Socrates was a moralist. He talked objectively about morality and his responsibility to teach morality. This, however, makes us uncomfortable – that there exists an objective standard to judge us – and drives many of us into atheism, postmodernism, moral relativism, and even into the denial of freewill.
I like what Socrates had stated:
· “If… I tell you that to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and others is really the very best thing that a man can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living, you will be even less inclined to believe me.” (Apology)
And we still do not agree about “discussing goodness,” real, objective goodness. It remains an uncomfortable subject. However, we are paying a great price for our temporary “comfort.” How so? Well, if we believe that everything is subjective, then there is really nothing substantive we can say about goodness apart from, “It feels good to me.”
Instead, when we examine ourselves, we do not only examine ourselves, but also the features that make us all human. Likewise, when we observe the hummingbird who comes daily to our feeder, we are not merely learning about one hummingbird, but about all hummingbirds.