The Instigator
seoaned
Pro (for)
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The Contender
k_torres7
Con (against)
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Should socrates have drank the hemlock

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 711 times Debate No: 31163
Debate Rounds (4)
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seoaned

Pro

Purpose of debate is to define our reasons, "Why Socrates should have by drank the hemlock" or the opposite, "Why should he have not drunk the hemlock".

R1. Why did we decide to chose our side of the debate.
R2. Explanation
R3. Rebuttal.
R4. Conclusion of each side.

Socrates was a man of integrity and never wronged the community of Athens at least not intentionally. Plato referenced a gadfly to demonstrate Socrates stirring up Athens to make them think as a gadfly would sting a horse and irate it into action.
His actions of provoking thought are what caused the Athenians to sentence his death by drinking hemlock.
I chose the pro side because I believe that Socrates wanted to die. He was 70 years old and decided that it was time. He was given the chance to escaped prison but chose not to. He was a man that believed in justice. The court decided that he was guilty and his punishment was death. Socrates, whether or not they were right was going to obey their orders.
k_torres7

Con

Socrates himself noted that he could have won the trial and been acquitted of his charges had he practiced the art of Sophistry, yet he chose to speak the truth. He did not try to finesse his way out of the charges against him, though he knew he had committed no crime whatsoever.
I chose the negative side of this argument because I don't believe that Socrates should have drank the hemlock, or that he even wanted to because he was of old age. He knew in his mind that he was simply testing the Oracle's vision of him being the wisest man. He set out to find others who were like him, or wiser and made them question certain beliefs, in order to in fact determine whether or not he actually was the wisest man.
Debate Round No. 1
seoaned

Pro

I agree with the drinking of the hemlock, because during this time period once a young adult turned 18 years of age he had the right to continue living in Athens or to move elsewhere. If the young adult continued to live Athens there was an agreement that he would abide by the rules and standards of the Athenian court including trial by a judge and jury. Socrates decided to continue to live in Athens which was an agreement that he would obey the law. In this case if the court stated that he was guilty, whether or not he committed the crimes he was guilty
k_torres7

Con

Socrates stated that he was not a Sophist, nor a corrupter of the youth, but described himself as a gadfly sent to help the people. Socrates was well aware of his ignorance, in reference to Sophists who proclaimed to know everything, yet they did not. While on trial, Socrates proceeded to ask everyone present if he had corrupted anyone's mind. Plato, among others, spoke out in defense of Socrates stating that Socrates has helped them, but never corrupted their minds or ways of thinking. therefore, Socrates was innocent of the crime of corrupting the youth
Debate Round No. 2
seoaned

Pro

I agree that he did not corrupt the youth, But coming back to my first point he lived in Athens and had to abide by the court decision to punish him by making him drink hemlock. By not drinking it he would dishonor what the court had decided and giving them a reason to accuse him of breaking laws.
Socrates became a martyr for what he believed. He practiced what he believed in. By drinking the poison he did not contradict his life in anyway. Not drinking the hemlock would go against his beliefs about justice.
k_torres7

Con

By drinking the hemlock, Socrates would have accepted the consequences of a crime that he did not commit. Socrates was not looking to be a martyr and die for what he believed in, but he said that there would be others like him. Also, he spoke of death as a "deep, peaceful sleep" or a "change of place." His meaning of this was that no matter what happened, he would continue to speak his words, while "sleeping soundly'" , through death which would do no physical harm to him anyway.
Debate Round No. 3
seoaned

Pro

I agree with you that he would be accepting consequences of a crime that he did not commit. And that is unfair, but under the Athenian court he was guilty. Socrates obeyed the court and took his punishment knowing that they were wrong and he was not guilty.
I also continue to agree with him taking the hemlock. Although it can be considered suicide he drank it so that he would not contradict what he stands for. By committing suicide his actions spoke loud about what he believed in. This is why i believe he was a martyr. All he did was teach his beliefs and he thought he was right by doing so. Some believed he was corrupting the youth with his teachings but he wasn't. He knew he did nothing wrong and he was going to take his punishment knowing that he was innocent. Socrates was all for justice and he would commit and injustice if he disobeyed the court. Escaping prison would confirm to the court that he is guilty.
To conclude, Just as Socrates said, "Will you tell them that excellence and justice and institutions and law are the most valuable things that men can have"?
If he didn"t drink the hemlock he would negate this statement from The Crito. Escaping prison and not drinking the poison would negate excellence, justice, and the law, the three things that Socrates believed are valuable.
k_torres7

Con

Yet Socrates should not have been put in that position anyway because he in fact did not break any law. He simply said that if they were going to convict him and sentence him to death, that there would be others like him. Other to challenge the minds and beliefs of those around them, but he never taught corrupted idea to anyone. Socrates himself said that even if he did "corrupt the youth", it was involuntarily, in which his penalty would have been for him to be instructed for, not death. Voluntary teachings of corrupted ideas are certain of the consequence of the death penalty, however Socrates committed no crime .

I conclude with reiterating one of the points I brought up before in which he says that he could've won the trial and been acquitted of his charges, if he had used the art of Sophistry, in which he says he didn't because he wanted to be honest. This means that Socrates accepted the charges, but NOT because he committed the crime but because of what he stood for. He was not trying to die a martyr but that is in fact what he became. Therefore, Socrates was in fact wrongly punished, and shouldn't have had to drink the hemlock, or even put in that position to begin with.
Debate Round No. 4
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