Essay about Socrates Was NOT Guilty

Essay about Socrates Was NOT Guilty

Length: 1660 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


     Socrates, in his conviction from the Athenian jury, was both innocent and guilty as charged. In Plato’s Five Dialogues, accounts of events ranging from just prior to Socrates’ entry into the courthouse up until his mouthful of hemlock, both points are represented. Socrates’ in dealing with moral law was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of by Meletus. Socrates was only guilty as charged because his peers had concluded him as such. The laws didn’t find Socrates guilty; Socrates was guilty because his jurors enforced the laws. The law couldn’t enforce itself. Socrates was accused of corrupting Athens’ youth, not believing in the gods of the city and creating his own gods. In the Euthyphro, Socrates defends himself against the blasphemous charges outside the courthouse to a priest Euthyphro. Socrates looks to the priest to tell him what exactly is pious so that he may educate himself as to why he would be perceived as impious. Found in the Apology, another of Plato’s Five Dialogues, Socrates aims to defend his principles to the five hundred and one person jury. Finally, the Crito, an account of Socrates’ final discussion with his good friend Crito, Socrates is offered an opportunity to escape the prison and his death sentence. As is known, Socrates rejected the suggestion. It is in the Euthyphro and the Apology that it can be deduced that Socrates is not guilty as charged, he had done nothing wrong and he properly defended himself. However, in the Crito, it is shown that Socrates is guilty only in the interpretation and enforcement of Athens’ laws through the court system and its jurors. Socrates’ accusations of being blasphemous are also seen as being treasonous.

In the Euthyphro, Socrates is making his way into the courthouse; however, prior to entering he had a discussion with a young priest of Athens, Euthyphro. This dialogue relates religion and justice to one another and the manner in which they correlate. Euthyphro feels as though justice necessitates religion and Socrates feels the opposite, religion necessitates justice. Euthyphro claims that religion is everything, justice, habits, traditions, customs, cultures, etc. all are derived from religion. Socrates went on to question what exactly would be the definition of pious. Euthyphro offered Socrates three definitions of pious and in all three Socrates was able to successfully find fault...


... middle of paper ...


...ur trials and manage the city in other ways, has in fact come to an agreement with us to obey our instructions (63e). If the decisions of the city’s governing agents are not thoroughly respected as just and cohesive parts of society, the very structure by which the society stands is subject to collapse.

Socrates was not guilty as charged; he had done nothing wrong, as seen in the Apology. Not even a priest could tell Socrates what he had done wrong religiously, Euthyphro wasn’t even able to give Socrates a precise definition of piety. It is then questioned by Crito why Socrates would remain to face a penalty for a crime he did not commit. In the Crito, it is explained why, although innocent, Socrates must accept the penalties his peers have set upon him. It is his peers that will interpret and enforce the laws, not the law which will enforce it. Even if the enforcers don’t deserve attention and respect because they have no real knowledge to the situation, Socrates had put himself under their judgment by going to the trial. Therefore, Socrates must respect the decisions made by the masses because the decisions are made to represent the laws, which demand each citizen’s respect.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Socrates, Guilty Or Not Essay

- Socrates, Guilty Or Not Ancient Athens was the site of a growing culture. Philosophy was among the many improvements and discoveries being made. With these improvements and discoveries, great thinkers were able to stretch out their knowledge to new heights. The society they lived in, both welcomed and shunned their ideals. Socrates was one of these thinkers. It was because of Socrates open-mindedness that he was sentenced to death by two charges brought against him. One, Socrates corrupted the youth and two, Socrates believed in ‘false gods’....   [tags: Phiosophy]

Strong Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Socrates Was NOT Guilty

-      Socrates, in his conviction from the Athenian jury, was both innocent and guilty as charged. In Plato’s Five Dialogues, accounts of events ranging from just prior to Socrates’ entry into the courthouse up until his mouthful of hemlock, both points are represented. Socrates’ in dealing with moral law was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of by Meletus. Socrates was only guilty as charged because his peers had concluded him as such. The laws didn’t find Socrates guilty; Socrates was guilty because his jurors enforced the laws....   [tags: Innocence of Socrates Essay]

Strong Essays
1660 words (4.7 pages)

