Socrates chose hemlock, when the alternative was exile, is in my view, a
tribute to stubbornness.
Naturally it is
romantic to follow Plato's version of events. A man dedicated to an
understanding of life in which the role of individual becomes sublimated
to an idea of a created real. In this romantic view, I argue, Jesus
and Socrates are one and the same. What actually happens is
something very different.
It is the "F-you"
moment, and I suspect it is one insufficiently understood. For
Socrates and Jesus, Hemlock and the cross were vengeance. In one
context they were the suicide bombers of their respective coteries.
In another context they were deluded.
I can hear
mutters from the back row. The noise of self righteous nonsense
emerging from our great cathedrals of understanding. Those worrying
refuges of both received and constructed truth.
Too bad reasonableness as wisdom has so
little to do with reasonableness as the real. The "F-you"
moment contains assumptions which are apolitical in nature. This
moment does not actually belong to a set of shared ideas. More
accurate to place the "F-you" moment in the "I that is
me". An "I" that has a point to make with the adamancy
of vengeance. Gray areas are gone, it becomes either "yes"
And here, for those who choose death,
better to think of it as stubbornness, rather than attach to it words like
noble, or savior, or martyr, or the good.
A cathedral of understanding
rigorously disciplines thinking. Few are persuaded to chose careers as
a dead man in their pursuit of the "I". Otherwise the sky
would occasionally rain dead people. A Circumstance, the cynical might
suggest, occurs with the regularity of a process.