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A Timely Death.

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A Timely Death George Bernard Shaw once said that "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man" (http://home.att.net/~quotesexchange). Socrates was seldom seen as an 'unreasonable' individual who preached and discoursed to the people of Athens to think proactively about imperative issues which pertain to the very existence of humankind. His colloquy with the Athenian youth bothered certain conformists who charged him with corruption and for not believing in the Greek Gods, the city believed in. They mistook him for a sophist who altered young minds. However this was not true; Socrates was merely trying to pursue the truth, the true meaning of life and its values. It was a moral as well as an intellectual pursuit for him. But Athenian justice swayed by the charges failed to perceive his views and condemned him to death. Even though Socrates had a chance to flee from this undeserved punishment, he decided to drink the hemlock which brought him swift death. I believe that Socrates did the right thing by consuming the drink of death. In the 'Euthyphro', Socrates has a chance meeting with his friend Euthyphro who is a professional priest outside the king-archon's court. ...read more.


In the 'apology' Socrates tries to reason with the court and he presents an interesting rationale. One of the charges against Socrates is that he is performing treachery against Athens by corrupting the youth of tomorrow. Socrates answers this charge by stating that no one intentionally causes harm to themselves. He says that he knows that by corrupting the youth who will inherit the society he lives in, he is really only harming himself. He asks why he or anyone would want to hurt themselves. He says that no one really harms their neighbors intentionally, for they are aware that the neighbors might become vengeful and retaliate. Athens was a small kingdom, with a population of a few thousand people. Socrates knew that by causing harm to those around him intentionally, he would only be hurting his existence in this close knit society. I do not think that this charge against Socrates is compelling enough as Socrates was well aware of the implications of his actions. The other question that lingers in our mind is whether Socrates really intentionally harmed himself by drinking the hemlock. After being convicted, Socrates decides to drink the hemlock as he sees this as the correct alternative and through this act reaches eternal enlightenment. ...read more.


He also says that if he escaped, then his credentials would suffer as people would think that he did not abide by his own teachings and that he was not true to himself. I think that these reasons put forth by Socrates justify the step he was about to take. I further believe that somewhere in his mind, Socrates accepted the fact that he was too old to resettle in another country and was convinced that he could fall into the same quandary again. I think that he was also aware that he only had a few more years to live and that fighting this punishment would be tiring and in any case death was inevitable. In any society, unconventional ideas and thoughts are first laughed upon, then they are ridiculed, then they are criticized, then follows rebuttal after which they are finally accepted. By drinking the hemlock, Socrates proved his life teachings, principles and beliefs. I believe that by taking his own life, he stayed true to his own philosophy and in the process may have convinced some non-believers that his teachings were true. In the end when Socrates drank the hemlock, he reached enlightenment by accepting death, the eternal truth. Sources Cited United States. Famous Quotes and Famous Sayings Network 23 April 2003 <http://home.att.net/~quotesexchange/progress.html> Plato. The Trial and Death of Socrates. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company , 2000. ...read more.

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