We are the Knights (that’s pronounced phonetically - cuh-nig-its - as of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail) Who Say Cyclic, a group of High School students, all of whom attended 6thgrade at Challenger School. At Challenger, we each gained not only a respect of the English language but also the want to change the world. Our noble mission is to improve America, one step at a time – primarily by improving the U.S.’s tongue and correcting false ideas about how its government functions. To learn more, please visit our website at www.cuhnigits.org.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Opening of a Socratic Discussion

What is a Socratic discussion, exactly? As used in my high school, it's a way of expressing ideas, exploring answers, and broadening minds. Each Socratic discussion begins with a thought-provoking prompt and develops (theoretically) into a deep, logical maze of possibilities. So, who's up for doing that on this blog? As long as everyone is respectful, involved, and eager, we will be able to have a great time. Anyone who's interested (which is hopefully everyone), please share your ideas through the comments of this post.
The prompt is: What makes history, people or ideas?
Okay, yeah, it seems circular at first. Impossible to answer. Like the question What came first, the chicken or the egg, or What came first, the phoenix or the flame? But let's explore this. There are good arguments for both sides - let's discuss it!


  1. I am really excited for this, but want to comment after I hear a bit of what the rest of you think, as I have already discussed this twice. =)

  2. I've already discussed it 1.5 times too, so come on you others, comment please!

  3. I think that "history" is made when someone (or a group of someones) does something worth remembering, either because it was done for the first time, or because it was just plain stupid to do it again. :)
    Baldr, god of not logging on to his account before posting.

  4. also, the direct quote is "What came first, the phoenix or the flame?"
    but, you didn't actually need to know that.
    Baldr, who is still god of not logging in to his acount.

  5. Well. I think it depends on the perception of the person trying to answer the question. The easiest answer is, neither people nor ideas, but God. Which is basically the answer for everything. God sent ideas to people, who used them wisely or stupidly, creating history.

  6. I KNEW the direct quote, Baldr, I promise. That's what I meant.
    What Laga and I have decided the topic come down to is, "Can ideas exist independently of people?" Like if someone dies, say, Socrates, but his ideas remain to be expounded upon and twisted and rived and whatnot, then are the ideas still making history?

  7. Hey everyone, what's up? This is a really slow discussion for such a cool question.

    First, I think you can argue that it is people, because what truly makes history is when an idea impacts a large group of people. After all, neither paper nor gunpowder made history in England until they were in use there, although they were invented ages before (thank you China for both of those.)

    Now someone argue against me please. Even if you agree with me, argue with me. I'm in the mood for a really good debate, even if it includes *GASP* MIRA LOGIC (tm) *Thunder*

  8. Has anyone here read 1984 by George Orwell?

  9. Ahahaha! Laga you make me laugh :D And I will provide, of course. (Wait! Mira LOGIC?) However, I agree with you :D And disagree, in a way. Sounds illogical already, eh? Eh? It can be argued that people create ideas with their brains because brains, obviously, have the power to do that. It is more plausible to think that ideas are created in our brains then that they are randomly floating around in the air and just happen to whack genius people in the heads. By the way, paper and gunpowder technically DID make history, as they were there. I made history just by typing this up in the past five minutes, as that time is now history. And I believe paper was first made in the form of papyrus in Egypt...? Anyway, back on subject. In the religious outlook, it can be argued that men do not make the ideas, but are inspired by God. Meaning that the ideas can exist without humans. It really depends quite a bit on what you believe to decide on another subject, such as the existence of ideas, what to believe. I have the book and am planning on reading it soon, Sol. Now, question: Did anyone actually read all of that?

  10. I read it all, no skimming whatsoever, I promise =)
    So the next question is, "What are ideas?" Is it possible that they could, as Mira puts it "randomly float around in the air and just happen to whack genius people in the heads?"
    (Technical point: would the people have to be geniuses in the first place for the ideas to hit them, or would they become geniuses after the ideas 'whacked them in the head'? Just wondering.)
    One person in my English class has a theory that yes, ideas CAN float around - the hypothesis goes that ideas create electrical/chemical impulses in the brain, which can diffuse through the brain into the air, where they may be absorbed by other brains. I don't know, but it could explain the independent invention of farming in five separate and isolated regions...
    But do ideas really have any meaning without people to act upon them? How broad is the definition of history? It could be argued that beings don't need sentience to create history, if history is just an informal record of everything that happens - a leaf blowing in the wind, a stone being eroded by ocean waves...
    Baldr and Odin, your input would be appreciated. =)

  11. And out of curiosity did anyone read al of THAT?

  12. Of course! And I just found a super cool piece of evidence to back this up! "Math" as we know it is just a bunch of rules and systems- essentially, ideas. However, when someone figures out a new mathematical concept, they don't "invent" it, they "discover" it! So that would seem to argue that ideas are, essentially, not our own.

  13. Ooo, fascinating. (Yes, I'm back, I decided to procrastinate a little longer.) Yes, discovery implies that something is already in existence even if it has never been used before, I guess. Actually I just looked it up and found the definition "to become aware of" OR "to be the first to find or observe." According to the first definition especially, ideas CAN and DO indeed exist without humans. Interesting. It's like if you discover the Andes, they already existed obviously, they didn't need your presence and scientific notebook to EXIST... I like this. Thanks Laga =)))

  14. I'll post my thoughts on this particular matter later, but I very much enjoy this lovely blog. And to Sol, I really appreciate your feedback on my poem you read on Mrs. Martinez's blog. I LOVE getting comments, and it's even better when they're positive. :)
    I was wondering how you little 9th graders could be so intellectual, and then I saw you're all from Challenger. That explained everything. It's a fantastic school, I attended there myself up until the 7th grade.
    Thanks again for the feedback, I look forward to reading more of each of your work - and possibly join the discussion myself. ;)