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 the Crito by Plato, Socrates argues against civil disobedience, seeing it as an unjust act. Contrasting this view, Martin Luther King argues for civil disobedience against unjust laws, and seeing it as a responsibility of citizens. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain law, commands or requests of the government. I will argue that the view of Socrates is superior to the view of Martin Luther King on the justness of civil disobedience. Using the argument against harm, I will show that even if a law is viewed as unjust, you must not repay an evil with another evil, as evident in the Crito while contrary to ideas presented by MLK. I will also show that civil disobedience is an action in which it is probable that anarchy will
In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X both strived to influence equality amongst the Black and white society. These Civil rights leaders fought for what they stood for in many different ways. Such as, King influenced the movement through non-violence, whereas Malcolm X wanted to react with a violent approach. These two Civil rights leader’s differences were influenced by their experiences and contrasting backgrounds. Martin was raised surrounded by a middle class family and was provided with quality education, where he later grew up to be an Baptist minister which influenced his Christian belief in using nonviolent civil disobedience in his movement. Whereas, Malcolm X grew up in an underprivileged environment jumping from foster homes with
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.
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. depict a society that was built on the remnants of slavery within “Racism: The Cancer that is Destroying America” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. depict a society that was built on the remnants of slavery. With racism and segregation at the core of everyday life, both men joined the Civil Rights Movement with determination to make a change. Working towards the common goal of African American civil rights during the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X took a stand for civil justice in contrasting ways. Within their writing, both men used the theme of racism to convey a direct tone, used differing keywords and phrases, and referenced religious beliefs.
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
Out of the three quotes, Socrates quote, best outlines my philosophy. In the words of Socrates, “An individual must do what his city or country demands of him or he must change their view of what is just.” This quote is basically saying that we have to follow what the majority of society believes, or change the view of society to what our definition of “just” is. Slavery is a great example because at one point it was accepted by the majority of society. Then much of society started to rebel against the idea, and realized that owning another human being was wrong. Now the idea of enslaving another person would be greatly disputed and rejected.
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
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.
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
Martin Luther King often seeks inspiration from the Bible as well as from notorious philosophers of the Ancient Greeks such as Socrates, Plato and Odysseus. MLK was mostly inspired by how they guided their actions, making them harmonic with its justice. He will employ similar themes that pertain to lack of power and its relationship with freedom and justice: doing what is right ethically. It is very astonishing to observe how Antigone and Letter from Birmingham Jail are akin, despite being written at two different decades. In both cases, they fight for the good of society. Both Antigone and Martin Luther King used nonviolent protests in their actions to express their opposition by doing what they believed was morally right. A prime example
Throughout time, people have been yearning to live in a society where all is morally correct. Every individual may have a different set of morals or varying definitions of what exactly is just and what is unjust, but almost all are willing to fight for what is right. As a matter of fact, it is the responsibility of the people to fight against injustices and search for order in a society led by rulers who impose unjust laws. However, Sophocles’ Antigone and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail both show how there are costs in this fight for moral preservation. These costs come in the form of civil disobedience and taking a stand among a conforming society, while also risking one’s self and possibly suffering in the process.
major principle that comes out of Thoreau’s text that Socrates would agree with is that in the