socratic-method

SOCRATES TRIES TO TEACH MY SEMINAR

SOCRATES: In the magnificent oration which you have just uttered, I think that you were right, my dear Agathon, in proposing to speak of the nature of Love first and afterwards of his works–that is a way of beginning which I very much approve. And as you have spoken so eloquently of his nature, may I ask you further, Whether love is the love of something or of nothing? And here I … yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Is it of something?

SOCRATES: Yes, Glaucon, that’s what we’re getting to, but first I must explain myself… did you have a question, Aristophanes?

ARISTOPHANES: Going off of what Glaucon said, I was going to say that it’s probably something, too.

SOCRATES: …Right. But I must explain myself: I do not want you to say that love is the love of a father or the love of a mother–that would be ridiculous; but to answer as you would, if I asked is a father a father of something? to which you would … What is it, Phaedrus?

PHAEDRUS: This might not be right, but I think it’s that love is the love of a father or a mother?

ARISTOPHANES: Yeah, going off of what Phaedrus said, I think people love their fathers and mothers.

AGATHON: I agree.

SOCRATES: …Right, but – Okay, let me try something else. Is not a brother to be regarded essentially as a brother of something?

[SILENCE.]

SOCRATES: Anyone?

[MORE SILENCE.]

PHAEDRUS: Could you repeat the question?

SOCRATES: What I said was, is not a brother … Yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: This isn’t actually about this, but I was wondering if you could tell me what you mean by “justice.”

AGATHON: Wait, what page are we on?

The Apologist’s Anti-Elenchus

If Socrates were one of today’s apologists, his method wouldn’t look like this:

  1. Socrates’ interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example “Courage is endurance of the soul”, which Socrates considers false and targets for refutation.
  2. Socrates secures his interlocutor’s agreement to further premises, for example “Courage is a fine thing” and “Ignorant endurance is not a fine thing”.
  3. Socrates then argues, and the interlocutor agrees, that these further premises imply the contrary of the original thesis; in this case, it leads to: “courage is not endurance of the soul”.
  4. Socrates then claims that he has shown that his interlocutor’s thesis is false and that its negation is true.

It would, instead, look as follows:

  1. Socrates claims to have shown that his thesis is true and that all other theses are false.
  2. Socrates then asserts, despite the interlocutors doubts and disagreements, that his premises refute all other theses; in this case, it leads to: “god necessarily exists.”
  3. Socrates ignores his interlocutor’s demand for justification and evidence.
  4. Socrates’ interlocutor argues a thesis, for instance, “God does not necessarily exist,” which Socrates considers false because his thesis must be true.

As stated, philosophy of religion is the inversion of Socrates method. The apologist’s interest in dialogue goes as far as their belief that they can convert their interlocutor or sway minds in an audience, assuming there is one. The apologist otherwise doesn’t see any use for debate, for the apologist thinks it impossible to be proven wrong. Socrates’ elenchus aimed at discovering the truth of a matter whilst the apologist’s anti-elenchus aims at verifying what he already takes to be the case. Philosophy is about seeking truth rather than about verification of beliefs. Philosophy of religion simply has no place in the enterprise of philosophy. It is pseudo-philosophy and should be blacklisted as such.

Click here for the video version of this post!

1.

 One of the first things I learned in my freshman year is the absolute need to study every single day. Even if there is no big test or assignment around the corner, reviewing your classes daily is the only way to make sure you are strengthening your knowledge on whatever you are learning, as well as filling in any gaps on unknown material that was lectured before. For weeks (and months) I was certain that people who told me I needed to study every day were just very unorganized people or were frightening me on purpose. However, if you are taking a course heavy in information like Law, you will quickly understand that it will be very difficult to remember every single detail that was lectured in multiple subjects, on the long run – and, in the end, you are also tested on the small details and not only on the big overall scheme of each class. If I could go back to my first semester, I would really push myself harder and organize my days to be able to review my previous classes.

2.

