Debate - "Crito, " by Plato, an

Topics: Plato, Law, Ethics Pages: 4 (1815 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Questionable Laws & People
In the article's of "Crito," by Plato, and "Letter from Birmingham Jail," by Martin Luther King, Jr., two writers make a case over whether it is moral or not to disobey laws. The question to be answered in our final paper asks whether we agree with what the Laws say about if Socrates was to escape and why we feel that way. It also asks how we think Martin Luther King would have responded to the judgment of the Laws of Athens. In this paper, I will address these questions as well as do a quick overview of each article. In "Crito," Plato uses Socrates as a tool to argue the point. Socrates is in jail for "preaching false gods" and "corrupting the youth" by causing them to doubt or disregard the wisdom of their elders. His friend Crito comes to visit and pleads with him to escape from his imprisonment and death sentence. Socrates asks Crito to give him one good reason that will hold up to scrutiny to persuade him, and then he will choose to escape. Crito brings up how people would think of him because he wouldn't spend his money to get his friend out of jail. Socrates goes on to nullify this argument by saying that opinions of the populace doesn't matter, only the opinion of the authority should be taken into consideration. Socrates also says that he shouldn't mind dying considering he had a long and full life. He goes on to point out that, the point of living is not to live long but to live well. Moreover, that to live well, one has to live honorably. He feels that he has lived a good life and if he were to escape, then he wouldn't be living honorably, thus not making life worth living. Crito gives him a few other reasons including; thinking about his family (who would raise his children?), thinking about his followers (they don't want him to die), and that the guilty verdict was wrong and unfair (few Athenians really wanted him put to death). Socrates then goes on to explain that his friends would raise his children, as...
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