Socrates

Socrates is basically the founder of Western thought. The person most notable for preserving the Socratic model of philosophy is Plato. But you already knew that because you've seen "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

It is important that one fully appreciates

It is important to fully appreciate the perks of philosophizing

Just The Facts

  1. Socrates was an exsoldier in ancient Athens who became the eccentric city bum.
  2. Socrates was told by the Oracle of Delphi that he was the wisest man in all of Athens.
  3. Socrates decided to bug the living shit out of everyone in Athens because he a) honestly wanted to understand what the hell being wise means, or b) he was a dick and wanted to rub it in everyone's face.
  4. The Platonic Dialogues, which are a cataloging of the teachings and travels of Socrates written by his student Plato, point towards the latter choice.

Intro to an Into to the Platonic Dialogues

Reading Plato can be quite the hassle. Worry no longer! Here you will find accurate AND awesome translations of some of Socrates' most critical teachings:

1. The Apology

-Background:

This is Plato's account of the trial of Socrates. He was charged by three aristocrats for "Impiety" and "Corruption of the Youth." In reality, the Athenian aristocrats were tired of his bumming around preaching about living virtuously and shit. Sound familiar? Yeah, history repeats itself.

-Awesome Translation:

Socrates: Yo, I'm sorry I pissed you guys off. I didn't know...

Meletus: You didn't know my ASS! You've been shuffling around Athens bugging the bugeezis outta people for like fifty years. Why the hell do you want to know what piety and justice and wisdom and sophrosune and all that other crap are? We've defined that in our laws already, you badgering old goat! You don't believe in the gods and you've tainted out kids.

Anytus: Hah. You said taint.

Meletus: Forehead. Palm. We're trying to convict this guy. Shut the fuck up and let me do all the talking. I swear to Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, and Ares. But not Pan. Fuck Pan, with his stupid goat feet and little flute. Socrates, why do you hold the natural world above the will of the gods? They're gonna screw your friggin' pooch one day, you know.

Socrates: Dude, the reason I've been trying to figure out what it means to be wise and shit is because Apollo told me that I am the wisest man in Athens. The Oracle? At Delphi? The chick who got hopped up on hallucinogens and boned a bunch of old farts in 300? Yeah. She told me that. Why would you say I reject the gods if I firmly believe that they speak through kinky barely-of-age nymphos with perky pinks?

Meletus: Yeahsoooooo....

Lycon: Hey, this is boring. Can I go, like, I dunno...get drunk and have wild dingo sex with two guys and a sheep in a vineyard?

Meletus: Sure, why not. Bone a swan or something for me, man. Alright. Socrates. You're not off the hook yet. Why have you been messing with our kids?

Socrates: Everybody does that. It's fucking GREECE, baby!

Meletus: No, you, thick bastard! CORRUPTION OF THE YOUTH. You've made them think stupid shit like truth and wisdom are more important than wealth and respect.

Socrates: But those things are more important, dumb-ass. Isn't the eternal superior to the finite? Truth and wisdom, or the Big Teedubbayuh as I like to call them, are totally under your own personal control once you have knowledge of them. Your soul keeps them forEEEEEEVer. Yeah, you've seen The Sandlot, right? Awesome. Wealth and respect come and go. Look at Mike Tyson.

Meletus: Well, Mr. Pain-in-Our-Collective-Asshole, don't you think that the city of Athens has provided enough truth and wisdom for our children?

Socrates: No. You guys are fuckin' lame. And the voice in my head thinks you are, too.

Meletus: ....the fuuuuuuuuck....

Socrates: You heard me. You seriously have NOTHING better to do than bring bullshit charges against the eccentric city bum? FUCKING. LAME.

Meletus: Alright. Who wants to sentence this guy to death? Show of hands?

Socrates: WAIT ONE GODSDAMN MINUTE. I have a better sentence than death. I've done this city a favor. I helped folks realize that life isn't just about how much money you have or how many people know your name or how many people or animals or inanimate objects you've stuck your wang into. I'm like a fuckin' POWER RANGER. OF TRUTH. LIKE STEVEN FUCKING SEAGAL. Your asses are gonna pay me for my years of good deeds, yo.

