Disobedience In Socrates 'Crito, And Aristophanes' Clouds

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Whether the year is 399 BC or 1849, there is always going to be an underlying concern of the justice, or in this case injustice, practiced by governments and societies. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey laws and commands of a government. It is more of a symbolic violation of the the law, rather than a physically aggressive one. It is disobedience by nonviolent resistance to whomever might be holding the central power. The two philosophers Henry David Thoreau and Socrates, both grealy renowned for their work, serve as examples of how the concept of civil disobedience can be applied in contrary, as well as comparatively, manners, without defying justice. The forms in which Thoreau practices civil disobedience go along the lines…show more content…
Plato’s writings and dialogues are some of the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates that exist, although there is debate as to what degree Socrates himself is speaking, rather than Plato. Socrates has made incredible contributions to epistemology and his ideology is today a strong foundation for much of Western philosophy. In Four Texts on Socrates, Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology and Crito and Aristophanes’ Clouds are included. The focus will remain on the Socratic Dialogues, specifically the Apology and Crito. The Apology is an account of a speech Socrates makes at his trial in which he is charged with not recognizing the gods recognized by the state, inventing new deities, and corrupting the youth of Athens. The speech…show more content…
When he dies, he will be harshly judged in the underworld for behaving unjustly towards his city’s laws. Thus, Socrates convinces Crito that it would be wrong to attempt an escape and stays in prison as it is the just thing to do. There is much controversy to these two dialogues as on the surface, there seems to be a contradiction in Socrates’ defiance in the Apology and latter acceptance in the Crito. However, if one examines the situation closer, it was Socrates’ duty to question the wise men and expose their false wisdom. Hence, to him, that is a justified action and he is not behaving unjustly because he was merely doing what he had been requested to do. In the Crito, he reaches the conclusion that it would be unjust for him to escape prison. Therefore, it returns to the question of acting justly or unjustly, and in both episodes Socrates acts justly based on his own reasoning and circumstances. This is thereby an example of civil disobedience without defying justice, done in the same forms as Thoreau, challenging the law but thereafter serving the punishment as it is the just thing to

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