Socrates Moral obligations to the Law

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Socrates was a notable initiator of Western views and is regarded as a classical Greek philosopher. However, he was convicted in Athens for belittling youngsters and failing to honor Gods, and he was sentenced to death as a result. However, while awaiting sentence, his buddy Crito paid him a visit and attempted to persuade him to depart to another city (Ranasinghe 45). After weighing the benefits of escaping against staying in jail, Socrates declined Crito's request and chose to remain in Athens and face the sentence. In particular, Socrates argued that if he leaves it will be against his morals since the action will hurt the laws taught by his parents; he shall have defied laws given by his nurturers, and escaping act will break his decree to obey (Miller and Charles 21).

Socrates also talked about contractual compulsions, where he said that it would be shameful to infringe his responsibilities to Athens through running away. At this point, he added that the title ‘lawbreaker’ would stick on him because of breaking out from the city. On the other hand, he introduced the voice of laws through dictating there is an agreement amid the ruling and citizens akin to that between a child and a parent. Indeed, Socrates argued that he must comply with rules and follow virtues which his parents taught him. This gentleman insisted that the paternal consideration of the Laws for their kids is noticeably demanding and it is difficult not to consider some of this totalitarianism emanates from the Plato. Additionally, Socrates has used various examples to address his followers and children such the case of a trainee and untrue content within the play, ‘The Clouds’ (Colaiaco 154).

Why does Socrates obey the city laws after they convicted of a crime he didn’t do?

The reason behind Socrates obeying the city’s ruling after getting convicted of a crime which he had not done is that he considered it disreputable to breach provided regulations. Socrates argued that the mentioning of the word ‘crime’ means to harm the souls of all people reading his history. For instance, his campaign against poet is focused on the idea that they make the members of the community appear bad through their art. In the view of his arguments sometimes look as a prey to ‘liberated speech’ for his bereavement, he was still against this ruling judgment (Fischer 74). However, he had no option since he held the aspect of obeying laws for he believed that violation of the community rules can overarch the composition of the authority. Moreover, Socrates also wanted to maintain his reputation of a royalty person which could have been tarnished by the act of running away from Athens. Furthermore, Socrates also preferred to submit to the moral guidelines which his parents had offered to him and respecting rules of laws is among the taught virtues (Koritansky 219).

What makes him want to stay and not leave?

While Socrates was in prison, Crito severally told him that he should escape so as to ensure he stay alive for his wife and three children. However, Socrates argued that whether he dies or not his friends will take care of his children and therefore there is no need of fleeing to another city. Similarly, Socrates also believed that the best education is found in Athens and his escape can deny his kids a chance of schooling in this city (Fischer 81). Moreover, he hated to be against the national laws since he had accepted the aspect that someone’s country must be respected more than someone’s mother, father, or ancestors entirely. Indeed, it was a tradition of this nation to condition its community members to put higher admiration on this city above the family. Through his quote, “integrity, institutions, and laws, are the most precious possessions of mankind", it is clear that Socrates was not an optional to these beliefs (Taylor 109).

Moreover, Socrates was worrying that is he flees to a strange city; the government will have a negative attitude towards him since he has already contravened the Athenian government. Correspondingly, the administration within the new municipality will also fear that he shall corrupt their youngsters as well as the city too (Burns 47). Furthermore, during the conversation with Crito he said that “I cannot abandon the principles which I used to hold in the past simply because this accident has happened to me", this indicates that he considered facing punishment in his own city instead of encountering denial in a foreign place. Additionally, Socrates is against the instances where he can get termed as a lawbreaker hence opting to serving the punishment and maintaining cleanliness of his name (Domanski 32).

What examples is Socrates giving to his children/followers?

Socrates has used different examples while trying to let his children and followers justify his decision. For instance, he has used a case of someone in training where he said that the trainee does not pay attention to the counsel of the general community but of his or her coach. On this row, Socrates held that through listening to people’s view he will hurt his body and soul and therefore is knowledgeable to get information or guidance from experts (Futter 152). On the other hand, Socrates has insisted that the good life is the one where individual’s undertakings are governed by reason rather than the feelings of the moment. His philosophy in this respect is conveyed as much by his example by everything else he communicates. Additionally, Socrates has used the fact within his comedy-drama known as ‘The Clouds’ where one of the actors claims to walk on air and faked various matters which are untrue. He compares ‘The Clouds’ incident with what he is going through hence arguing that his case is contained with fictitious elements (Stalley and Roderick 48).

Works Cited

Burns, Timothy W. Brill's Companion to Leo Strauss' Writings on Classical Political Thought. Brill, 2015. Yonkers.

Colaiaco, James A. Socrates against Athens: philosophy on trial. Routledge, 2013. New York.

Domanski, A. "WHY OUGHT WE TO OBEY THE LAW? PLATO'S STARTLING ANSWER." Akroterion 44 (2014). New York.

Fischer, Andreas. "Wisdom-the answer to all the question really worth asking." International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 5.9 (2015): 73-83. Utica.

Futter, Dylan. "Socrates, Crito, and emigration from South Africa." South African Journal of Philosophy 36.1 (2017): 144-155. Albany.

Koritansky, John C. "Strauss on the Apology and Crito." Brill's Companion to Leo Strauss' Writings on Classical Political Thought (2015): 402. Elmira.

Miller, Paul Allen, and Charles Platter. Plato's Apology of Socrates: a commentary. Vol. 36. University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Abington.

Ranasinghe, Nalin. "Socrates and the Gods: How to Read Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito." (2012). New York.

Stalley, Richard F., and Roderick T. Long. "Socrates and early Socratic philosophers of law." A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence. Springer Netherlands, 2015. 35-56. Buffalo.

Taylor, Christopher. "The ethics of Plato’s apology." Ancient ethics. V & R-uni press, Göttingen (2014): 107-119. Ithaca.

May 17, 2023
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Socrates Greek Death

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