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Transcript of Socrates
Lived in Athens all his life
Socrates married a woman named Xanthippe and they had three children named Lamprocles, Sophroniscus and Menexenus
He worked as a mason, which was the same job his father had
Socrates served in the armored infantry of Greece
Met people in the streets and marketplaces and started conversations about various topics
He never wrote down any of his thoughts, but Plato (one of his pupils) did
to clarify ideas and arrive at an agreement to the meaning of terms and an understanding of how the concepts functioned in a persons search for a "good life". This became known as the Socratic Method
He believed that his pupils knew the answers to the questions they asked, but that they needed help finding them in their minds.
In 399 BCE at the age of about 70 he was put on trial and charged with two crimes
He was put in front of a jury of 501 people
The accusers felt Socrates crimes were so serious, that they demanded the death penalty
Punishment for a crime is the cure of evil, and justice leads to that punishment
Punishment is not the only cure for evil
It is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil
Virtue is a form of knowledge
He believes this is the greatest importance to seek answers to questions like:
What is courage?
Finding the answers to both these questions we would have all we need to live our lives
He believed love was a spirit person who is not good
He thought the spirit would pursue the good by seeking beautiful bodies, beautiful practices, beautiful learnings, and true beauty
When love finds these things it will provide the good, love is attempting to pursue
Courage, temperance, justice, and piety are the 4 types of virtue
Since Socrates believes virtue is a form of knowledge, this raises an important question:
Are each of the virtues a form of knowledge, and is it possible to acquire knowledge of one of the virtues and not the others?
He was accused as a "criminal who corrupts the young"
Socrates claimed this wasn't true and that people were envious because he had exposed their ignorance through the process
He asked why would he deliberately harm young men when he knew anyone he injured would injure him back
He was found guilty by a vote of 281 - 220 and he had to pay a small fine as punishment
Accusers claimed that Socrates "does not believe in the Gods whom the state believes in, but other new spiritual things instead"
Socrates said this didn't make sense because his accusers said he was an atheist, yet the charge said he believed in "new spiritual things"
Socrates felt he was fulfilling the law by encouraging people to lead good lives
He was found guilty by a vote of 361 - 140 and was sentenced to the death penalty
Socrates believes that one has a moral obligation to obey the law, but disobedience does not destroy the law.
Do you believe we have a moral obligation to obey the law, and do we have precautions in case people do disobey the law? If so what are they and are they effective?
We believe that people have a moral obligation to obey the law of the society they are in at all times. We definitely have precautions in case people break the law, such as jail, fines, etc. In our opinion these punishments are effective in a lot of cases, but people still continually break the law. Having said that no matter what punishments are invoked their will always be people who deviate and break the law.
Why do you think the accusers of Socrates wanted him sentenced to the death penalty for his crimes?
We believe that the jury and his accusers wanted to set an example out of him because they were not used to people openly expressing their opinions. Meaning Socrates was very public about the way he felt and why he felt that way; he did not mind if his opinions targeted anyone in particular.
Also his accusers were most likely people he targeted, so the sentence also could have been a way to get back at Socrates.
Socrates believed that it is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil.
Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? And if we implement this in the law is the death penalty a valid punishment?
Socrates preparing to drink Hemlock after trial
By: Taivon Radcliffe, Dominique Brewster, and Habiba Shaheen
In a perfect world, everyone would treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and everyone would be kind to one another. Since we obviously do not live in a perfect world, we believe that it is not anyone's job to seek revenge on someone else for doing something wrong. Many people believe in karma and that could be their way of getting revenge (without actually doing anything themselves). In the end we should behave the way we want to and treat others kindly despite the way they choose to treat us because, like we said before it is not our job to harm people that are evil towards others. In terms of the law we do not believe in the death penalty because like Canadian law we believe in rehabilitation over retribution.
If Socrates was not sentenced to the death penalty for his crimes what do you think would have happened to the society?
For example: Would more people voice their opinion? Would the dynamic of power switch? Would their be freedom of voice?
Do you think Socrates' way of sharing his beliefs were effective?
In what ways was it effective? (Keep in mind the time period)
We believe the whole dynamic of power would have changed because Socrates would have been able to say what he felt with no consequences, so other people might have decided to do the same. We also think their might have been freedom of voice because that is exactly what Socrates would have gotten away with.
Lastly it would mean that the jury was not afraid to go against what the accuser thought of Socrates because in both charges they would have voted in favour of Socrates.
We believe for his time period it was very effective, but their may have been some ways to make it more effective. It could have been more effective for example if he was able to voice his opinion without breaking the law or targeting anyone (specifically his superiors) that would have been better for him. People would have gotten the same message without him being sentenced to the death penalty. At the same time Socrates wanted his opinions heard and he would not have been able to voice his opinion the way intended if he was worried about his superiors.
Two reasons we obey the law
One has a moral obligation to obey the law, but disobedience does not destroy the law