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Sophist / Sophism

             Sophism teaches people the art of speech making and cross-examination. It is a clever way of arguing by using reason. The subjects that were taught by sophist were science, music, poetry, speech and cross-examinations. Scientific explanations are used to prove that oracles do not tell you what to do. Sophism tries to explain to those that don't understand that omens are not signs from gods but are natural occurrences. Sophist teachings allow people to understand that when an omen is supposedly answered, it is not the gods, but a mere coincidence.
             Sophism has changed religion and caused a great deal of confusion for those that strongly believed in the gods, omens and oracles. This caused a great deal of questions to be asked and arguments to occur. People did not want to hear the reason that the sophist would put forth. They didn't want to believe that the gods were not answering their prayers. The scientific explanations didn't make sense to them, especially since they were brought up believing in gods and oracles. Trusting that if they put their faith in the gods, things would work out for them. The religious were said to have a lack of experience when it came to dealing with the scientific points of views on why things happened the way they did. The religious feared the gods so much that they did not want to believe what the sophist would say. (Plut.Pericles, top pg.170) On one occasion it seemed as if people wanted to believe in the scientific views that were presented to them. When Lampom, an interpreter of oracles, said that the horn growing out of the creatures head so strong, said that this sign was meant for either Pericles or Thucydides and that the dominant one would win. Anaxagoras (a sophist) divided the skull of the creature and said that the brain did not fill up the head. (Plut. Pericles, middle pg.170) This won the spectators over and made them be on Anaxagoras side.
             When it came to making political decisions the sophist would use their speech skills to talk or persuade their audience to see things their way.

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