The Defense of Socrates Essay

The Defense of Socrates Essay

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The Defense of Socrates begins with Socrates stating he does not know if his fellow Athenians, his jury, have been persuaded by his accusers. This is a crucial statement because Socrates explains how of the many false claims that his accusers have made, one particularly can be proven as untrue. His accusers have sent out a warning that Socrates is a “clever” speaker and he clarifies that he would admit that he is an orator if a “clever speaker” is one who speaks the truth. (17b) He states that although he has no experience with the court of law, he will speak the truth. He stated that “You shall hear my points made spontaneously in whatever words occur to me--persuaded as I am that my case is just…because it would not be at all fitting at my age, gentleman, to come before you with artificial speeches.” (17c) In return for his promise, Socrates requests that it would only be fair to disregard his manner of speaking and only focus on whether his actions were just.
Next, Socrates outlines how he will defend himself against the charges or corrupting the young, being atheist, and inventing new gods. He opens, suggesting that “He has been accused by people who have spoken the truth. These people have said that there is one Socrates, a “wise man” who ponders what is above the earth, investigates everything beneath it, and turns the weaker argument into the stronger.” (18b) But, the people that have “accused” him can’t be put on the witness stand and cross-examined and instead Socrates has to engage in shadow-boxing for defense, and cross examine with no one to answer.
Socrates then addresses the true reason and foundation for his bad reputation and behavior. He implies that it has nothing to do with corrupting the youth or being a...


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...shment, he states that it is not is not worth living. I agree with this because if you decide to be ignorant and not examine your life, which was only possible before man had the temptation of the forbidden fruit, you will be stuck in perpetual motion, forever misled to attain the “good” you are aiming for. By examining our lives, as philosophers have concluded, we can become aware of our patterns of behavior and adjust them so they will not recreate the negative components of our past. In addition we can all help ourselves find the purpose in everything we do, especially when we are faced with many opportunities daily to decide between what’s convenient for us and our commitments to truth and reason. No, philosophers do not think about this theory to much because without knowledge of anything, how can we as humans exercise our privilege of free will rationally?


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