Did Socrates, Plato and Aristotle really exist?

All that we know about these three was written 1000 years after they died. Maybe they were just part of Greek mythology. After all, what we know about Jesus the Christ was written within 100 years of His death and written by eyewitnesses such as John and Matthew, men who really knew Him and spoke to Him. Yet I see many claiming that since all the writings are after Jesus died they can't be trusted. Why the double standard?

26 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    If the atheists say yes, they existed, I'd like to see them produce a scientific evidence. If they say no, they didn't exist. Now, who's more delusional?

    The uneducated person below who said this:

    "Socrates, Plato and Aristotle aren't threatening me with eternal torture if I don't spend my life kissing their asses."

    Yes they do. Please actually read some of their stuff before displaying your ignorance.

    This is really interesting. The most atheists have problems of Jesus's claim of divinity. Now, they are showing their ignorance in denial of his existence. How convenient way to dismiss him and refuse to confront his claims.

    Even Richard Dawkins acknowledged the historical existence of Jesus. He simply refuses to believe what he claims. Only idiots will say he didn't exist.

    • L3 years agoReport

      A minor cult leader that the bible character was based on probably existed. Messiah claimants were around. Like any nugget of truth, as stories were told about this person the stories got taller and taller. The character in the bible more than likely has little to do with the original cult leader

  • 3 years ago

    Did Socrates Exist

  • 1 decade ago

    I personally doubt the existence of Socrates very strongly and am somewhat mystified why it's accepted that he existed. I actually think he was either a character invented by Plato or based on someone but didn't really do all that stuff.

    However, i think you're missing the point. It isn't important whether Plato and Aristotle existed, although i have little doubt that they did. There is a consistent body of ideas and texts written by someone or several people in each case, which can be studied, analysed and debated. Concerning Jesus, if you believe in the atonement, the Incarnation and so forth, he has to have existed for any of that to happen. If you simply accept his words, according to mainstream Christians, you've missed the point. For Christianity to be valid, Jesus must have existed or there is no salvation. If Plato and Aristotle didn't exist, the work attributed to them stands on its own merits. As it happens, Christ's words do too, but Christians don't interpret his life in that way.

  • 4 years ago

    Anonie Mouse is WRONG. Socrates didn't write anything. In fact, it was against his philosophy to write down anything. If you actually studied Socrates and his philosophy, you would know that. To alter your argument slightly,comparing Socrates and Jesus is the perfect argument! Both never wrote anything, and both died for what they believed in. Everything we know about them is from second hand accounts. Proofs of Socrates: Plato's dialogues, Xenophon's Memorabilia, and Aristophanes's Clouds Proof of Jesus: 4 Gospels (plus the New Testament), Apocryphal Gospels, works by Josephus and other Roman historians PLUS he managed to carry his story throughout the ages Strange how atheists can willingly accept that Socrates did live yet say that Jesus didn't. Just accept the facts, most historians (even atheistic ones) recognized that Jesus lived. Heck, it's more likely that William Shakespeare never lived than to say Jesus didn't.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Homer, the poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey, has always been doubted as an historical character.

    Virtually nobody denies the existence of Plato or Aristotle, hence Socrates. All we know of Socrates comes via Plato as Socrates, like Jesus of Nazareth, wrote nothing himself [at least known to survive]. This is unfortunate, yet hardly cause to deny existence, esp. since 99.99% of the humans living at those time were illiterate and also left no written or personal records.

    We do not know hardly any of their names, yet can logically KNOW for sure they must have existed, because HERE WE ARE today.

    All of YOU are their descendants.

    Do you know your great-great-great-great-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x grandfather's name? Probably not. No cause to doubt his existence however.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Did Socrates, Plato and Aristotle really exist?

    All that we know about these three was written 1000 years after they died. Maybe they were just part of Greek mythology. After all, what we know about Jesus the Christ was written within 100 years of His death and written by eyewitnesses such as John and Matthew, men who really knew Him and spoke...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Plato and Aristotle most likely existed. We have first hand evidence of them. Socrates we only have second hand information on so it's entirely possible he never really existed. The fact that information on Socrates was written by his student during his lifetime makes him more likely to have existed than Jesus, however.

    Facts about Jesus also directly contradict known historical data, like the fact Nazareth wasn't an existing city in the 1st century, Herod didn't order the infanticide of Jewish babies, and there were no simultaneous earthquakes and eclipses in 30 AD.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well for one I nor anyone else that I know worship or pray to Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle. No one makes life changing or influencing decisions based on them.

    and a second thing is that there is lots of contemporary evidence for their existence...you see Socrates was the only one that left no writings behind... Plato and Aristotle left lots of writing behind.

    So sorry you fail

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't worship Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle as gods... that's the difference. All three had interesting thoughts and ideas that are important to the development of philosophy. Whether they wrote those ideas or someone else did doesn't change that.

    The same can be said of Jesus. He had good moral philosophies, even though most of it was borrowed from other people, especially Hillel. It is good to read and know those ideas. So the same can be said of Jesus, whether he existed and said those things or someone else created Jesus and used him as a conduit for Hillel's and others ideas doesn't matter, the ideas remain.

    But as soon as you make a claim of divinity, everything changes radically because now you need proof. You aren't just talking about whether this philosophy is good, which can be debated irregardless of the origin of the ideas.

    • Near5 years agoReport

      wait so divinity is all about proof now? no wonder humans never believe in gods. because 'seeing is always believing' for them.

  • 1 decade ago

    1) You are either lying (that's a nono isn't it?) or mistaken (you should have checked before making false claims). Tales of Socrates start with a man who claimed to have been his pupil in his lifetime. Plato and Aristotle both left behind actual writings for which commentaries began almost immediately and continuously.

    2) It makes no difference to me if Socrates was real or an archetypal fictional character created by Plato. The value of Socrates to me is in the ideas attributed to him. The same could be said of John Galt by fans of Ayn Rand. They know he's fictional (3000 years hence people may think he was real) but that will not matter - the ideas espoused in his supposed words and deeds do.

    3) I am not claiming, and neither is anbybody else, that Socrates was a divine son of God who will either damn me to hell or give me paradise.

    4) Nobody is trying to set up laws, regulations or restrictions on human rights, scientific progress or freedom of choice because they really really like Socrates.

    Not really as deft an analogy as you thought, kid. Tell the webiste or the amateur apologist you got this from that they need new material that actually makes sense.

  • 1 decade ago


    Well let`s just start over right now, throw everything out the window-use NOTHING from History-

    Let`s see, what is your position in this New World?

    You can`t be a writer, no paper or ink. Can`t be a baker, we have not figured out how to plant seeds. Can`t be a candle-stick maker-no fire.

    You are right- let`s just crouch in the darkness and grunt.

    OR, we can use History, and that includes questioning EVERYTHING!

    O, that`s right, everything but the Bible.

    Can`t question THAT!

    DARN! Well-keep on grunting then-And, try within 200 or 300 years-even the Nag Hammadi scrolls are measured at around 250. Paul, who was Saul, must have been about 110 years old when he fell off his horse -yes?

    We Cele-De have a little different version of events, and it does not use the writings of Gentiles and Romans.


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