Socrates Equally Obligated In Plato's Crito

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In the “Crito”, Socrates argues to his friend that he should stay in prison and face the penalties the law had placed upon him despite being able to easily escape and leave Athens. He gives several reasons for this, including the idea that his agreement to Athens is the greatest responsibility he has. Socrates also believes that by doing anything against what has been ruled would be unjust, and thus would be a detriment to his soul. In his opinion, it is not worth living with a ruined soul. I disagree with his rationale and will argue in this essay that his reasons while plausible and appear to be valid at first glance, are actually more normative and not at all necessary. Socrates gives the reason that he is obligated to follow the judgments given by…show more content…
I take issue with him rooting his arguments on what is just and unjust. Socrates states that breaking the law would be unjust, and implies that this is always the case, but I do not think that is necessarily true, just his opinion. Laws are created by people, and people are not always perfect, even the most democratic governments can be imperfect. So even though something is the law, it could be unfair or unjust at the same time. The “social contract” argument falters here; just because one benefitted from a governing body when it was doing its job doesn’t mean they have to abide by it when it makes a bad move. In fact it can be argued that it is necessary to go against the law when the law is truly unjust. An example would be our own democracy and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the laws were wrong, and those who were wronged by it fought back by not obeying the law and protesting it in order to enact change. Since Socrates was imprisoned on wrongful grounds and his accusers were not even serious, this certainly applies to his case, he should have at the very least been able to escape prison without remorse or feeling that he had committed any unjust
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