Plato's The Crito

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Plato's The Crito

In life, people are guided by moral beliefs and principles. Whether their beliefs are good or bad, their decisions are based on them. In Plato “The Crito”, Socrates emphasizes his moral beliefs and principles when he decides not to escape from prison. Although Socrates had the opportunity to escape his death sentence, he chose not to do so because he had a moral obligation to commit a sacrifice.

Socrates was being guided by his moral beliefs when he decided not to escape from prison. Socrates informs us of his principle when he says, “[…] my first principle, that neither injury nor retaliation not warding off evil by evil is ever right.”(1). Retaliation and injuring other people is what Socrates did not lived by. For this reason, Socrates knew that if he were to escape, the state would prosecute his family and friends. Consequently, Socrates was afraid that the state would harm his family by depriving them of property or citizenship. His principles obligated him to stay in prison in order for him not to violate his principle of harming others.

Socrates was a man of good principles. He was not afraid of was committing himself as a sacrifice to save his family’s rights. He knew that his situation caused a dilemma that needed to be taken into consideration by reasoning what was right. Socrates says in his dialogue with Crito, “[…] and if I am clearly right is escaping then I will make the attempt, but if not, I will abstain.”(1). in his discussion, Socrates challenges the idea of escaping, but in the latter conversation he explains, “Then we ought not to retaliate or rend...

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...ecause in escaping he would be retaliating not just against men, but with the state also.

Socrates moral obligation and principles to do the righteous decision did not hold him from freedom, but instead, his actions exemplified how wisdom cannot be corrupted even when evil is rendered. Had Socrates escaped prison, he would have lived the last years of his life miserably. Socrates would be mocked for being a hypocrite and his credibility would be lost. For this reason, Socrates concluded that he would be loyal to his principles which he taught others to follow and set an example of his life.

Works Cited

(1) “Philosophies & Philosophers” October 1, 2008 Path: Library; The Trial and Death of Socrates. 1
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