Being a coffee hater throughout high school, I was always sure that I would never like the taste of it in my life. However, as soon as I got into my second year of college, I found out that the only way to survive a few of my classes was to drink an expresso beforehand. My addiction to coffee began as a need to survive. Now that I look back, my first year in college probably would have turned out better if I had more energy in class and while doing my assignments. However, I still try my hardest to never drink more than one cup a day – that really keeps my energy levels up, without creating addiction.

3.

One of the things no one told me before going to Law School was the ridiculous amount of money I would spend on textbooks every single semester. Each one of my classes requires one or two mandatory textbooks, plus statute law and a bunch of optional readings that most of the time you end up buying because they are nowhere to be found in the library. Also, since Law is constantly being developed and changed, buying second hand books is not the best idea - most of the legal references in those books are probably outdated.
I remember that in my first year of Law School I refused to buy most of the textbooks the professors required me to, and I tried my hardest to study only with my class notes. Well, guess what? That ended up, as expected, in poor grades. The problem with Law is that 50% of our grade is the result of how hard we work at home. In class the professor doesn’t lecture ALL of the material we need to learn; they just summarize it as best as they can and highlight a few important things that they find relevant. However, in the final exam, all those details and footnotes in the textbooks will prove really useful to solve the cases and if you didn’t invest in your textbooks in the beginning of your term, you will not be able to use that information in your answers, which really harms your grade.

4.

That takes me to the next point. For me, the best learning method is preparing all classes beforehand, be it lectures or discussion based classes. I only realized this in the end of my second year in college - and I think it makes a huge difference in your overall performance in class; if your professor uses the Socratic method to teach, preparing your classes thoroughly beforehand is absolutely essential! 

Basically, if you anticipate most of what is going to be taught in your class, you will have most of the work done for that specific group of topics or information. By taking your own notes to class and completing them with what the information that the professor adds during the lecture, you will be able to reinforce your knowledge on the subject, finishing any incomplete arguments that you have written down and also letting you participate in class, asking questions on the thematic you’ve studied and discussing it with your professor and classmates. Also, preparing classes beforehand will let you organize your time better, scheduling a certain time to prepare a certain topic and/or chapter.

5.

Unfortunately, I found it almost impossible to prepare classes and do all of this homework while I was handwriting my notes. If I could turn back in time and change something during my time in college, I would certainly stop spending so much time making everything pretty and would start typing it all. I am a big fan of handwriting notes - I love pens, stationery and also the handwriting part in itself. However, when I started getting an excessive workload, insisting on handwriting all of my preparatory notes, completing them in class and also solve and summarize case law by hand was hurting my grades, my social life and my stress levels (and my hand, lol). I then had to make the hard decision to give up on all of my pretty stationery and start bringing my laptop to class.

I still handwrite a few notes, especially when I use the column method (which you can find more about here), but I am actually happy now that I have made the change – I can be much more productive and organized while saving a huge amount of time for all the other things I enjoy doing.

6.

Finally, and I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give you: some people enter college with a very specific mind-set on what they want to do with their lives. While you are reading this, there is a huge possibility that you have already thought about a certain career; maybe you are picking only the classes that you think will help down that career path, as well.

However, never ignore all the other options that will be laid out for you. I can personally speak about my own experience: when I entered Law School back when I was 18 (I am now 21), I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to accomplish after I graduated - I was sure I wanted to be a judge. As soon as I got into my second year and started studying the most basic principles of contract law, I was 100% sure that I had actually changed my mind, and that it was imperative to purse contract law. Then, in my 5th semester, I started studying Tax Law - I still remember thinking that Tax Law was it and I was then decided to pursue it for my master’s degree; but then, I was able to get an internship in a law firm, in the Intellectual Property Law department; and you know what? I changed my mind again

So it’s perfectly normal to change your mind along the way; you are not less worthy of college just because you are still not sure of what you want to do career wise. Also, changing majors is fine - it’s just a sign that you are progressing as a human being and as a student, that you were willing to embrace new opportunities and give up on something that would not make you happy. Just make sure that you do your research beforehand on different career paths and use all the opportunities that college gives you in order to learn new things and meet new people. Internships, and other short-termed opportunities like job-shadowing programs are great ways to understand if you fit in the specific area you are thinking of pursuing or if, in real life, it has nothing to do with you.

