The Trial of Socrates

The Trial of Socrates

Socrates is certainly not guilty of the
crimes he is accused of. He is not corrupting the youth of Athens
and he does indeed believe in gods. His manner is uncommon and because
of that he is feared by his accusers (Meletus, Anytus, Lycon, et al.).

Justice will be miscarried if he is put to death.

Meletus has brought before the court the
accusation that Socrates does not believe in the gods of Greece, but at
the same time claims that he is a believer of other divinities. This
is a contradiction, for to believe in one god alone, or even that divinity
exists means that Socrates must believe in the gods to which divinity is
attributed. In "Apology" Socrates says: "Does any man, Meletus, believe
in human affairs who does not believe in human beings?...No, my good sir,
no man could... Does any man believe in divine activities who does not
believe in divinities?" To this Meletus answers "No one".

Socrates has, in fact, dedicated his life
as a sort of service to the gods as prescribed to him by the Oracle at

Delphi. The Oracle said that Socrates was the wisest man. He
was trying to refute this claim as a bestowal to the gods, for he communicated
with them after each encounter he had with the supposed wise men of Athens.

The other accusation brought against Socrates
is that he is corrupting the youth of Athens by charging them money for
his teachings. This cannot be true if Socrates does not consider
himself a teacher, but a mere seeker of truth, and challenges his accusers
to find evidence that he received any money in his quest for truth.

He indeed has followers and they are present
at the trial. What Does he teach them that might be so harsh as to
deserve to be put to death? He tells them that they should place
the importance of the soul above that of wealth. They are not corrupted
by him, they just enjoy watching him prove others wrong. The real
crime that he is being charged with is the embarrassing of ‘wise\' men.

Nothing more.

Was Socrates being inconsistant with his
views of which laws he should be most loyal to (his conscience or the laws
of the state)?