Apology and the Crito Comparison

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Apology and the Crito Comparison

Socrates was a great thinker and debater dedicated to truth. He spent his golden years walking the streets of Athens in pursuit of wisdom. Socrates lived the destiny that was revealed to him in the Oracle. He created and perfected his own cross-examination technique; we today know it as the Socratic Method. He was thorough and unrelenting. His subjects were often humiliated. Socrates would methodically disprove anyone he thought was wrong. In his eyes, most of the people he interviewed were blind. It did not matter if one was wealthy and influential or if they were young and impressionable. Socrates could question anyone and turn him or her inside out. Unfortunately, he did so without regard to the individual’s feelings.

Because of this unabashed honesty, Socrates ended up being brought to trial. Finally, he angered the people at the top, and he would pay for it. Since he could not be prosecuted solely based on his method, charges of corrupting the youth and of blasphemy were fabricated against him. The humiliation he inflicted was never intentional, but it angered everyone nonetheless. Plato, Socrates’ greatest student, witnessed the trial and narrated it the Apology; the aftermath is noted in the Crito. Socrates seemingly takes on a different stance in each of these stories in regards to obligation to the state. This paper will try to prove just the opposite; Socrates upholds justice in all events. You could in fact call him a patriot.

Socrates believes that when a man perceives the government as acting wrong, he is entitled to peaceful dissent. However, if the man protests and still is not exonerated, then the man had better be prepared to take the punishment, even it means certai...

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..., and thus break the law. The biggest argument Crito makes is this: he believes it will reflect poorly on they and their colleagues if Socrates does not escape. Socrates knows that it will reflect even worse if he breaks the rules he has always lived by and doled out. As an elitist, Socrates cares not for what others may think of him, he knows the only opinion that is truly significant is his own. He says “I cannot abandon the arguments I used to expound in the past simply because this accident has happened to me.” The state may be wrong, but he was tried though due process and respects the outcome nonetheless. Socrates is old; he has lived a long and moral life. He does not fear death, rather welcomes it as a new venture for his philosophy. Thus, Socrates has followed his own principles to his own death. He was truly patriotic to his government until the very end.
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