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LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL, the trial and death of socrates book - Essay Example

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LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL, the trial and death of socrates book
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Download file to see previous pages He knows that his own death comes with the morning and he doesn’t really want to die, but he continues to reject his friends’ attempts to save him by helping him escape. Socrates feels that a virtuous man is a man who stands up for what he believes in even when this is not the common practice of his countrymen or when it means hardship for himself. For his defense, Socrates relies on logic and reasoning to present his case to the people of Athens, clearly summarizing his actions and demonstrating them to be neither harmful nor malicious toward the state.
His friends try to convince him to adopt a different approach in his defense by turning to the cultural norms of working on pity and family need, but Socrates felt it more important to uphold the ideals of logic, truth and justice. However, Socrates has wisely already calculated his chances to escape death and chooses instead to be judged by history based upon his own merits rather than attempt to win over a group of individuals who are already disposed against him. In his example, Socrates reveals that the virtuous man does not worry so much about things like danger or fear of death because as long as he is standing up for truth, his spirit cannot be long overcome. According to Socrates, a man can know whether his decisions are virtuous or not based on his feelings of shame, which is an emotion that signals wrong action. It arises from feelings of guilt and remorse when one breaks contracts made both with himself and with others and can only be avoided when one acts in perfect accordance with what he knows is right without fear or pursuit merely of self-interest.
In drinking the hemlock, Socrates is able to prove to history, if not to the jurors, that he has consistently acted in ways that he deems to be in the right, in support of the laws and in the best interests of the people. Finally, in accepting his punishment, he is able to prove the depth of his convictions and continue ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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