Lots of luck!

~Mariana

Brief Thoughts on the Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy of religion is, in fact, not philosophy. It’s apologetics, a defense of a given faith. It is the inversion of the Socratic method. It is not an enterprise concerned with truth, for its practitioners claim to have already located the truth. It is an enterprise concerned with verification–even despite evidence to the contrary. Actual philosophy doesn’t proceed in this manner. Philosophers of mind (who aren’t convinced of some religious view of the mind) don’t set out to verify their predilections. Philosophers of science don’t either. Ethicists don’t either.

A philosopher of religion is usually a believer from the outset and all of their arguments and conclusions will make that obvious to anyone. It’s high time to demarcate philosophy and theology and jettison the so-called philosophy of religion from the enterprise of philosophy. Pretending to ask questions isn’t the same as actually doubting and questioning. The pretense of skepticism isn’t actually skepticism. One can question even the existence of god for a brief moment as Descartes did, but it’s all for nought if one’s conclusion is that he most certainly exists.

I’m an atheist; the nonexistence of god is a settled matter because I actually doubted Christianity and then other religions–and arrived at the conclusion that the concepts of god presented in purportedly revelatory texts do not exist. I am as skeptical of time; sure, we experience time, but my question is whether it is a fundamental reality in the universe. I am not looking to falsify or verify time. I am seeking the truth of the matter and it matters not to me whether it’s fundamental in our universe or not. That’s how philosophers proceed! Apologists would learn a thing or two if they weren’t so intent on persisting in their beliefs.

How to Survive 1L Year

I was super nervous going in to my first year of law school not so much for the classes because I’ve always been interested in studying law but because I knew it was a whole different learning environment. I know there are books out there to guide the new law students along but I thought what better person to hear it from than someone who just finished her 1L year. So here goes!!

1. DO start outlining ASAP

Your outlines are everything you cling to. Taking 4-5 classes can be a heavy course load and at times they will seem to intersect and it’s super important to keep your classes straight. Find an outlining style that works best for you whether it’s charts, lists, etc. and keep them updated every weekend.

Trust me. It will be your saving grace come finals week.

2. DON’T show up late to class. In fact, I would suggest arriving at least 15 minutes early to get yourself situated.

My first week of class I had a Contracts professor who was a bit older who not only hated people who came in late but those that came in late AND slammed the door. That person basically had a target on their back the rest of the semester and that’s not a situation you want to put yourself in.

3. DO find a study group and meet at least once a week.

It’s so important to have a study group you work well with. So far my best friends in law school have been the girls I chose to study with. With that being said, DON’T be afraid to speak up if you feel like someone in the group isn’t pulling their weight. It’s important that everyone is on the same page and giving their all to the group.

4. DO take advantage of professor’s office hours.

I’m very fortunate to go to a school where all the professors have an open door policy and are always willing to meet with their students. Sometimes things may not click the way the professor is explaining it in class and that’s okay, just go to them for clarification after.

It also helps to make an appointment with them after midterms to go over what you may be having trouble with whether it be multiple choice or what they are looking for on their essays.

5. DO adjust your writing style the way the professor wants.

I had a variety of writing styles that each professor wanted and it’s so important to write their way because that is what they are looking for when grading. You have to be willing to bend to their styles in order to get the points you need.

Whether it be issue spotting, IRAC, CREAC, kitchen-sinking, etc. give the professor what they want to see.

6. DO get involved.

1L year is going to be mentally and emotionally draining but it’s so important to take the time to start networking. But DON’T run yourself ragged. Pick a few things you may be interested and join them. Once you feel more comfortable add on more.

7. DO make time for yourself before friends and family.

Friends & family are unfortunately put to the side because their just isn’t enough time in the day to see everyone. But, you need to make time for yourself. For me, my me time has been working out, daily devotionals, and catching up on shows every now and again.