The Apology of Socrates: Guilty or Innocent? Essay

- The Apology of Socrates: Guilty or Innocent.    In any case of law, when considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and the system itself.  In Socrates' case, the situation is no different.  One may be said to be guilty or innocent of any crime, but guilt or innocence is only as valid as the court it is subjected to.  Therefore, in considering whether Socrates is guilty or not, it must be kept in mind the norms and standards of Athens at that time, and the validity of his accusers and the crimes he allegedly committed.  Is Socrates guilty or innocent of his accusations?            What exactly is Socrates being accused of?  "Socrates is guilty of engag...   [tags: Philosophy essays]

Strong Essays
943 words (2.7 pages)

Is Socrates Guilty As Charged? Essay

- A Brief Comment on the Query: "Is Socrates Guilty As Charged?" In any case of law, when one is considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and of the entity of authority itself. In Socrates case, the situation is no different. One may be said to be guilty or not of any said crime, but the true measure of guilt or innocence is only as valid as the court structure to which it is subject to. Therefore, in considering whether Socrates is 'guilty or not', we must keep in mind the societal norms and standards of Athens at the time, and the legitimacy of his accusers and the validity of the crimes that he allegedly committed....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Strong Essays
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Socrates Is Guilty Of Corrupting The Minds Of The World Around Us Essay

- “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us”-Socrates. Socrates explain that we can only be wise by knowing that we know nothing, meaning being able to understand that not everything in this world we are going to understand and accepting that is true wisdom. Being wise means, having the power of being able to judge properly for what is true or right. In The Apology Socrates must defend himself to save his life when he is brought before the court on a charge that states “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods recognized by the state...   [tags: Knowledge, Truth, Plato, Understanding]

Strong Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Socrates: Guilty or Innocent

- In Plato's, The Apology of Socrates, Socrates was accused and on trial for two charges: that he had corrupted the youth of Athens with his teachings, and, that he advocated the worship of false gods. Socrates taught his students to question everything in a thirst for knowledge. Thus, many politicians were looked at as hypocrites. Because of this, many politicians feared Socrates and wanted Socrates away from Athens. Socrates tried to defend himself against the charges by addressing each accusation....   [tags: World Literature]

Strong Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

Is Socrates Innocent or Guilty? Essay

- Is Socrates Innocent or Guilty. Living in a democracy, everyone is exposed through television and other various forms of media everyday to numerous trials by jury. Usually they are rarely given a second thought, but every once in a while along comes a specific trial which captures the attention of the entire country. This goes the same for trials throughout centuries in our past. Although they did not have the same forms of media as in this, modern era, there were still specific trials in which everyone knew about....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1374 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis Of Socrates 's ' The ' Of The Socrates ' Essay

- In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the voice of the Laws of Athens, which speaks to him and explains why it is unjust to escape the prison. He claims that the citizens are bound to the Laws, and people ought to follow it. If one breaks it, it would cause great harm to the whole country. I will argue that the Athens does not held together by the Laws. I will also claim that neither Socrates nor citizens have an agreement with the laws. Socrates states that the Laws exist for its own purpose....   [tags: Plato, Socrates, Soul, Life]

Strong Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Socrates, Socrates And The Gods Of Athens Essay

- A. Under trial for corrupting youth and not worshiping the Gods in Athens, Socrates takes an attitude that many might interpret as pompous during his trial. Rather than apologise, as Plato’s dialogue title Apology suggests, Socrates explains why he is right and those who accused him are mistaken. He speaks in a plain manner, as if the jury is just another of his followers. Socrates first cites the profit at Delphi for why he behaves in ways that lead to him being under scrutiny of the law. He explains that his friend, Chaerephon, went to ask the oracle if anyone is wiser than Socrates and the oracle responded no (21a)....   [tags: Plato, Socrates, Philosophy, Logic]

Strong Essays
895 words (2.6 pages)

Plato’s Portrayal of Socrates Essay

- Plato’s Portrayal of Socrates The portrayal of Socrates by his student Plato creates one of the most controversial characters of all time. There are few other personalities in history that have drawn criticism and praise from the furthest ends of each spectrum. Socrates has been called the inventor of reason and logic, and at the same time has been condemned as a corruptor and a flake. Perhaps he was all of these. Despite this disagreement, one is a certainty: Socrates had a very interesting and active sense of humor....   [tags: Plato Socrates]

Strong Essays
2381 words (6.8 pages)