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Explain Socrates' claim that the unexamined life is not worth living (Apology) - Essay Example

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Explain Socrates' claim that the unexamined life is not worth living (Apology)

Therefore, Socrates claimed that for a human being to live a worthy life, everyone should question, examine and re-examine the values of their lives daily. This paper explores the meaning and the significance of the Socrates claim that “the unexamined life is not worth living” focusing on the Apology and Euthyphro. The words, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’ by Socrates comes from Plato’s Apology when Socrates is sentenced to death after being accused of corrupting the youth and impiety. Patterson (16) posits that apology is one historical account of Socrates’ defense during his trial, and these words appear at the end of the Apology when Socrates is going through possible punishments for charges against him. Socrates utters these words when the jury has already found him guilty and has to decide on what kind of punishment to impose on him, which was agreed to be a death sentence. After being sentenced to death, he has to choose an alternative punishment like life sentence or exile but he declines the offer claiming that giving up philosophy would be disobedient to god. Therefore, by ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’, Socrates meant that he was ready to face death instead of living a simple life where he is not capable of examining claims of knowledge from other people, to challenge them and be able to ask them hard questions about reality. He urged people to be concerned about virtue to examine themselves and others because unexamined life is not worth living (Patterson 15). The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro revolve around the issue of piety. Briefly, both Socrates and Euthyphro are involved in this aspect of piety. Euthyphro suggests that piety is all about prosecuting anyone who is guilty of murder but after challenged by Socrates, he states that piety is something that is dear to gods, arguing that piety is what all the gods love whereas impiety is what all the gods hate. Socrates refused to accept many popular tales about activities of gods (Patterson, 11). According to Socrates, piety represents unexamined life, which is not worth living, and as such, he was accused of creating new gods and ignoring the traditional Athens gods. Therefore, by stating that unexamined life is not worth living, Socrates was informing individuals to look within and get the true value of life by carefully analyzing their actions in order to live a happy life where no one gets hurt. Critical examination of life is necessary as it involves evaluation of events from both the past and present. Through this, one is able to learn from the past mistakes and correct them, watch his actions and live a more fulfilling life; this is because without thorough examination of life, life is worthless. In a situation where a person fails to examine his life, he will keep on repeating past mistakes and stagnation is inevitable. People should try to be virtuous, try to find out and realize what they do not know in life to have a broader view of the world (Kamtekar 154). Socrates claim about unexamined life is unworthy can be seen as implying that a life without introspection, with no personal reflection is totally a waste since lack of self-understanding and analysis is likely to lead to repetition of past mistakes and blaming others. Failure to have a deep personal understanding makes a person to live unexamined life. Moreover, lack of meaningful life and progress is a waste of time; it ...Show more


Name Tutor Course Date The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living “The unexamined life is not worth living,” is a familiar saying that Socrates said at his trial for heresy, that is, encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs and think of themselves instead and this led to his death sentence…
Author : warrenhane
Explain Socrates claim that the unexamined life is not worth living (Apology) essay example
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