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Socrates Guilty as Charged

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By mara
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In Plato’s Apology Socrates is being tried by Anytus and Meletus for two new charges: “corrupting the young, and not acknowledging the gods of the city acknowledges, but new daimonic activities instead” (Morgan 2005, 51). Throughout Plato’s Apology and Euthyphro Socrates uses complex rhetoric to challenge the charges brought against him based on his thoughts and understanding of what is right and wrong. He never once states he is not guilty nor does he provide reasons to support his innocence. He suggests rather that he is on a divine mission stating “this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is no greater blessing for the city than my service to the god” (Morgan 2005, 55). Socrates uses his trial as an opportunity to show inconsistencies in the charges themselves, through questioning his accusers. Socrates remains true to him-self, a philosopher, and finds fulfillment out of the process rather than the outcome “…for the unexamined life is not worth living for men…” (Morgan 2005, 60) Socrates should be found guilty as his intentions to continue to practice the life of a philosopher may not have been morally wrong, his methods however unlawful during Athenian times. Socrates was not a member of a modern day society where innovative thought was encouraged, and freedom of speech tolerated. He chose to be a member of Athenian society therefore needed to conform to the requirements set out by the city. Suggesting other God’s and questioning the Gods of the city do not meet the requirements of the city. He ultimately does corrupt the young through speaking his beliefs in public forums, and captivating the youth during these discussions. Furthermore he does threaten democratic Athens as he challenges their political system by questioning it and encouraging others to do the same. The charges are not of what is just or unjust but rather did Socrates corrupt the

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