Essay on The Wisdom of Socrates

866 Words 4 Pages
Socrates was one of the first true intellectuals in human history. The societal conventions of his time condemned intellectual enlightenment. They viewed secular knowledge as an obstruction of the path to spiritual enlightenment which was far superior to any intellectual exploits. Socrates was a revolutionary thinker in that he recognized the benefits and importance of studying temporal elements instead of devoting his life to religion. In the eyes of his contemporaries, Socrates' blatant defiance of tradition and religion as the sole importance of life and thought was so unorthodox that it was punishable by death. According to The Human Record, "Socrates refused to accept the answers of tradition and the way of the past as infallible …show more content…
As a result, we are becoming practically indiscernible from our rival city-state Sparta whose citizens deny their ability to reason and ignore their potential to learn and grow intellectually. Our city-state is superior to others because of our unique conception of the human as an individual and our idea and effective institution of democracy.

The Athenians' value of human individuality is evident in Hippocrates' medical dissertation, On the Sacred Disease. In his report, Hippocrates noted that diseases cannot be cured by worshiping the gods or any other form of superstition. Hippocrates noted that "the physician can do without attention to purifications, spells, and all other forms of hocus-pocus" to cure his patient (Human Record 105). Hippocrates recognized the power of science and the secular, scientific knowledge of the physician as a solution for medical problems. He criticized patients who relied on the gods for help. In his thesis Hippocrates states, "if the patient recovers [doctors] reap the honor and the credit; if the patient dies, they have a perfect defense: the gods, not they, are to blame, seeing as they had administered nothing to eat or drink in the way of medicine" (Human Record 104). Hippocrates is criticizing the flawed logic in this practice and essentially calling those doctors, who called on religion for a cure, cowards. He

Related Documents