The great Athenian philosopher Socrates believed in justice and overall fairness regarding the law. If a crime were committed, Socrates would rather take the punishment instead of seeking revenge. His morals consisted of accepting the scandal he had executed and not take vengeance. This differs from Hammurabi’s eye for an eye method. Hammurabi followed a path of abase payback and doing onto others what had been done to you. Socrates view of justice is more ethical than Hammurabi’s belief in an eye for an eye because Socrates believed that the punishment should be taken with honor instead of taking reprisal on the wrong doers.
Socrates views on integrity are shown through his dialogue with Crito after being imprisoned for “corrupting the youth and interfering with the religion of the city” (Kemerling n.pag). When deciding what to do about his imprisonment, Socrates questions Crito, “And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the morality of many, is that just or not . . . For doing evil to another is the same as injuring him?” (Plato 62). By analyzing the law and questioning justice, Socrates displays honesty and righteousness. Socrates concludes that revenge is immoral and rejects it, while Hammurabi encourages it. Socrates’ morals of justice are also illustrated when imagines the law telling him: “If you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for injury … and wronging those whom you ought least to wrong … we… and the laws in the world below, will receive you as an enemy” (Plato 68). Socrates once again explains that seeking vengeance is wrong which sharply contrasts the eye for an eye method. His beliefs in justice and honesty are much more reasonable than Hammurabi’s eye for an eye belief because Socrates displays honor and integrity while Hammurabi supports wrongdoing upon others.
Garth Kemerling. “Socrates,” Philosophy Pages....
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