February 26, 2015
Essay # 1
Is it ever permissible to break the law when you’re accused of an injustice law? To some individuals it is okay to break the law in certain circumstances because not all laws are in place to protect us, but there is a thin line between what is wrong and what is right. In The Trail and Death of Socrates, Socrates refused to escape from jail even though it would mean saving his life. One should live rightly, he believed. In this paper I will analysis how Socrates reach the outcome that escaping from jail is wrong. At 70 years old, Socrates was accused by general prejudices that he was a physicalist and a sophist, investigating things beneath the earth and in the skies. He was also accused by Meletus and Anytus of corrupting the youth and impiety. He defended him during his trial and was found guilty. I think that it was bad idea for him to represent himself in court because people would expect him to stay good things about himself but when you hear it from another individual it would seem more real.
I feel as though maybe is Socrates could have won his case if he reasoned with whom he was being accused by rather than speak the truth about what he was doing because not everyone would understand from his perspective. They see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. Socrates wasn’t trying to convince them that he was innocent; he wanted them to understand who he was. Even after he explained his part Socrates was sent to prison to wait for his execution.
What stood out to me the most was the fact that Socrates did not fear death. He states, “I did not think then that I ought to stoop to servility because I was in danger, and I do not regret now the way in which I pleaded my case. I would much rather die as the result of this defense than live as the result of the other sort.” His lack of fear of death helped him to live better because that means that he appreciated his life and he would die knowing that he never did wrong. He said, “The difficulty is not so much to escape death; the real difficulty is to escape from doing wrong” When it comes to human nature everyone has the need to do wrong things when they are benefiting themselves.
While awaiting his execution Socrates was visited by his friend Crito who tried to convince him to escape and go to another city. Crito argued why Socrates should escape and Socrates argued why he shouldn’t and accept the death penalty. Crito's argued that if Socrates does not escape, then he will hurt Crito in two ways. On the one hand Crito will lose a good friend when Socrates dies, and on the other, Crito's reputation will be hurt. It seem like Crito was more concern about himself. Unlike Crito, Socrates didn’t care about what people had to say about the situation. He felt as though there were more important people that they should pay attention (Crito, 44b-c).
Crito informed him that if he was worried that by escaping he will harm his friends who could get in trouble for helping him escape, then he should forget about it because they were willing to take any risks to help him escape. He also mentioned it is cheap to pay off both the informers and anyone who might tell on them, so there won't be much risk (Crito, 44e-45b). Money was just as powerful back then as it is now. Socrates was concern about how he would escape but that wasn’t the main reason why he didn’t want to. Crito knew the most important thing to Socrates was his children. Crito mentions Socrates reasonability to his children. To make sure that his children are brought up well and educated, and he can't do this if he is dead. He points that a good man would see that his children are cared for. Crito says that staying in jail is the easy thing to do, but escaping takes courage, and the right thing, the good thing to do is to be brave for the sake of his children (Crito, 45c-d). I don’t think saying in jail is easy to do; neither is leaving your