Meletus: Death? Yeah. Death. Suck a dick, Socrates. Or rather, you be suckin' down the hemlock, beeeeeeeeatch!

2. The Phaedo

-Background:

This is Plato's account of Socrates' philosophical rant about the nature of the soul as he is drinking the hemlock poison in his cell. Several of his friends are there and are bitching him out about how he should be afraid. Socrates, being the calm and collected bad ass that he is, calls them pussies and proves them wrong. Somewhat.

-Awesome Translation:

Simmias: Why'd you take that heaping load of bullshit, Socrates? You totally could have escaped. Crito even offered, bro.

Socrates: I'm not afraid of dying.

Cebes: Why not?

Socrates: I'm a goddamn hobo! I eat off of the sidewalk and shit in my toga-thing. I used to life on the fuckin' SKREETS! Death ain't no thang! Cebes, gimme a refill on my hemlock.

Cebes: Kay. What's hemlock taste like anyway?

Socrates: Your mom's vajayjay. Another reason I'm not afraid to die. I did your mom and that was scary shit, man.

Simmias: Seriously, though. Why aren't you afraid to die, man?

Socrates: Gaaaah. That hemlock shit has a VERY distinct bite. Refill yo. Thanks. The universe is composed of two worlds: the visible and the invisible, follow? The human body is our representative of the visible world. The soul must be the representative of the invisible.

Simmias: Why?

Socrates: Why? Honestly...why? 'Cause you can see your body and you can't see your soul, 'tard. Visible things are all subject to change and decomposition. Everything you have ever seen is liable to break down or fall apart or droop like your mom's titties. Honestly, Cebes...scientists could use those things as pendulums or something. The personification of the invisible world in humanity is the soul because the soul cannot be destroyed. It's simple and cannot be worn out. So if it cannot be worn out it is immortal. GAAAAH! Unlike my tastebuds which are quickly being murdered by this here rhinopiss hemlock. MORE SHOTS! SHOTS ALL AROUND! Oh, wait...you guys probably don't want any of this crap. Anyway, because the body and soul are intertwined, the body hinders the development of the soul. The soul cannot completely understand the Forms of the Virtues because the body comes along with a natural inclinations towards pleasure and worldliness. Yeah, that's one explanation for the incident with your stupid mom. Anyway, you're basically freed to understand the Forms after your soul leaves your body. I'm actually looking forward to this hemlock shit kickin' in.

Cebes: As unnecessary as those comments about my mom were, I think I get it. So your soul is immortal and it continues experience after the death of the body. Could it get rejoined with another body?

Socrates: I don't see why not. I know one body I won't be rejoining with.

Simmias: Cebes' mom?

Socrates: Bingo, muthafuckaaaaaaaa. BURRAHBURRAHBURRAHGONGABOING. Oh shit, son! This is the fucking BALLS.

Simmias: Goddman, man. You are seriously enjoying this dying thing, huh?

Socrates: Awwww hells yes boyyyyyyyyyyyyy. You also gotta think about opposites. Everything has an opposite. What's the opposite of being awake? Light?

Simmias: Being asleep. Dark.

Socrates: You have redeemed yourself and are no longer a 'tard-face. AZINZINZINZINZINZ....REFILL. Yeeeeeeeahhh....Where does being asleep arise from? Being awake. Light? Dark. It's a dialecticly definitive process. In, like, one or two thousand years read Hegel and Marx and shit. They know what I'm talkin' 'bout. So what's the opposite of life? Death. Thus life springs from death and death is born of life. Again. Refill.

Simmias: That doesn't make a lot of sense. Just because things define each other doesn't mean they are related.

Socrates: I'M DRINKING HEMLOCK, BITCH. IT MAKES PERFECT FUCKING SENSE. REFILL.

Cebes:.....But what if your soul just keeps reincarnating and reincarnating and it starts to wear out.

Socrates: Cebes, you dumb bastard. Remember what I said about how the soul is indestructible? Seriously. You're as stupid as your mom. I never even called her again. Oh, yeah. I'm feeling groovy. Spotslotsofspotsandkoalas!