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Plato's The Crito Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

Plato's The Crito
In life, people are guided by moral beliefs and principles. Whether their beliefs are good or bad, their decisions are based on them. In Plato “The Crito”, Socrates emphasizes his moral beliefs and principles when he decides not to escape from prison. Although Socrates had the opportunity to escape his death sentence, he chose not to do so because he had a moral obligation to commit a sacrifice.
Socrates was being guided by his moral beliefs when he decided not to escape from prison. Socrates informs us of his principle when he says, “[…] my first principle, that neither injury nor retaliation not warding off evil by evil is ever right.”(1). Retaliation and injuring other people is what Socrates did not lived by. For this reason, Socrates knew that if he were to escape, the state would prosecute his family and friends. Consequently, Socrates was afraid that the state would harm his family by depriving them of property or citizenship. His principles obligated him to stay in prison in order for him not to violate his principle of harming others.
Socrates was a man of good principles. He was not afraid of was committing himself as a sacrifice to save his family’s rights. He knew that his situation caused a dilemma that needed to be taken into consideration by reasoning what was right. Socrates says in his dialogue with Crito, “[…] and if I am clearly right is escaping then I will make the attempt, but if not, I will abstain.”(1). in his discussion, Socrates challenges the idea of escaping, but in the latter conversation he explains, “Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to anyone, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.”(1).By saying this, Socrates is not willing to escape because it will be a form of retaliation. His statement clarifies his reasons for not escaping death. Therefore, Socrates was not clearly right in escaping and would have violated his principles.
Socrates did not want to break any of his principles because he reasoned to think that his moral beliefs were more important than his family. Socrates in his dialogue says, “Think not of life and children first, and of justice afterwards, but of justice first.”(1). His idea seems callous towards his personal relationships in life. However, Socrate’s friend, Crito, pursues him when he says, “But you are choosing the easier part, as I=2 0think, not the better and manlier.”(1). Socrates is given this statement by his friend in order to pursue him to change his mind to escape. However, Socrates insists in following good principles according to his wisdom. His friend was now just understanding why Socrates decided to stay in prison rather than escaping his wrongful death sentence.
Socrates motives for not escaping could also be...

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