The combination of these arguments should have cleared Socrates of the charge of heresy. The second charge brought against Socrates was that of corrupting minors. Socrates battled this charge through the use of the same arguments. The argument that he did not consider himself a teacher, the fact that he never accepted any money for talking or listening to people, and the fact that he believes in gods are what Socrates used to defend himself. By confronting the accusation that he was corrupting the minors, Socrates tried to clear himself by manipulating his arguments so that Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon (the men who brought both charges against Socrates) had to answer questions about these charges.
Impiety is the lack of reverence for the gods and other sacred things. As well another major claim was that Socrates was corrupting the children of Athens. He also was believed to be an atheist, even though Socrates claimed to have a strong belief in the gods; he even believed “The god has commanded me to examine men, in oracles and in dreams and in every which the divine will was ever declared” (pg. 43). Socrates denied all of these charges and claimed his innocence.
Socrates was condemned for three major reasons: he told important people exactly what he thought of them, he questioned ideas that had long been the norm, the youth copied his style of questioning for fun, making Athenians think Socrates was teaching the youth to be rebellious. But these reasons were not the charges against him, he was charged with being an atheist and with corrupting the youth. The charge of being impious was completely absurd because Socrates talked about the gods quite frequently and never stated to anyone that he was an atheist so it would be impossible for him to be an atheist. The charge of corrupting the youth is unjust because Socrates did not tell the youth to copy him and he is not responsible for their actions. The charges against Socrates were merely excuses by his enemies to murder him in a legal way.
Socrates also utilizes the vanity of Athenians that only the few intelligent people such as themselves know about law and education. Second, Socrates claims that if he had corrupted the youth, he would have done it unintentionally, out of ignorance, because all men want to be surround by wise people. Therefore Socrates deserves instruction rather than punishment. The first charge is: “Socrates does injustice by not believing in the God by whom the city believes, but in other dimonia that are novel” (Apology 34c). To respond, Socrates allures Meletus to charge him against the most serious charge of impiety.
In that search he found that none of the men that promoted what they believed that they knew was true was in fact completely false. This made those men so angry that they band together and indicted Socrates on the charges of impiety and the corruption of the youth. Socrates then went to court and did what he could to refute the charges that were brought against him. Socrates starts by speaking of his first accusers. He speaks of the men that they talked to about his impiety and says that those that they persuaded in that Socrates is impious, that they themselves do not believe in gods (18c2).
Plato's Apology At the elderly age of seventy, Socrates found himself fighting against an indictment of impiety. He was unsuccessful at trial in the year 399 B.C. The charges were corrupting the youth of Athens, not believing in the traditional gods in whom the city believed, and finally, that he believed in other new divinities. In Plato's Apology, Socrates defends himself against these charges. He claims that the jurors' opinions are biased because they had probably all seen Aristophanes' comedy The Clouds.
Either way, if there were others, who showed more disrespect, and outright mockery towards the gods, why were they not punished, what made Socrates so dangerous to the Athenians? Meletus claims that Socrates is an atheist in the affidavit, that he teaches others to believe not in the typical Olympian gods but in other gods and demigods. However the defi... ... middle of paper ... ... corrupted testify against him? Unless the only people who consider these youth to be corrupted do not know what Socrates taught these people? Works Cited Plato The Apology http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html (accessed Septermber 24, 2011).
Basically Socrates turns the tables on his accuser and accuses Meletus of "dealing frivolously with serious matters." Socrates says that the youth he supposedly corrupts follows him around on their own free will, because the young men enjoy hearing people and things being questioned. In this line of questioning of Meletus, Socrates makes him look very contradictory to his statements in his affidavit. Socrates then moves on to the second part of his defense. Moving on to the second charge that he does not believe in the Gods accepted ... ... middle of paper ... ...nse and cross-examination of Meletus, he hits on contradictions in the affidavit that Meletus wrote.
"I am better off, because while he knows nothing but thinks that he knows, I neither know nor think that I know" (Socrates). He questioned politicians, poets, and artisans. He finds that the poets do not write from wisdom, but by genius and inspiration. Meletus charges Socrates with being "a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the State, and has other new divinities of his own." In his examination of Meletus, Socrates makes three main points: 1) Meletus has accused Socrates of being the only corrupter, while everyone else improves the youth.
He systematically interrogated the politicians, poets and craftsman. Towards the end of all the interrogation, Socrates tells the jury that he would rather be himself than anyone else. Towards the end, Socrates realized the Oracle was correct; while so-called wise men thought themselves wise and yet were not, he himself knew he was not wise at all, which paradoxically, made him the wiser one since he was the only person aware of his own ignorance. Socrates’ paradoxical wisdom made the prominent Athenians he publicly questioned look foolish, turning them against him and leading to accusations of