You need to stay healthy. I was fortunate enough to not really get sick during the school year because I changed my diet and exercise which lead to me losing 17 pounds in my last semester of school (take that Freshman 15)!

8. DON’T be unprepared for class.

Most law school professors use the Socratic method where they cold call on students and you are expected to be prepared to answer their question. I know for a fact that if you are called on and you are not prepared that sticks with the professor which is not the reputation you are trying to have.

9. DO sleep.

I know that sounds crazy but it needs to be said. I can’t do all nighters. I’ve never been able to. Are you going to get a full 8 hours every night? Absolutely not! But you have to sleep.

Trust me, your mental health & sanity will thank you.

10. DO remember why you are here.

You just signed up for 3 years of torture right? Wrong. You are in law school because the law is what you’re passionate about. You want to be that person who makes a difference in whatever field you decide to practice in. This above all will get you through the papers, the exams, and the countless hours of studying.

which camarilla clan should you fight
  • brujah: what the fuck is wrong with you? why would you want to fight the brujah? they kick people out of the clan if they don’t own enough switchblades and motorcycles. this will not end well. if you HAVE to fight the brujah, your best bet is to get them so mad that they start making bad decisions, but even then you’re probably fucked. don’t fight the brujah.
  • gangrel: these guys are all exactly as angry as the brujah but can also go full on animalistic fury at you. also they can melt into the earth and summon animals and shit. if you get lucky, you can distract them with some beggin’ strips or something, but don’t risk it. don’t fight the gangrel.
  • ventrue: if there are no consequences for this fight, then go for it. most ventrue got embraced straight out of the boardroom and have never thrown down a day in their unlives. however, if this ventrue has contacts, you had better believe you’re going to be hurting more than they will by the time they’re done with you. probably worth it, though. there’s a lot of people who want to see them punched in the face. fight the ventrue.
  • malkavian: honestly, you’ve got about a 50/50 chance with these guys. either they will melt your brain so hard that it’ll leak out of your ears or they will have no idea what the hell is going on. even if they aren’t entirely lucid, there’s still the possibility that they’ll socratic-method you into torpor. do it if you have to, but fighting the malks is not a good plan.
  • tremere: the bright side: if you fight the tremere, nobody is going to stop you. nobody fucking likes these guys. the drawback: if you fight the tremere, you are fighting the tremere. these guys can fly? they can summon fire??? they can give the laws of physics the middle finger if they want. however, if you find a tremere neonate, feel free to stuff that nerd in a locker.
  • nosferatu: this is an entire clan full of assholes with a chip on their shoulder. they can talk to rats. they can sneak around unseen despite being six feet tall and smelling like raw sewage. they probably know everything about you already. don’t let the sewer thing fool you: this clan could kick your ass and mine with their creepy hands tied behind their backs. don’t fight the nosferatu.
  • toreador: please. PLEASE. please fight the toreador. i don’t care what generation they are. i don’t care how many of them know celerity. punch them in their snooty faces. distract them with glitter. fuckin do it. i will pay you to fight the toreador. there are no downsides to fighting the toreador. if you win, you have beaten up a toreador. if you lose, everyone will probably still buy you a drink for trying. do it. fight the toreador.
2

“Also, any good ideas I had came from Plato, I admit it and I can never take it back, signed Socrates P. Philosopher” by Plato is also a great read and a cornerstone of modern philosophy.

But, yeah, Socrates really did distrust writing stuff down because he thought he would make people dependent. Well, suck it, Socrates! We have cellphones and Google now and no one can remember anything!

anonymous asked:

what do u think of plato, socrates, and aristotle?

i just wanna preface this by saying i know jack shit about philosophy & it hurts my head, but we did cover this lot in a course on wider greek history, so all my commentary is on them as people. socrates seemed like a g, i love how he just kept doing shit he was told not to do until and then they were like ‘stop or we’ll have to kill u’ & he was fuck u i’m gonna get the last word & die. that’s truly some ride & die shit for his morals & beliefs (even though the socratic method is maddening). plato i despise, why did he have to write the allegory of the cave, it comes up in almost every class i’ve ever taken, i hate it sm! i dont wanna engage w/ it! aside from that i dont even know what he did aside from hang out in socrates’ asshole. aristotle can get a pass, pretty sure he fucked up ethics or something, but he tutored alexander the great & was macedonian so like. rock on artistotle. 

