Philosophy was both serious and dangerous, Socrates chose to ignore both. Ignoring the first made him one of the most engaging of all philosophers, ignoring the second was to cost him his life. He was born in a middle class home in Athens, in 470 BCE. His parents were Phaenarete and Sophroniscus. His mother had a reputation for her patient and intuitive skill in delivering babies in and around the neighborhood. The latter, his father was a craftsman, stonecutter by trade.
As a young boy, Socrates was teased in school about his appearance, and often would prey to the Gods to make him beautiful both inside as well as outside. He was known for asking many questions as a child, because he was very curious about things, what they were, what importance they had? Crito noticed that Socrates in a way was beginning to think as a philosopher, always looking for the meaning of things.
As Socrates gradually began to mature and grow older, he did not see much of his friends. They would always be down at the gymnasium working seriously at the outdoor exercises. He did not like to work out like his friends or be a stonecutter like his father because he knew that sort of thing was not for him. He thought about everything in a more abstract way.
The Gods during Socrates time seemed to be further away from humanity, they did not disguise themselves as humans to help or punish them anymore (1). He only knew of them from old stories, myths, and Homer. He had a voice in him that stopped him from doing certain things as he was about to, and he thought that that was gift from the gods. He knew that goodness was the very mark of the gods and that is why he tried his best to be just towards everything and everybody.
As a teen Socrates talked and studied with many other accomplished scientists and philosophers, whose names are not known. Later, from when he was eighteen to twenty-four he was in the military in the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Along with, the rest of the army, he walked fourteen miles in one day to make it to Athens on time. In the tents, he always won the philosophical arguments between his friends, for he had pondered the subjects himself many times. If it had not been for Pythion, an experienced guide of Greece, they would probably not have made it to Athens on time.
After the long march, Socrates first military adventure, he again comfortably settled in Athens. He and his father along with many other people, including prisoners, foreigners and the unemployed had taken up a public contract to build the Acropolis. The Athenians were proud mostly of Pericles, because he was the one who founded and organized it. Anaxagoras, a scientist nicknamed "the mind", who walked around Athens daily, had found a rock that had fallen from the sky and had concluded that there were no gods, but that the sun was hot metal and the moon earth. He was put on trial by the majority, who was religious, but Pericles sent him away to Asia Minor where he lived to the last of his days in peace. Socrates agreed with Anaxagoras, but wanted more answers and explanations. He listened to many other scientists and philosophers, but when Anaxagoras? book came out in writing, he read about the "Mind" and that it was the control of all living things, everything else was a "mixture". Socrates read on to many other writings, but soon found himself confused in all the abstract concepts. Then, he understood that he had to ask himself the question "why" instead of how, which developed his philosophical view and style.
At the time when Socrates was reaching his late thirty?s he became more prudent about life. Chaerephon, one of his friends, went to the Oracle at Delphi to ask it if Socrates was the wisest. The Oracle said he was. When this news reached Athens many people in high offices felt hatred against Socrates. However, Socrates himself said that God was the wisest and next to him, the man who thinks that, God is the wisest and not himself.
Socrates was serving the army again, and one day when they were taking a rest, he awoke early in the morning and stood in the