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.


“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!

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.

Your Socratic Method Sucks.

Thrasymachus is a loveable and brilliant sophist in the first book of Plato’s Republic. He made this fantastic analogy comparing shepherd taking care of his sheep only to fatten them up to sell them to political leaders who don’t give a hoot about their citizens. It was a wonderful analogy and inspired many pages of my freshman essay, and he made many other excellent points, however, before I ended up writing 15 pages on this, I decided that I should read further and see how Socrates responded.
Socrates, of course, starts flipping the whole thing on its head. He continues twisting things up, saying, “Convince us satisfactorily that we are ill advised in preferring justice to injustice,” which was completely insane; I thought Thrasymachus made very profound points and very successfully proved exactly what he was trying to. Thrasymachus then gets so flustered and exclaims, “Shall I take the argument and ram it into your head?!”

This is what Socrates is doing, and it is the most frustrating thing: he is not accepting the already perfected argument, and making him dig deeper than it is actually necessary to dig. When an argument is dug into more than it should be, it doesn’t necessarily become weakened, but it becomes much easier to adulterate, which, if I’m not dreadfully mistaken, is what Socrates does. By asking multiple questions at a time and ending with one that Thrasymachus must agree with, he is able to change the conversation to merely being about unjust leaders, which is the realistic scenario, to just leaders, which is an incredibly idealistic situation.
How on earth can Socrates claim to be a truth-seeker when he is only looking for the ideals? Should these forms, as he calls them, really be considered “truth” when they oppose the reality? And how can we consider them to be perfect when they do not exist? If they are non-existent, then we can’t ever really compare them to other methods of going about things; we don’t know how they will function.

Socrates is a roundabout, sneaky reptile. He can distort whatever he likes; he’s evil. He’s very unrealistic and discredits anyone who isn’t searching for his truth, even though these people are searching for what is real. And this is why the Socratic method sucks. 

True change begins with questioning, and I’ve made the most change in my thinking by playing a game of Why? The rules are quite simple; I think of anything and I ask “why?” Then I ask “why?” again…and again. There’s no way to win the game, but it would be devastating to win, anyway. Asking “why?” takes the mind infinitely deeper into itself while simultaneously pulling it to every foreign corner of the universe. This game seems to be one programmed into mankind’s hard drive, for I certainly can’t take credit as the creator.

Socrates is attributed with creating this game, formally known at the Socratic method. He played this game to death due to how important it is to the progression of humans. At a certain point, the Socratic method collects itself into one conclusion; humans are grounded in intuition, not fact. We do not have a morsel of truth, nothing we can prove.

—  from an essay by Blaine F.

The Socratic Method, 1.06

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

Honest to God if I knew Trump winning would cause Neil DeGrasse Tyson to start literally countersignalling the Socratic Method, I’d have skipped my Evangelical LARPing phase and backed The MAGA Man from day one.

astrolojercy  asked:

Oh my gods can you write a LawyerConnorStoll!au?? I'm obsessed with the idea of it!

  • Connor thrives in the socratic method– he lives for having to always be on his toes and know his shit or face the consequences
  • and he’s so content every time someone gets dragged by the professor lmao 
  • he loves suits so much??? he remembers shopping for his first suit with his mom when he was 8 (they had to go to a relative’s wedding) and he has always loved how clean and crisp they are 
  • he knows all the librarians by name and flirts with them constantly (men and women alike), brings them small gifts on the occasion and sometimes they hold books for him and his classmates are like “WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT THE LIBRARY SAID THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT” “that’s so weird, Sue just sent me an email saying they got it” lmao 
  • he passes the bar on his first try and all his friends from law school are like fuck you don’t talk to me but also we’re so proud lol 
  • he does the corporate thing for a few years to make mad money and then does pro-bono work on the side 
  • he gets recruited by the U.S. Attorney General’s office cause he’s so damn good 
  • he just kinda floats?? he doesn’t like getting stuck in one kind of law for too long cause he gets bored but he’s just so smart and quick to adapt that no one really says anything