TheTrial and Death of Socrates
Socrateswas neither afraid of controversy nor unpopularity. Hence, he soughtto challenge leaders, as well as, the public on what constitutedbeing knowledgeable or wise (Plato 35). Consequently, he was broughtto trial and later sentenced to death for his opinions andideologies. Socrates is respectable and offers good arguments, whichprovide great lessons to the 21st-centurygeneration regarding advocacy and initiating conversations thatchallenge the status quo.
Toearn the respect of the leadership and the public, one must come outas an authoritative figure and possess the ability to provoke peopleto action. During his time, Socrates earned respect and admiration ofthe youth of Athens because of his character and ability to evoke newperspectives (Plato 41). Decades later, just like the Athenians, Ialso respect and admire Socrates for his ability to challenge thepublic to consider alternative lines of thought. I believe thatprogress and prosperity depend on the capacity to challenge statusquo and allow new ideas to impact the society. Socrates also deservesto be admired and respected because he was fearless. Today, manypeople are afraid to challenge individuals in positions of power andauthority hence, they would rather live in subjection, then inempowerment. Socrates demonstrated that fearlessness is an importantattribute for persons who wish to make changes in the community.
Besidesbeing a respectable person, Socrates was a powerful public speaker.Consequently, during his trial, he presented both to the jury and thepublic arguments that shed light to his character and demeanor. Ibelieve that most of his arguments were good, in fact, thoughtprovoking. However, I do not agree with all his statements. To beginwith, I agree with his acknowledgment that he might not be the wisestpersons, as claimed by the oracle, that notwithstanding he has cometo realize that those he believed may be wiser than him are no moreknowledgeable or wiser (Plato 45). This statement possesses one ofthe fundamental philosophical questions, "who can claim to knowand what constitutes to know"? The significance of this issueis perhaps evident in the legal and advocacy professions. Lawyers andjudges always face the dilemma of acting as knowledgeable or wisewhen resolving issues despite the fact that it is impossible for ahuman being to be all-knowing. Therefore, when Socrates notes thatsome of his audience considers him wise indeed, he is also aware ofhis limitations and knows that only God is truly wise.
Socratesalso makes a good point when he challenges Meletus, his accuser, thatif indeed that it is absurd to believe in the existence of gods, thenthe right approach would not to accuse him in court but to offer analternative instructional approach (Plato 60). This statement depictsa man who is willing to consider a contrary opinion and that he isnot afraid of the changing his perspectives should the alternativepoint of view prove better. However, despite his statements, Socratespresents himself as superior in his fearlessness of death. Instead,it would be better if he acknowledged the reasons behind the humanfear of death rather than address such a sensitive topic so casually.This statement represents the inability of some people to respectother`s opinions regarding death or other significant issues.
Tosum up, Socrates proves respectable due to his ability to challengethe norm and going out of the way to stand for other alternativeideas. Most of his arguments are good, although critics also foundfaults. He knows that no one can be perfect apart from God, but hisaccusers refute his stand without giving a different instructionalapproach. All in all, Socrates can be termed wise and respectable hewas unshaken and stood up for his ideologies up to his trial anddeath.
Plato.TheTrial and Death of Socrates. InTheApology, in Dialogues of Plato,trans. Benjamin
Jowett.Oxford, 1896. Print