A Critique Of Socrates' Guilt In The Apology

1133 words - 5 pages

In any case of law, when one is considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and of the entity of authority itself. In Socrates case, the situation is no different. One may be said to be guilty or not of any said crime, but the true measure of guilt or innocence is only as valid as the court structure to which it is subject to. Therefore, in considering whether Socrates is 'guilty or not', we must keep in mind the societal norms and standards of Athens at the time, and the legitimacy of his accusers and the validity of the crimes that he allegedly committed. Having said this, we must first look at the affidavit of the trial, what exactly Socrates was being accused with: 'Socrates does injustice and is meddlesome, by investigating the things under the earth and the heavenly things, and by making the weaker speech the stronger, and by teaching others these same things.'1 In breaking this charge down, we see that it is two-fold. Firstly, Socrates is charges with impiety, a person who does not believe in the state gods of Athens and, not only that, but by its literal meaning, does not believe in the authority of gods at all. To this, Socrates seems baffled. He states that the reason behind the 'criminal meddling', the questioning of people's wisdom, was commissioned to him by the gods through the Oracle of Delphi. As Socrates said, '...but when god stationed me, as I supposed and assumed, ordering me to live philosophizing and examining myself and others...that my whole care is to commit no unjust or impious deed.'2He even seems to win a victory over one of his accusers, Meletus, in questioning this point. As Socrates points out, it is impossible for him to be both atheistic and to believe in demons, or false gods, for if he believes in the latter, then that would contradict his not believing in gods at all (since even demons are considered to be at least demi-gods).The second part of the charge was that Socrates was attacking the very fabric of the Athenian society by corrupting its citizens, namely the youth. In other words, Meletus and the other accusers are accusing Socrates of a crime of 'non-conformity' - instead ofpage 2bowing to those who are held in places of authority and those who have reputations of being wise, Socrates believes that it is his role in life to question these people in their wisdom, and to expose those who claim that they are knowledgeable and wise, but who really are not. This nation of questioning the legitimacy of those in power would certainly not be called a 'crime' by today's standards, nor would it really have in Athenian time. The true nature of this charge was vengeance carried out on the part of the power-holders of Athenian society: the politicians, poets, manual artisans. Socrates, in effect, made fools out of these people, exposing their speeches are mere rhetoric than actual wisdom and knowledge. By being a teacher as such, but never collecting any fees and therefore innocent...

Find Another Essay On A Critique of Socrates' Guilt in the Apology

The Apology of Socrates: Guilty or Innocent?

954 words - 4 pages The Apology of Socrates: Guilty or Innocent?    In any case of law, when considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and the system itself.  In Socrates' case, the situation is no different.  One may be said to be guilty or innocent of any crime, but guilt or innocence is only as valid as the court it is subjected to.  Therefore, in considering whether Socrates is guilty or not, it must be kept in mind

The Readings of The Apology of Socrates and Crito

1527 words - 6 pages The Readings of The Apology of Socrates and Crito Throughout the readings of The Apology of Socrates and Crito I have found that Socrates was not a normal philosopher. It is the philosopher's intention to question everything, but Socrates' approach was different then most other philosophers. From one side of the road, Socrates can be seen as an insensitive, arrogant man. He did indeed undermine the laws so they fit his ideals, leave

Four Charges Brought Agains Socrates in the Apology by Plato

1380 words - 6 pages This essay I will talk about four charges that were brought against Socrates in the work Apology by Plato. After describing the charge I will then go on to talk about why I think each of them are completely fake. There were four charges that were brought against Socrates. They were that he argued the weaker claim over the stronger claim, that he argue the physical over the metaphysical, that he was against the gods and that he was corrupting the

Plato's account of Socrates Apology

2091 words - 9 pages Plato's account of Socrates' Apology In Plato's account of Socrates' apology, Socrates is brought to trial on the charges that he corrupted the youth of Athens through his teachings, and that he did not believe in the gods that the state believed in. Throughout the account, the argument against him comes across as unreliable and biased. Therefore, Socrates is innocent of the charges laid against him by Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon due to the

Plato’s Apology: Socrates The Fearless

1030 words - 5 pages Plato’s Apology takes place when Socrates is put on trial in front of the city of Athen’s leaders. It is here Plato speaks his own version of a speech given by Socrates to defend himself. Socrates makes it as clear as he can that he is not afraid of the death sentence verdict he is given and that if he did not receive it, he would continue to question life the way he always has. No signs of fear or anxiety are evident during his speech, which

