Plato’s Socrates View On Civil Disobedience
The rule of contractual was something Plato’s believed in and stood by it ever since the education he received along with other advantages that the state offered to its people, Plato’s was also like forced to agree as well to live per the laws of the state. Plato’s also believed in accepting and taking the benefits the benefits of the state made him some kind of subject for the state and because of this it became a result in being entitled to oblige to the states rules and to face different types of consequences that made or became an impact on him by the state. This became an explanation on the agreement that Socrates had with his decision to stay in jail and face the consequences like charges and sentences instead of just taking the chance and escape from prison (Voegelin,2000).
Even though in his Crito, he fails to directly respond to the question of whether to obey the rules or not, his earlier arguments reveal that one as a subject of the state was entitled to obey its rules regardless of the impacts on a more personal level.
Agreeing or in this case accepting to die in the hands of the Athenians by Platos Socrates wasnt a move to disapprove his earlier claims of disobedience but rather a move to show a bigger purpose like the corrupt of the Athenian democracy that kill an innocent man in their hands to protect the ignorance manner. In his arguments discussing about philosophizing, Socrates argues that he would go on to philosophize even if the courts had told him not to. This move is portrayed as his way of disagreeing that anyone is not entitled to completely agree with the laws of state. The arguments he showed when in jail prove that Platos Socrates doesnt necessarily believe that one is entitled to break the law. When one of his well known students, Crito visits Platos Socrate in prison, the student were trying to change Plato’s mind in attempting to escape prison and after go to his hiding spot out in exile (Benardete, 2000).
Socrate was being held in prison following the decision passed by the Athenian jury stating that he was guilty of impiety because of this it became a death sentence. Crito claimed that escaping prison was the best way to be able to get out of the his trail and also including the death sentence. Crito does mention that the escape was not easy as well as facing his sentencing would be his way of upholding the injustice ruling system. Also, a big betrayal to his friend even his loved ones who fully believed in him or even the people that followed him. Critos does suggest that even if escaping from prison was something that he didnt stand for it was better than taking a sentence that is unfair. his apology, Socrates discusses the problem of civil disobedience making an argument that in any case where someone is required to take part of a role like authority, the person is forced to take up the role that was given to them.
Socrates also discusses that someone should take the position that is required without even thinking about the punishment which in this case, it was either life or death at the time & the gods authority is more or even equal superior comparing to authority of someone that is just demanding in their world as the time. Because of disobeying authority it resulted to becoming in disgrace and the greater the authority of those in power, the higher the resultant disgrace. Thus, Socrates provides that disobeying the gods would be more disgrace compared to disobeying the men in authority. As a result, when an individual faces orders from the gods and man that are contradictory in nature, the right move to take is to obey the divine power. Thus, Socrates in his apology argues that his death is divine as was an order by the gods and failure to follow the order would be violation of their injunction. In his response, regarding the plan to escape, Socrates provides that all the claims made by Crito were okay and true, especially regarding the public opinion of his death. However, Socrates goes forth and argues that public opinion is entirely useless in matters that deal with the soul.
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