Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who was accused of impiety and
corrupting the youth of Athens. His sentence was death, byway of drinking
poison. However, prior to his execution day, a friend, Crito, offered Socrates
an opportunity to flee Athens, and evade his death sentence. Socrates refused to
run away, and he justified his reasons to Crito. I agree with Socrates’
justifications for not escaping, he accepted his death justly and faced the
sentence the Athenian court declared. Throughout the Crito, Socrates explains
his reasoning for not evading the government. Socrates introduces several
pivotal ideas in the dialogue, which led me to agree with his decision. The
first idea requires a person to contemplate whether or not the society in which
he lives has a just reasoning behind its’ own standards of right and wrong. The
second idea requires a person to have pride in the life that he leads. In
establishing basic questions of these two concepts, Socrates has precluded his
own circumstance and continues to prove that the choice he has made is just.
“…I am the kind of man who listens only to the argument that on
reflection seems best to me. I cannot, not that this fate has come upon me,
discard the arguments used; they seem to me much the same.” Socrates states
that making a conscious choice to remain under the influence of a society is an
unconscious agreement with that society to live your life by its’ standards and
virtues. It is by this notion that people live by today as well. For example, a
person chooses to live in a country with a certain type of government. By making
the choice to live in this country, the person silently agrees to abide by the
laws of that country, or else suffer the consequences. It is to this principle
that Socrates adheres to. After establishing the previous point, Socrates
reinforces his decision by the fact that the laws and governing agents of the
society must command a certain degree of respect. Any person who would disobey
these laws creates a deliberate attempt to destroy them and implicitly the
society that has imposed them. If the decisions of the city’s governing agents
are not thoroughly respected as just and cohesive parts of society, the very
structure by which the society stands is subject to collapse. If a person is
found to be in violation of what his society stands for and does not accept the
consequences of his actions, then there cannot be a system of law in place to
create order. “You must either persuade it or obey its orders, and endure
in silence whatever it instructs you to endure, whether blows or bond, and if it
leads you into to war or be wounded or killed you must obey.” The society
in which a person lives, creates a mutual relationship in which every person in
that society is indebted to if he willingly accepts that society for his own.

Socrates concludes that if he were to follow Crito’s advice he would be
committing several wrong actions against a society which he calls his own. In
the time of the ancient Greeks, to disobey your won society, is the to betray
what was taught to be right by parents. They pass on to their children what they
hold to be true; for they brought a person into a society that they believed to
be profound and just. In modern society we have similar beliefs. Parents raise
and teach their children beliefs and morals that they also hold to be correct.

Socrates states that by remaining a member of a society, one must in fact accept
the society as their own. The agreement he made within his city to obey the
laws, and to live as a good citizen makes the thought of exile shameful and
therefore unacceptable. Running away from the decision that his own society has
made would be an affirmation of his own guilt in the eyes of his family and
peers. Although he may have been wrongly imprisoned and sentenced to death, he
holds very little value in the belief that two wrongs can achieve a right. In
this case the wrongs being his wrongful imprisonment, and his escape. Neither of
these wrongs can achieve a justifiable pardon in society. He firmly stood before
his own value system and only wished to preserve the society around him, the
society that at one time accepted him. He indignantly renounced the idea of
self-preservation and any attempt to escape because of the potential harm and
damage that it ultimately would cause. In consideration of Socrates’ beliefs, I
feel it is safe to conclude that Socrates is no more in favor of civil
disobedience then he would be in disobeying the judgment that was brought down
against him. Socrates holds incredible respect for the laws that govern him; he
would not permit any deviance, be it great or small. Ultimately, in my opinion,

Socrates did the right and commendable thing. He would conclude that even a
peaceful opposition to his government would be inappropriate.