SOCRATES?

The founder of Christianity was not the first to suffer death at the hands of his own people because of his doctrines. Four hundred years previously the Greek philosopher Socrates was condemned by the Athenian populace to die by drinking hemlock. The charges brought against him were that he had introduced new gods and corrupted the morals of the youth of Athens. These charges were a complete misinterpretation of the philosopher's intention, for Socrates had steadfastly sought to awaken his fellow-citizens to the dangers of ignorance, which to him was the real cause of vice. " Virtue is knowledge: vice is ignorance," he maintained. His method of teaching his disciples was to put to them a series of questions, which led them, step by step, to discover the truth for themselves. This system has been adopted by many teachers, and is now called the " Socratic " method. Socrates wrote no books, and what we know of his doctrines and philosophy is derived from the works of his friends, chief among whom was the great Plato.