A Hoax In Court: The Trial Of Socrates

1726 words - 7 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). Were justice and truth a part of Socrates’ trial? The primary question is: 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 residents observed as the jury to magistrate and center 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 procedure to fully come to a judgment of guilty or innocent? Is a brief and speedy trial necessarily a sound trial? What does Meletus deliver to the jury that aids them in reaching the conclusion that Socrates is undeniably guilty? The response to these questions can be attained by examining the lawfulness, if there was any, in the courtroom of Meletus vs. Socrates. By first reflecting on Meletus’ reasoning for bringing Socrates to court, then revealing the “evidence” that Meletus expressed against Socrates, and subsequently noting the length of the hearing, you will perceive that justice did not exist in Socrates’ trial.
Delving into Meletus’ purpose in court, Socrates’ first offense is identified as corrupting the youth (Apology 27). If the morals and values of young children are being warped or damaged, it would take more than one source to completely alter their own personal ideas. Socrates believed that he is the one who improved the youth, not the shady adult who corrupts 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 fine good men, except me, and I alone corrupt them” (Apology 28). It should take the child’s peers, friends, and parents, as well as their teachers to transform their impression of a certain issue or idea of the gods. Young children are first introduced to religion by their parents, and next begin school transferring the greater influence to the teachers and friends of the student. No one person can essentially “corrupt” the youth, but instead, there must be supplementary sources at fault. Likewise, how can one elder man harm adolescents for several years, and just now endure conviction a few years before his own death? Generally, when a person commits a crime, the prosecutor representing society would bring the charge against the defendant immediately following the offense. Socrates had been preaching his knowledge and insight of...

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