The trial of Socrates

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

As a member of the jury for the trial of Socrates, I have concluded that Socrates is not guilty of corrupting the youth based on the arguments he has presented to me and my fellow jurors. The accusers that have brought Socrates to trial claim he is corrupting the minds of the youth and of believing in the supernatural of his own creation rather than the gods of the state. Socrates first argument is presented by a cross-examination against these charges through the interrogation of Meletus by asking him if he is such a bad influence on the youth, then what is it that has a good influence?

Meletus claims that Athens itself as a governing power has a positive influence on the youth with the exception of Socrates. Socrates then uses an analogy with horses by saying if it takes an expert to improve a horse, then surely it would be odd to think anyone could improve a person. This analogy gives a proper insight into how Athens in general isn’t necessarily influencing the youth in a good way, but in fact may even be a harmful influence due to the inexperience amongst its leaders and their thoughtless ideologies. Socrates on the other hand has more knowledge and insight into being mindful of one’s surroundings and existence on earth and this in turn gives a better approach into influencing the youth on their morals and ethics.

Meletus next claim is that like wicked people, Socrates intentionally harms those with which they live in contact, and that this is detrimental to society. Socrates refutes this by claiming if he hurts others he would be harming himself as a member of society and he is not foolish enough to want to hurt himself, but if he does cause harm it would be unintentional and for that reason should be instructed but not punished. This shows the kindness and rationality of Socrates in how he looked after the people both young and old and meant no harm but for them to simply have greater insight into the meaning of life. Socrates next accusation against him was that he did not believe in the gods sanctioned by the state, in his argument he suggests it would be impossible to believe in supernatural matters without believing in supernatural beings. His belief of a higher power allows the youth to question creation and life itself and may have even given their life meaning to move in a better direction.

Socrates risks his life for his philosophical ideologies before the jury and explains the only question to concern oneself with is whether one is acting justly or not. As a seeker of truth he further claims justice is priority over the considerations of life and death which are selfish. The idea of Socrates putting justice first allows the youth to realize the importance of protecting what’s right from wrong no matter the costs. Socrates’ wisdom is derived from his realization that he does not know what he does not know and the fact that he does not know what is in the afterlife allows him to not fear it, because a fear of death is claiming to know the unknowable and is a false idea. He puts justice, truth and perfecting the soul over wealth, honor, and selfishness. These qualities would allow the youth to achieve a better quality of life rather than corrupting them. Socrates has always been consistently just with his teachings and ideologies and I think he has benefited the youth immensely to better themselves through thought provoking ideas and to ultimately strive to become as intellectual as him.

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