The Innocence of Socrates

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The Innocence of Socrates

The goals of this paper will be to explore the death of Socrates and to support the thesis that the jury at Socrates' trial was not justified in its decision to sentence him to death.
One of the major charges against Socrates in his trial was that of "impiety."
This allegation specifically referred to Socrates' neglect of the accepted public gods of the city and introducing new gods. "Neglecting the public gods" may have referred to Socrates' individualistic optimism when regarding their nature. He believed that the gods were benevolent beings and disagreed with the written legends that depicted them as evil.
Most Greeks did believe the pessimistic theological speculation of popular poets, and
Socrates' failure to follow this trend likely contributed to his being accused of neglecting the gods. As for the charge of introducing new deities, it was actually a common practice for Greek cities to modify their roster of public gods. Therefore, Socrates' only crime may have been doing so on his own rather than following changes in accepted religious dogma.
A second charge against Socrates was that of "corrupting the youth."
Specifically, this referred to the allegation that he made his followers idle, lazy, and weak. He also supposedly undermined parental authority, encouraged disrespect for one's elders, and promised to make youths wiser and otherwise superior to their parents. It was feared that Socrates' teachings would...
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