October 29, 2010
October 29, 2010
Wise Men Argue Causes, Fools Decide Them.
Socrates, an Athenian philosopher who lived from 469 BC until his very unnecessary death in 399 BC, has had his wisdom called into question many times since he has been studied. But to know whether some is wise, we must first know what it means to be wise. According to Websters Dictionary, to be is wise is : (1) having or showing good judgment; (2) informed; (3) learned; (4) shrewd amd cunning. From this definition, it is clear to me that Socrates was wise in every aspect of the word. He shows this wisdom while on trial for his life.
Socrates was charged with “corrupting the youth of Athens” and “not believing in the gods the states believes in, but in new spiritual being” (Plato, 3). In ancient Greece, judicial proceedings could be initiated by any citizen, and in Socrates’ case, Meletus was the initiator. These charges were brought to a trial that was presided over by the king Archon. The number of jurors, who were randomly assigned to different courts on different days was 500 free citizens of Athens. The large amount of jurors was, in part, to stop the attemt of bribing the jury, because after all, who could bribe 500 people, or even 251? They sat in a big theater and listened to the accuser make a speech, then the defendant. During Socrates’ (defendant) speech, he proved him own innocence while showing his wisdom, which would have made me, if a juror, vote for him to live. Ross 2
While defending his life infront of the jury and all others present the day of his trial, Socrates managed to prove that he was. He did so by simply stating that the Oracle of Delphi claimed Socrates to be the “wisest of all men.” Though this would not have been a direct showcasing of his wisdom, the fact that the revered Oracle of...