Sophism: Plato and Pericles Essay examples

Words: 2651
Pages: 11


In this essay I would like to talk about the nature of sophism and how it changes religion, politics and education. In the first part of my essay I am going to define the meaning of sophism, in the second part I am going to talk about the connection of sophism and aristocrats, in the third part of my essay I am going to talk about the changes in religion with the help of sophism; in the fourth part I will examine the changes in decision-making and in last part I will talk about Socrates use of cross-examination to find out the meaning of the oracle’s message. As a source of information I am going to use Plutarch’s essays Pericles and Alcibiades, Plato’s Apology and Crito, and Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War.
The meaning of
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His teacher was Socrates. Not only did Alcibiades have good looks but he also was very educated which helped him to go through a lot of traps set by his opponents. However, being a sophist could hurt an aristocrat too. That is what Alcibiades felt for himself. Because his opponents knew his weak spot, being a sophist, they were putting traps everywhere he turned. Since religion was very sacred in ancient Greece anybody who didn’t believe in the gods was charged with atheism. The charge of atheism was very serious:
“…anybody who did not believe in the gods or taught theories about celestial phenomena should be liable to prosecution.” (Pericles, p.198, par.32).

Atheism and science went hand-in-hand at that time. Atheism was not tolerated; anyone who did not tolerate the Gods had to be punished. Not only that, if one had a scientific answer for the natural causes, he would be considered to be an atheist. Alcibiades was taught science and therefore knew explanations for the natural causes and apparently did not believe in Gods. One of the first accusations that Alcibiades had to face was when one of his biggest enemies Androcles brought slaves into Assembly to testify on the account that Alcibiades and his friends made fun of Gods:
“… accused Alcibiades and his friends of having disfigured other sacred images and parodied the Mysteries of Eleusis in one of their drunken revels.” (Alcibiades, p. 263, par. 19)

And these charges