With such reasoning men can easily get so far as to know (where they do not, it is owing to the want of education — but the Sophists were very well educated) that if arguments are relied upon, everything can be proved by argument, and arguments for and against can be found for everything…In the crime of desertion in time of war, there is, for example, the duty of self-preservation. Similarly in more modern times the greatest crimes, assassination, treachery, &c., have been justified.
If sophistry is bad in the sense that it signifies a quality of which only bad men are guilty, it is at the same time much more common than this would imply; for all argumentative reasoning, adducing of arguments and counterarguments, bringing into prominence particular points of view, is sophistry. And just as utterances of the Sophists are adduced against which nothing can be said (as they are by Plato), men of our day are urged to all that is good for the very reasons that are reasons to the Sophists. Thus it is said, “do not cheat, else you lose your credit, hence your wealth,” or, “be temperate, or you will spoil your appetite and have to suffer.” Or for punishment men give the external reasons of improvement, &c.; or else an action is defended on external grounds taken from the result.。。。Sophistry thus does not lie so far from us as we think. When educated men discuss matters now-a-days, it may seem all very good, but it is in no way different from what Socrates and Plato called sophistry — although they themselves have adopted this standpoint as truly as did the Sophists.