The Apology Plato Analysis

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In Plato’s “The Apology, Socrates is on the verge of execution and must convince the jurors to make a just decision. Socrates conveys the justness of his actions through examples of what is just to the jurors as individuals, to society as a whole. He must convince them that it would be unjust to society to convict him of impiety and corruption, rather than to himself. Just actions will be analyzed with examples of courage in grave danger, how just decisions can be altered due to the irrational fear of death, and whether Socrates’ basis of his actions truly is just and compelling.
In order to decide what makes an unjust action harmful, it is important to understand how one decides what is just. In James Rachels’, “The Challenge of Cultural
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For example, he states in passage 28d, “Wherever someone has stationed himself because he thinks it best, or wherever he’s been stationed by his commander, there, it seems to me, he should remain, steadfast in danger, taking no account at all of death or of anything else, in comparison to what’s shameful,” (Plato, 43). Socrates defends his way of life and dismisses the fear of death by explaining that it would be shameful for a soldier to leave their post in the midst of battle due to the fear of death. It is easy for someone to flee a threatening situation; however, the honorable and just person will face the challenge with courage by staying stationed even when confronted with unavoidable death. Socrates compares his philosophic way of life to being stationed on Earth by the gods’ as a commander would station a soldier. Furthermore, just decision making should not be interfered with in the face of death because we simply do not know that death is a bad thing. Socrates explains this further in passage 29a, “You see, fearing death, gentlemen, is nothing other than thinking one is wise when one isn’t, since it’s thinking one knows what one doesn’t know. I mean, no one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all goods for people, but they fear it as if they knew for certain that it’s the worst thing of all. Yet surely this is the most blameworthy ignorance of thinking one knows what one doesn’t know,” (Plato, 44). In this passage, Socrates conveys that because man does not know what the consequences of their own death are, whether it is the worst thing or best thing that can happen to them, it is selfish and irrelevant to let their irrational fears of the unknown interfere with their lifestyle and decisions if they believe themselves to be leading a just and honorable
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