Socrates Essay, Research Paper
Socrates view on morality is that anyone can do wrong. It is said that injuring someone in return for injury to oneself is wrong. He follows this with the connection between morality and the city. You do badly without the cities authorization; you are doing wrong towards the city and the laws. He felt if you are behaving against peoples mind and in this way, behaving against the city. It is a way of destroying the cities laws and so you are hurting citizens by doing so. An example of this is the general understanding that you shouldn t hurt your father. If you do so than you are disrespecting laws within your city. Of course you will get convicted for this, and it doesn t change the idea that you acted against the city.
Socrates follows by explaining what is taught to each citizen. You are told that you were born with certain laws. Your father and mother brought you to the world in which they live and thus you should respect and obey by their rules. The laws were already there. That means, that your mother and father are as important as the city and you should respect the city as so.
Socrates describes the city and its laws more preciously. You don t have the same rights as your parents. They educated you and thought you the rules in the city that you should follow. They taught you which behavior is right and which is wrong. It is immoral to treat your parents the way they treat you. You don t have the rights to treat your parents the same way they treat you. That means that parents have a higher position in life than their children. It doesn t really matter what they did to them. It is not moral to return the same behavior.
He follows with the relationship of a person to the city. He says, One must obey the commands of one s city and country, or persuade it as to the nature of justice. It is impious to bring violence to bear against your mother or father, it is much more so to use it against your country. (Crito 51c)
One should not only obey their father and mother, but more important the city. The city stands equal if not above the parents. We should understand that because the city was there before ones parents were born. Everyone has his or her ancestors who have a higher standard in life. However the city was there before them and so should be respected and laws should be followed.
Socrates explains his theory of the city and its rules as the nature of ones life. It is not moral to fight against it. We were welcomed to live in it and accept it how it is.
A very important aspect of the city and its rules is that one is not forced to do as it dictates. One has the ability to choose between two options. You can either obey the city and its rules or not. If you want to go somewhere else you can do so, but do not complain here.
Regarding Socrates view one should not obey the law just because it is the law. As I said before you have two choices, but one of them is the moral option. We say that it is moral, as it was taught to us this way, but one doesn t really think about their own opinion in reference to it.
We are absolutely commanded by our ancestors and the city. It is like being objects being commanded our whole life. Men have not the choice to decide what is moral for their standard of life. The moral way is what the city or their parents tell them to do. We are depending on their opinion to decide if we did wrong or not. On Socrates view it is not someone else s decision what is right or wrong, it isn t the moral life to follow others opinion about morality.
Disobedience can be justified. One can have reasons to act wrong towards their parents. Just because they raised and educated you, it doesn t mean that they are always right. Parents have the right to tell their children what is the best for them. But as everyone has the same human rights, a child has the right to argue. You don t have to do everything that is told you to do.
In his dialogue with Euthyphro, we see that he thinks that disobedience can be justified. Euthyphro accuses his father of murder. He says that I say that the pious is to do what I am doing now, to prosecute the wrongdoer, be it about murder or temple robbery or anything else, whether the wrongdoer is your father or your mother or anyone else; not to prosecute is impious (Euthyphro 5e).
Socrates is defending himself in his case. He doesn t believe in all the God s ideas and is defending himself to justify his opinion. So he has similar thoughts about morality. He says: I find it hard to accept things like that being said about the gods, and it is likely to be the reason why I shall be told I do wrong (Euthyphro 6b).
He took poems and asked the poets or politicians, which should have the knowledge about them, if they could teach him something about their meanings. What he learned about it was that the people who seemed the wisest to the outside had less knowledge than others. Through this examination he learned that one teaches their children not having any knowledge about what they teach them.
The city says: Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young and of not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual things? (Apology 24c). That shows that one should believe in gods, just because the city does so.
Socrates always searches for more knowledge about the city and its laws. We see that Euthyphro and him do not accept everything that is said by the city.
On Socrates point of view either the disobedience to the law or to the civil disobedience can be justified. To justify it correctly you have to be able to argue and find reasons for every given rule. Not just believe in what others say.
My personal opinion is that it is wrong to do be an object of the rules someone told you when you were born. Everyone has the right to argue about the city and laws or with his father or mother.
I totally agree that Socrates found it important to research about life s morality and not just think the same way others do. That is a way of proving the knowledge of men. Ones sitting quiet in the corner usually have more knowledge than others that talk so much about what they know. Many men with a high position in life do not always have the most knowledge.