Socrates and faithfulness.

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Socrates Manipulating his Accusers?

Faithfulness is a vague word that can be defined in several contexts. The word itself, "faithfulness," most obviously means full of faith, but the word is more obtusely inclusive in its definition. In the sense of marriage, it is most commonly defined as not committing adultery. Faithfulness can also be expanded to include devotion to one's family as well as humanity itself. There is even a physical sense to faithfulness: a change in behavior can denote one's commitment to another person or idea, as in attending church every Sunday to show faithfulness to a divine being. The infamous philosopher Socrates struggled with his ideas of faithfulness throughout his trial in Athens. In his apology, he denounces the power of wisdom and the accusations that he does not have faith in the divine, but he may have been forcing the public to question their well-founded beliefs which, in turn, caused them to sentence him to death.

The infamous trial of Socrates was brought about by two groups of accusers. The first accusers stated, "Socrates is an evildoer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others (20)." The second accusers stated he was a "doer of evil, who corrupts the youth; and who does not believe in the gods of the state, but has other new divinities of his own (25)." The ultimate outcome of this trial was a guilty verdict by the jury and death for Socrates . Out of his famed apology, however, his views and beliefs on wisdom and the divine emerged.

Known throughout history for his wisdom, Socrates' faithfulness to wisdom is questionable. "And I am called wise, for my hearers...