Compare And Contrast Socrates And Voltaire

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Socrates and Voltaire shared several beliefs and ideas about philosophy and the pursuit of knowledge. Although they lived over 2000 years apart, had they been able to sit down and discuss ideas together they certainly would have agreed on many things. While we were given much more reading material on Socrates than Voltaire, I will attempt to share my interpretations of the material we were given. Socrates had a strong belief that virtue is what man should strive for in life, and should be held above all things, including life. By virtue Socrates was referring to righteousness, truth, knowledge and all things related to reason and logic. His dedication to this belief was made clear in “The Apology,” as even he acknowledged that if he had simply gotten down on his knees and begged for forgiveness or to be sentenced leniently, he almost certainly would…show more content…
Using that example, he believed that people who 's reality consists of shadows on a wall will at first prefer that reality, even when introduced to a higher reality or deeper understanding. It is only after a period of deep reflection and reasoning that they would begin to accept their new reality. My interpretation of this is that people will gravitate towards what they understand. If they don 't understand something, they will reject it, at least until they come to understand it better. Voltaire had some of the same ideas compared with Socrates. Like Socrates, he believed that knowledge and reason should be held above all things, even happiness. He believed that it was better to be unhappy and knowledgeable than happy and ignorant, but even though he held this belief, he didn 't understand why this was so. Even after discussing this idea with other philosophers, who agreed with him that knowledge should be held higher than happiness, they could not come to a conclusion of
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