The Case of Socrates
The Case of Socrates The great mind has always attracted controversy, may it be the past or the present. Socrates was no exception in this regard and had more than his fair share of conflicts with the ones whose beliefs and ideas he had dared to challenge, even though the challenge was on intellectual basis. If one raises the questions, “Why invite trouble Socrates? Why irritate the masses?” Socrates would simply reply that an unexamined life is not worth living for. In this regard Socrates considered himself to be a pest, a gadfly to be more precise, for he knew that his arguments serve to be a source of annoyance for the ones who feel that their ideas and beliefs are threatened by him. Socrates questioned, scrutinized and analyzed all from government to religion, from morality to reality because one thing was clear to Socrates that the wisdom he possess is actually, knowing the extent of his own ignorance. The fate of a revolutionary thinker is always riddled with opposition and Socrates paid a high price for that, for he was sentences to death by the ones who felt he threatened their ways of living. The account of his trial is given in the Apology by Plato. Socrates was mainly the target of three accusations by Mel
Therefore, the ultimate purpose for this defense was to deny the charge and yet not face anymore confrontation. Socrates accused Meletus of lying and frivolously throwing charges at him. Quite rightly so, in fact Socrates never bothered with teaching others for a fee and his poverty is a sign of his sincerity. So, Meletus and the rest of the accusers did have a valid charge against Socrates. Furthermore, when the generally embraced matter is questioned, namely by the youth in this regard, it results in a feeling of discontent among the ones who feel that their beliefs and codes of conduct are under a threat by this scrutiny. Though Socrates never claimed to be a master of philosophy he held open discussions and put the subject matter through constant grilling by questioning the widely accepted opinion. Socrates then faced a second allegation that he is corrupting the youth by misguiding them and making them question their traditional patterns of belief and character. Socrates had another allegation against him that he does not believe in the gods and that he is an atheist. Socrates very firmly denied the allegation and his response was that he had never engaged in topics which interest the natural philosopher. In reality, Socrates had only just denied and explained the charge of being an atheist and never made it clear whether the gods he believes in are the same gods Meletus and the city believes in. The first accusation directed at Socrates was that he always makes the worse argument look stronger. Socrates asked Meletus of the true nature of the allegations in response to which Meletus outright accused Socrates of being an atheist. He gave the analogy of the horses and trainers to point out that it is unfair to blame only one individual for corrupting the whole society"tms youth. This consequently results in a situation where one finds himself questioning the unquestionable.
Some topics in this essay:
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