The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates

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  • Nina Skaletskayahar citeretfor 9 år siden
    say, then, that justice ‘is nothing but the observance of the laws.’” “You mean,” said Hippias, “that to observe the laws is to be just?” “Yes,” answered Socrates. “I cannot comprehend your thought,” said Hippias. “Do you not know,” pursued Socrates, “what the laws in a State are?” “The laws,” answered Hippias, “are what the citizens have ordained by an universal consent.” “Then,” inferred Socrates, “he who lives conformably to those ordinances observes the laws; and he who acts contrary to them is a transgressor of the laws.” “You say true.” “Is it not likewise true,” continued Socrates, “that he who obeys these ordinances does justly, and that he obeys them not does unjustly?” “Yes.” “But,” said Socrates, “he who acts justly is just, and he who acts unjustly is unjust?” “Without doubt.” “Therefore,” said Socrates, “whosoever observes the laws is just, and whosoever observes them not is unjust.” “But how can it be imagined,” objected Hippias, “that the laws are a good thing, and that it is good to obey them, since even they that made
  • Nina Skaletskayahar citeretfor 9 år siden
    But who will ever blame me because others have not confessed my innocence, nor done me justice? Past experience lets us see that they who suffer injustice, and they who commit it, leave not a like reputation behind them after their death. And thus, if I die on this occasion, I am most certain that posterity will more honour my memory than theirs who condemn me; for it will be said of me, that I never did any wrong, never gave any ill advice to any man; but that I laboured all my life long to excite to virtue those who frequented me.”
    This was the answer that Socrates gave to Hermogenes, and to several others. In a word, all good men who knew Socrates daily regret his loss to this very hour, reflecting on the advantage and improvement they made in his company.
  • Nina Skaletskayahar citeretfor 9 år siden
    have the sincere testimony of my conscience that I have done my duty; and in this belief I strengthen myself by the conversation I have had with others, and by comparing myself with them. My friends, too, have believed the same thing of me, not because they wish me well, for in that sense every friend would think as much of his friend, but because they thought they advanced in virtue by my conversation.
    “If I were to live longer, perhaps I should fall into the inconveniences of old age: perhaps my sight should grow dim, my hearing fail me, my judgment become weak, and I should have more trouble to learn, more to retain what I had learnt; perhaps, too, after all, I should find myself incapable of doing the good I had done before. And if, to complete my misery, I should have no sense of my wretchedness, would not life be a burden to me? And, on the other hand, say I had a sense of it, would it not afflict me beyond measure? As things now stand, if I die innocent the shame will fall on those who are the cause of my death, since all sort of iniquity i

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