Socrates was born in fairly turbulent times. Athens had been form in the wake of the Persian invasion and was in the process of becoming an empire of itself. When the Athenians executed their remaining leadership for failing to retrieve the bodies of their comrades in a using a trial against Athenian law. two mistakes were committed. First, was weakening of their military, which they would pay for later, and the second was the disregard of their own laws. Imagine the impression this would make to an individual like Socrates. I believe the root of his
In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus.
It is challenging to lead a private life while truly fighting for justice. A man can fight for justice through examining the greatest issues in human nature that Socrates found essential to the private life. However, this knowledge can have the biggest effect when brought into the public life such as through teachings. These two things can then combine to reflect how the state should be changed. Socrates sometimes crossed this line himself, even if unknowingly. Through becoming a teacher of the young men who followed him in Athens, Socrates effectively began to enter the public life. He was able to influence others through sharing his conclusions of justice, self-examination, and piety, and by asking relentless questions. Socrates effectively showed that an individual can live a private and a public life, even if Socrates was not directly involved in the policy-making in Athens. An individual can combine these two aspects of life in a productive way allowing her/him to live a full existence. These individuals can become teachers, politicians, and activists who use their focus on justice and piety in their private lives to advocate and create laws that promote true justice for the rest of the
In this paper I will argue that Socrates’s argument at 50a-b of the Crito would be not harming his fellow citizens by breaking the laws. Based on the readings from Plato’s The Five Dialogues, I will go over the reasoning of Socrates’ view on the good life. I will then discuss the three arguments Crito has for Socrates regarding his evasion of the death sentence including the selfish, the practicality, and the moral arguments. I will deliberate an objection to the argument and reply to the objections made in the paper and conclude with final thoughts.
One of Socrates' main reasons for refusing to escape prison is because he is committed to a social contract. In essence, the social contract is the implicit agreement between Socrates and the polis. It argues that if Socrates stays in Athens, he tacitly agrees to abide to Athenian laws. Socrates explains the concept of the social contract when he imagines how the laws would depict it. The laws explain “whoever stays here...
“May it be for the best. If it so please the gods, so be it.” (Cooper 44). Socrates states that if it pleases the gods then thats whats supposed to happen. Socrates has his morals that he grew up with and so does everyone else. On his way to his death some might say he should escape since his trial is unjust. Some might argue, like Socrates, that it isn't right for him to escape and go against his word. His friend Crito is trying to argue the reasons why Socrates is in the right for escaping, while Socrates is arguing the opposite, why his morals will not allow him to do so.
Socrates argues that the city of Athens would be affected if he escapes from prison. By escaping from prison, he would be breaking the laws of the city. Since the laws all together are seen as one, by breaking one law he would be breaking all the laws. In order for a law to be legitimate, the citizens of the city must follow the laws. If the law is broken, it is no longer a legitimate law. This is why Socrates
Since the day of the judgment between Athens and Socrates in 399 year B.C. many historians, philosophers, and students wonder to know whether Socrates was Guilty. Philosopher was accused in corrupting the youth, not believing in the recognized gods and introducing new divinities and in the rejection of civic life in democratic society. It is very difficult to answer on this question, may be even impossible.
