In this paper I will examine why Socrates did not attempt to appease the jury in his Apology. Socrates is put on trial for corrupting the youth and believing in gods other than the gods of the city. I believe he chose not to appease the jury for three reasons: he is a man of pride, he does not fear death and additionally finds it shameful to fear death.
In Apology, Socrates faces possible execution as he stands trial in front of his fellow Athenian men. This jury of men must decide whether Socrates has acted impiously against the gods and if he has corrupted the youth of Athens. Socrates claims in his defense that he wants to live a private life, away from public affairs and teachings in Athens. He instead wants to focus on self-examination and learning truths from those in Athens through inquiry. Socrates argues that "a [man] who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if [he] is to survive for even a short time" (32a). He claims that this is how he has been able to live a long life in Athens and that he never meant any harm to the state. Socrates believes that for
A man is sentenced and put to death for stealing an apple from the grocery store. Where he resides, theft is a capital crime. Was this trial just? Most people would say no, it is immoral and unjust to execute someone for theft, especially for something as small as an apple. Although this is true, this man broke the law, committing a capital crime. The result of a capital crime is execution. Therefore, the laws were upheld and this was a just trial. If laws are not followed, what would be the point of laws? This question arises in Plato’s Apology. The Apology is Socrates’ speech to defend himself in his trial against the charges of corruption of the youth and believing in false gods. This is written by his student, Plato, who was present during this trial. Socrates is sentenced to death for these crimes because during that time, it was
Socrates was a greek philosopher who found himself in trouble with his fellow citizens and court for standing his grounds on his new found beliefs from his studies about philosophical virtue, justice, and truth. In “Apology” written by Plato, Socrates defended himself in trial, not with the goal of escaping the death sentence, but with the goal of doing the right thing and standing for his beliefs. With this mindset, Socrates had no intention of kissing up to the Athenians to save his life. Many will argue that Socrates’ speech was not very effective because he did not fight for his life, he just accepted the death sentence that he was punished with. In his speech he said, “But now it’s time to leave, time for me to die and for you to live.”
Socrates was a man that was in search of the truth about wisdom. However, it became more then just a search when it brought him to trail of accusations. As a philosopher Socrates was known to overdrawn ideas and to frustrate anyone he was talking to. He is always in search of a better idea and for anyone who has experienced Socrates could assume he is making up his own actualities. This becomes evident in “ Apology” written by Plato, where Socrates was brought in charges for corrupting the minds of the youth and not believing in the Gods.
At this point Socrates is already convicted and is given the option to counter his punishment. Instead of begging for his life, Socrates believes that the greatest good of man is to converse about virtue and examine both him and other. In Apology section 29d-30b, Socrates states that he will continue his service to god and he does not plan on stopping his questions. He will meet strangers and question them about their obsession with possessing as much wealth, reputation, and honor while forgoing the truly important things in life, such as wisdom and truth. In this argument, Socrates wants people to stop caring about wealth and the artificial things in life, but rather to focus on body and soul.
Even though Socrates claims to be innocent of the charges brought against him, he is ultimately sentenced to death. After he hears the jury's decision, Socrates is sent to jail to await his execution. Crito arrives before Socrates is scheduled for execution and offers him a chance to escape. Crito believes the jury's decision was unjust. In Crito's eyes, Socrates is innocent and therefore has the right to escape. However, even though Crito believes Socrates has the right to escape, Socrates disagrees with him. He reminds Crito “no human being should do injustice in return, whatever he suffers from others”(Crito, 49c). Socrates argues even if the jury's decision was unjust, it is never permissible for him to do injustice in return and therefore he will not try to escape. In essence, even though Socrates is offered the opportunity to
By breaking the law his soul would be ruined and a ruined soul is not worth living with. This goes back to when he said that the really important thing is not to live but to live well. Also, when he dies he would enter Hades as an outlaw and will not be well welcomed. Therefore, he believes that he should stay and face his execution because it is better to die than to live with a ruined soul. Socrates uses all of these points to support his main argument which is that escaping jail would be morally incorrect.
Plato’s Apology is in the words of Socrates. The apology explains what Socrates though of death as he awaited his death after being condemned for not believing in God. He believed after death, one would either go to another world or be in a state of nothingness. He had the theory of death being a place where one would learn about life and talk to people that no longer walk the Earth. He supports his argument that death is a gain by explaining that he, Socrates, will get to speak to famous poets and past heroes. He mentioned that he would worship the idea of asking them questions, discuss his sufferings to others. He believed that he would win either way because he would be living a better life of finding out who is wide and he could continue his search for true and false knowledge.
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)
Socrates makes the point that after being condemned to death in court had the chance to flee to another country as an alternative punishment. Due to this opportunity there would be no point in breaking the law by escaping when he had already had the chance to leave justly. Socrates has stated that “It is better to die with honour than to live in dishonor” and if he were to escape he would be making a very unjust decision that could lead to many implications. If Socrates were to reside in a new country, he would still be known as a man who breaks the law thus giving him a bad reputation. He could not return to his old ways and teach about justice, goodness, institutions and laws are of highest value to people because he would appear to be a hypocrite.
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. In the Apology, Socrates stated, “my present request seems a just one, for you to pay no attention to my manner of speech-
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.
Socrates was a great philosopher of the Greek world. He was quite an atypical and distinctive person. Being different from all the other philosophers of the land, Socrates was teaching his students ideas totally out of the ordinary from what the society believed was right. As a result, he displeased many people so much that they decided to get rid of him. Socrates was put to trial, accused of spoiling the youth of Athens, tried and sentenced to death. His personal defense is described in works two of his students: Xenophon and Plato. Both of them wrote papers called Apology, which is the Greek word for “defense”. In this essay I used Apology by Plato as the main resource, since it contents a more full account of the trial of Socrates and his words. Despite the fact that the philosopher attempted to defend himself and explain the reasons for saying and doing the things he did, it did not do any good for his justification. On the contrary, Socrates’ words seemed to make the jury harden their hearts and condemn him.