Socrates’ Claims are Evaluated

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Socrates argues in the Apology that it is impossible for a human being to live a life without question. Socrates defines an unexamined life as one in which a person obeys the orders of another person or group of people without questioning their authority. The subject under authority never takes the time to consider what he wants in life and whether or not he wants to continue adhering to the established rules. Socrates claims that such a way of life is unworthy of being lived. It would be preferable for the person to die than to live an unquestioned life. Socrates did not want to live an unexamined life and killed himself when he was giving the choice of leaving Athens or living his life in silence. Socrates argued that being silent and failing to question the authority such as the government is similar to living unexamined life (de Botton 2012).

The sentiments by Socrates mean that a human being can only live a meaningful life upon self-discovery and understand the value of his/her life. If people fail to question themselves and the authority over them, they will perform activities without reasoning, and it will be difficult to differentiate between what they have done right and wrong. Besides, human beings resemble animals when they fail to embrace the philosophy. Being able to live a good life brings joy to a person and those around him/her (de Botton 2012). The only way to live a good life is to through wisdom and self-discovery. The critics of the Socrates’ claim that only the rich can live an examined life. The elite can choose what they want and can question the authority without victimization. The poor have to comply with the authority for survival and have no choice. At times the poor are forced by the power to believe in some life aspects, regardless of whether they examine it or not.

To discover the truth, Socrates used the Socratic Method to find the truth. The method is commonly referred to as elenchus by scholars. The method means cross-examination, and it is an exclusive way that discloses individuals to themselves. The method makes a person understand the ramifications of various opinions they might take. In Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates is not pleased by definition of holiness put forward by Euthyphro and is interested in evaluating its accuracy (Burnet 1925). Also, Socrates is surprised by the examples given by Euthyphro about the myths of gods and proceeds to ask if he believes in every myth. I agree that a human being is not able to live a complete life if he/she remains ignorant just like the prisoners in Plato’s cave. The reason is that the person will be a subject/slave to other people and will not live as he/she wishes but according to his ruler. According to Andrew Miller who was interviewed by de Botton, you cannot fail to respect the person who has power and authority over you. You have to work with them and respect them, doing what they command (de Botton 2012). The ignorant person will not be able to realize opportunities in life and will not experience joy because of living as per another’s rule.

Works Cited

Burnet, John. “Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, and Crito.” (1925).

Socrates on Self-Confidence: A Guide to Happiness. Perf. A. de Botton. 2012.

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