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The Apology vs the Crito

            The Apology and the Crito relate the philosophical story of Socrates. Socrates spent his life attempting to better the lives of the citizens of Athens through his well known method of questioning. Socrates is committed to serving his fellow citizens of Athens with his logic and philosophical arguments. His deep conviction begins as a result of a prophecy made by the great Oracle when it claimed that no man was wiser than Socrates. However, Socrates" conviction also brings about a contradiction within his own beliefs. Socrates loves both virtue and the justice system of Athens, which are not always in accordance with one another. In the Apology, Socrates exclaims that if the jury decides to forbid him from ever practicing philosophy again, then he will disobey that order. On the contrary, Socrates states in the Crito, that he must abide by the laws of Athens, and choose not to escape from prison. So in the first incident, Socrates argues that the will of the people can be disobeyed when unjust, however in the second incident, he argues that the law should not be broken at any cost. Plato uses these scenarios to argue that Socrates is inconsistent in this matter. Upon a closer look, however, there is an explanation or deeper meaning to Socrates" reasoning that lessens the gap between this contradiction.
             In the Apology, Socrates reveals that his purpose is to become a gadfly to Athens. Socrates believes that it is this lifestyle of self-examination that one must follow in order to become virtuous. His desire to be virtuous leads the Oracle to give Socrates the title of the wisest man in Athens. "But the truth", says Socrates in the Apology, "is that God only is wise; and by his answer he intends to show that the wisdom of men is worth little or nothing. (Plato p8)." At first, Socrates doesn't perceive of himself as being incredibly wise, but also realizes that most of the people who were considered to be the great minds of Athens are, in reality, not wise at all.

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