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andrew_hickey
Pro (for)
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The Contender
seandelaney74
Con (against)
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Should Socrates have drank the Hemlock

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 839 times Debate No: 30471
Debate Rounds (4)
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andrew_hickey

Pro

Socrates was in fact correct for drinking the Hemlock. Socrates believed that a good life is a just and honorable one, which ultimately led to his final decision of drinking the Hemlock. At the age of 18, like all Athenians, Socrates knowingly had the opportunity to leave Athens if he was unhappy with their rule, with no punishment at all. By choosing not to leave the city, he decided that he would live under the city's laws. In the eyes of Athenians, Socrates had broken the law, and in order to be an honorable man, he must face the punishment. On top of this Socrates did not fear death, nor did he think death was evil, in fact he believed life after death was preferable to the life he was living in Athens. At the time of his death Socrates believed that his "time" had come for him to die.
seandelaney74

Con

Socrates was not correct for drinking the hemlock. Socrates was the great philosopher of his time, spreading his wisdom throughout Athens, trying to get people to understand a different ways of thinking, and understanding .Even though Socrates did not fear death he did in fact want to die naturally, not forcefully. Socrates was forced to drink the hemlock, they forced Socrates to kill himself. I believe he should have ran away to go elsewhere and spread his ideas he had the money and the power to escape. If Socrates leaves he can then go and die in a natural way like he wants sometime down the road.
Debate Round No. 1
andrew_hickey

Pro

Socrates was accused of refusing to recognize the God's and in doing so he was corrupting the youth in the city of Athens. Socrates believed it was impossible for everyone to know what was right for the youth. He believed that only those had been trained to teach the youth would be the only ones who were beneficial to them. Socrates did not believe he was "teaching" the youth, but was allowing think for themselves, which ultimately struck fear in the eyes of the Athenian government. It struck fear to the government despite the fact that Socrates believed that laws were needed, the city of Athens made laws for people to follow, and to go against the law "would be the wrong thing to do". By running away and not facing his punishment Socrates would be contradicting his "think for yourself" philosophy, and his statements on how laws were needed.
seandelaney74

Con

Socrates was accused of "corrupting the youth" with his teaching, accused is a big part of this. Yes he did speck and teach children his ideas, but being accused of corrupting them is an idea the Athens government came up with to get rid of Socrates. Now why would they want to do that? Well Socrates did not believe in what the government and higher power people believed. Socrates wanted people to open their minds and understand more ways of thinking. Socrates was trying to explain to the youth idea of agnosticism which is the idea of that the gods and goddess are unknown, which is different from being an atheist who does not believe there are gods. Of course the Greeks had their ideas of gods and goddess. he truly was not trying to go against the Greeks believes he was questioning how can you be so sure they exist. In the Apology by Plato Socrates says "can a man believe in spiritual and divine agencies, and not in spirits or demigods"? and Meletus says you can not. as he goes on Socrates stats that spirits and demigods "are they either gods or sons of gods"? and Meletus says they are. This proves to the court and people that Socrates is not an atheist and does in fact believe in agnosticism.
Debate Round No. 2
andrew_hickey

Pro

Socrates did believe in God's in fact he believed in the Devine Spirit who was the Oracle of Delphi. According to Socrates the Oracle of Delphi claimed that "their was no man wiser than Socrates". To prove this Oracle wrong Socrates came up with his own system, in which he would ask a question, propose an idea, and then continue to ask more questions. By doing this he was trying to prove the Oracle wrong, proving that there was somebody wiser than himself. It was due to the Oracle that Socrates began to question people's wisdom. He was not trying to corrupt the youth and did not believe in false God's. Socrates knew how little he knew, and taught people to question things. None of this information he had learned from the Oracle would have been significant however, if he had fled his death.
seandelaney74

Con

The Oracle did in fact state that Socrates was the "Wisest of Greeks" but in the response Socrates says"One thing only I know and that is that I know nothing" Now from reading Socrates you can tell that he did know quite a lot of information. He knew though that he did not know everything, but from what he did know he used and went after the others who were said to have wisdom. if he was not trying to corrupt the youth like you said, then did he really break any laws? The Greek government just wanted him out to stop him from causing "in their eyes" more chaos.
Debate Round No. 3
andrew_hickey

Pro

Socrates spent his time in front of many students discussing his thoughts on how laws are important, to think for yourself, and how one should not fear death. He had built quite a following, but in doing so, he had also developed many people who hated his ways. The fact that anybody could listen to what Socrates had to say did put him in a dilemma at his time of death. He had spoken so firmly on how laws are necessary, and that no man should fear death. By backing out of death and fleeing Athens, he would be questioning his own Philosophy, leaving doubt in the minds of any of his remaining followers.
seandelaney74

Con

Socrates was put into a tough situation, being accused of corruption because people did not like his ideas. Becoming such a well known person who went against the government, or did not believe what they were doing, or saying back in his days were killed or exiled very easily. Socrates questioned the ideas and beliefs of the Greek people making him public enemy number one. Socrates could have escaped and contented to spread his ideas and believes throughout the rest of the world.
Debate Round No. 4
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