Close Enough

Request: Hello :) Can I ask for a scenario with Kihyun? That he has a crush on a foreign girl (a friend of MX), but there is a language barrier kind of, but she has also a crush on him and she learns korean for him :D I bet you can make it 100x more romantic :D Thank you, sweetheart <3

Member: Monsta X’s Kihyun x Y/N

Type: Fluff


Changkyun bit his lip as he tapped his pencil. You were certain he was humming along to a beat you had never heard before, but felt eerily familiar. You looked up from your book, blinking slowly at him as you tried to hum along. 

“No,” he said quickly. “Back to the book.”

“Daniel,” you groaned, sliding your fingers to tangle into your hair. “I’m Korean-ed out.”

“Impossible,” Changkyun whispered. “Never give up, never surrender.” 

“This isn’t a WWII movie,” you grumbled. “I’m not fighting the good fight.”

“Yes, because you’re fighting for something more important,” he nodded. You waited, gazing at him lazily. 

“Love,”

“Aigoo!” You gasped, plopping your torso into the chair beside you and out of view. “You’re so greasy. I hate you.” 

“You don’t,” he chuckled. “Or maybe you do. I don’t know, I assumed you asked me to be your Korean tutor because you enjoyed being around me…maybe it’s because I’m the only one who can speak English.”

“I could’ve asked Jooheon…or Minhyuk,” you pouted, leaning up again. 

“Oh, that would have gotten you far,” Changkyun cackled. “Go, ask them. I’ll wait.”

You stared at him with a look that could kill. After a few moments of deflecting, he finally made eye contact, wiggling a brow at you. 

“As much as I like this one sided staring contest, I have somewhere to be,” he sighed, packing up his Korean language learning books. 

“Wait, what?” you gasped. “I have you for another hour. You made a commitment Im Changkyun.”

“A commitment that would obviously be broken at one point,” he chuckled. “Come on, Y/N. I’m me.”

“I am what I am,” you groaned, rolling your eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard.”

“Look, I’m leaving you for a greater good,” he nodded. “I can’t tell you about it, so I have to sound super ominous, kind of like a comic book villain, but with more hair and less super powers.”

“I hate you again,” you hissed, letting your forehead slam on the table before you. You looked up again to see the elderly librarian now giving you the same look you had been giving Changkyun only moments before. “Go.”

“Love you,” he cooed, stuffing his books under his arm and heading toward the exit. 


Changkyun heaved a sigh as he hitched his pants up with his free hand. He cast a wary eye over his shoulder, making sure to look at Y/N before he made a quick right turn back into the stacks. He didn’t think you had noticed, but he walked with a quicker speed nonetheless.

“You’re late,” Kihyun sighed, tapping his pen anxiously on his notebook. 

“I’m a popular guy,” Changkyun grinned, setting his books across from him. 

“A popular guy who is still late,” Kihyun repeated, not letting up. “You have to help me with English.”

“Or? You won’t be able to ask Y/N out?” Changkyun giggled cheekily. 

Kihyun rolled his eyes, setting his pen down on his paper. “Or maybe I want to learn for when we have concerts overseas. Can’t rely on your broken-ass English all the time.”

“Excuse me, but didn’t you ask me for help?” Changkyun asked, lifting a brow. “This doesn’t sound like the plight of a thankful person.”

“Or a person with very much time,” Kihyun groaned. “Now please, sit down and start talking.”

“Yeah, now you wanna hear my broken ass English,” Changkyun muttered to himself, plopping down in his seat. “Help me I.M, I wanna learn Korean. Help me I.M, I wanna learn English. Don’t want to talk to each other, but want to talk to me, how was I bequeathed with such a blessing? I-”

“Wait, what are you going on about?” Kihyun said, furrowing his brows and looking curiously at his younger member. “Who are you teaching Korean to?”

