The Instigator
jenkinst14
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Shayna002
Con (against)
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Should Socrates drink the Hemlock?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,145 times Debate No: 31075
Debate Rounds (3)
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jenkinst14

Pro

I believe that Socrates made the right decision to drink the Hemlock because he obtained the belief that a good life is only as good as you were honorable. In the eyes of the men of Athens, Socrates was accused of breaking the law, and he believed it would not be honorable to runaway from your punishment. Moreover, Socrates did not fear death, for death was unknown. There would be no reason at all to fear something if there is no true fact that it is evil, bad, or painful. Many only fear the unknown because they have never experienced it. Socrates believed that it was his time to die, there was no reason to be fearful and runaway. Also as stated by David Hume, that killing one's self is your own choice. Many believe suicide disrupts God's operation of the universe, however, human life depends on the general laws of matter and motion, thus it may be lawful to employ such power to which nature has provided him.
Shayna002

Con

I believe that Socrates shouldn't have drank the hemlock because as a human being how do you determine when its your time to die? You cant determine when its your time to die. As a human being it isn't up to you to know when its your time to die or not. Death is determined by God.If you are a Athens and don't believe in any type of God you still cant determine when it is our time for death. i really don't seem how it is possible for any human being to determine when it is there time to die."I only know what I don't know" as stated by Socrates! He said this so how is it possible that he can determine if it was his time to die or not if he really don't know himself?
Debate Round No. 1
jenkinst14

Pro

You claim that death is determined by God, however I need more evidence to understand your reasoning for your opinion. Referring back to Hume, "the life of a man is no greater than that a life of an animal, or any other living thing." How would you know if the death of Socrates, due to the hemlock, would disrupt the ways of the universe? Many people live through a life of suffering, whether it is caused from sickness, pain, or poverty, it would be considered a gift, and or relief for them to commit suicide with the intention of being happy and the end of their suffering. Also, considering Socrates's conviction of corrupting the youth and spreading false religions, after he has claimed his innocence, refusing to take the poison would only put suspicion upon him and whether or not his claims of innocence were truthful. " A man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong."
Shayna002

Con

Every person follows a certain religion, belief, or domination. Myself i follow the Christianity belief. To answer your question about needed more evidence according to the holy bible the book of Genesis old testament 1:1, God created the heaven, earth and man. If God created man how can you take your own life away rather you were suffering or anything? it is still suicide and you can go to hail for it. Thy shall not kill which is also in the bible killing yourself is committing a sin.so by Socrates drinking the hemlock i feel that he committed a sin no matter what he believes in. Even if you don't believe in God i feel that every human being believes in a higher power than ourselves so why would you commit a sin and kill yourself. Also according to David Hume "If suicide be criminal, it must be a transgression of our duty either to God, our neighbor, or ourselves. Socrates drinking the hemlock in my opinion is all around wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
jenkinst14

Pro

In your quote by Hume you stated that" it" would be a transgression, however, missing the fact that he specifically said " if it must be a transgression", not confirming yet, questioning the theory of whether suicide violates god? In this case you have to think about Socrates and what his running away would do to his reputation. Yes, he can stay alive and just suffer the punishment of never being able to return to Athens; however you have to think of what would happen to his arguments and his teachings. They would be shunned along with him for his giving up and turning away from his conviction. Drinking this poison would only prove his innocence, for guilt only makes one fearful and want to run from the wrong doing they know deep down they have caused. Socrates states "like a good man I have always supported the right, and had made justice." So you see this poison is a symbolism of his innocence and, shows truly how much of a noble man, and philosopher he was to be fearless of death.
Shayna002

Con

In your argument you stated that the hemlock is a symbolism of his innocence and shows truly how much of a noble man, and he was to be fearless of death. But i don't understand how taking the hemlock and killing himself makes him a noble man and fearless of death. If you are not scared of death you just would not worry about dying, you wouldn't kill yourself to prove anything if you were really a noble man when yo know deep down killing yourself is a sin. I don't feel that he is running away from his conviction by taking the hemlock if anything to me it seems that Socrates rather die than to suffer the consequences. To me thats being coward and taking the easy way out because if he is dead he wouldn't have to worry about anything anymore instead of facing his problems like a real noble man would do. Socrates should just stay alive and suffer his punishment like a real man would do and just not return back to the Athens. thats the right way to serve justice in a correct manner.
Debate Round No. 3
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