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Writing Assignment 1 - have been guilty of an impious act...

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Philosophy 101 October 1, 2006 This passage is a small fragment of Socrates’ defense speech when he is brought before a jury on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. Socrates uses the example of his receiving orders in the Greek army to try to explain to the jury members why he is so persistent in obeying the oracle at Delphi, and that his disobedience would be impious. He then also goes on to explain the he does not fear death because he does not assume to know that there is anything horrible about it. Socrates first starts with the comparison of being ordered to remain at a post by an army commander, and being ordered to live the life of a philosopher by the god in the oracle. He mentions that in both situations there was the possibility of danger and risk of death if he obeys the authority. He makes a point to the jury that: what kind of a person would he be to have obeyed one and not the other, in fear of death? He also points out that if he had in fact disobeyed the oracle, thus disobeying one of the gods, he then would
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Unformatted text preview: have been guilty of an impious act and the jury would be right to convict him on the charge of impiety. Socrates frequently used his philosophy that “it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know” (32), and applied this approach to everyday situations in his life. For example, when talking with the sophists of Athens, he came to the decision that he was indeed wiser than they because they assumed to know what they could not, and Socrates was willing to admit to his ignorance of not being able to know such things. This also applies to when Socrates tries to explain that he does not fear death because it is not know if there is anything there to fear. So unless he possesses the knowledge of knowing whether death is indeed a bad thing, he believes that he has no reason to fear it. He states that “To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know” (32)....
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Writing Assignment 1 - have been guilty of an impious act...

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