Hi Eric. The official charges against Socrates were refusing the gods of the state and corrupting the youth. According to Plato, however, your intuition is correct--Socrates humiliated one too many power players in Athens and was executed for it.

I've met a lot of arrogant jerks in my day, most of whom were nevertheless fairly good people. None of them deserved execution. Nor did any of them approach the arrogance of a messiah claimant; neither did Socrates. Socrates most frequently claimed to know nothing at all, in stark contrast to Jesus, who claimed to personify "the truth." I'll let you judge which sounds more arrogant.

On the subject of hell, I don't really care to conduct a theological debate about what Christ "really meant" when he repeatedly warned that God would cast many people into "eternal fire." Suffice it to say, eternal hell for the unrepentant is a cornerstone of mainstream Christian belief and doctrine. It is taught from the pulpit and in the seminary in the majority of Christian sects. Frankly, if there are no consequences for unbelief, then why the Christian urgency to defend the faith? Why interject on blog posts about agnosticism if nothing is at stake? Why be a Christian at all? What, pray tell, does Christ's sacrifice save of from?

Eric, I hope you'll interject again in the future. Your comments have sparked some ideas for future articles--be on the lookout for those! Hope we'll tall again soon!


I write about movies, books, culture, politics, and the intersection between them. MA in English, words in The Ascent, PSILU, The Writing Cooperative, and more.

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