Meno - Plato, G.M.A. Grube Socrates. Philosophy.

Usually when I think of Socrates, I think of Bill and Ted... "all we are is dust in the wind, dude..."

So, I don't have much of a background in philosophy. Now that I think about it, it's because religion has always been the basis of my worldview, so the basic building blocks of... umm... philosophizing... my worldview... have been based on religion; I've never really stopped and asked myself basic questions like "what makes stuff good vs evil" etc. I guess it's good to, although it's not really in my nature.

So anyway, in this socratic dialogue, Meno and Socrates debate what constitutes virtue ("goodness" to my 21st century vernacular) and whether it can be imparted/taught, or whether it's inborn in people.

While reading this, I tried to contextualize it in the sense of not only how can I be a virtuous person, but how can I teach/impart/etc. virtue to my kids (ages 1 and 3). Visiting extended family this past week, I've seen so many examples of kids turning out good/virtuous despite having screwed up parents, and of kids having a perfect religious upbringing and rejecting all of that--some remaining "good" outside the boundaries of religion, and some not at all.

The end conclusion that Socrates comes up with is that virtue is God-given, rather than being able to be taught. That lines up nicely with Paul in Romans 12, Corinthians 12 talking about gifts of the spirit.

In Aristotle's Ethics (my next read) it talked about virtue being borne of practice-- one becomes a good person by practicing doing good things (much like a musician becomes a good musician by playing lots of music). I guess that's hope for my kids... maybe...