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Socrates Apology - Essay Example

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Socrates Apology

He was brought in on four primary charges, namely, that he is spreading sacrilegious ideas in the marketplace, that he is associating with the Sophists, that he is corrupting the young, and that he does not honor the gods of Athens. Surprisingly, this man did not choose to flee the city in the common form of resisting arrest and instead chose to appear before the court and speak in his own defense. It is generally considered a poor choice to have the accused speak for himself, and it could be argued that Socrates didn't do himself any favors in attempting to present his case. However, after participating in the trial, I must admit I strongly disagree with my fellow jurors who have sentenced this man to death. Through his defense against that charges that have been pressed against him, Socrates has caused me to understand just why his actions are so vital to the strengthening and preservation of our fine community. The first charge brought against Socrates was that he was spreading sacrilegious ideas. This charge was levied against him as a result of his conversational habit of constantly challenging others' ideas. When defending himself against this charge, Socrates admitted he did engage in this practice, but not as a means of spreading sacrilege. He instead claims that this idea has been taken out of context and twisted by old enemies of his. He said they tell "of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause” (Apology: 944). Socrates insisted he didn't intend to make people question the gods, but was instead working to understand the Oracle's statement that he was the wisest man alive. As any same man might, Socrates had difficulty believing such a statement and he was forced to undertake a series of inquiries looking ‘into the heavens and earth" to learn why the Oracle might have said such a thing. Rather than an attempt to encourage sacrilege, Socrates said this was a personal journey of discovery to understand how other men think and how he might be different. “At last I went to the artisans, for I was conscious that I knew nothing at all, as I may say, and I was sure that they knew many fine things; and here I was not mistaken, for they did know many things of which I was ignorant, and in this they certainly were wiser than I was. But I observed that even the good artisans fell into the same error as the poets; because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom” (Apology: 947). Rather than attempting to foster sacrilege, Socrates asserted during the trial that he was attempting to open individuals' minds to greater thought, deepening and enriching beliefs, within a non-threatening public sphere. The second charge brought against Socrates was that he was associated with the Sophists. Of course, everyone knows the only purpose of the Sophists is to foster chaos and confusion within the city. They intentionally seek out ways to rebel against the ordered way of life we have established here. Again, though, Socrates insisted he was simply acting in response to the Oracle's pronouncement. As a logical man, it was difficult for him to take the Oracle's word that he was the wisest man alive and he naturally went on a quest to understand why that might be so. There were numerous individuals and groups he felt were wiser than ...Show more

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Instructor name Date Socrates Apology As a dissenting member of the jury sitting within the courtroom on the case reported in Plato’s Apology, I felt it important to write down my thoughts regarding the charges that were brought against one Socrates…
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Socrates Apology Essay essay example
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