Socratic circle | November 2021

Goodness, I do apologize for the lateness of this post, everyone! I’ve been terribly busy lately: writing papers, wrestling with rational functions, and worrying about finals. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, though. More than ever this year, I think I need a chance to take a step back and reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. Anyone else feeling the same? >_<

Right, onto the intellectual stuff! Last month’s Socratic circle asked the question, Is hope a fraud? This question received a response from Deepthy @ Random Specific Thoughts. Y’all, Deepthy had some excellent things to say on this topic. (For conciseness’s sake, I’m only going to post the meat of the original post here, but I highly encourage you to go read the whole of what Deepthy had to say! She threw in some applicable quotes and beautiful graphics, which add lovely illustrative context to her argument.)

To me, hope is a sort of thrust, a variant of faith, a gentle flame – that encourages you to keep going even when, the possibilities of actually succeeding seem bleak. Now as far as fraudulence goes, hope can be a fraud at times but that doesn’t necessarily make it a fraud for everyone. Hope can end up, conveying visions of unrealistic success and it can all feel like a big lie, when reality comes crashing down.

Objectively speaking, I think hope being a fraud or not, ultimately depends on the person bringing a certain hope to existence. As long as their hope is appropriate, ambitious but rooted in reality – I think more often than not, hope ends up serving its more poetic purpose, of being a supporter when no one else is. But when – say, I hope to get a car fly to space, with no plans whatsoever, it’s ambitious but foolish to an extent. It makes no sense to label the hope as a fraud, it would be more apt and called for, to own up to my stupidity.

Hope doesn’t quite deceive people. It could potentially manipulate or blind them but then again, it feels too circumstantial to actually label it, so concretely. One could even say, people themselves determine how much command, their hopes have over them. The validity of a particular hope depends on, how the person perceives it to be.

If hope ever feels like a fraud, I would say the person is more responsible than they think themselves to be, for their hopes not playing out the way they wanted it to. Hope isn’t a plan that can direct you to your destination, after all. It’s a self-cultivated mode of encouragement one relies on to stay optimistic about their paths in life.

Hence, I don’t think hope is a fraud at all. On the contrary, I believe it’s what keeps us going.

Many thanks for participating in October’s Socratic circle, Deepthy! I loved your insights into the nature of hope and its unique relation to every individual. I hope to hear from you again in a future Socratic circle, friend!

The question I chose for our circle for November comes from a recent discussion on wisdom literature—specifically the Book of Proverbs. This question is perhaps most applicable for those who come from Christian backgrounds, but I would be interested to hear a non-Christian response as well! (Perhaps one of my fellow Christians would like to take a stab at arguing for a position opposite to theirs…? Sounds kinda fun. XD)

What does it mean to “fear the Lord?”

If you’re interested in expressing your views on this issue, please feel free to comment about it; write a post, short story, or poem; make a piece of art; or literally anything else; and I will collect any entries and feature them in the next Socratic circle post. Just be sure you keep in mind the following:

  • Define your terms! (If there’s one thing my homeschool curriculum has taught me, it’s the importance of this practice. XD)
  • Keep your submission PG, please. I will not feature anything that contains vulgar content of any kind.
  • If you don’t put your submission in the comments of this post, be sure to comment below and leave a link to your submission(s) by November 30 if you wish for it to be featured. (There is a chance, of course, that I’ll simply happen upon your submission—I follow many of the people who follow me—but I can’t guarantee it.)
  • Please feel free to tag others to participate in our circle! The more the merrier!
  • And of course, you’re welcome to post, comment, etc. on a previous month’s Socratic circle issue as well—just know that it won’t get featured in the next post (but I’d still love to see it!).

And as always, if there aren’t any responses to this question, that’s totally fine. The point of these posts is just to get everyone thinking. ^_^

I can’t wait to see how this month’s Socratic circle proceeds!

One thought on “Socratic circle | November 2021

  1. Interesting question! To give just one perspective…in Catholic circles, we talk about the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (I don’t know if this is universal, so I’m just going to start from the beginning and explain as methodically as possible!) which are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. But we often, whether in theology or in prayers will actually call “fear of the Lord” “awe” or “wonder”. This actually meshes quite well with the statement in the Bible that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”, because the use of the words “awe” and “wonder” imply realizing that God is Great and we are Not Great, and knowing one’s own place in the world (i.e. humility) is an excellent first step towards knowing anything about anything else.

    So, for me, the Fear of the Lord is realizing that God is God and I am not, and feeling awe and wonder in His presence, as the most powerful Being in the universe. And along with that, realizing that He is not just my friend, but also my Lord, and honoring Him as such as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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