Saturday, January 26, 2013

Do You Think Socrates was Justly Convicted?




Introduction
The sociological set-up of the society is governed by ethical rules. These ethical rules ensure co-existences of the members of the society. It is a philosophical belief that there is a super natural being called God who stays in heaven and watches upon the people on earth. The virtues of this super natural being require that all the members of the society respect one another. Because of the surveillance of God, men are costumed to relate well with one another. The socio-economic performance of the society is extremely influenced by the relationship of the people in the society. For a period, administrative heads that ensure conduction of activities and relationship between individuals head the societies. The administrative personnel are charged with the responsibility of correcting the wrong doings and ensuring that peace prevails in the society. In the societies of Athens was the man called Socrates who taught the society by correcting their evil doings. Due to his boldness in correcting the wrong doers of the society, he was sentenced death by poisoning.
The Athenians knew Socrates as the bold and wise man who challenged the wrong and unethical practices of the societies. The disciples of Socrates attest that he feared nobody in his teachings and he could reprimand even the powerful politicians. Because of his quest for societal virtues, he was convicted of causing societal imbalance (Cahn 21). In his quest for wisdom and establishment of the wisest person amongst the Athenians, he challenged politicians, religious leaders, poets and artisans. During the quest for wisdom, Socrates made enemies with the powerful members of the society. In addition, he gained national recognition for restoring order into the society. Because of his wise words and sayings, Socrates had devoted followers who included the wealthy youths. In his conviction charges, Socrates was charged corrupting the minds of the youths by influencing in them wrong knowledge that included beating up their parents. It has been established that Socrates did not invite any followers, but the disciples who followed him did so at will and they later began to question wrong doers exactly as Socrates had done (Plato 42).
Socrates was brought in a liberal and democratic set-up. This childhood sociological environment made to him to develop beliefs and values that were against the Athenian teachings. His belief for these values resulted in his hatred for other Athenian governing system and democratic rights. Socrates believed that the citizens rights were being violated by the people in authority and he sort to correct this by mobilizing the population and enlightening them of their virtues. Socrates believed the citizens of Athens were not rightly governed by letting them to their free will. He believed that the people needed some leader to head and direct them like shepherd  (Plato 45). In his teachings, he attacked the management system and authorities in a manner that made the listeners angry. His quest for good virtues and ethical standards led to his conviction because he corrupted the minds of his listeners by inciting them.
Conviction of Socrates
In my humble opinion, I think Socrates was not justly convicted because he committed no offence to warrant death sentence. Socrates had the quest for wisdom and this drove to various professionals and honorable political leaders who thought they knew about everything. He believed that the society would be a better place if the citizens subjected themselves to personal scrutiny. According Socrates, personal scrutiny involved analysis of ethical values and good virtues in the society. Having realized that the ethical values and good virtues were not present in the society, Socrates set out a mission to correct the wrong characters in the society. In his speeches, he claims that supernatural forces in his questions and teachings that did not any fee propelled him. Socrates was convicted to death by poisoning at the age of 70 years (Cahn 342). The conviction of Socrates was a national event that received nationwide concern. Therefore, his conviction required the attention of many jurors. Based on the charges against democracy of the people of Athens, Socrates was convicted to death. Even, though, majority of political leaders, religious leaders and professional poets and artisans wanted Socrates to be convicted for death, it was evident that a significant number of jurors believed in the truth proclaimed by Socrates in his teachings because the difference in voting was only 30. Hence, only 30 votes convicted Socrates  (Plato 50). Socrates was convicted because of the following accusations.
Teaching the aforesaid doctrines to the others
One of the conviction charges leveled against Socrates was that he taught false doctrines to the Athenians. The greater part of the population affected by his teachings was the youths from wealthy families. It is said that this majority of the population had no work to do at home. They, therefore, joined Socrates in his quest for wisdom. During this journey of the quest for freedom, Socrates travelled to different professionals among the Athenians to establish if they were wiser than he was. In order to ascertain their level of wisdom, he asked them questions regarding the phenomenon in their lines of duty. He later neither realized that these people were nor wise because they perceived to know all things. Socrates realized that wisdom lies in accepting that he could not perform other duties because he did not have the capabilities (Cahn 421). Upon failure to answer the questions asked by Socrates, the professionals have to be furors because of the public realized their pretence.
The conviction of Socrates as being responsible for corrupting the minds of the youths was unjust. This conviction was unjust because his teachings were voluntary and he charged no fee from his followers. During his quest to ascertain the reality of the Oracle, he was accompanied by jobless youths. These youths were entertained by  his conduct, and they admired when the professional were proved to be foolish. It was said he influenced the youths, but the youths realized by themselves their leaders were foolish. Therefore, they learned to question the actions undertaken by superiors including their parents (Plato 37). The authorities convicted Socrates because of the pretence that he corrupted the youths. This conviction was unjust because the youths themselves realized their potential through the actions of Socrates. They gained the wisdom to question the actions of their superiors.

