Socrates has presented a period of questions and answers through dialogue with Crito to examine if he going into exile will damage his reputation. Socrates questions and answers with Crito establishes that a person must decide whether the society he or she lives has a just reasoning behind it’s own standards of right and wrong and that a person must have pride in the life that he or she leads. By confirming these two concepts through questions, Socrates attempted to prove to his companion Crito, that the choice that he has made is just: “I am the kind of man who listens only to the argument that on reflection seems best to me. I cannot, now that this fate has come upon me, discard the arguments I used; they seen to me much the same.”(46b) Socrates believes that we have every chance to reject our society (majority) and turn down what it has stood for and against: “if he is not satisfied with us or the city, if one of you wants to go and live in a colony or wants to go anywhere else, and keep his property.” (51d) If we make a choice to remain under the influence of a society we are making an unconscious settlement with that society to live our life by its standards and virtues.
By living in Athen for 70 years Socrates has agreed to have faith in the cities virtues and in the force of decisions that are imposed upon him and as a citizen he respects them. Any person that disobeys these laws deliberately attempts to destroy these laws and the society that has created them: “However, that whoever of you remains when he sees how we conduct our trials and manage the city in other ways, has in fact come to an agreement with us to obey our instructions.” (51e). If the decisions of the city are not respected as honourable, the structure of that civilization will fall to pieces. If a person is found violating the standards of his or her society and does not accept the consequences of his or her actions there can’t be a system of law that construct order. “You must either persuade it or obey its orders, and endure in silence whatever it instructs you to endure, whether blows or bonds, and if it leads you into war or be wounded or killed you must obey.”(51b) Socrates adjusts these theories to the option to escape from his captors and abandon their conclusion on his future. Crito begins to understand Socrates view in his suggestion.
“the only valid consideration is whether we should be acting rightly in giving with the escape, or whether in truth we shall do wrong in doing all this.” (49c) Socrates concludes that if he followed Crito’s advice he would be committing several dishonest actions against his own society that were build by his ancestors. To disobey your own society, is to let down your own parent’s virtues that taught you what is right and wrong: “be honoured more then your mother, your father, and all your ancestors, …and that it counts for more among the gods and sensible men, that you must worship it”(51b) By constructing the concept of right and wrong, in the beginning of the part, Socrates creates an argument that he cannot do something dishonest. Running away from decision that his own society has made would bring shame to his family and nobility.
Even if he have been wrong imprisoned and sentenced to death, he strongly believes that two wrongs cannot make one right! He believes with vigor in his moral principles and his society’s values. He also believes his judgments are correct in his actions. Therefore he would make himself a traitor and guilty in everyone’s eyes if he escaped into exile.Socrates succeeded to defend his actions by showing how shocking it would be to break the rules. Considering all of his points that he made in his defense, Socrates can continue to keep his dignity, and sense of right and wrong. He has shown others, such as Crito and myself that there is a pleasure in not agreeing an “empty” victory and sustaining ones own innocence cause your soul may live for many societies in the future. By bringing together what is right and a person’s belief he has created a perfect truth, the idea of a perfect and discipline society.Bibliography: