As a Christian, Soctrates is a fascinating character. Sometimes when I read his quotes, it's like reading from the Bible.
"A man who really fights for justice must lead a private life, not a public life, if he is survive for even a short time"
Socrates is Christ-like in that he never wrote of himself, never sought worldly wealth and power, and was executed for stirring the pot of truth. He willingly gave his life for the truth. He was also not much to look at. Like Christ, it says he was not handsome and, as a result, looked down upon.
As for the Golden Rule he said this.
"One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; in the end it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him"
As for being an atheist, I doubt he was since he felt like "God" was talking to him. Again, in a polytheistic culture that killed nonconformists, this is astounding. Also we have gems like this quote.
"I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses, I might blind my soul altogether"
Naturally, like Christ, many even question if Socrates existed. I think this is because this sort of behavior and thinking is not considered to be natural.
I would actually agree that it is not natural because it is of supernatural origins.
Does God stick a Socrates into every culture to be a conscience to any given society?