Philosophy Argumentative Essay

Philosophy Argumentative Essay-18
Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito.But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong?

Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito.But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong?

The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders.

A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

Socrates argues that, because of the state's role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its "offspring and servants"; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state's laws or orders, he "must either persuade it or obey its orders," even if the latter amounts to suffering death.

The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence--even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter.

Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes.

Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that "one must never do wrong" (49b).

(Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders.

I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates' exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology.

The second, closely related comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52.

Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands.

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