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Virtue and Integrity – Selections from “The Apology of Socrates” by Plato (vegetarian) Part 1 of 2

2022-10-14
Lingua:English
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Most of the information about Socrates, His life, and His philosophy was transcribed after His departure by two of His students, Plato and Xenophon. One of Plato’s most famous and influential works is “The Apology of Socrates.” During a lecture in Costa Rica in 1989, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the sacrifices that the saints, including Socrates, made to enlighten people and why they are the greatest peacemakers. Today we would like to present excerpts from Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates,” where Socrates shows His wisdom and courage by explaining why we must do what is virtuous and right and refrain from doing what we know is evil.

“I then should be acting strangely, O Athenians! if, when the generals whom you chose to command me assigned me my post at Potidaea, at Amphipolis, and at Delium, I then remained where they posted me, like any other person, and encountered the danger of death; but when the deity, as I thought and believed, assigned it as my duty to pass my life in the study of philosophy, and examining myself and others, I should on that occasion, through fear of death or anything else whatsoever, desert my post, strange indeed would it be; and then, in truth, any one might justly bring me to trial, and accuse me of not believing in the gods, from disobeying the oracle, fearing death, and thinking myself to be wise when I am not.”

“But to act unjustly and to disobey God, I know is evil and base. I shall never, therefore, fear or shun things which, for aught I know, maybe good, before evils which I know to be evils.”

“For be well assured, this the deity commands. And I think that no greater good has ever befallen you in the city than my zeal for the service of God. For I go about doing nothing else than persuading you, both young and old, to take no care either for the body, or for riches, prior to or so much as for the soul, how it may be made most perfect, telling you that virtue does not spring from riches, but riches and all other human blessings, both private and public, from virtue.”
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