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A Hoax In Court Essay

1551 words - 6 pages

Albert Einstein quoted, “In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.” (Brainy Quote) Was there truth and justice in the trial of Socrates? First, what is justice? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of justice is the administration of law, especially the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity. Meletus brought an elder man to court for corrupting the youth and for refusing to believe in the gods of the city. 501 Athenian male citizens sat in the jury to judge and base their decisions off Meletus’s accusations and Socrates’ defense to pronounce Socrates as guilty. Who is to declare that a trial has gone through the correct process to fully come to a decision of guilty or not guilty? Is a quick and speedy trial necessarily a just trial? What does Meletus deliver to the jury that helps them come to the conclusion that Socrates is guilty? We answer these questions by examining the justice, if there was any, in the courtroom of Socrates vs. Meletus. When you look at why Meletus brought Socrates to court, the “evidence” that Meletus brought against Socrates, and the length of the hearing, you will see that justice was not carried out in Socrates’ trial.
Socrates’ first charge is for corrupting the young. (Apology, p.27) How is it that one elder man can corrupt the youth for so many years, but is now being convicted just a few years before his death? If the morals and values of young children are being warped or damaged, wouldn’t it take more than one source to completely alter their own personal ideas? Socrates believes that he is the one who improves the youth, not the shady adult who harms their childhood. At the beginning of Socrates’ speech, he asks, “What about the members of Council? – The Councillors, also. But, Meletus, what about the assembly? Do members of the assembly corrupt the young, or do they all improve them? – They improve them. All the Athenians, it seems, make the young into find good men, except me, and I alone corrupt them.” (Apology, p. 28) It should take their peers, their parents, and their teachers to change their impression of a subject or their idea of the gods. As a young child, you are first introduced to religion by your parents, then you go to school and you are then influenced by your teachers and friends. No one person can essentially “corrupt” the youth, but instead there are more sources that are to blame.
Later in his defense Socrates states, “If I corrupt some young men and have corrupted others, then surely some of them who have grown older and realized that I gave them bad advice when they were young should now themselves come up here to accuse me and avenge themselves.” (Apology, p.36) At this point in the trial, not one man comes forward to confess of Socrates’ exploitation or belief in “false gods.” This shows that...

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