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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