The Death Of Socrates Essay, Research Paper
“Crito, you and other people who claimed to be friends to Socrates are all useless! How could you have been so cowardly, or lazy, or stingy, as to allow you ‘friend’ to die? Surely, with a little courage, energy, and money, you could have saved him.”Those are strong accusations coming from someone who obviously did not know Socrates as well as his other students or me. Although, I expected that people would react this way to my actions, or lack of actions, regarding Socrates death.For Socrates, being executed was the only option available to him. Of course we, his friends, could have helped him to escape, but what would that prove? It would only go against everything that Socrates has taught us. It would also defy everything that Socrates stood for in life. Escaping punishment, would have been an unjust and cowardly act for him. Disobeying the law would set a bad example for his fellow citizens. In addition, it would ruin his reputation for being just and following the laws of the government. Socrates believed that, although he was wrongfully accused, he was given a fair trial through the eyes of the law. The fact that he was given a fair trial means that he was given a fair punishment. If this punishment is not carried out, justice will not be served. Escaping punishment would cause a conflict between his teachings and his actions. This would eradicate the moral reputation that Socrates had built for himself throughout his life. The question he would have asked himself would have been, “What kind of example would I be setting if I dishonored my own teachings?” He saw his punishment as a contract between he and the government, and he firmly believed that agreements should not be broken. This is the same government that allowed him to live life as he chose, so why harm an institution that benefited him?In addition, what kind of student would I be if I disregarded everything I learned from my teacher and helped him to escape? That would go against my own principles and destroy my self-respect. If I helped Socrates to escape, all of his lessons and our discussions would have lost all meaning. So I ask you, how could I have helped Socrates escape and then live with my actions?