Socrates believes that justice benefits the just, but also benefits the city (other people) too. He is faced with a seemingly simple choice, escape Athens or remain in prison and be sentenced to death. Socrates’ central argument against escaping his circumstances is twofold. First, Socrates argues that “one must never do wrong.” (49b) In other words, one should never do an injustice. And likewise, “one should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you.”(49d) It is from this argument that Socrates outlines why he must not escape, for it would be to wrong the city that made him. No matter what the city may have done to him, he must never act against it in retaliation. Socrates bases this view of justice on the worth of living a good life. “And is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted by unjust actions” (47e) If we corrupt our soul with injustice, our life would not be worth living, therefore one must never commit an injustice. “When one has come to an agreement that is just with someone, one should fulfill it.”(49e) It is this agreement with the Laws that Socrates would be violating, if he were to
He says, “I do not corrupt, or if I do corrupt, I do it involuntarily, so in both cases what you say is false” (26a, p. 75). He continues by saying that if he corrupts involuntarily, “the law is to bring in those in need of punishment, not learning” (26a, p. 75). This further points out Socrates’s innocence. He believes that he would need to learn of his wrongdoings rather than be punished because he doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions. In his innocent eyes, all he did was go out to talk and question the Athenian people. Although at times there may have been youth following him as he went out to question others, they simply were just there to listen. In the event that the youth may have come up with ideas of their own based off of Socrates’s conversations they heard, that is not direct teaching from Socrates. This is like when a parent tells their child not to touch a hot stove, yet the kid goes and touches it anyway. Children have a mind of their own regardless of what they have been told is right or wrong. In this instance, the children generate their own beliefs and ideas from within themselves, not through Socrates. All Socrates wants is to “take care of the young first, so that they will be the best possible, just as a good farmer properly takes care of the young plants first, and after this of the others as well” (2d, p.
Socrates started his life as an average Athen citizen. His parents worked, making an honest living. But as Socrates grew up, he began to realize that his mind questioned things and wondered how come no one else questioned the same things or at least think about the answers to the questions that were not answered. So, as his mind kept wandering, he began to acknowledge the questions that were not answered and sought for those answers. He ended up believing and teaching things to other people, whether it went against the way the Athen government or not, he still continued his work. Making enemies and becoming the topic of conversation, the Athenians began to view Socrates as a threat to their beliefs and way of life and sought to end it. In order to end this, Socrates was accused of blasphemy (Mod1SlideC7). Socrates’s accusers took him to court and after Socrates did not play their game by asking to be sent into exile, and in the end, he was sentenced to death. After reading the textbook and Plato’s writing influenced by Socrates, I realized that in the period of his life Socrates was indeed truly a threat to the Athens society, because he looked for answers that no one else bothered to find which challenged their culture.
According to Socrates perspective, the democracy of Athens was corrupt and even though they courts were made in such a way that everyone was judged fairly, it wasn’t such because there were no rules or principles set forth. When a person was brought to court in the Athenian court and the person spoke against the jurors or offended them, he or she could be prosecuted based on that. In summary, judgment was passed based on emotion rather than on justice.
1. A living well argument – to do an unjust action ruin one’s soul, life is not worth living with a ruined soul. Conclusion, the most important thing is not life but living a moral and just life. 2. Consequences for Athens argument – if I escape from jail, then the laws of Athens will be destroyed, to destroy the laws of Athens harms the citizens and harming other is harming ones own soul, and last but not least, it is better to die than to live with a ruined soul. In conclusion, therefore I should stay in jail and accept the death penalty. 3. Agreement argument – if I escape, then I will break an agreement I made with this city, to break an agreement is an unjust action, doing unjust actions harms the soul, and it is better to die than to live with a ruined soul. In conclusion, Socrates should stay in jail and accept the death penalty. In conclusion Crito's arguments are very narrow. The one strong argument he gives about children is effectively refuted by Socrates. Socrates' consequential argument is not necessarily compelling, but if we accept his primary argument about only lives that are lived well having value, then his second argument concerning his agreement with the state to follow its laws is a compelling one, therefore Socrates was right to decide to remain in
Socrates was placed in prison by the unjust laws of his accusers. Yet, after Socrates’ sentencing, he obeys the laws of staying imprisoned and is determined to not escape. Also, he does not commit bribery to the guard. In a way, the laws are both good and bad in Plato’s Crito. The laws, or in fact the accusers, unjustly put Socrates in prison and did not give him a fair trial, instead chose to execute. The laws are suppose to protect the society and its people, yet when the order of the government turns corrupt, then the validity of everything is at stake. As one can see, the corrupt laws placed Socrates in prison and he chose to abide by the impartial laws in order to be consistent and loyal to the
major principle that comes out of Thoreau’s text that Socrates would agree with is that in the