“No one,” Changkyun snapped quickly, flipping through his English learning workbook. “Nothing. Who’s learning Korean? Not Y/N. Shit.”

Kihyun nodded, knowing if he could keep Changkyun talking for long enough, he’d be able to get anything out of him. 

“Why is Y/N learning Korean? Her Korean is alright…ish,” he hummed, tilting his head. 

“Why are you learning English?” Changkyun hissed. “Trying to impress someone maybe? Someone named Y/N?”

“I asked you first,” KIhyun muttered. 

“It’s called the Socratic method,” Changkyun sighed, rolling his eyes. “I’m answering your question with an introspective question that gives you the answer.”

“Don’t bring Socrates into this,” Kihyun said, crossing his arms. 

“The answer has been in you all along young grasshopper,” Kihyun giggled. 

“Yah, you want to die?” Kihyun spat, shaking his head. He raked his fingers through his pink hair and looked back down at his notebook. 

“Apparently that seems to be a popular theme in my conversations today,” Changkyun muttered to himself. “You want to know why Y/N is learning Korean? Really?”

Kihyun looked up, quickly nodding. 

“Why don’t you ask her yourself. She’s in the study area, right outside the Foreign Language section,” Changkyun smiled, leaning back and shutting his books. 


“I might as well be speaking Latin,” you whispered to yourself. 

“I think anything would sound pretty coming from your lips,” a slow, deep voice hummed. You looked up, blinking rapidly at the man standing above you. It took a moment as his head was perfectly aligned with a window, outlining him in a ring of light. 

“Kihyun,” you whispered, a slow and easy smile emerging onto your face. 

He nodded, sitting down in front of you. You tried your best to cover up what you were working on with your arms, but he pulled the worksheets out from under you and smiled even brighter. 

“You’re working on your Korean?” he said, his words painfully slow. 

“I am,” you nodded. “Why are you talking like you’ve had a stroke?” 

Kihyun’s cheeks immediately lit up a dark red as he looked away from you. “I thought if I spoke slowly…it would help you to better understand.”

You giggled, your own face growing hot. “That’s very kind of you.” 

“I’ve been learning English,” Kihyun said casually. “You can speak to me…if you want. But…slowly. I’m still learning.”

“Okay,” you nodded with a smile. “Maybe…maybe we should help each other then?”

“And put Changkyun out of a job? Do we dare?” Kihyun giggled. 

Your eyes grew wide. “He told you?”

“Apparently he tutors me directly after you,” Kihyun chuckled. He reached out his hand slowly, extending it toward yours. He set his fingers lightly on your knuckles, tapping them with his fingertips idly. “I think we may have the same intentions though, to be honest.”

You smiled, looking down at the wood grain of the table. It was much less horrifying than having to make eye contact with the man you had just admitted to learning a language for. 

“And if those intentions are similar, wouldn’t us helping each other…how do you say…shoot two birds with one bullet?” he smiled, his eyes disappearing in his cheeks. 

You smiled, easing your hand to sit further beneath Kihyun’s palm. “Close enough.”

Originally posted by kihqun

10

The Socratic Method, 1.06

“I have a headache. It’s my only symptom.”

BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE SENTENCE STARTERS.

for your high school aus, your time travel aus, your high school time travel aus, or whatever you please!

