Moral Obligation

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Moral Obligation

In the "Crito" written by Plato, the argument of whether or not it is morally right to escape prison is in question. At the beginning of the dialogue, Crito offers Socrates an escape though Socrates has already made up his mind and quickly refuses this opportunity. For Socrates believes that though he may have been convicted for the wrong reasons, the laws are just. In this essay, I will examine both arguments given by Crito and Socrates.

Crito does not start with very strong arguments to persuade Socrates. His first argument is that if he does not escape, he will not only lose a close friend, but people will be left to believe that instead of using his money to save Socrates, he selfishly did not help him. For this Crito would lose his reputation and be looked upon in bad light. His second argument is telling Socrates that he would be able to live happily somewhere outside of Athens. He makes it known that he has friends in places such as Thessaly, and that they would ensure his safety and wellbeing. Crito's final argument seems to be his strongest. He calls Socrates a coward and fool. "No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to preserve to the end in their nurture and education" (PUT MARK). Here Crito is feeling as though Socrates is taking the easy way out in not escaping. Betraying not only his own life, but betraying his children's lives. Though all three of these arguments seem valid, none of them seem relevant to whether escaping prison is right or wrong. Socrates dismisses Critos arguments, for the opinions of many do not matter in considering a decision of such importance. The only concern of Socrates is whether or not his escaping prison would be just. Socrates doesn't necessarily try to question Crito's logic, but he does try to convince him of why he feels so strongly in choosing to stay. His first…...

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