Socrates Wants To Remain Essay, Research Paper
David M. Gervon
CONCEPTS OF HUMAN NATURE
T H 1:00
REC M 9:00
SOCRATES WANTS TO REMAIN
There are many instances in Plato’s the Crito where Socrates gives reasons for himself to stay in Athens and face his death. Arguments range from that of him being too old to run, to the common response two wrongs don’t make a right. The reason I intend to argue against is one Socrates expresses in regards to his obligations to the city he has lived in all his life, and thus the rules that he has subsequently followed throughout that time. In Athens just like any other city, one follows the rules that the respective city has laid down because he/she believes in those laws, or does not and keeps silent. In the stand Socrates takes, he argues that since he has lived in Athens all his life, he is required to stand his ground and take what’s thrown his way, even if that punishment is death, “do you think you have the right to retaliation against your country and its laws?” (Crito,53)
Socrates was a master of words. It is easy to say that his intellect allowed him to make anyone see all sides of an argument. Even Crito at times is confused about his decision to free his friend, think that he is making the right decision, “or do you think it possible for a city not to be destroyed if the verdicts of its courts have no force but are nullified and set at naught by private individuals.”(Crito,52) Socrates words are very convincing, but what he is not thinking about is the fact that this whole predicament was not meant to be. Socrates was supposed to be in all likelihood banished from Athens by the courts. Nobody suspected that Socrates would advocate for his own death. In regards to his situation, if he were to leave, the towns people would not have thought badly about his decision to keep is life.
Crito and friends attempts were very valiant; they just tried to hard to save an ignorant soul. Socrates was just too stubborn to go elsewhere and would look death in the face without despair, “one must obey the commands of one’s city and country,”(Crito,53) in order to stay in Athens and make his point. In this, I have to disagree with what Socrates has to say. I know that he is searching for the truth, and what he says is correct in terms of obeying the courts ruling, taking the judicial standpoint that is. I however can’t see leaving a family, children, and a loving wife behind. A families bond should be stronger than stone, it’s the strongest bond known to man. So for him to look so little upon his family is not looking into the truth of the matter at all. In addition, I live in the United States because not only I like the laws, but also because this is the place where I was born. Like Socrates, I’ve lived in one place all my life, and though I do not think every law is relevant, would protect my life when faced with the same accusations Socrates was.
There are many laws that I do not agree with here in the US. One set of laws I disagree with that go together are the laws that you can be drafted go to war at the age of 18, and the other that you are not allowed to purchase or drink alcohol until the age of 21. I would think that if a society were going to allow its children to step into the line of fire, one would see that children of that age surly mature enough to drink. It makes sense to me that if a country is allowing a teenager to handle an AK-47 “assault” rifle and put the responsibility of killing on ones shoulders, then he or she is old enough to drink when he/she wants to. I am and always will be a proud American citizen yet I don’t approve with all that goes along with it.
Unlike Socrates, I would not put my city, state, or country before my own well being and safety. I especially would not make my decisions inflict any type harm upon my family or friends, whether that being physical or mental.
Therefore, in finial conjunction with what Socrates is saying, and the excuses he is making, I have to disagree strongly with what he’s doing. He made a very narrow minded decision that puzzled many. He took his patriotism too far and used it as grounds to face his death, which I cannot agree with. He also left behind a loving wife and his children. One can say that his walking into his own death was a teaching instrument he hoped would convey one point or another. I however see his death and countless excuses as a means to leave life without a fight. “Honor thy city,” well what about thy family and friends! Socrates was a coward to think his actions were at all acceptable, and to think that his death could be used as a teaching device.