In what three ways do you think Socrates might be considered a Christian thinker?

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Socrates lived centuries before Christ. Thinking of him as a Christian thinker is somewhat problematic. However, there are a few elements of his philosophy that align with common Christian philosophy.

First of all, Socrates was a huge proponent on the power of forgiveness. He advocated that people should find ways to live as harmonious neighbors, despite their differences or grievances. In Crito, Plato ascribes quotes Socrates as saying

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.

This sentiment of forgiveness being necessary to live a peaceful existence is in line with Christ's urging his followers to "turn the other cheek" to any who would harm them.

While Christianity is certainly not the first religion to believe in the immortality of the soul, everlasting life is a central part of its dogma. Socrates also believed that the soul is immortal. Like Christians, Socrates believed that the soul faces judgment after death. However, instead of being awarded a place in heaven or hell, Socrates felt that souls would then be reincarnated.

Socrates also would have agreed with the Christian sentiment that there are reasons to praise poverty. He advocated leading a humble life, free from the burdens of wealth. Like Christ, Socrates felt that worldly attachments stand in the way of spiritual pursuits. In Plato's Apology and Xenophon's Memorabilia, Aristotle claims that people who prize wealth over all things fail to understand the true nature of the universe. The greedy are self-serving, and therefore are out of touch with the true needs of the spirit.

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