The Instigator
stropheum
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
MoonDragon613
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Socrates did not deserve the death penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 13,351 times Debate No: 3802
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (10)

 

stropheum

Pro

My argument is simple:

-->Socrates was unjustly accused of his crimes which put him to death. These crimes are:

1:Impiety

2:Corrupting the youth

I will provide a brief opening statement, and whoever shall accept this challenge can create their opening statement based on that.

-->The first charge of Impiety was a ridiculous statement because as he stated in the Apology, the very reason he began his travels, cross examining many artisans and politicians was because of the Delphi oracle, who stated that he was the wisest man alive. Since he did not believe this, he began his travels, attempting to discover if he was truly the wisest man alive. This seems to be a very religious act, considering he acknowledged the existence of the gods that the oracle communed with.

-->The second charge of corrupting the youth is an equally ridiculous statement, because when Socrates cross examined a member of the audience, the response was that Socrates alone corrupted the youth, and every other man only benefited the youth. Socrates shut this statement down as well, revealing that none of the men in the jury had any care for the youth, that it was a mere excuse that they could use to kill Socrates.

-->This is as far as i will go for now, i would hope whoever accepts this challenge does their best to contradict me. Good luck to whoever you may be, and may you all vote on the debate itself, but not on your personal views.
MoonDragon613

Con

Socrates deserved the death penalty. Not for "impiety" and "corrupting the youth", but the truth is (as any historian would know), these were not actually the crimes for which he was executed.

To understand why Socrates was executed, and why he deserved to be executed, we need a more comprehensive view of the decade before his execution. You see, the truth is, Socrates was a danger to Athenian Society, and his teachings almost already once destroyed Athens. Athens was not about to let itself be destroyed bo Socrates twice, thus explaining his trial and execution.

Socrates was a great enemy of Democracy. He strenuously and repeatedly objected to Democracy as a system of government. Which is of course his right.
But what Socrates did was not only object to Democracy, but teach his objection to his students, such as Plato and Critias.

At around 404 BC, Critias led a group of 30 tyrants, all of whom were heavily influenced by Socrates' teachings about the flaws and imperfection of Democracy and overthrew the Democracy in Athens with military force. They limited the civil rights of Athens and purged opposition leaders, forcing hundreds to drink hemlock and thousands into exile.

It took another military coup one year later to rid Athens of this totalitarian military junta of Socrates' students.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Of course ... this was Not enough for Socrates. Even after giving Athens a taste of what a dictatorship was like, Socrates still advocated against Democracy. He still went through Athens, recruiting students, teaching them the horrors of Democracy, and fomenting rebellion and treason.

Did he corrupt the youth of Athens? Yes he did indeed. In light of the danger he posed to Athens and Athenian society, the death penalty was more than justified. He could have chosen to stop his teachings. In fact, during his sentencing, he was expected to offer an alternative to the death penalty. But in his arrogance, he instead suggested that Athens offer him a stipend to continue teaching.

Many Athenians had lost their family members, suffered tremendous hardship, or were thrown into exile because of the teaching of Socrates. And this arrogant man had the nerve to suggest that Athens Pay him to continue his teachings. So now you tell me, was Athens justified in executing him?

1. His teachings was dangerous to Athens, Democracy, and it's people.
2. He refused to stop his teachings.
3. He was offered a choice to either stop his teachings or face execution.
Debate Round No. 1
stropheum

Pro

Thanks for responding to this argument moondragon613, and now I'll address each point you've made

1: "His teachings was dangerous to Athens, Democracy, and it's people."

>>>1A: You mentioned earlier in your argument on this point that Socrates encouraged tyrants and tyrannical views, yet I don't recall any tyrants that claim to be enlightened by Socrates. Would you happen to have the names of these tyrants, and also what these leaders did to be considered tyrannical, other than not believing in democracy as a functional form of government? It is true that Socrates was a danger to democracy, and that he pointed out many flaws of this system of government, but I don't believe this is the same as encouraging tyrannical behavior, even if he did encourage monarchical views.

