Socrates, Philosophy and the Good Life

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Socrates, Philosophy and the Good Life

By | July 2006
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Socrates, Philosophy and the Good Life

Socrates' belief was that he was called on by the Gods to live his life examining others and himself. He believed the necessity of doing what one thinks is right even in the face of universal opposition, and the need to pursue knowledge even when opposed. "I became completely convinced, to the duty of leading the philosophical life by examining myself and others."¹ Socrates believed that to desert this idea was ridiculous and would make his life absurd. Socrates chose to live a life of truth and not to worry about things that did not matter. For Socrates not to live his life by the plans and requests of Gods it would be disobedient and untrue to the Gods. Socrates was brought to court to defend himself against two charges. Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young, and of failing to acknowledge the gods acknowledged by the city, but introducing new spiritual beings.² Thorough analysis of his defense of his court charges, his definition of the "good life", and his practice of philosophy will prove his goal to live a "good life" or if his life was meaningless. While defending his charges, Meletus' first charge was of corrupting the youth. Socrates replied to the charge is as follows, Meletus is guilty of trifling in a serious matter, in that he brings people to trial on frivolous grounds, and professes grave concern about matters for which he has never cared at all.3 Socrates questions Meletus whether or not the youth should be good as possible, and he replies yes. After much questioning, Socrates reveals that Meletus believes that everyone in Athens has a good influence on the youth, except Socrates. Socrates then proves his next point of view that horses are only improved by there trainers and everyone else simply spoils them. His comparison suggested that improvement is done in small group, whereas corruption is done by many. Therefore, like horses, it takes more than one man to corrupt the entire youth....

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