The Trial of Socrates

The trial of Socrates revolves the accusation that personally he had corrupted youth from Athens with his tradition and some point advocated the false worship of the gods. In Plato’s, on the day of the trial, Socrates was charged of “teaching his students to question everything in a thirst for knowledge. Thus, many politicians were looked at as hypocrites. Because of this, many politicians feared Socrates and wanted Socrates away from Athens. Socrates tried to defend himself against the charges by addressing each accusation. He classified the accusations into two categories, recent and ancient. The recent being the actual accusations and the ancient being the rumors that had circled Athens for years about how Socrates was a man of evil and a man who made the worse case look to be the better” (Brandt, 1967). However, it was believed that the ancient Athenian democracy did not have separation of the state and the church, thereby all the religious accusations were taken as legal charges. In the book by Plato and Xenophon, it is made clear that “He was eventually tried, convicted, imprisoned, and executed and that the charges were not brought forward in the spirit of true piety, and that Socrates was a man of real virtue and beneficence” (Reeve, 2002).


It is by far evident that Socrates was charged and executed upon a democracy that never fought for the rights of human being. In his account about plato’s the Apology it states well that “Socrates is theexample of the Persecuted philosopher. He stands face to face with the city and defends himself against its slanders and threats, not only by justifying his existence to them, but by calling into question its authority over him (Getters, 1984). In this aspect, it is said that he tried corrupting the youth, but he is not guilty of al the crimes he is being accused of. On the other hand, it is true that he is not corrupting the youth and that he does indeed believe in the gods. On the occasions, his way of tackling issues is uncommon and for this his accusers fear him and do not want justice to be upholder. It is said that justice will be miscarriage if he is put to death; this is a way of destroying evidence because his accusers know very well that he is indeed innocent. Above this, his accuser Meletus brings accusation to the court that Socrates does not in fact believe in the gods of Greece, but at the same instance he proclaims of believing in other divinities. I t is a major contradiction because Socrates believes in one god only and for this even if he do not believe in that god it is certain that he believes in gods to which the divinities are attributed. In fact the story tells us that Socrates have dedicated himself in a sort of service to gods as his beliefs and attributes (Reeve, 2002).

More so, despite Socrates innocence, Socrates did not practice Athens democracy and beliefs and he was supposed to be tried and punished, where the Athenians believed that democratic expressions were supposed to match with the authority and the church and not to be opposed as Socrates did in teaching the minor to deviate the rules. Xenophon states that” In its democratic expression, relativism assumes progress towards ever greater democracy is good and necessary. While this belief is not considered religious, because it seems to have no god, one could, nonetheless, argue that it partakes of the religious and does have a god. While democratic relativism recognizes no revealed or traditional god, it believes in a world-historical god of progress that promises to deliver mankind from all hierarchy, restraint and the strife accompanying them”. This article states well that the Athenians believed in a historic god and not as Socrates suggested and for this he was taken to oppose the traditions and the laws of Athens.

Furthermore, it was the right of every individual to understand and follow democratic relativism as never insight awareness but they were supposed to take it as an idea to be used to further understand democratic freedom and equality which Socrates did not practice.Socrate stands innocent in because he believes that gods are not real and that if people continue practicing what the Athens wants them to do then they will not have to prosper at all. However, he was innocent of what he was charged him with - "corrupting the youth of Athens" or something like that. He was a self-professed 'gadfly' “which apparently threatened the Athenian statesmen at the time, which spurred them to arrest Soc on some trumped-up charges”.

During the hearing Socrates defended himself that “He was indicted to a court of law on the charges of impiety, and the corruption of the youth of Athens. As a lawyer, before Socrates could be judged it was appropriate to investigate if really the alleges had evidence and if truly he deserved to be indicted on the issues. The court therefore, was supposed to listen at both parties as they offer their truth and then determine whether really Socrates was guilty or innocent. In my view Socrates was innocent in that, he did his research and found out that “none of the men that promoted what they believed that they knew was true was in fact completely false. This made those men so angry that they band together and indicted Socrates on the charges of impiety and the corruption of the youth. Socrates then went to court and did what he could to refute the charges that were brought against him. In this respect therefore, it is completely evident that none of the issues they presented was true and that Socrates was being tried for impiety something that he did not even committed.
 It is evident also that Socrates was innocent because inn his history it is examined that “He has spent his entire life doing nothing but examining his own life so he can bette himself and help in on the path to become wise”. I t is very bad to put someone to death knowing well that it is through his teaching that he tries to tell people that he is being accused of. Nonetheless, Socrates challenges men that he had taught before and none stands up and states that he said anything that was not to the law in this aspect it is for sure that Socrates is being accused falsely and being punished for things that do not have any meaning t all (Brandt, 1967). 

The article further suggested that “Democratic relativism attempts to avoid an account of democratic beliefs by asserting that such beliefs cannot be justified in principle, and, therefore, that one ought to not even expect an account. This kind of unaccountable faith is for Socrates, really a form of obscurantism and conventionalism. The denial in principle that democratic opinion has any foundation suggests that the belief in democracy is founded on nothing more than the arbitrary agreement and authority of its adherents, who are protected from the need for argument by the popular acceptance of democracy”(Getters, 1984). This aspect clearly shows how Athens democratic rules were supposed to be adhered to and not formulating your own that which will look like deviating the one stipulated.


According to the Apology, in the Athenian proceedings despite of Socrates discharge the danger of the crime was taken at voting ballot where, on the penalty, Socrates speech at his trial though moved the audience they clearly failed to defend him and the verdict and death votes shows well that he was never supported by the people. On the occasion, Socrates admitted that “a guilty verdict "was not a surprise” meaning that, "No man was freer than I, or more just, or more prudent. “It showed well that "Socrates looked more like a picador enraging a bull than a defendant trying to appease a sort of a jury” (Brandt, 1967). According to this issue, it is a shame for a city that was famous for free speech to have prosecuted a theorist of no crime that they would have really exercised it. However, as a matter of facts he was accused of defying a sort of decree that prohibited his visiting Athenian temples, that allegedly and was said to be a crime under the protection of the amnesty of the country. Also he was acquitted because he had tried to convince the jury of his innocence and that he had violated amnesty.

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