Socratic circle | May 2021

Hey, everyone!

A while ago I mentioned I had a new type of post in the works. Well, I am pleased to announce that that new post is finally here! Welcome, friend, to my Socratic circle!

For those who may not know, a Socratic circle (also known as a Socratic seminar) is traditionally a deep, thoughtful, philosophical discussion held to contemplate the meaning of a book, work of art, or piece of music. However, Socratic circles can also be used in discussing more contemporary topics such as the dangers of social media, or even lighthearted subjects, i.e., who the most powerful Avenger is.

I for one am rather fond of Socratic circles as they not only offer an opportunity to dwell on a certain topic without interruption, but due to their thoughtful nature, they also give more introverted people (such as myself) the chance to voice their opinions. And sometimes it just takes a single ambiguous word or controversial quote to get a Socratic circle going.

How can a Socratic circle be held over the internet, you ask? Well, I was thinking it could be a little bit like a linkup. Basically, if you’re interested in expressing your views on a certain topic, you could write a post or a poem about it or create a work of art for it—pretty much anything. And I’ll collect any entries that were submitted and compile them in the next Socratic circle post.

And if there aren’t any submissions for a certain topic, that’s totally fine. The point of a Socratic circle is simply to get everyone thinking. As long as just one person views this post and spends even thirty seconds dwelling on it, I’m happy. 🙂

So, let’s get to it! The question we will be contemplating for May is taken from the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard:

Can the ethical ever be suspended for the sake of a higher power?

It’s a good one, isn’t it? 😉 Don’t forget to define your terms, and have fun! If nothing else, I hope you can take a moment to stretch your brain a bit today.

And whenever you do a post, don’t forget to come back here and leave a link to your creative submission in the comment section so everyone can see it (and to make sure I don’t miss it—sometimes mentions don’t work for me)!

I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with! 😀

3 thoughts on “Socratic circle | May 2021

  1. This sounds cool! I’m just not sure what the question means, though. Is it asking whether it’s okay to sometimes abandon morality because an authority figure tells us to, or is it asking whether it’s okay for a person in power to sometimes make unmoral choices? Or is it asking something else entirely?


  2. I think that this question is a matter of how far someone will go to gain approval. If you’re the type of person whose self-image relies on what other people think of you, then yes, you very well might do something unethical to stay close to a higher power.
    Then of course there’s the question of why a higher power is asking you to do something unethical. Are they testing your loyalty? Is there a conflict going on? Do they not want to clearly get their hands dirty (like they need a scapegoat if someone finds out what happened)? Is there literally no reason at all?
    Another thing is that a ‘higher power’ doesn’t have to be a person. It could be an idea that someone decides to place above everything else. It kind of creates a chain reaction, where the person in charge doesn’t want to be blamed, so they hand the dirty work to the next person, but they also don’t want to be blamed, so it keeps getting handed down. That basically creates a contingency, so if the leader gets accused, they could blame it on someone else.
    I think whether or not a person would doing something unethical for a higher power depends on the amount of pressure to conform and what the threat is if you don’t.
    The best examples I can think of for stuff like this is Star Wars, but no, I will not go into details because I get annoying really fast.
    I have no idea where this was going, but here, have some free, mid-morning, I’m-supposed-to-be-paying-attention-to-math-class thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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