Laws Socrates Law Athens

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In the dialogue ‘Crito,’ Socrates is faced with the proposal of from prison. In the following conversation he tries to establish whether an act like that would be just and morally justified, eventually concluding that by rejecting his sentence and trying to escape from prison he would be committing unjust and morally unjustified acts. In the end he decided to acc pet his death penalty and execution. Socrates did not come to this conclusion easily or without reasoning. His decision to escape from prison came through his hypothetical conversation with the law and constitution. Socrates reasoned tart lawbreaking is unjust, while observance of laws is just, because laws are just.

He explained that any legal system is better than no legal system at all, and that a law must be based on correct reasoning and natural law, otherwise it is not a true and just law but the misuse of a law. If the laws of Athens were not morally correct and if one could demonstrate their moral deficiency, then Socrates would have the moral right to reject the verdict, and his escape would not be an unjust act. THe suggestion of Athens’ immoral laws made Socrates wonder if the laws were actually just. All citizens could freely leave Athens with no consequences, but if the citizen stayed it was then assumed that the citizen agreed with the existing laws. Since Socrates remained in Athens, and made no attempt to leave, it was assumed that he considered the laws just and the result of this was that a type of contract was created between the citizens and the laws..

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