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Socrates' Death - Essay Example

It is against this backdrop that the dikasts sentence Socrates to death by drinking a conium-laced concoction. Rebutting Socrates’ Position Socrates’ appeal that in his philosophical lectures to the youth on the nature and essence of virtue as a way of directing them to be examined, ethical life does not suffice. Calling people to examined and moral lives does not require the ignoble lampooning of the Athenian pantheon of gods. Socrates was fully aware that the Athenians heavily depended on their many deities since Athenians had assigned every force of nature or the environment to a given deity; yet he proceeded to malign these gods. In an instance, he charged publicly that contrary to Athenians’ beliefs, the gods could act neither morally nor whimsically. Given that the youth formed the majority of his audience and public lectures, it was obvious that Socrates was inspiring the youth towards socio-cultural disobedience. The legitimacy or illegitimacy of the gods that Socrates preached against in this case does not matter: what matters most is that the religious system existed to foster communal good, unity and continuity. By extension, Socrates in his teaching was threatening the very unity and continuity of the Athenian community (Blyth, 2000). ...
on and politics were not divided in the Athenian total way of life, Socrates proceeded to advance his stand against the collective and ritualistic views of religion by not participating in these rituals. Socrates was aware that the rulers were considered spokespersons of these deities and thus, by attacking these gods, he was actually disparaging the Athenian oligarchy and political order. The consequences were dire as he indeed knew, but he trudged on with his impious agenda. Thus, Socrates was not only advancing an antireligious onslaught on the Athenian culture but also on Athens’ political stability. Alongside serving in the military (Ephebos) and getting an education, a good citizen of ancient Athens was supposed to exercise his religious duties. Socrates does not observe the religious duties that he owes Athenians fully. Instead, he contravenes this expectation by introducing other gods to the youth and his larger audience. While Socrates is categorical that the sun and moon are inanimate bodies in lieu of Athenian gods, he implies that he believes in gods other than the Athenians’. Socrates also confirms this as he answers Meletus in his unapologetic three hour defense. According to Miller (2000), these concepts underlie contemporary perspectives, except that they are treated as rights and freedoms in lieu of duties. Presently, democracies insist that all have a right to education, the freedom of association and conscience (religious affiliation and beliefs and any career or profession, including the military). The advantage of the contemporary view is that plurality of views in politics and religion is preserved. The shortcoming of this view is that many have not been able to tinker their democratic freedoms and rights with personal responsibilities. ...Show more

Summary

Socrates’ Death Course/Number Date Introduction If there is a matter that has elicited critical historical, philosophical, legal and political debates, it is the trial and execution of Socrates in 399 BC. In the trial, two charges are brought against Socrates: impiety and corrupting the youth…
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