The Apology Essay, Research Paper
In the days of Socrates, he felt that if you lived a humble peaceful life that there was nothing to fear in death. Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth with his teachings in The Apology. The question posed was no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or death ? Based on our limited knowledge of death, this is a very difficult question that could be disputed any number of ways. But for the sake of argument, I am going to defend the statement with respect to Socrates ideas that no evil can happen to a good man in life or death. Before continuing, the definition of good, according to Microsoft Encarta 98, is: being positive in nature . Evil is defined as morally bad or wrong; wicked . These are choices that people make on a daily basis. A simple illustration of the concept of good and evil would be if you saw someone drop a $50 bill on the ground, a person of good moral stature would pick it up, stop the person, and return it to him. The evil person would very likely pick the money up and put it in his own pocket. The one thing that confuses me about good and evil, is who defines a good or evil act? If God defines what is good and bad, why does He state his laws through a human being? There would be no debate that God really exists if He showed himself and actually stated it to himself. Socrates didn t believe that mortals had the authority to judge. He believed that the only one that could hold you accountable for the wrongs you did during your life was God. He believed that everyone would have to pay for their evil acts at some time during their lives, or in death. Socrates said, it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster then death, slow and elderly as I am, I have been caught by the slower pursuer. (Plato 39B). This statement is a great example of how Socrates states the difference between mortal law and spiritual beliefs. This statement also re-emphasizes what I said at the beginning of the paragraph.
Socrates felt his accusers would ultimately pay for the wrong that they were inflicting on him. I think this is one of the main reasons Socrates didn t flee his death sentence. His death would establish a reputation of a martyr. What better way to become one then to die for something that you believe in, especially when you have a following. Socrates knew this would probably be one of the best ways to continue his influence on the youth. One statement that stands out is, Now I want to prophesy to those who convicted me, for I am at the point when men prophesy most, when they are about to die. I say gentlemen, to those who voted to kill me, that vengeance will come upon you immediately after my death, a vengeance much harder to bear than that which you took in killing me (Plato 39c). Socrates believed that the people that he taught would continue his teachings. He had already made an impression on too many people. The court s goal was to extinguish Socrates hold over the young, so that there would be no challenge to their authority in the future. A good quote that reinforces my statement is: You are wrong if you believe that by killing people you will prevent anyone from reproaching you for not living in the right way. To escape such test is neither possible nor good, but it is best and easiest not to discredit others but to prepare oneself to be as good as possible (Plato 39d). This means that you can only cheat and do wrong for so long, eventually it will catch up with you. From a spiritual viewpoint, most people who believe in God believe that you will ultimately be judged on how you conduct yourself for the time you are residing in this life. There is phrase that keeps coming to mind, and it is: You can run, but you can t hide . This brief phrase can summarize in seven words, what I am trying to convey throughout this whole paper. Everyday life challenges people to make a choice of one of two paths, the right and virtuous path or the corrupt and evil path. Socrates believed that if you lived your life harmoniously, you would be enlightened at the end of your journey. People today really could excel in their lives if they were to applies some of Socrates ideas to their own lives.