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Socrates and Plato's Apology - Essay Example

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Socrates and Plato’s Apology Your First Name Your Last Name Date Submitted Socrates and Plato’s Apology Socrates was a philosopher who lived in Greece during the fifth century B.C. He was a highly regarded thinker whose ideas are known to the world through the writings of Plato, his disciple, and his other contemporaries…
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Socrates and Platos Apology
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"Socrates and Plato's Apology"

Download file to see previous pages Much of this trial is known through Plato’s Apology (Plato, 2009). Socrates is however, innocent of the charges that are levied against him since his beliefs are a practice of his own philosophy, something that was permitted in ancient Greece, and they accept and celebrate the existence of god and the choice of people to follow him or not. His actions, thus, in no way do any harm to the religious structures of Greece. The right to dissent within certain structures was allowed and it is only this right that Socrates exercises in his life and he upholds this right throughout the trial. According to Plato’s Apology, the reason that Socrates cites for his actions is the declaration of the Oracle at Delphi of his superior wisdom over other people. By making this clear, Socrates makes clear his belief in god. The god who is associated with the Oracle of Delphi, moreover is one that is a part of the Greek pantheon of gods. The Oracle of Delphi was associated with Apollo, the sun-god of the Greek pantheon and a very important figure in the mythology of the Greeks. This would make the charges of Socrates’ atheism baseless. By asserting the wisdom of god and his lack of the same, Socrates is able to prove his innocence when faced with the charges of atheism. Socrates points out to the jury that his quest for knowledge and wisdom was essentially based on his belief in his ignorance. This ignorance presented him with a paradox when viewed in the light of the predictions of the Oracle at Delphi (Plato, 2009). An attempt to solve this paradox does not necessarily constitute an offence against god or the laws of ancient Greece. The ideas that Plato and Socrates held regarding ideas and forms entailed the superiority of what lay in heaven rather than what was present on earth (Plato, 2004). This meant that they did not malign god or question the existence of god. What they did during their lives was to affirm the presence of god in a way that was in a lot of ways, scarcely different from existing perceptions. The charges of atheism that were leveled against them were thus, not true and were based on an incorrect or incomplete understanding of their philosophies and theories. Another aspect of the case against Socrates was the allegation that he corrupted the youth with the power of his ‘sophistry’, which in those days meant a glib manner of talking that was designed to persuade a person to perform certain actions. It also had negative connotations in those times. Sophistry was considered to be the practice of the orators of those times who sought to sway the masses and the jury for their own purposes. Socrates distances himself from such accusations right at the beginning by appealing to the jury to look at not his eloquence but at the truth of his statements. Socrates counters this claim successfully by appealing to the jury to look only at the truth of his statements and not at the manner in which it was communicated. He also points out that the perception of his sophistry was built up as a result of the works of people like Aristophanes who sought to mock him with what he perceived to be cheap attempts at comedy. A brief look at the works of Aristophanes would make it clear that the claims made by Socrates in the trial regarding the attempts of people to paint him and his followers in a negative light are true. The novelty of the ideas that Socrates thought of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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