The trial of Socrates in ancient Athens provides the backdrop for "The Apology," calling into question Socrates ' effect on Athens -- whether it was more detrimental or more beneficial. Accused of corrupting the youth and believing in other gods rather than those of the state, Socrates defends himself, in accordance to his own beliefs. Facing the death penalty as retribution for his crimes, he claims that " 'You are mistaken... if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death... He only has one thing to consider in performing an action -- that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one. '" Thus, to Socrates, one 's ideals trumps physical matters of life and death. He also criticizes the Athenians for b...
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...itively affected by it upon its discovery. Instead, he is "... hurtful and useless... the reverse of blind... his keen eyesight is forced into the service of evil, and he is mischievous in proportion to his cleverness..." These people have been corrupted, and use their knowledge of the truth for evil. Self-criticism and self-inquiry prevents this from occurring. If a person constantly checks their life and behavior, they can prevent such negative changes from becoming actualized. Examining and critiquing one 's self results in more self-awareness in one 's thoughts and actions, increasing the chances that one will remain moral and knowledgeable, in pursuit of the truth. This self-inquiry also serves as a check to the soul 's welfare, and constant examining can keep the soul thriving and cared for, leaving the self free from corruption, still knowledgeable and moral.
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