A Hoax in Court: The Trial of Socrates

1726 words - 7 pages this is the charge against me, that they are others. Or whether you mean that I do not believe in gods at all, and that this is what I teach to others; (Apology 29) This illustrates that Socrates has no distinct understanding of why he is in the court room, because he truly is a pious man. Before he was taken to court, Meletus should have filed a claim stating precisely his allegations against Socrates. Instead, it appears like Meletus

Argument in the Apology

874 words - 3 pages The main argument in The Apology by famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato is whether, notorious speaker and philosopher Socrates is corrupting the youth by preaching ungodly theories and teaching them unlawful ideas that do harm to individuals and society. In his words Socrates quoted the prosecution’s accusation against him: “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in supernatural things of his own invention

The Apology: the accusations against Socrates leading to his death

1202 words - 5 pages The ApologyThe accusation held by the prosecutors against Socrates is impiety (not believing in Athenian gods). ??especially now, when I am being tried for impiety on the indictment of Meletus.? From Socrates? enemies' point of view, he is guilty of impiety for not supporting the religious views found in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Socrates believes Homeric religion as improper. His accusers say that he is a natural scientist who only uses

The Guilt of a Great man

710 words - 3 pages Hans Hubermann felt guilty because he was confused about why Erik Vandenburg would die for him. Hans felt unworthy of what Erik did. He channeled this guilt into different emotiions and actions. Hans had the compassion to take Liesel in as one of his own, he had no problem with working through her problems. Hans stepped out of the social normality at the time to help a Jewish shop-keeper paint his vandalized door. He also took Max Vandenburg, a

The Apology in the Cheeseburger

1945 words - 8 pages In the weeks he was attending the precinct, he took pride in the knowledge that he was never actually late (first day notwithstanding). However, now that he was more than 2 hours late, he idly wondered if it was pointless to even show up at all. Walking the few blocks from the coffee shop to the precinct (he thought he could bribe the detective with coffee), he marveled at the fact that he could actually go a precinct. Regardless of the reasons

The Apology in the Cheeseburger

2678 words - 11 pages , admiring his kid,but also knowing the little things that marked her baby as such would soon be a part of the past. His baby was growing older, and he'd try to hold on to the little moments as if his life depended on it. And in some ways it did. Escaping from the single mothers that always seemed to smell him as soon as he arrived to the park, he found a bench, a perfect place from which he could keep an eye on Alexis. Most of the times his

Similar Essays

Socrates In The Apology Essay

1022 words - 4 pages are very powerful. He believed that life was a prison, some sort of an illness and cannot be as great at a dreamless sleep. He felt like our life, if it's not being examined then it is not worth living. It's important to thrive for knowledge and we should face death with no fear. Why be fearful of death if we don't have a definite answer as to what waits for us on the other side?Socrates mentions in the Apology; "To fear death, gentlemen, is no

The Apology Of Socrates Essay

1093 words - 5 pages Socrates is at the age of seventy and appearing in a law court for the first time. For the people of Socrates time is accusing Socrates, for miss leading the youth corrupting them and boasting about being wise, causing him to become very unpopular. Socrates says to the jury I am going to speak the whole truth, for it is me by myself that I have to defend. He says my accusers are many and I don’t know them, they say, “you should be careful not be

Women In The Apology Of Socrates

1404 words - 6 pages Women in the Apology of Socrates The most striking thing about women in the Apology of Socrates is their absence from where we might expect them. Only two specific women are mentioned: 1) the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, who answers Chaerephon's question that no one is wiser than Socrates (21a); and 2) Thetis, the mother of Achilles (who himself is not mentioned by name but only referred to as the "son of Thetis"), who warns him

The Presentation Of Socrates' Arguements In Plato’s Apology And Crito

967 words - 4 pages In both Plato’s Apology and Crito, Plato presents Socrates arguments clearly and precisely. Socrates is wise man with a different perspective on life, which presents us with a mass of contradictions. Socrates is an expressive man, yet he never recorded any works. He is ignorant, but wrongfully convicted who is willing to fight his unjust execution. Behind these dilemmas is an opposition not often explored. Socrates is the most patriotic of