The Trial And Death Of Socrates By Plato, Antigone, And Confessions By Saint Augustine

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Justice in Classical Antiquity: A Synthesis of Individual Liberty with the Common Good Justice is a concept institutionalized by society, where individuals entrust their basic rights to be upheld by the state. Together, members share social responsibility, actively pursuing a sense of communal virtue. The fruition of their cooperation brings about conditions where it is easiest for individuals to freely improve the wealth of the public. Using the texts The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato, Antigone by Sophocles, and Confessions by Saint Augustine, this essay will explore the complex relationship between the individual and society in Greco-Roman culture. It will argue from a classical standpoint that justice is defined as aligning the moral beliefs of individuals with what is in the best interest of the common good. Characters in the texts experience tension between whether their moral beliefs rest with the state or with their religious beliefs. Torn between the two channels for ethical reasoning, the characters are aware that they must choose allegiance with the one that best mirrors their vision of the ideal society. In The Trial and Death of Socrates, Socrates ideal society is based predominantly upon his faith in the state of Athens. Because Athenian culture employed a collectivist political structure, Socrates was more moved to romanticize the state’s welfare. His upbringing in the Greco-Roman world founded his Western philosophical beliefs about the power of the

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