I am going to discuss the argument of Socrates being a corrupter of the youth of Athens and does not receive the gods of Athenian belief but introduces other divinities. To corrupt the youth Socrates would have had to do them harm, which he did not. Socrates claims if he did corrupt the youth he did so unknowingly. (Plato’s Apology 125) Meletus claims that Socrates is an atheist that does not believe in the gods of the state. (Plato’s Apology 143)
In my essay I will argue that Socrates was not an evil-doer and corrupter of the youth, who does not receive the gods whom the state receives, but introduces other new celestial beliefs by showing Socrates did believe in the gods and did not intentionally corrupt the youth of Athens.
Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens and not receiving the gods that the state believed in and was teaching of other divinities to the youth of Athens. In the eyes of public opinion Socrates was identified with the teachers of physical science and the Sophists. Socrates, however, declares that he is not one of them because he claims to know nothing of natural philosophy. (Plato’s Apology 56) There was no proof that what Socrates did was destructive to the youth therefore it cannot be corrupt. He simply questions the ignorant, who think they are knowledgeable and examines them. Socrates is then put on trial. He presents himself in front of the jury without preparing his defense ahead of time. However, he puts up a valiant defense to the jury while trying to discredit Meletus at the same time and never defies his values, even in the face of death. Socrates claims he did not intentionally corrupt the youth of Athens and gives supporting reasons why he is not at fault for their actions. (Plato’s Apology 329) Socrates does not accept money for what he does nor does he seek material or political gain from his actions. Meletus is accusing Socrates of something that is not his fault. Socrates claims that Meletus should have come to him in private and asked him to stop, if Meletus truly thought he was corrupting the youth. (Plato’s Apology 335) Meletus views Socrates as a downright atheist. Socrates defies that accusation with the notion that he has to believe in the gods if he believes in the son of gods and divine things which Socrates does believe. Meletus believes that Socrates alone is the corruptor of youth and all other Athenians improve them. (Plato’s Apology 319) Socrates believes that if Meletus is correct, there would be only one person in the world able to train a horse, all others would just ruin the training. (Plato’s Apology 319) Socrates claims Meletus is careless and really does not care about the matter at hand. He obviously is not admitting any fault, which he clearly shows by responding to his charges that not one of them is true. Socrates does not apologize for anything throughout the speech. He feels like he successfully defends himself by explaining that his ill reputation is simply a product of his supreme knowledge. The oracle of Delphi helped him realize that he is smarter than most men because when asked of the oracle “if there was any man wiser than Socrates; and the answer was, that there was no man wiser”, which leads Socrates to believe that he is wiser than most men (Plato. Apology 65). Socrates believes that he is not at fault because it was his duty to God to spread ideas to those who were believed to be knowledgeable. (Cliffs Notes 1) Socrates also defends himself by constantly questioning his accuser Meletus. Socrates calls him highly insolent and uncontrolled. Socrates is trying to relegate the charges against him. Socrates does not have any guilt or regret for his actions. He states, “Someone will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to