The Instigator
Williamsantos
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
stevenac4
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Socrates should have drank the Hemlock.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,075 times Debate No: 30397
Debate Rounds (4)
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Williamsantos

Pro

Socrates indeed should have drank the Hemlock. Socrates believed in living justly and honorably. In his perspective to live well was to live honorably and justly. Hence, the decision to drink the Hemlock. To not follow through with his unwritten agreement with the Athenians would have been equally unjust as running away without Athenian consent. With that being said, Socrates whom is not afraid of death, in fact desires death to free his spirit from his body which he believed to be the prison of his soul. He was not only being freed from the corrupt world and body but also dying justly and nobly. Socrates, had a "Daemon" known as a spirit guide which he believed guided him to only do right. He heard this voice murmur in his head guiding him from escaping and taking refuge in Thessaly. For he had not knew what that outcome would be and how he would be perceived in another city-state.
stevenac4

Con

Socrates should not have drank the Hemlock. He believed the best the way to be with himself and reach his inner self was death. Socrates was forced to drink the hemlock because they found him guilty of corrupting the youth but he was an unique individual compared to your average person. But Socrates also believed that killing yourself with a posionous remedy was not the answer to freeing your spirit. Socrates believed that death is not supposed to be planned and that it is supposed to happen naturally. Socrates should not have listened to his spirit guide known as "Daemon". Daemon was holding Socrates back from going to another city state. Socrates could have possibly escaped punishment if he ran away from the town, he tried offfering other options to the people so he would not have to be killed through poison. Socrates believed that Daemon was always right but i dont beleive this is always the case. Socrates believed in dying naturally and Daemon believed that freeing Socrates soul from his body was by death and any form of death.
Debate Round No. 1
Williamsantos

Pro

So, you say the best way to reach himself and his inner self was death. By drinking the Hemlock would that not have been reaching his goal? Wouldn't drinking the Hemlock be tantamount to dying naturally since Socrates was to adhere to his death sentence? And if Socrates believed himself to be justly and noble and as you say he would refuse to escape and shuffle around his agreement. That being said, He would follow through with his agreement of his death sentence would he not? And if the Daemon Told Socrates "Freeing Socrates' s body was by death and any form" then Socrates indeed listened to him by doing so. However, you say "Socrates believed we should die of natural causes." So drinking the Hemlock indeed is a natural cause. Since, dying is natural and all a part of gods plan Socrates could not have been going against nature by killing himself in fact, he fulfilled the Almighty's plan. I will paraphrase a statement by David Hume in which he says, " No being possesses the power to alter nature or disorder the universe since its all in the will of the Almighty himself" ( Hume, "one Suicide", para. 12) Socrates could not have went against nature for it was already in Gods plans for him to drink the Hemlock.
stevenac4

Con

Yes, I am saying that the best way to reach his inner self was by death. But by drinking the Hemlock is not a natural death. Dying is natural and inevitably happens to everyone, but the hemlock is a poisonious drink which is not natural. According to Socrates you can not plan a death as it comes naturally. By drinking the Hemlock he is already planning his death. He is going to drink it on this day and then he is going to die. Technically he reaches his inner self because he has died, but the death was planned. Having a trial for his case of corrupting the youth which sentenced him to death on a certain day is planned am I right? With that being said there is no way the death could have been natural because his death was set for a certain day and he was expecting it. I believe a natural death is something that is not preventable and you can not predict it. David Hume states that "What is the meaning then of that principle, that a man, who, tired of life, and hunted by pain and misery, bravely overcomes all the natural terrors of death, and makes his escape from this cruel scene; that such a man, I say, has incurred the indignation of his creator, by encroaching on the office of divine provident; and disturbing the order of the universe?" So by having Socrates drink the Hemlock he is doing wrong by disturbing the flow of the universe.
Debate Round No. 2
Williamsantos

