Defense on Socrates
There are times in every mans life where our actions and beliefs collidethese collisions are known as contradictions. There are endless instances in which we are so determined to make a point that we resort to using absurd overstatements, demeaning language, and false accusations in our arguments. This tendency to contradict ourselves often questions our character and morals. Similarly, in The Trial of Socrates (Plato's Apology), Meletus' fallacies in reason and his eventual mistake of contradicting himself will clear the accusations placed on Socrates. In this paper, I will argue that Socrates is not guilty of corrupting the youth with the idea of not believing in the Gods but of teaching the youth to think for themselves by looking to new divinities. The first main argument in support of the thesis is that it is society's job to educate the youth and Socrates argues that it is impossible for just one man to corrupt the youth. This is the first mistake made by Meletus, as he makes the absurd overstatement that "every Athenian improves and elevates [the youth]; all with the exception of [Socrates]," who alone is their corrupter. Socrates goes on to defend himself by alluding to a horse analogy. Socrates argues that (P1) trainers improve horses, (P2) all others who simply ride horses, injure or corrupt horses, (P3) there are fewer trainers than riders, (P4) therefore, those who corrupt horses are in smaller number than those who ride horses and we can conclude that (C) people are corrupted by a majority rather than a minority. Socrates believes that this analogy to horses must be true of all animals and furthermore, for all people. Socrates utilizes this analogy to point out that Meletus' overstatement is rather ironic, since according to Meletus all other beings except for the youth in the world are more likely to be corrupted by a majority rather than a minority. For this reason, it is more logical that the youth have been...
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