Should have Socrates Drank the Hemlock
Debate Rounds (3)
In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws"
Because those in power are made of nothing more than flesh and bone, their rules are subject to fallibility. Because the jury is erroneous in its conviction, he has a moral obligation to not abide by their punishment.
In "The Crito" Socrates creates a fallacy with Crito and states:
"We brought you into the world, we raised you, we educated you, we gave you and every other citizen a share of all the good things we could. Yet we proclaim that if any man of the Athenians is dissatisfied with us, he may take his goods and go away..." By escaping from prison, it is like slapping his parent's faces, of which has raised him in this society.
Not knowing what came after death was not a good reason not to fear it. On the contrary, BECAUSE he had never experienced death and didn't know what was on the other side of it, it's entirely possible that there was nothing after death...just empty blackness. He needed his body to continue learning and growing and acquiring wisdom and understanding.
It wasn't that he was too attached to Athens, but it was the journey he set on to discover if he was the wisest man. He questioning the oracles prophecy, which was that he was the wisest man lead to his own destruction and to court. He should drink the hemlock because he knows he has not corrupted the youth or believed in false gods. By socrates drinking the hemlock it means that he was willing to die for what was right instead of escaping.
Socrates does not need his body to acquire wisdom and understanding. In the Phaedo Socrates states: "When does the soul attain truth?- for in attempting to consider anything in company with the body she is decieved." The body and the senses innacurately portrays the real truth in things. The body needs to be seperated from the soul for one to see the true understanding of things. Another reason why Socrates should drink the hemlock.
There is a certain wisdom that comes with knowing what is and what is not in a person"s control. This was a situation that was in his ability to control, and, because he was falsely accused, he should have taken advantage of it. As far as freeing oneself from their mortal body in order to gain truth and knowledge and wisdom, if you were to ask a Buddhist he would say you do not need to be separated from the body to attain enlightenment.
In all of Athens' infinite wisdom and glory, one of the great civilizations the world ever saw was eventually taken over. In the end, it is no surprise that that they were not wise enough to see the value in keeping Socrates alive and as one of their own.
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