“Socrates, good day!” exclaimed Person. Socrates is still mesmerized in this realm unbeknownst to him. Dazed and confused, he sees a figure, a person looking right at him. He replied, “Good day to you to. May I ask you questions about this world? I suppose you are a citizen of this state.”
“I would gladly entertain your queries, but I have questions too, questions that only you can answer,” retorted Person. “I will bring the truth upon your inquiries, if you allow me the pleasure of asking you one question.
I need help in bringing out the truth so that the decision I make would be based on reason.”
“The pleasure is mine,” said Socrates, “I will help you bring the light of truth into your question, what is it that you ask?” Person then hesitated, but replied eventually, “Should I submit my school requirement? The teacher asked to write something philosophical, something uhm… something about a dialogue.” “Then it is an obligation, I suppose, and every obligation must be fulfilled.
This is a moral act, pious according to the laws of my state, Athens. One must never disrespect the state, it is immoral.”
“I do not want to submit my paper, it gets in the way of my hobbies and friends, yet at the same time, I do not want to fail my obligations to my school, “ Person said. “This obligation, to whom is it addressed,” Socrates asked. “The obligation is for my teacher,” replied Person. “Why would you not obey your obligation? Did you enter this obligation as an agreement,” inquired Socrates.
“Why, I, ah I entered the obligation as an agreement when I enrolled. I entered it willingly but the teacher gets in the way of my hobbies and friends,” said Person.
Socrates asked: “If the teacher is a hurdle to you, would you then disregard this authority? What is the basis of your rebellion against authority?”
And Person replied: “I would disregard the authorities, but there are consequences, like a failing grade. If I fail, I would either repeat this course, or I would have a hard time applying for a job after I graduate if most of my grades show my disregard for requirements and obligations.”
“Then, following this authority is a virtue?”
“Yes!” exclaimed Person.
“And entering an agreement or obligation willingly is acceptable?”
“Yes,” said Person proudly.
“If the authority gets in the way of your time with friends, does this mean that the authority is immoral?”
“No.” whispered Person.
At this point, Socrates is fuming mad. I know that he is a just man. Plato said so, when I conversed with him moments ago. And now I know that Socrates is not only just but also virtuous. He is attached to truth itself. Furiously, he said: “Then, I would say that you are not virtuous because you dare defy authority that is virtuous! You are also immoral, for defying your obligations that you entered willingly! Why then did you enter this agreement if you are not agreeing with it?”
“Because studying is required to be smart and successful, I want to be successful… and being smart means that you gain wisdom,” Person shyly said.
The face of Socrates brightened a bit: “You are wise in saying that Person,” exclaimed Socrates, “because the beginning of wisdom is the recognition of your ignorance. However, knowing that you are ignorant but not following the virtuous path towards truth and wisdom only means that you are foolish. Do as you please, do not fulfill the obligations of your agreement, and you will lose your identity as a Person. What difference do you have then from beasts?”
“I am not a beast. And I am not foolish. I will then, submit to my obligations, I will write my paper. So, Socrates, let us move on, what are your questions about this realm?” Person said eventually.