Socrates Guilty as Charged
In Plato’s Apology Socrates is being tried by Anytus and Meletus for two new charges: “corrupting the young, and not acknowledging the gods of the city acknowledges, but new daimonic activities instead” (Morgan 2005, 51). Throughout Plato’s Apology and Euthyphro Socrates uses complex rhetoric to challenge the charges brought against him based on his thoughts and understanding of what is right and wrong. He never once states he is not guilty nor does he provide reasons to support his innocence. He suggests rather that he is on a divine mission stating “this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is no greater blessing for the city than my service to the god” (Morgan 2005, 55). Socrates uses his trial as an opportunity to show
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It was not up to Socrates to decide or encourage the youth in the manner that he did. Again through typical Socratic method he questions Meletus, in doing so he establishes “… that all the Athenians except for [himself] make young people fine and good, whereas I alone corrupt them”(Morgan 2005, 50), Socrates further tries to show through analogy that if everyone is improving something that it is impossible for one person alone to corrupt them. Socrates then makes the point that the charge is brought on because he teaches them not to acknowledge the Gods of the city but new daimonic ones instead and in doing so corrupts the youth, to which Meletus agrees.
Socrates attempts to convince the jury that he cannot be impious because he does in fact believe in Gods and to be impious one must be an atheist and believe in no God. Socrates asks, “ Is it that I teach people to acknowledge that some gods exist – so that I, then acknowledge their existence myself and am not an out-and-out atheist and am not guilty of that – yet not, of course the very ones acknowledged by the city, but different ones?”(Morgan 2005, 52) a carefully constructed argument by Socrates that does prove his innocence against the charge of impiety, however, does not prove that he has not wronged the city in terms of their Gods beliefs. The