too crowded.”. [ How can Murphy’s Bar be crowded if nobody goes there? ] paradoxes are always fun to think on
      The meaning in Socrate’s paradoxical statement is deep philosophically. And that makes it cool.

      Again, a big thumbs up for being a discerning reader

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am glad I read this post today, Mayank. Paradoxes exist to reinforce the fact that our world is not binary, but rather grey. A statement doesn’t necessarily have to be affirmative or negative, it could be recursive too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very well said, the world is not binary. I remember wondering at Zeno’s paradox as a school kid. It might not be a paradox for me now, but it taught me that paradoxes play with the infinities.
      Thanks for your insightful comment, Karthigeyan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I came across Zeno’s paradox through independent reading and it was really interesting how physics solved it independent of math 🙂
        Paradox truly makes one think out-of-the-box.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: