Socrates Guilty as Charged

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In Plato’s Apology Socrates is being tried by Anytus and Meletus for two new charges: “corrupting the young, and not acknowledging the gods of the city acknowledges, but new daimonic activities instead” (Morgan 2005, 51). Throughout Plato’s Apology and Euthyphro Socrates uses complex rhetoric to challenge the charges brought against him based on his thoughts and understanding of what is right and wrong. He never once states he is not guilty nor does he provide reasons to support his innocence. He suggests rather that he is on a divine mission stating “this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is no greater blessing for the city than my service to the god” (Morgan 2005, 55). Socrates uses his trial as an opportunity to show…show more content…
Plato’s Euthyphro demonstrates Socrates searching for a definition of what piety is so that he can prove that he is not impious. Through the dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates using his typical mannerisms refutes each response through questioning to prove that what piety is hard to define and in fact one consistent definition is unattainable. The argument that holds the most weight is when Euthyphro suggests the being pious is God loved while impious is God Hated. Socrates infers “…different sets of Gods, too, consider different things to be just, or fine or shameful, or good or bad…”(Morgan 2005, 39) ultimately concluding that some Gods love the things that others Gods hate, therefore that being impious and pious are the same thing, and that he cannot be one and not the other. Based on the discussion the conclusion Socrates draws is accurate however does not prove his innocence but shows that Euthyphro is unable to define what piety is. Socrates is aware that through his questioning this will be the outcome, his purpose is rather to provoke thought in Euthyphro’s mind, and engage him in thinking what is just or unjust, and that because he cannot provide a concrete definition then perhaps he is not qualified to decide. In Plato’s Apology Socrates argues that he did not corrupt the youth but rather that he was trying to improve them. This is an opinionated belief not based on fact.

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