In this essay, I will present an argument that shows that Plato will convince Socrates to reconsider his decision to receive the death sentence. Plato would show Socrates that his three reasons for staying to receive his sentence is unjust because his action is fuelled by injustice. I will also show that Socrates will agree with Plato about the unjust consequences that his actions may bring after Plato reasons why Socrates is doing an injustice. Finally, Plato would then proceed to show Socrates that his decision to stay cannot result in happiness and justice which in turn will cause Socrates to re-evaluate accepting his death sentence according to his own ideals of a happy and just life. The first reason Socrates gives for accepting his death sentence is the fact that Athens has provided him with education.
I will provide a brief opening statement. Socrates was accused for corrupting the youth, teaching out of the charge and not believing in gods. These accusation were brought by Melatus, Anytus, Lycon and citizens of Athens. Below I will try to prove that Socrates was not guilty for corrupting young people neither willingly nor unwillingly, he was not a sophist, and also
Socrates didn’t corrupt the youth. Meletus tells Socrates that he does not believe in gods at all. Socrates shows that a person cannot believe in divine activities but not in divinities. He cannot be contradicted; he cannot believe in the gods and not believe in the gods. Socrates uses reasoning and logic throughout his trial.
In Plato's Gorgias, it is apparent that Socrates has no desire to be a good statesman as it is defined in the eyes of the Athenians. His calculation is that Athenian rhetoricians place no reliance on facts or truth, nor are these their aim. Instead, they rely on the illusion of knowledge, and this morally weakens both themselves and their audiences. It is clear however, that if he wishes, Socrates is able to match most or all of the other statesmen in Athens, as is clearly indicated by his very eloquent speech which ends the dialogue. Additionally, under his own definition of a good statesman, it is evident that Socrates is more than qualified.
SOCRATIC PARADOXES Many of Socrates ' beliefs have been characterized as paradoxical because they seem to conflict with common sense. The following are among the Socratic Paradoxes: No body seeks evil No body will commit wrongdoings with his own will All virtue is knowledge Virtue is sufficient for happiness The expression 'I know that I know nothing ', is a renowned phrase from Plato 's account of the Greek philosopher Socrates. This quote from Socrates was an opened door to think and analyse. It has many meanings and interpretations. At one point in time, Socrates ' good friend Chaerephon went to the Oracle at Delphi and asked whether any man was wiser than Socrates.
The first defence was against the claim that he had corrupted the youth, “[I]t’s Meletus who is guilty of playing around with serious matters, of lightly bringing people to trial, and of professing to be seriously concerned about things he has never cared about at all” (Plato, Apology, 24c). By saying this is, Socrates addresses his opinion on Meletus, that Meletus is somebody who knows nothing about a situation, yet brings people to trial and pretends to be concerned about things, when in reality- he never cared. The second defence was against the claim that he philosophized cosmology. Meaning, he studied the earth, emphasizing that he never believed in a God, which made him look as if he lacked impiety. Socrates defence against this was, “You aren’t all convincing, Meletus, not even, it seems to me, to yourself.
In one of founding works of this modern day debate is Plato’s The Apology. Within the greater work, The Trial and Death of Socrates, Socrates’ own defense against the people of Athens begs the questions of whether Athens was a just society. Punished to death, Socrates’ is forever a martyr for his ideals and his debate unjust death begins Plato’s exploration into Justice. Through The Apology, Plato explains how the silencing of Socrates is a harsh injustice due to the democratic nature of his trial that strips the moral absolution from Justice as well as shows that Athens, as society of individualist justice, has failed in instilling order that allows for greater unity as a perfect Whole. Plato elects to transcribe the final defense of Socrate so to highlight why exactly Socrates’ death was unwarranted.
He does indicate that his stand is of the traditionalist, but he is not forcing his choice over anyone. It is just a small hint, a slight nudge towards the direction he would want the Athenians to follow, but the ultimate decision is theirs and theirs only. The ultimate deception occurs in the character of Dionysus- his development from the timorous, almost despicable figure at the beginning of the play to serve as arbiter in a contest of the gravest consequences at its end. The journey that he makes into Hades to bring back Euripides is merely superficial, it is also his journey from illusions and self-deception to realisation and self-knowledge. From the start, one sees Dionysus, as anyone but Dionysus- he is the “son of Winejar”, disguised as Heracles, changing places with his servant Xanthias, but by the end of the play, he has not only regained his identity but also celebrated for the God that he is.
A fool can be satisfied but he will not see all the aspects that Socrates will see. Thus making him ignorant to the reasons for Socrates dissatisfaction. Although Socrates claims to be ignorant himself, he is one of most respected and studied philosophers in history. This shows that he was clearly onto something with his ideals. Socrates might say that the fool’s satisfaction is not the kind that he would want, he would want a much more fulfilling satisfaction than one who seeks common wants such as wealth, fame etc… Would Socrates be satisfied if he knew the answer to every question he or someone else asked?
Briefly, Aristophanes gives a very romantic account of Erôs as the force that Lovers feel as they search for their original over hath, after the Gods spilt humans from 4 limited to 2. Diotima argues that the Lover instead is searching for the Good, and this cannot be done in the searching for the other half as they may not be Good. “People are even willing to cut off their own arms and legs if they think they are diseased I dont think an individual takes joy in what belongs to him personally unless by ‘belonging to me’ he means ‘good’ and by ‘belonging to another he means ‘bad’” (Plato, 1997, p. 488, §205). Meaning that one only ever desires what is Good, and what never what is bad, and so to say that one is looking for their other half means that this other half must be Good but this is not the
Socrates’s official new charge “asserts that Socrates does injustice by corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel” (24b, p. 73). By looking deeper into the dialogue of The Apology and Euthyphro, one can see how passionately Socrates strives to express to the Athenian people his innocence in teaching the youth and worshiping of the gods. Socrates maintains his innocence in teaching the youth for three reasons. Primarily, there is no proof or evidence from past examples in which Socrates has taught the youth because no one has come out and said so. Socrates brings up a valid point that his so-called ‘teachings’ haven’t changed over time and therefore if he is accused
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.