The Trial Of Socrates: Assertions Against Condemnation

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The Trial of Socrates: Assertions against Condemnation In 399 BCE an ancient Greek philosopher by the name of Socrates was put on trial for accusations of corrupting the youth, and for undermining established religious beliefs. During the trial, while fighting for his life, Socrates attempted to persuade the jury, claiming there would be harsh consequences for condemning him to death. He alleged that if he were put to death, the judges and the people of Athens would be the ones to suffer, and not him. Socrates first addressed the jury of five hundred Athenians as if he were speaking to the whole population of Athens. He claimed, “If you kill such an one as I am, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me.” (12). Being the great philosopher that he becomes known as today, Socrates had strong and moral reasoning behind his claims. He used the jury’s religious devotion in his favor by saying that he was a gift from God to the State. Socrates tried to prove his religious divinity by saying, “If I had been like other men, I should not have neglected all my own concerns and patiently seen the neglect of them during all these years, and have been doing yours, coming to you individually like a father or elder brother, exhorting you to regard virtue; this, I say, would not be like human nature.” (13). He believed that his devotion to helping and advising the people of Athens should have proved that he was a blessing from God. Socrates reasoned that to condemn him would be to sin against God. Also, considering his devotion to teaching and advising, Socrates believed that the city of Athens would be at a great loss if he were to be sentenced to death, because as he says, “You will not easily find another like me.” (13). Continuing his dialogue, Socrates addresses the jury with views of right and wrong, and appeals to the consciences of the men who are to

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