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 Sunday July 17th 2016Tim Candler9

 

     A mental glitch, maybe, but the Pompous Factor in your correspondent is higher on Sunday. It goes back a bit to Sunday's past when literally hours, and I mean hours and hours, where spent in painful obedience to the whims of an assortment of The Lord's representatives down here on the temporal plain. The words "We shall now sing the Te Deum" more often than not followed a monologue by one or other of the Sophists around the subject of "Cynicism as Evil." This call came from deep in the emotions behind the Beatitudes. It wasn't good enough just to do, the doing part had to be done in a whole hearted and committed manner, with no raising of eyebrows and in no circumstance did the fountain of wisdom tolerate any kind of answering back. Naturally your correspondent as a youth found himself more and more interested in Socrates, and he yearned to be corrupted. In Socrates' day of course, the Sophists were itinerate teachers, paid to teach the sons of the nobles who could afford it. Not something Socrates appears to have approved of. Philosophy and Rhetoric, an excellence which he reckoned should be available to all.

 

Past

      In feel like terms it was centuries later that your maturing correspondent made an attempt to consider the nature of the charge against Socrates. The man was obviously a Bolshevik of the barrack room lawyer kind, great fun to be around, he'd sit in the back benches, raise his hand, ask questions, many of which couldn't really be comfortably answered, and there'd be much giggling. The charge the committee brought against him was corrupting the youth. It was a classic from an elite anxious to be rid of a thorn in the story of their wonderfulness and perfection. My man managed to piss off the committee, his options were Exile or Hemlock. He chose Hemlock on the understanding that a commitment to self was temporal. If it was the will of a majority, who was he to claim that he understood the complexities of life on earth better by choosing exile. And the thing about it is, many remember Socrates as the wisest of men, very few remember Anytus the son of Anthemion, an Athenian General who led the prosecution of Socrates. "We shall now attempt sing Saint Augustan of Hippo's Te Deum."

 

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