To come in defense of Socrates, I will travel back in time and take my position as part of a jury in an Athenian court where Socrates stands accused of corrupting young minds thereby, subverting the democratic order of the day and impiety. My verdict is ‘not guilty’ for several reasons. On the charge of undermining the prevalent political order by corrupting the youth, I plead his innocence. Socrates seems to be against the current order but does not harbor political ambitions.
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He argues rather logically that there is a folly in choosing state officials by ballot when he questions whether the same would apply when choosing a pilot of a flute player. Surely Socrates’ loyalty to the state is not questionable. He courageously served in the army and was a member of Council (boule) and Popular Assembly (ekklesia). Besides, he turns down an opportunity to escape which has been organized by his friends with the collusion of some prison guards. He would not have done this if he is disloyal to the state. It is also noteworthy that the court did not avail witnesses; the youth that he allegedly misinformed.
Socrates has been charged with disregarding Athenian gods and introducing his own to the chagrin of the state. The charge reads that he does not worship the gods that are recognized by the state yet there was no document which the state adduced detailing the gods that Athenians should worship. Also, he has categorically reiterated his awareness of a supreme being and added that if a human being clashed with a divine one, the divine one should take precedence. When he asks Athenians to focus on the understanding and perfection of their souls instead of the acquisition of money, honor, and reputation, he is simply challenging the prevalent moral decadence and sounds pious.