Recounting the Last Days of Socrates in Crito Essay

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Recounting the Last Days of Socrates in Crito

In the Last Days of Socrates the dialogue “Crito” recounts Socrates last days before his execution. Socrates had been accused of corrupting the youth and not worshipping the Gods of the state. During his trial he denied all accusations and attempted to defend himself by proving his innocence using reason . He was judged to be guilty and given a death sentence. His long time friend Crito proposes to Socrates a plan to escape from his death sentence in prison. Crito and Socrates argue the issue of escape with Socrates deciding on accepting his sentence. I feel that in light of his beliefs Socrates was ethically correct in refusing to escape from prison. It was important to Socrates that he
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Life would not be worth living with an unhealthy body, it would be even worse with an unhealthy (unjust) soul. Life in itself is not of great value, but living a good life is. To Socrates a good life is one lived in just and moral manner. “ I should like you to consider whether we still agree on this point: that the really important thing is not to live, but to live well. ...to live well amounts to the same thing as to live honorably and justly” 48b To Socrates justice dictates the health of the soul and so he would follow the orders of justice in the manner as which he would follow a doctors orders for his physical health. What is important is whether it is just or unjust to escape while enlisting the help of others in doing this. “shall we be acting justly in paying money and showing gratitude to these people who are going to rescue me, and in escaping or arranging the escape ourselves, or shall we really be acting unjustly in doing all this? If it becomes clear that such conduct is unjust, I cannot help thinking that the question whether we are sure to die, or to suffer any other ill-effect for that matter, if we stand our ground and take no action, ought not to weigh with us at all in comparison with the risk of acting unjustly.” 48d Socrates seeks to establish whether an act like this one would be just and morally justified. To intentionally commit a wrong act would to be damaging to the souls of all involved. Even acting
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