Pro

Interesting that you refer to David Hume's "On Suicide". Looking back on the same paragraph you cited notice he concludes this " Has not every one of consequence the free disposal of his own life? And may he not lawfully employ that power with which nature has endowed him?" Following your statement David Hume comes to this conclusion. It is to say drinking the hemlock must be death of a natural cause, since, nature itself has given Socrates the power of free disposal to his own life. And so would they that not be natural? Wouldn't he be dying honorably? If you take a look at the "Enchiridion" by Epictetus he end his writing with this " O Crito, if it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be. Anytus and Melitus may kill me indeed, but hurt me they cannot." By taking the death sentence Socrates is pleasing the gods. He is doing exactly what he what he he believes in, which is to live honorably. He is abiding the law he has conformed to.
stevenac4

Con

I took a look at David Hume`s "On Suicide" and found an interesting point. Socrates believes that the Almighty has all the answers and is controlling him and sets him straight telling what choices need to be made in order to reach his inner self. But what the Almighty does is out of the control of the human. "Divine providence is still inviolate, and placed far beyond hte reach of human injuries." This is saying that the powers implanted in a human are out of their control. These powers can cause a mis flow of the universe which is not supposed to happen, this would be altering the natural flow of things, which by doing that who knows what could happen. Says the old Roman superstition "It is impious to divert rivers from their course, or invade the prerogatives of nature." With this being said I believe it is impious for Socrates to divert nature by drinking the Hemlock. Mentioning back to what you said, ". It is to say drinking the hemlock must be death of a natural cause, since, nature itself has given Socrates the power of free disposal to his own life. And so would they that not be natural?" It is not natural because a natural death means dont plan your death, you die unexpectedly or die of natural causes, old age etc. By drinking the Hemlock he knows he will die therefore diverting the course of nature.
Debate Round No. 3
Williamsantos

Pro

You say "Socrates believes that the Almighty has all the answers and is controlling him and sets him straight telling what choices need to be made in order to reach his inner self." By making that statement you would agree that the Almighty indeed controls our every decision and is nature itself. And if you do agree you might as well agree that no being has the power to alter nature since its already in the plan of god. Since like you say the Almighty controls Socrates as he does everything else. We can then conclude, it was in the will of god that Socrates poisoned himself and fulfilled his destiny.And if it was in the will of god whom which is nature then Socrates conformed to natures cause. And if you say it wasn't and think it is against nature then you must say the Athenians have gone against nature by sentencing Socrates to death. Wouldn't that be altering nature and transgressing the will of God? And if Like you say Socrates should not have drank the Hemlock than he would only be proving to break laws in corrupting the youth. We agreed Socrates lived his life nobly and justly would he dare tarnish his image by escaping and living in shame? I think not. He will follow through what he has agreed to do since it is the will of the Almighty which we agreed he follows as well as his spirit guide. And since we agreed that is true then we can agree that nature would not have been altered and in fact nature will continue to go on.
stevenac4

Con

Yes, we can both conclude that the Almighty indeed controls our every decision and nature itself. The Almighty implants the power into the human which the humans are not able to control their actions that the Almighty makes them do. The Athenians do go against nature by having Socrates sentenced to death. They go against it because there were other options besides sentenced to death. I disagree with your statement "Socrates should not have drank the Hemlock than he would only be proving to break laws in corrupting the youth" because with him not drinking the Hemlock does not have anything to do with him breaking laws by corrupting the youth. With him corrupting the youth is completely irrelevant to him not drinking the Hemlock. Socrates would not have to worry about living in shame because he would have left the town and fled to another town where people were not familiar with him and have no prior knowledge of who is he actually is and what his beliefs are. I still believe that he should not have drank the Hemlock because he is committing suicide which is going against nature because Socrates has all control over a suicide but he has no power by which nature chooses his death. A suicide goes outside the flow of nature, nature happens regulary and nothing is expected or planned. But a suicide is a planned death, therefore Socrates altered nature by drinking the Hemlock.
Debate Round No. 4
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