  • “I’m telling you, it’s great here.”
  • “The air is clean. The water’s clean. Even the dirt is clean. Bowling averages are way up. Mini-golf scores are way down.”
  • “So, what you’re telling me, essentially, is that Napoleon was a short, dead dude.”
  • “You totally blew it, dude.”
  • “Thanks to great leaders such as … Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Socratic Method, the world is … full of history.”
  • “One thing I know is that Joan of Arc is not Noah’s wife.”
  • “Your stepmom’s cute.”
  • “George Washington. One: The father of our country. Two: Born on President’s Day. Three: The dollar bill guy.”
  • “We are destined to flunk most egregiously tomorrow.”
  • “Okay, the lady in that car over there said that Marco Polo was in the year 1275.”
  • “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”
  • “Don’t forget to wind your watch!”
  • “You and I have witnessed many things, but nothing as bodacious as what just happened.”
  • “That was most unprecedented.” 
  • “Whoa! He didn’t even card us, dude!”
  • “Here’s the deal: what I win, I keep. What you win, I keep.”
  • “You are dealing with the oddity of time travel with the greatest of ease.”
  • “Be excellent to each other.”
  • “Party on, dudes!”
  • “The few possess much, while the masses possess little but their television sets.”
  • “Today, leaders are impeached rather than beheaded.”
  • “He was a dick!”
  • “You seem to be suffering from a mild form of hysteria.”
  • “Don’t get smart with me, buddy.”
  • “This has been a most excellent adventure.”
Damn Tricky Socratic Method

Casey Bush

they say when she was locked up in a closet by the SLA
Patty Hearst read Plato day and night
the philosopher whose disdain for people
was only matched by his interest in improving them
Plato considered good health
top most next best thing to being good looking
and then he met Socrates grotesquely ugly
and epileptic full of wisdom and warts
never to become an informed consumer
so long as billboards conceal a ravaged  countryside
both celibate and syphilitic

what we did learn from the ancients
was not to tell students anything
that might lead directly to knowledge
answer each question with a question
make them earn it
conceal ultimate natural visions of beauty and unity
stash it somewhere in a chicken coop above the clouds
where everything is confidential
and there are periods at the end of each sentence
where everyone has a role
but usually not so well defined
as the pool hall drunk at a church breakfast
words and deeds will not shorten lines at the store
knowing thyself can be a drag
I mean reflection does not necessarily lead to illumination
if you can remember the past
we thank you for your consideration
if you can forgive the present
please serve on our advisory board.

Jason Attempts the Socratic Method

Batman: Ignoring the law and beating up criminals is not only justified, it’s necessary. The system in Gotham is broken. The police are ineffective, and corrupt, as are the politicians and the courts and businessmen and…everyone, really.

Red Hood: Uh huh. So when you finish beating these criminals, what do you do with them?

Batman: I take them to the police!

Red Hood: To the corrupt and ineffective police? To be sent through the corrupt courts? Which decide sentences based on laws by the corrupt politicians? Who are bankrolled by the corrupt businessmen? In the broken system?

Batman: Yes.

Red Hood: And what happens to the criminals then?

Batman: If the courts don’t let them go, they usually escape the prison and asylum, and and start murdering and whatnot again. But then I beat them up and bring them to the police again!

Red Hood: So…what you’re saying is that the justice system cannot protect people from criminals, including a bunch of high-powered serial killers. And you beating them up just grants a brief reprieve until they resume their killing spree. Not even a reprieve, really. Prison and the asylum are great places for networking, and the corrupt guards and nurses often help the inmates to continue perpetrating crimes.

Batman: Well.

Red Hood: You said the police are ineffective…does that mean that you’re the only one who can actually take down the worst criminals? You and whatever other superheroes are in the area?

Batman. Yes…

Red Hood: And you believe that violence outside the law is necessary to subdue criminals. And that it is just for you to decide who deserves that violence.

Batman: Indeed.

Red Hood: But you acknowledge that beating criminals and handing them to the police is basically the same as letting them go. It’s like catch and release.

Batman: When you put it like that.

Red Hood: Do you think that in an unbroken system these serial killers would have gotten the death penalty? Keeping in mind that while some of them might be considered insane, there is precedence for executing insane criminals who cannot otherwise be stopped from killing people. Criminals like, perhaps, the Joker?

Batman: Probably.

Red Hood: But the system in Gotham is too broken to carry out that sentence?

Batman: Yes.

Red Hood: And you and your hero comrades are the only ones strong enough to, hypothetically, carry that sentence out, anyway?

Batman: Obviously.

Red Hood: Do you…get where I’m going with this…?

Batman: No idea. I just file most of what you say under “crazy and evil.”

Red Hood: ….right. Of course.