Platos Apology And Charges Against Socrates Religion Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
In the Socrates Apology, the Socrates is charged against the following: First thing that Socrates is charged against by the jury is his refusal to believe in gods whom the state believes in. Second charge is being responsible for teaching people to disbelieve the gods. Socrates is thirdly charged for corrupting the young by infusing in them the spirit of criticism. Final charge which Socrates is accused of is that he does wrong by speculating about the heavens and things beneath the earth as if he is a scientist and by making weaker reasons to be stronger thus acting like sophist.
He studies things in the heavens and below the earths
Socrates is an accused of being an evildoer person who is curious and walking in the air searching things that are under the earth and those in the skies thus he is identified by the jury as being a ‘natural philosopher’ and according to the society of the time now termed as archaic or originary societies people are able to make sense of both the world around them and even of themselves through telling of stories that relate to gods and therefore making such gods to be fashions who are responsible fro ruling the world. Therefore by Socrates undertaking curios studies of things in the heavens that may refer to gods that people worship and things on the ground probably the people themselves makes him an evildoer because what he does is in opposition to the traditional belief of the people of the land where gods were believed to be divine and no body was supposed to investigate and question on them in any way (Brickhouse & Nicholas, 2004).
He makes the worse argument into the stronger (better) argument
In this charge Socrates is accused using his oratory skill to persuade people in there society and make them adopt and believe in his point of view despite the fact that he knows little or nothing of what they are talking about. He is very ignorant of the subject he teaches people and that makes him to be considered a sophist an individual who go from city to city training people especially the youth in order to gain political powers thus becoming un trusted by many people of the society. Therefore Socrates is liable to be charged of being a sophist an act distasted by the members of the society. Socrates claims that the oracle at Delphi is responsible for his behavior as he thinks he is the wisest man based on the fact that he recognizes that he knows little of worldly things and given the fact he knows that he knows nothing make shim the wisest a claim which most of the people knows is wrong.
In his defense Socrates say that he does no consider himself an orator in any way and unless it meant speaking the truth and honestly about what he knows. He defense himself from using his oratory skill to argue out weak arguments thus making then better and hence making the youth in the city to belief in his ideas and belief which are not based in any knowledge.
He is guilty of corrupting the young
In addition to the above charges Socrates is also charged with corrupting the minds of the young members of the society who are easily convinced to believing in appealing things and issues. This charge is based on the idea that Socrates cunningly uses his oratory skills to persuade the young into believing in his ideas which were based on his ignorance rather than on knowledge. Socrates is accused of going around in the society telling youth why they should not belief in gods which the society belief in and regards as divine and by teaching them that sun was a hot rock instead of Apollo thus he is to be helped responsible for corrupting the minds of the young in the society. This accusation is based on his sophistic beliefs that make shim to emphasize on rhetoric and reason, become skeptical on issues regarding knowledge and morals and finally that he takes payments fro his teachings which serve to corruption the youth in the society (Reeve, 1989).
In defending himself against the charge that he has corrupted the young Socrates claims that he has never been a teacher in a sense that he can impart knowledge to others therefore he can not be held responsible for citizens who becomes corrupted. He goes further to challenge the jury that if he really made any one adopt bad behaviors why is it that none of them had come out to be a witness, or equally the same why there was none of the relatives of the corrupted youth to testify against him? Socrates concluded his defense by saying that since no one has come out to accuse him of the change that the jury is accusing him he can attest to the fact that many of the relatives of the youth in the city associates with him and in fact they where in the courtroom to support him. To complement his defense against corrupting the youth Socrates claims that he is a Gadfly that constantly agitates the horse preventing it from becoming sluggish and from sleeping thus considering himself as blessing to these youth rather than a corruptor (Hackforth,1933).
He does not believe in the gods of the city
Final charge which Socrates is accused of is by not believing in the gods that the city considered divine and worshiped. The people in the city derives their political powers from gods who in turn regard themselves as divine as they consider themselves empowered by these gods as they can trace themselves and their ancestry to their gods. Thus people in the society don’t care what one believe in but it’s a mandatory requirement that everyone in the society gives due honor to the gods of the city which they lived in failure to which is considered treason as it undercuts the authority and legitimacy of the ruling regime. Therefore by Socrates having being initially accused of natural philosopher, he is also accused of refusing to believe in gods of the city thus legitimizing the acclaimed rulers of the city and all those who ruled in the past. By Socrates curiously investigating on gods and regarding the sun as a hot rock instead of regarding it as Apollo makes him an offender in the society who is liable to be judged by the jury for refusing to acknowledge the city gods and the divine emperor (Brickhouse, 1989).
During his defense against the charge of not believing in the gods that the city believed in he claims that people have misunderstood his true activity and relates to the Delphic oracle where he was told that he was the wisest of all men despite having known himself as an ignorant person. But after testing the Delphic oracle to find a wiser person among the politicians,poets and craftsmen he never got one making the wisest as he was aware of his ignorance unlike other who though they wise but were not and that is why he never belied in the gods that the less wise leaders believed in. He finally catches his accuser by offering contradictory explanation that he is not a person capable of believing in false gods thus becoming an atheist but also he can’t allow himself to belief in divine things that will render him an atheist also.
Generally Socrates argues that al the charges he is accused of are all false and that such charges were brought by his enemies who had ulterior motives and most probably such motive have nothing to do with searching for the truth or for the good neither for the Athenians nor the sate therefore the jury should not be treating him as criminal who had corrupted the minds of the youth and an atheist ,he should be accorded respect an honor of a hero who has served nothing more than helping his society (Reginald, 1980).
Based on the knowledge obtained from the jury’s accusation dreaded against Socrates as well as from the defense the accused has given concerning the charges he faces as well as the rule of law of the state I find Socrates not guilty. My verdict is based on the fact that the jury has heavily and solely relied on the prevailing laws which do not sufficiently find Socrates an obvious violator of the law. Fr instance his changes regarding corruption of the youth in the society does not present sufficient witnesses who can attest to his violations of the law and the he was acting upon his belief which the law does not prohibit any one from believing in what they want to.
Based on his defense on refusing to belief in the gods of the city he doesn’t break the law has he has the right to belief in what he wishes to therefore the implied effects of spreading his doctrines and ideas lacks a basis of argument as non of his supposed student have caused ant trouble as it regards to the authority and legitimacy of the state leaderships. Finally given that Socrates who could have otherwise fled and saved his life his decisions and actions though out his trying has shown that he is not a person guilt of what he does and therefore does portrays a citizen who expects to be charged justly and family by the states thus implying that he is probably a person of decent character and stable principle which should be respected by the state.
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