Socrates Characters

This essay has a total of 1237 words and 6 pages.


Upon reading Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates, Socrates strongly held views on the
relationship between morality and laws become apparent to the reader. Equally, Socrates
makes clear why laws should be followed and why disobedience to the law is rarely

Finally, he makes clear his views regarding civil disobedience.
Socrates' view on morality is that anyone can do wrong. It is said that injuring someone
in return for injury to oneself is wrong. He follows this with the connection between
morality and the city. You do badly without the cities authorization; you are doing wrong
towards the city and the laws. He felt if you are behaving against peoples mind and in
this way, behaving against the city. It is a way of destroying the cities laws and so you
are hurting citizens by doing so. An example of this is the general understanding that you
shouldn't hurt your father. If you do so than you are disrespecting laws within your city.
Of course you will get convicted for this, and it doesn't change the idea that you acted
against the city.

Socrates follows by explaining what is taught to each citizen. You are told that you were
born with certain laws. Your father and mother brought you to the world in which they live
and thus you should respect and obey by their rules. The laws were already there. That
means, that your mother and father are as important as the city and you should respect the
city as so.

Socrates describes the city and its laws more preciously. You don't have the same rights
as your parents. They educated you and thought you the rules in the city that you should
follow. They taught you which behavior is right and which is wrong. It is immoral to treat
your parents the way they treat you. You don't have the rights to treat your parents the
same way they treat you. That means that parents have a higher position in life than their
children. It doesn't really matter what they did to them. It is not moral to return the
same behavior.

He follows with the relationship of a person to the city. He says, "One must obey the
commands of one's city and country, or persuade it as to the nature of justice. It is
impious to bring violence to bear against your mother or father, it is much more so to use
it against your country." (Crito 51c)

One should not only obey their father and mother, but more important the city. The city
stands equal if not above the parents. We should understand that because the city was
there before ones parents were born. Everyone has his or her ancestors who have a higher
standard in life. However the city was there before them and so should be respected and
laws should be followed.

Socrates explains his theory of the city and its rules as the nature of ones life. It is
not moral to fight against it. We were welcomed to live in it and accept it how it is.

A very important aspect of the city and its rules is that one is not forced to do as it
dictates. One has the ability to choose between two options. You can either obey the city
and its rules or not. If you want to go somewhere else you can do so, but do not complain

Regarding Socrates view one should not obey the law just because it is the law. As I said
before you have two choices, but one of them is the moral option. We say that it is moral,
as it was taught to us this way, but one doesn't really think about their own opinion in
reference to it.

We are absolutely commanded by our ancestors and the city. It is like being objects being
commanded our whole life. Men have not the choice to decide what is moral for their
standard of life. The moral way is what the city or their parents tell them to do. We are
depending on their opinion to decide if we did wrong or not. On Socrates view it is not
someone else's decision what is right or wrong, it isn't the moral life to follow others
opinion about morality.

Disobedience can be justified. One can have reasons to act wrong towards their parents.
Just because they raised and educated you, it doesn't mean that they are always right.
Parents have the right to tell their children what is the best for them. But as everyone
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