Wed 9 Oct, 2013 11:06 pm
Sai Prasad Ganesh
For centuries philosophy has had notable influence in everyone’s life. Its inquisitive and persistent aspect for knowing the truths behind things has changed mindsets for a while now. In Greece this began during the Iron Age agriculture, where philosophy flourished as people began to trade with other civilizations. Religion was no longer the absolute source of authority; rather, people began to rely on their individual reasoning to validate truths. Among great philosophers was Plato, who was a pupil of another renowned philosopher whose name was Socrates. Plato wrote works that have hinted the form of development of civilizations until present day. Particularly, Plato’s Crito consists of a dialogue in which Crito attempts to convince Socrates to escape prison after having been locked away and sentenced to die for having corrupted the youth and not believing in the gods of Athens. The striking aspect of this account is that his death was avoidable; however he chose to embrace his penalty to live by his philosophy. Socrates claimed that escaping would be an act of disrespect, for he had been nurtured under the laws that were now going up against him, and that having agreed at one point to live under such laws meant that he should accept the punishment. However, no law or punishment should be accepted to the absolute; many deviate from what is moral after having been influenced by the philosophy of the unjust individuals. Ernest J. Weinrib, in his writing of Disobedience in Plato’s Crito, focuses on the injustice of political obligation, and the influence of tenets on one’s personal opinions concerning what is moral and acceptable in relation to law and justice. In turn, these points are also related to the wealth of individuals. Unlike Socrates, I opt for civil disobedience in the presence of unjustified deprivations of rights when it conflicts with moral rights because not acting upon it may lead to a system of laws that is intolerant of variety and innovation.
Political obligations state an individual’s responsibilities under the law in a certain nation, despite the unfairness related to that responsibility. When considering political obligations that an individual in a nation must fulfill, such as in the United States, what comes to mind might be voting and respecting the law. But a group might only be willing to fulfill said obligation to a certain extent. As soon as their rights are threatened, or unfairness towards them is spotted, civil disobedience is manifested to bring about change. In Plato’s Crito, however, Socrates did not show disobedience when sent to jail; he diligently accepted his sentence and did not attempt to escape jail or convince those who locked him in to liberate him. It is this that Weinrib analyzes in his chapter named Disobedience in Plato’s Crito from the book, Socrates’ reasoning and why he was willing to endure an unjust incarceration and death penalty. Weinrib points out that Socrates does not attempt to oppose the verdict reached because he has been nurtured by the laws and agreed to live by their rule, and opposing them would be disrespectful.
《yawns.....eyes glaze over.....scratches gentleman vegetables..... moves on to next thread.....》
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