Socrates Essay, Research Paper
Socrate & # 8217 ; s First Accusers and Athenian Law Of all confrontations in political doctrine, the biggest is the struggle between doctrine and political relations. The job remains doing doctrine friendly to political relations. The inquiring of important sentiments is non easy accomplished nor is that kingdom of doctrine & # 8211 ; the chase of wisdom. Socrates was the provoker of the struggle. While the political component takes topographic point within sentiments about political life, Socrates asks the inquiry & # 8220 ; What is the best government and how should I populate? & # 8221 ; Ancient idea is riddled with terra incognitas and can do no such statement as & # 8220 ; how should I live. & # 8221 ; The Socratic doctrine offers an option and prepares the manner for the option of absolutes. This option is non without its mistakes. Socratic doctrine is plagued by a destructive component. It reduces the important sentiments about political life but replaces it with nil. This is the critical root from which the & # 8220 ; Apology of Socrates & # 8221 ; is written. Because of the cutting onslaught on Athenian life, and the sentiments which they revere so extremely, Socrates is placed on test for his life. The inquiry now becomes why and in what mode did Socrates rebut the Gods and is he quilty? Socrates, himself, speaks out the accusers charges by stating & # 8220 ; Socrates does unfairness and is meddlesome, by look intoing the things under the Earth and the celestial things, and by doing the weaker the stronger and by learning others these things & # 8221 ; ( Plato, 19b ; degree Celsius ) . This is the charge of the & # 8220 ; old & # 8221 ; accusers. It is seen from an illustration in & # 8220 ; The Clouds & # 8221 ; . Strepsiades goes to Socrates in order to larn how to pursuade his boy by & # 8220 ; doing the weaker speech the stronger & # 8221 ; ( Aristophanes, 112 ) . Why does Socrates remind the assembly about the old accusers? It appears improper for a adult male on test to convey about his other & # 8216 ; offenses & # 8217 ; . Aristophanes, in peculiar, is implicated by Socrates as an old accuser. & # 8220 ; For you yourselves used to see these things in the comedy of Aristophanes & # 8221 ; ( Plato, 19c ) . The poets helped to determine Grecian civilization. Poetry was passed on and perpetuated the metropolis where thought invariably changed. Philosphy begins in exposing what the metropolis thinks they know in order to rebut the God. It is apparent that Socrates is non guided by the Gods of the metropolis. Socrates says & # 8220 ; it is non portion of the same adult male to believe in daimonian and godly things & # 8221 ; ( Plato, 27e ) . Socrates is subtly acknowledging his guilt. Possibly Socrates believs in Gods, but if so, they are non the Gods of the metropolis. Socrates merely denies that he has had any portion in celestial or subterraneous enquiry & # 8211 ; he merely speaks & # 8220 ; elsewhere & # 8221 ; . Socrates goes on to state that those who do are reported to be atheists. However, Socrates says that & # 8220 ; Zeus does non eveeen exist & # 8221 ; ( Aristophanes, 367 ) . Socrates replaces Zeus with nature, the lasting and necessary things accessable to ground. This is an indignation to any Athenian. To deny the Gods is to deny religion and finally the autocratic sentiments on which their political relations is based. Why does Socrates believe that he is being unjustly punished? Chaerophon had told Socrates that the Pythian Oracle had said that Socrates was the wisest adult male. Socrates admits that & # 8220 ; I am witting that I am non wi
se, either much or little” (Plato, 20b). Socrates wonders what the riddle is and sets out to “refute the divination” (Plato, 20c). This is a prime example of Socrates’ impiousness as is his statement in “The Clouds” where he states “we don’t credit Gods” (Aristophanes, 248). He is attempting to refute the god at Delphi. Socrates tries to aid his own defense by charging that what he does is in devotion to the god. “Even now I still go around seeking and investigating in accordance with the god” (Plato, 23b). Socrates makes this brash statement yet it is unfounded and untrue because it is not a devine order for Socrates to pursue this line of investigation. In opposition, Socrates asserts that the daimonian did not oppose him. Socrates’ impiety is not the only thing that resulted in histrial. Socrates was “the gadfly” stinging the city of Athens. When Socrates proposes that the god sent him on his quest, he set out to prove it wrong. In the process, he questioned “the politicians and those reported to be wise” (Plato, 21c). After finding that no one reported to be wise, was worthy of being called wise, Socrates investigated further “all the while perceiving with pain and fear that I was becoming hated” (Plato, 21e). The artisans, poets, and politicians all thought they were knowledgable in “the greatest things” but, in fact, did not know anything at all. “They all say noble things but they know nothing of which they speak” (Plato, 22c). Socrates, in affirming that he reanked above them in wisdom, because he knew nothing, in fact became the oracles main supporter. It must be noted that Socrates’ support of the cities god is based solely on his ‘testing’ of the oracle. Socrates accepts the oracles words, not on divine authority but because it passes his test of reason. The hatred of Socrates is extended, as the youth of Athens imitate him and make the elders look foolish by engaging in Socratic dialogue and showing up their ignorance. This led to the charge that Socrates corrupted the youth. This too was added to the impiety charge. Socrates says that the youth follow him “of their own accord” (Plato, 23c). In any event, one concludes that the Delphic Oracle was a definite turning point in Socrates’ life. Perhaps it changes Socrates’ interest from the physical and astronomical studies with moral and political thought. This turning point brings Socrates into conflict with the city of Athens. His doubt of the opinions taken on authority also concerned the cities god and the cities laws. That made him dangerous in the eyes of the leaders. Socrates’ thought was a painful sting to the glorified convictions of human conduct that meant so much to the city. Socrates made the political and moral questions the focus and theme of his “second sailing” as he suggested in Aristophanes’ “Clouds”. By virtue of Socrates’ turn, philosophy now becomes political. The “Apology” presents a critique of political life from the view of philosophy. Socrates disrupts prevailing opinions without providing a substantial opinion to replace it. This may be intentional as to let man decide between his longings and the necessity of political life. The problem now is how to make philsoophy friendly to politics. Whether or not that can be done is not to be answered here.