Meletus Arguments Against Socrates In Plato's Apology
Meletus brings two charges against Socrates: (1) “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young,” and (2) “of not acknowledging the gods the city acknowledges, but new daimonic activities instead” (Ap. 24b). Socrates does not believe he is guilty of either charge and he provides two arguments against the first charge and one against the second.
His first argument against charge (1) begins with a reiteration of the charge that Socrates slowly draws out of Meletus: “all the …show more content…
His argument operates under an assumption that bad people harm the people closest to them and good people benefit the people closest to them. Hence, it is better to live among good people and it is harmful to live among wicked ones. Additionally, Socrates engages another assumption in his argument: “no one wishes to be harmed,” or in other words, no one intentionally causes themselves harm (Ap. 25c-d). Therefore, no one intentionally corrupts people around them because they will be creating sources of evil close to them, thus inflicting self-harm. It naturally follows, given that Socrates could only corrupt the youth deliberately or unintentionally, that he could not do so deliberately because he would be inflicting self-harm. Therefore, either he is not guilty of charge (1), or he corrupts them unintentionally, and if so, Socrates says, “the law doesn’t require that I be brought to court for such mistakes” (Ap.