An evildoer and curios person who inquires things in earth and heaven
Socrates was acquitted of propagating evil actions that destabilized the sociological setup of the society. Because of his liberal and democratic background, Socrates believed justice in the society was not being practiced to ensure equitability. In this regard, Socrates would inquire into the live of the society members by subjecting them to a series of questions to establish the reality of the happenings. Even, though, Socrates inquiry was right based on the ethical standards, the religious and political leaders felt that he was interfering with the social balance of the society.
He was charged with inquiring both things in heaven and earth that did not concern him. Inquiring of the things in heaven was against the teachings of their gods. Socrates had no belief in the gods of Athens that the politicians and the religious leaders proclaimed (Plato 28). Hence, they convicted him because of disrespecting their gods.
In his teachings, Socrates claims that his actions were guided by a supernatural being. He claims this supernatural guided him to question the evil works of politicians and religious leaders. In reality, Socrates spoke the truth about the evil action of the politicians and other religious leaders. Therefore, the actions of Socrates angered the leaders because their pretentious state was at risk. The leaders could not wait to be identified by the public as pretenders who working for their personal gains. In this regard, the quest by politicians and other leaders to continue doing evil actions and pretending to be good governors led to the conviction of Socrates because they feared that he might reveal their agenda.
Disrespect for the gods of the city- impiety charge
Reports compiled from the cities of Athens reveal that Athenians believed in the sun and the moon to be gods. Therefore, they worshiped the sun and moon. Meletus, one of the accusers of Socrates notes that Socrates did not worship the gods of the city (Cahn 241). Instead, he acknowledges that Socrates worshiped other god. Socrates was then accused of propagating other divinities within the city-causing disharmony among the Athenians.
In his defense, Socrates claims that the sun and the moon are just stones that should not be adored and worshiped by the cities of Athens. Instead, Socrates believed in the existence of supernatural being from whom he took directions and guidance. His accusers note that he has no respect for the city gods and does not adhere to the teachings of teachings of the city gods. Socrates believed in liberalism and democracy where the citizens had the choice of performing the actions that they truly believe in. Based on this accusation, his conviction is unjustified because he believe in his god for direction. The accusation by Meletus to acquit him of disrespecting city gods is unjustified because all the Athenians had the democracy to exercise worship. In addition, his gods directed him through supernatural powers to correct the evils of the other gods.
Conclusion
The realization of ethical, sociological standards and good virtues is subject to liberal and democratic rights enhancement. Socrates advocated for liberalization and democracy in his teachings by helping the citizens to realize their potential capabilities. During his public and private speeches, Socrates encouraged the citizens to practice their democratic rights by rising against pretending leaders. In his quest for wisdom, Socrates realizes that the majority of the leaders and professionals are foolish because they pretend to have knowledge about the things they do not understand. Upon realizing that he is wiser than the leaders, the leaders gang up to accuse him of destabilizing democracy by inciting the citizens. The conviction of Socrates is unjustified because the supernatural powers guide him to restore truth and democracy. Majority of the Athenian politicians and religious leaders is pretenders who fear revelation by Socrates. Hence, they convict him to conceal the truth.




Works Cited
Cahn, Steven M. Classics of Western philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2002.print
Plato, John Madison Cooper. The Trial and Death of Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing,
 2000.print