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Edward E. Rochon


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Contra Socrates

Copyright © 2017 by Edward E. Rochon

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Reading Material

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Table of Contents

Title Page


Chapter 1: The Trial

Chapter 2: Last Judgment

About the Author


Plato portrays the death and prior events leading to the death of Socrates in Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. We briefly take a look at some main points made in those works and dismiss this man's life as being worthy of adulation, emulation or respect.

Chapter 1: The Trial

The trial takes place in Apology of Socrates as written by Plato:

ACCUSER: You claim that the jury and court of Athens was doing you a great injustice by arraigning you and condemning you to death. Prior to this, you claimed that men hated you for proving that they knew nothing. You deemed yourself superior to them only in that you knew you knew nothing. You spent years of probing into affairs of the world, of life only to prove you knew nothing. Sir, how do you know that the court did you injustice, since you clearly know nothing of justice, the case being that you know nothing? How can the plumber comment on the quality of plumbing, the carpenter on carpentry without knowing anything about it?

SOCRATES: (Silence)

ADVOCATE: Well, he was simply using a euphemism. He doesn't really mean nothing in the absolute sense.

ACCUSER: Sir, you would certainly seem to be right. He knows who his wife is, knows a fair amount of the Greek language, how to breathe, piss. Yet, he constantly claims to know nothing about great matters of the mind. Surely, justice is a great matter of the mind. He questioned men about piety, beauty and such in other works of Plato and yet claims to know nothing other than the fact that he knows nothing. That being a blatant piece of nonsense in the mundane sense, he really has no justice to claim injustice in the case of justice, impiety or any such thing. He is simply a troublesome gadfly pursuing a course without reason. For someone who knows nothing about things, you certainly spend a great deal of time blabbing about the ignorant masses. You prefer only the wise. What wise? Certainly not you. Certainly not those many people you tricked and confounded with your specious arguments. Well?

SOCRATES: (Silence)

ACCUSER: It is plain that nobody can know anything about anything unless he have some prefatory, predicate standards by which to judge. Where does he get them? They are immanent in the world. He is in the world and immanent in him. You know them because you know them. To deny you know them leads to contradiction, proving you know them. Such things as justice, piety are immaterial and indefinable, yet known to man as surely as indefinable emotions such as anger, joy and unhappiness. Such indefinable traits as love, justice and so on are also simply known and elicit emotional reactions often confused with the cause of the feelings. Yet, both sentiments and indefinable attributes are simply known immanently. Is this not true?

SOCRATES: (Silence)

ACCUSER: There is faith, but how can you have any faith? A man that does not avow knowing by that faith is no faith at all, but mere opinion. And we see no contradicting spirit here. For by faith, we merely mean no rational or empirical evidence to back up the conviction. By faith we affirm knowing what that faith maintains. Yet, you know nothing as you claim. What about your opinions? Do you know what your opinions are? That is surely knowing something. And more about faith, it is also faithfulness by some common bond to conviction. We believe in the loyalties of others or not, and believe in our own loyalties to others and to principles. By what force? By the force of conviction and must certainly believe faithfully in these convictions of faithfulness. Is that your relationship to your demon, your spirit? Do you believe him/it to be faithful and true, and you faithful and true to it? You make people think so. Surely, by faith, you must know this to be true. Or is that more opinion?


ACCUSER: You claim to have this inspirational demon that impels you or urges you to pester people and to die for what you deem an unjust conviction. You claim that the unexamined life is not worth living. One wonders why you say that and know that, since as you say you know nothing. I will tell you a secret that is no big secret. Man is both flesh and immaterial soul and spirit. He is body and immaterial mind. Man knows what he is immanently or not at all. What he does not know immanently is the various permutations of his flesh and how the permutations of the world around him affect that flesh. Yes, he is aware of his body, but not to any great detail as to its working in most or all occasions. And the same with the world that he senses all the time yet knows little about in detail. If this were not so, why do men get bellyaches that they do not want, and often cannot easily get rid of? Yet, they search the memories, the medicine cabinet and books, the advice of others to heal them of what they would rather not have. If men knew how to prevent themselves from breaking their legs, they would do so, unless some perversity of the soul impelled them otherwise. Is this not so, Socrates?

