The Importance Of Justice In Plato's Crito

Justice can have many meanings when put into different perspectives. Throughout Crito, by Plato, Socrates has to determine whether to escape prison or stay. Socrates was initially charged with corrupting the youth and not believing in gods. He argued his case in jury and did not choose the alternate punishment, exile, which could have saved his life. He was then given a death sentence and he was imprisoned until his execution. Crito tries to convince Socrates to escape, but Socrates brings justice into the picture and he has to explain to Crito why his decision to stay in prison is just and pious. It is often questioned whether justice was served in the case of Socrates, but taking into account the meaning of justice perceived through …show more content…
Socrates defends his case for justice against Crito when Crito says he is being unjust by ruining him and his friends' reputations. Socrates believes that justice is not determined by the opinion of the majority. Crito explains to Socrates how he will ruin his reputation when he says, "Not only will I be deprived of a friend, the like of whom I shall never find again, but many people who do not know you or me very well will think that I could have saved you if I were willing to spend money, but I did not care to do so. Surely there can be no worse reputation than to be thought to value money more highly than one's friends, for the majority will not believe that you yourself were not willing to leave prison while we were eager for you to do so" (47). Crito is selfish by thinking about the majority's opinions rather than the big picture about justice and piety. Justice is not about what others think about you, it is about what is right in …show more content…
He tells Crito the hypothetical conversation he would have with the state if he were to escape. Socrates believes that the state would tell him that, "One must obey the commands of one's city and country, nor persuade it as the nature of justice. It is impious to bring violence to bear against your mother or father; it is more so to use it against your country" (54). Since it is a Greek value to put the state over everything, Socrates should not value his life over the state. The state raised Socrates, and he had the opportunity his whole life to leave the state if he were unhappy, however he did not. He liked the state for their justice system, their laws, and their lifestyle. Since he chose to reside in the state, he must abide by the rules, for this is justice. To disrespect the country is to do the utmost

Related Documents