Socratic Ethics Essay

2636 Words Feb 8th, 2012 11 Pages
Ethics is defined as the branch of philosophy with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions. Socrates discusses this many times in his teachings, specifically in the readings, Euthyphro, the Apology, the Crito and the Phaedo. Socrates’ main question was “What is the good life?” and his pursuit was to find out how to live this “good life”. Socrates’ pursuit of the “good life” helped him to identify knowledge with virtue. He equated knowledge with good or virtue and ignorance with bad or evil. Since no one would knowingly harm themselves, if harm came to a person, then that person must have acted in …show more content…
Therefore he must believe in gods because he is teaching about new gods, and then accuses Meletus of contradicting himself. With these arguments, Socrates believes he has proved the accusations brought against him are false and that he has proven his innocence. Socrates also shows us about ethics while discussing death in the Apology. His main point is that people should not fear death, that it may actually be fantastic. He says that death is not something he knows is bad, but that going against god is bad. Since he is convinced that his is a divine mission, he knows it would be bad to go against god but doesn’t know if death is bad, so he chooses what he knows, which is not philosophizing is going against god and therefore it’s bad. Socrates is trying to build a stronger Athens by showing people how to examine their lives and help lead them to live the “good life”. He is trying to show them that it is wrong to strive for material things like money and power, but to strive for self-examination and the pursuit of the “good life”. Meletus offers to let Socrates go if he promises to stop philosophizing, but Socrates declines because he knows that it is the right thing to do and he is determined to show his fellow Athenians that they are ignorant to things that will lead them to the “good life”. He said that even facing a hundred deaths, he wouldn’t stop philosophizing because he feels it is that important to show people the “good life”. He says that from

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