SOCRATES: (Silence)

ACCUSER: We do not examine our existence. We examine those things that impinge on our existence, at least if we have any sense, as apparently you do not. But why does the flesh and material world impinge on our souls, and is not the flesh also us? It is not in essence. My car is my car, my pen is my pen, my cat is my cat. Nobody claims this makes these things me who has any sense, or not a malicious fool and liar. We feel the assaults on the body as this is our lot. It would seem God wants us to tend to our body. People complain about the body, the Buddha and such. Yet, nobody would care about eating, sleeping, breathing, walking, working, if things went well. It is only because they do not go well. Then we have fools such as Socrates and Buddha to trick us into death worship, rather than tend to our duties. The examined life is not worth living. Know your body and that which impinges upon it. Life is not in the body but the soul, and God has planted our soul in flesh to care for our body. The examined life in the sense you mean it, is a circle of folly, a chase after wind, leading to death worship, that is called Nirvana or some equivalent notion. You claim the options after death are non-existence or a happy life of knowledge. How about an unhappy life of ignorance where fools such as you go to? Yes, you admit to believing that yourself, or at least your opinion. And since you know nothing, what do you know about death anyway? Forget the contradicting evidence that you do know things.

ADVOCATE: We all die, accuser. There is nothing to be done about it.

ACCUSER: All the more reason to tend to our health to live, to live well and to seek an imperishable glory by living well in this world and any world to come. Socrates is simply an evil death worshiper. Moreover, I do not know for certain that all must die. The good soldier does not die for his country, but lives for his country to kill its enemies or warn them off even better. If he dies in combat, he fails in his duties, and it is just too bad if some people think the truth is cruel. Oh, the ointment of self-deception that only makes the blight worse in the end. Step up to the bar and choose your poison. Right, Socrates?

SOCRATES: (Silence)

ACCUSER: You accused the court of injustice and used sophistry to avoid sparing yourself. The old bugger wanted to kick the bucket and be done with his nonsensical life. And his demon was right behind him to encourage him. And why not? Satan is ever looking to destroy men, to turn them from their duties to God, to their charges and to their own souls. We hear no one should enter your schools (inspired by, as Plato, Aristotle were students) without knowing geometry. It would be more apt to understand anatomy, physiology, nutrition and physical fitness. The beginning of Plato's idiot republic, the education of fools, was more apt than that of the fools who supposedly would run the fool's land. But, oh no, to wonder about the realms of abstraction and space, though you use it but little, neither a builder of any worth, nor an accountant, nor an engineer. We must know the theorem of adultery, of murder and licentiousness.

ADVOCATE: Your sarcasm is unwarranted, accuser.

ACCUSER: My sarcasm is warranted, advocate. This man aids and abets those he accuses of murder, and is a murderer himself for that reason. And we have seen this kind of nonsense before and after the time of Socrates. Socrates, you are a demon possessed liar, pretentious scoundrel, degenerate fool. Your wiliness in fooling millions is the work of a wily demon. He also is a fool, motivated only by lust, not caring what is good, expedient for others and not even himself. The God of this World and his prophet are evil. Now, the problems of bad memory, errors in implementation do not prove we know nothing. Know your body, the world to minimize and eliminate these problems. Stop figuring out how to deny for righteousness' sake, and start figuring out how to live for righteousness. And that starts here and now. If the murderers come after you and you fail, do not brag about your failure. Regret that you lacked knowledge and power and move on into the hereafter with a clear conscience. Your conscience, Socrates, is a tissue of filthy lies praised by filthy liars. Your idiot critics are generally also filthy liars. The lies of liars do not make the lies of Socrates true by apposition. Both sides of the room may be painted black, if black be the color of evil, or red, or white as the case may be. Enough of you, fool! Back to Table of Content

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