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Is It Right to Act in One's Own Best Interest, Or to Obey the State? - Essay Example
Pages 10 (2510 words)
Comparative Essay and Position Paper Is It Right to Act in One’s Own Best Interest, Or to Obey the State? His Obligation to Obey the State Socrates obeyed what he thought to be an unjust judgment. He was offered an easy way to escape by Crito but he refused…
Socrates’ understanding of the legal obligations is based on the personal morality analogies. He argues that there are two key reasons why people are obliged to obey the law; the reasons are gratitude and contract. In gratitude, the law plays a role for us just like the role played by individuals whom we are mandated to be grateful. In contract, Socrates decided to obey all the laws (Green 1). Socrates applies the general moral principle or rule, which he and Crito (his friend) accept as valid after deep reflection. They agree that we are not supposed to harm others, we are supposed to honor our promises, and that we are supposed to respect or obey our teachers and parents. Socrates uses the principle in his case and argues that if he escapes he will do harm to the society, fail to honor a promise, and he will be disobeying or disrespecting his parents and teachers. He then concludes that it is his moral obligation to obey all the city’s laws despite the fact that the sentence and the conviction were wrong (Frankena 1). ...
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