Apology Paper In the Apology by Plato, the scene is set up on the jury; Socrates is standing in front of his accusers, Meletus, Lycon and Anytus. He is defending for himself against the four charges brought by the accusers. Socrates is charged with inquiring the heaven and searching things beneath the earth, a Sophist, not believing the god of Athens, and corrupting the youth. Therefore, surrounding him was a group of wealthy young audiences. In the Apology, Socrates is defending for himself as well as prophesies to those who condemned him.
Although Socrates died, but he never convicted of his charges; even at the last moment, he warns the condemners and accusers will soon be punished by his son. In my opinion, if I were on the jury, I would also find Socrates as not guilty. Socrates violates none of the four charges, and by his eloquence, he embarrassed his accuser in front of the public, especially the wealthy young group of people and leading the defense on the jury and trap the accuser. According to the four charges on Socrates, the first one is Physicist, which is inquiring in the heaven and searching for things beneath the earth.
Socrates uses two points for his defense, the falsehood that Socrates is a Physicist and Aristophanes. In the Dialogue, “and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods” Socrates thinks that the jury is judging unjustly for his charge, for those people who are being told that he is a Physicist since child. By default, those people are tended to think of the Physicist side. The word “default” means the natural tendency of thinking him as a Physicist in the first place.
Later in the dialogue, Socrates furthers his defense by using Aristophanes’ comedy as an example. Aristophanes, also known as the father of comedy, he has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than anybody else. With such a great name being mentioned in front of the public, it is far more convincing that Socrates is not in the charge of Physicist, since Socrates treats the charge as watching a comedy which tells nonsense theory. Therefore, Socrates on the jury claimed that Meletus could not charge him for that. O Athenians that I have nothing to do with these studies. ” The above statement shows the denial of Socrates of being a Physicist, he did not inquiring the heavens and below the earth. In my opinions, Socrates is obviously not guilty for the charges. He never was a Physicist, and even if he is, he would have search for explanation of the God, and knowing the cause of some Myths and use scientific approach to find the answer. The most important fact about Physicist is that they don’t believe in God, they believe in evidences and proofs instead. But Socrates does believe in God.
Besides, I found no sign of Socrates in doing anything scientific. Instead, he is trying to call out the people who he met are present here to witness the truth. The second charge against Socrates is he making the worse argument into the better argument, this charge identified Socrates with the Sophists, a Sophists is a tutor who charged for tutoring the youths for a career in politics by teaching them how to make a convincing arguments and travelled from city to city to teach the youth. If I were on the jury, I would give a vote for him for not guilty.
First of all, Socrates in the dialogue seems to separate him from the Sophists group, he jokes about if he able to teach, he would honor his student to pay him. Later he quotes other great philosopher as his argument, he is honoring those great people have the knowledge to persuade the youth to leave their own citizens, with such privilege that is certainly worth some money. Also he told the story of Hipponicus’s son and the way he interprets is convinced that Socrates lacks any knowledge in teaching other people. “My poverty is a sufficient witness. Furthermore, Socrates is using his poverty level as a proof and a strong argument against Sophist, yet if he is charging fee for exhortation, it would if brought him out of poverty and living in luxury. But throughout the dialogue, there are plenty of places where Socrates stated that he have no money, “But you see that I have none, and can only ask you to proportion the fine to my means. ” If he have the money, he would if volunteer to make an offer for the proposal for the sentence, instead of keep saying he have no money.
As a conclusion, Socrates never travelled nor charged people money and living the life of poverty. It is very hard for me to think of Socrates doing the same as the Sophist, therefore I would brought in a verdict of not guilty for Socrates. The third charge for Socrates is corrupting the youth, “what evil does he practic or teach? They do not know, and cannot tell. ” Socrates introduced his defense but saying group of wealthy young men came across him and getting angry with him for finding out that they really know nothing and call him the misleader of youth.
But they can’t even point out what particular thing that Socrates had corrupted them, his argument was how he corrupted the youth when nobody can tell what Socrates teach. Furthermore, Socrates uses his eloquent brilliantly to embarrass his accuser Meletus. Socrates brought out Meletus and constantly ask him question and set him up to step on the trap. The tricks that Socrates is trying to do is to make Meletus contradicts himself. From the point of the jury, I would say he is not guilty for corrupting the youth.
On the jury, Socrates pretends that he is the corrupter and asks for the people who he have given them advice to be his accusers, then he followed by a long list of names that he come across with. Besides, Socrates uses the word “produce” to emphasize his argument that Meletus should have “produce” some of witness that Socrates had gave them bad advice and Socrates even volunteer to make way them. Judging from this point, I certainly know that Socrates is telling the truth and he is confident that he is not corrupting the youth.
Besides, I also think that the charge of corrupting the youth is linked with other charges, like the Sophist charge, the Sophist were very distrusted by Athenians, if Socrates is found guilty for Sophist, he is certainly corrupting the youth too, vice versa. Besides, the analogy of the training of the horse is a convincing point, yet the young men also require training by a skilled teacher, and most people cannot do it, unless those youth are same as the horses. Therefore, he is found not guilty for corrupting the youth.
The last charge against Socrates is not believed in the god of Athens, this charge is probably a follow-up of the first charge, Physicist. If you do not believe in the god of Athens, than you must be worshipping other god, therefore, Socrates’ accusers think he is inquiring the heaven and searching for thing beneath the earth. In order to defense against he, Socrates further asks Meletus question by interrogating him to what extent is mean by not the same gods which Athens recognizes. Later Socrates regards the sun as stone and doubt about if Meletus is accusing Anaxagoras instead. “You really think that I do not believe in any god? This quote clearly shows Socrates’ argument, as Socrates are being accused on the jury, he defend himself by questioning Meletus of not knowing his belief. Socrates’ horsemanship and flute-playing is definitely dubious for Meletus, as he did not answer the question but get up an interruption. For the judgment here, I would say Socrates is not guilty for not believing the god of Athens as he does believe in gods of Athens. In his defense, Socrates admitted that he do believe in divine beings, it must be spirits or demigod and he claims and make Meletus to say that Socrates is an atheist who believes in spiritual agencies and demigods.
Socrates here successfully lead his accuser to admit that he have made a false accuse and have made up one just for charging Socrates. Without a valid accuse, how can Socrates be found guilty of not believing in the god of Athens? And yet Socrates is believes in the god of Athens. To conclude, if I were on the jury, I would found Socrates not guilty for the four charges. Nevertheless, the jury never wanted Socrates to die; it is Socrates would fain lose his life. Truth is always the truth, if you endeavor to defense, someday you will success.