Socrates

Topics: Plato, Law, Human rights Pages: 3 (456 words) Published: April 6, 2014

I.It is highly debatable how far an individual can truly separate the laws of a state

from the people who apply them. Socrates poses the question: should the individual

obey the state every time the state asks something of him or her? Socrates’ believes

that an individual of the state has an obligation to that state and its laws. However, in

return, the state cannot ask its citizens to do anything unjust. Socrates is willing to

disobey the laws of state because he is afraid to do anything unjust.

When Socrates is sentenced to the death penalty he replies by telling the jury

that there children are going to turn against them because they have put to death an

innocent person. He is confident he has done the right thing because, he says, he hears

a voice when he is about to do something wrong saying “don’t do it.” In his ending

speech he says that death may not be a punishment, maybe death is a never ending

sleep. Socrates states that a just person has nothing to fear and sooner or later the jury

will pay for being unjust.

When trying to convince Socrates to escape from jail, Crito tries to persuade

Socrates to believe that being in jail is unjust because his children will be orphaned.

Socrates deals with this issue by explaining that escaping would be unjust. He says,

one must accept the consequences as a person who breaks the law. He tells Crito that

his children will not in fact be orphaned because he has Crito to take care of them. If

Socrates were to escape, he says, that other people will perceive him as a breaker of

the law and not accept him with open arms as Crito tries to suggest.

Socrates also deals with this issue by stating that it is wrong to harm anyone and

when you harm someone you are also harming yourself. From this we are given the

pillars: no one does evil willingly, all evil is done in ignorance. In other words, no one

can ever knowingly do...
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