I’m in the midst of reading Plato’s Republic. My wife had a copy hanging around and since I had never read the original – although I have read summaries – I thought is was time to digest Socrates’ thoughts as given through Plato.
My first impression was that words and precise meanings are essential for Socrates way of life. The rhetoric – or arguments – are designed to help the seeker find truth.
My second impression – as I read along today – is that presuppositions tend to rule our arguments. We try to prove what we already believe. Although the seeker must also seek as well as justify their own conclusions, the whole thing tends to come off as manipulation.
At least as Plato writes it. While Socrates will listen to an argument, sometimes it seems like he goes through a maze of twists and turns to come to the conclusion he may have held in the first place. Plain and simple, Socrates truth is what he “knows” and what he is willing to understand that does not negate some basic ideas he began with. A journey of truth seeking starts with some innate “truths”. At least that is my impression so far.
Which brings me to the question of the day. If we are seeking truth, the best way to find truth is to start by finding the gem of truth that wholly shines out the essence of truth. That is not me, or Socrates, or any other human – we do not have a broad enough scope to plumb the depths of truth. When Jesus (who claims to be the creator and God) says he is the truth, that is a statement that makes sense for those of us who truly seek truth. And to begin with that gem as our focal point, we then have a pathway to truth.
What is truth is answered by Jesus – in the fullest way possible.