>>>1B: Also, at the time, Athens was switching between several forms of government, and did not remain a democracy for anywhere over ten years at a time. This scenario influenced the situation in two ways. The first way being that it enforced Socrates' view on the stability of democracy, and the second way being that most of the jurors at the trial of Socrates obviously favored democracy, in that they were part of this trial, and knowing that Socrates was dead set against the form of government that they supported, this I am almost sure swayed the vote against him, which can definitely be considered as unjustly putting him to death.

2: "He refused to stop his teachings."

>>>2A: Many people see this as a sheer act of stubbornness on Socrates' part, but if looked at properly, one realizes that in the same situation, we would all make the same decision. Socrates was a stone mason as a career, which made him the little money that he ever had, but at heart, he was a philosopher. That was all he wanted to be and all he would be, a lover of wisdom. So while Socrates was on trial, he was presented with two options. One being that he could live and never do the one thing he wants, the second one being to die. Some of us might fear death to the point of living out a hollow existence until we die anyway, but given the choice, Socrates believed it was not worth it. In fact, he went to state that he was the "gadfly" that kept the democracy awake, by not letting them blindly believe anything, but instead questioning everything to arrive at the truth. Since I noticed that i also responded to your third point with this, I will leave it to you sir. Good luck.
MoonDragon613

Con

1. The Danger of the Socratic Teachings.

A. "Yet I don't recall any tyrants that claim to be enlightened by Socrates. Would you happen to have the names of these tyrants, and also what these leaders did to be considered tyrannical, other than not believing in democracy as a functional form of government?" ----- My opponent's Question.

My opponent clearly prefers WRITING to READING. I mean ... I understand if this was an oral debate ... but for crying out loud, It's RIGHT THERE!!!! LOOK!!! 4th Paragraph!!!! RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!
("At around 404 BC, Critias ... They limited the civil rights of Athens and purged opposition leaders, forcing hundreds to drink hemlock and thousands into exile.")

I. The Leader, Critias, was a student of Socrates.
II. The Tyrants forced hundreds to drink hemlock and thousands into exile.

B. "Also, at the time, Athens was switching between several forms of government"

OF COURSE THEY WERE. HAVENT U READ ANYTHING I WROTE????
"At around 404 BC, Critias led a group of 30 tyrants, all of whom were heavily influenced by Socrates' teachings about the flaws and imperfection of Democracy and OVERTHREW the Democracy in Athens with military force. ... It took another military coup one year later to rid Athens of this totalitarian military junta of Socrates' students."

AGAIN IT'S RIGHT THERE!!! Athenian democracy was overthrown by military force because of Socrates' teachings against Democracy and then restored a year later by another military revolution of outraged citizens.

2. "He refused to stop his teachings."
"Many people see this as a sheer act of stubbornness on Socrates' part, but if looked at properly, one realizes that in the same situation, we would all make the same decision."

Let's think about this for a second ....
Let's Imagine if YOUR TEACHINGS were Responsible for the death of hundreds of your countrymen. Let's Imagine if YOUR TEACHINGS were responsible for the birth of a military Junta that oppressed YOUR neighbors and fellow citizens. If YOUR TEACHINGS were responsible for this ... would you continue?

I believe that if Karl Marx knew his teachings would give birth to a monster such as Stalin, he would have had the decency to stop. Or at least apologize. Socrates did neither. He demanded to be paid. In fact .... that was the choice he offered Athens. Either they executed him or they paid him.

Would You pay Osama Bin Laden if you lost a relative in 9/11 or would you execute him ... And do you think his execution is justified?
Debate Round No. 2
stropheum

Pro

Again, you're stating that Socrates told these men to overthrow Athens, which he did not do. They merely followed him and interpreted his teachings based on his perspectives, and then reacted on their own volition. Also, you said that Critias led a group of 30 tyrants, but you still haven't provided the names of these tyrants or their connection to Socrates, so I will disregard their actions entirely.

As for your reference to Karl Marx, you stated that if he knew about Stalin, then he would have never supported any form of socialism? I disagree with this completely. It was the form of government that he believed in, period. Perspectives never should account for extremists, because those people are just that: extremists. Irrational, usually violent stubborn believers that their belief is the absolute truth. Karl Marx would not have stopped believing what he did, and he would not apologize for socialism altogether.

Finally, you asked "Would You pay Osama Bin Laden if you lost a relative in 9/11 or would you execute him ... And do you think his execution is justified?"

