Socrates and Crito
As Socrates is willingly awaiting his execution he is visited by an old friend of his Crito. Crito is very concerned about whether Socrates has thought through the situation he is in because he believes Socrates should not be punished and he strongly believes that he should not be executed either for supposedly corrupting the youth of Athens. Crito delivers compelling arguments as to why Socrates should escape and live in exile.
He goes into detail that he should escape for the sake of his friends, the assumption that he will live a good life in another town, and how this will affect his children. Socrates also explains why it must be done and why he believes that its important to him because Crito shouldn’t listen to other people’s opinions, it is morally wrong the way they want to get him out of prison, how obeying the laws of Athens can be beneficial and how this will take a toll on anyone if they do not obey the rules.
Crito argues that if Socrates chooses not to escape it will seem bad on Critos part because then it will seem that he and others who have been friends with Socrates would have just stood by and did nothing to prevent his execution from happening. He worries that his reputation of being a loyal friend to Socrates would be damaged. Crito claims that Socrates would be harming him in two ways because no one but Crito will know that is was Socrates choice to accept his punishment and the people would believe that Crito was a terrible friend because he was not willing to pay money to have him set free. When, in fact Crito says many others are willing to spend their money. With this argument it tends to be weak because then Socrates responses with that he should not have to worry about what other people’s opinions are, Crito’s argument only focuses on the consequences that Socrates supposedly brought forth on Crito’s half. Although, by harming his reputation this isn’t the only thing Crito is concerned about.
Another argument that he brings up is that Crito believes the reason Socrates doesn’t want to escape with the help of his friends and the money is that Socrates worries about their well being and what will be the consequences brought upon them if they do manage to get him to escape from prison. Crito states that he along with other of Socrates followers who believe he did nothing wrong are more than willing to take the risk of getting in greater trouble in order to save him from being execute and even emphasize that they will go as far as bribing the authorities in exchange to have Socrates alive. Crito is also convinced that if he lives in exile he will live a much better life. Socrates response with a strong statement that it is worth to die believing that you lived a moral and justifiable life rather than giving into what people are depriving you of. Which is a sense of good values and knowing your soul isn’t ruined because you disobeyed the laws and he says when you disobey that Laws of Athens you are causing more harm than good. Socrates is well aware that there is evil in the world and that not everything is justified but says when doing harm to others it damages your soul and creates and unjust for those who have been harmed. Thus, he comes to terms with his death saying that he does not want to ruin his soul and would rather die.
The last argument Crito presents is that if Socrates dies he will be abandoning his sons and leaving them fatherless. He claims that is it Socrates sole responsibility to get a clear view on how his children are being nurtured and how well educated they are being but how will he do so if Socrates chooses to die? Crito says that Socrates believes living a life that’s good is just doing that but also living a life full of goodness means doing whatever it takes to see how your children are being brought up, that a father would do whatever it takes to have their children being looked after. Socrates may find it easy to just stay in jail but to escape also means wanting to take the risk because it is his duty as a parent to do so in wanting to be with his children. Again, this argument is insufficient and Socrates response with that Crito should not have to focus on what others have to say but to listen to those who have experience and are wise enough because listening to those who criticize can do significant damage to yourself. Socrates also says that one should not act or give into evil because like in previous arguments it harms the soul of the one who does evil and the one who is being a victim of it.
Crito only focuses on how Socrates death will affect him but not in a way where he would feel like he betrayed a friend by not finding a way to save him but worried about his reputation and made it seem like he wanted no part in getting Socrates free. The only convincing argument he discusses about is that of Socrates having to take responsibility in looking after his children. Whereas Socrates still strongly stands and states that by escaping his punishment he will be doing wrong to the city, and the laws that hold the city together, and by doing wrong against the laws he is further damaging his soul. Therefore, Socrates has the strongest argument as to why he should be punished and take no help from his friends.
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