This is just ridiculous. If Osama Bin Laden killed one of my relatives, I would think he deserved some form of justice, but I am not one to decide who should die, no man has that choice. Also, this is irrelevant to the discussion. A real question that relates to this debate would be this: If you lost a relative in 9/11, would you try your believe that killing Osama Bin Laden's high school teacher is justified? I think most people would say no to this question.

good luck to you sir.
MoonDragon613

Con

MoonDragon613 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
I come home from camp for the night, get on my computer for the first time in a week, and this is what I find. Disappointing, leethal, flat disappointing.

Geez, you make it sound like you hate America! Dare I call you unpatriotic?
Besides, if you just switch out "Summer" for "Winter" it still works just fine.

Second, you call me a moron. Now this is quite untrue, as we can see from my biting-yet-dead-on commentary on life, using the metaphor of insulting people. If I were truly a moron, I couldn't possibly come up with such astute observations on the world as I see it. I mean, come on, have you ever heard me utter anything TRULY moronic, such as "your a f@g"?
No. You have not. You have caught me in a single faux-pas which I readily admitted, and now you're pressing the point just to ensure that my soul is utterly destroyed by your buzzing. I used to respect you, leethal, but now I still do. Your image is tainted!
Posted by leethal 8 years ago
leethal
"Besides, it's summer, don't you have something better to do than criticize the criticizer? I'm flattered that you care so much, but shocked that you aren't doing anything more important than getting on my case."

First of all, it's Winter in Australia, which is where I live. I can understand that a majority of Americans don't realise there's an entire planet surrounding their country, but trust me, there is.
Secondly, I can get on your case for the 2 minutes it takes, then I can do other things afterwards. It's not like debating morons takes up too much time.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
In my defense, it WAS MoonDragon, so it wouldn't surprise me if he HAD made it all up (judging from his track record -- this is nothing against MoonDragon, it is in fact a thickly veiled, backhanded compliment).

Refusing to start a debate myself? The only time I get on debate.org is when someone posts a comment on a debate I'm watching. I don't have the effort to select a topic, research that topic, and keep track of that debate. You suggest that the reason I don't start a debate is because I couldn't follow one, or am too inept to be any good at debating. This is hardly the case. I don't feel it necessary to prove myself on this site when one of two things would happen 3/4 of the time:
1) I get someone who has no idea how to logic (who may or may not stay for the whole debate), or
2) I get someone who CAN debate, but drops rounds.
You can see where the incentive is not. Add this to my aforementioned laziness, and you get a massive lack of interest in debating on this site.

Besides, it's summer, don't you have something better to do than criticize the criticizer? I'm flattered that you care so much, but shocked that you aren't doing anything more important than getting on my case.
Posted by leethal 8 years ago
leethal
I suppose that's what you get when you think you know it all. You called MoonDragon a liar, then said how ridiculous we all are for believing him. Then, you got proven to be an absolute idiot. Talk about poetic justice. "Greece, clearly, is not my specialty." Your 'specialty' seems to be criticizing the hell out of other people's debates, yet refusing to start a debate yourself. Man it's good to see idiots masquerading as intellectuals unmasked.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
Wow, er... Geez... Um...

*my own words are eaten*

Greece, clearly, is not my specialty.
Posted by MoonDragon613 8 years ago
MoonDragon613
............... Are you serious SexyLatina? You've never heard of the 30 tyrants?

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.britannica.com...

Anyone else want to call it completely ridiculous?
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
Pro...

Those 30 tyrants...didn't...exist........

Socrates didn't ask to be paid, either...

Moondragon613 kinda made all that up...

And you believed it...

When it was COMPLETELY ridiculous...
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Not sure, but it certainly was a blessing in the long run. It exposed one of the most basic flaws of democracy.
Posted by Lithobolos 8 years ago
Lithobolos
Didn't Socrates say it was a blessing he was being put to death?
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
The genius of Socrates was in his ability to expose the ignorance of the majority. Unfortunately it was that same ingnorant majority who dictated proper retribution. Although he certainly did not deserve such punishment, it was seen as just punishment in the eyes of the majority. It is a timeless truth that the majority operates based on its own needs, desires and whims, and without regard for right and wrong.
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