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The Deadliness Of The Fear Of The Unknown Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1183 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Crito is and will always be an important writing, it promotes perseverance and it shows changes in the way we see education from back then till now. Socrates single handily changed the point of view of people back then and for generations to come. Socrates faced extreme opposition for his beliefs and was punished heavily for it, a punishment that took his life. You may ask yourself what believe is this, which made him so worthy of the death penalty? He was accused of corrupting the minds of the young, with concepts and philosophies that were different from the ones that were already in placed Athens and its rulers at the time. There is a saying that human being always “fear the unknown”, anything that goes against our principles and what we are use to is automatically considered dangerous. That idea is proven so well in the case of Socrates, due to his different ideas or “unknown ideas” of opinion he suffered the ultimate price. Before his death penalty just like any other modern judicial procedures he was imprisoned than tried. During Socrates time in jail, he got a visit from a man named Crito, who advised Socrates to abandon everything he had and go to a place where there would be less opposition toward his teachings. Not surprising Socrates did not want to, break the law, but to me it was more than just breaking the law that made him want to stay and deal with the punishment. Socrates realized that he was part of a bigger movement a movement that continues to expand now. Socrates showed perseverance, and what he endured was for his ” [1] Children future scholars”

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Athens seemed to be a place of enormous corruption in biblical terms, Sodom and Gomorra. So it is understandable how a man like Socrates would see such flaw’s and want to point it out. Just like the politicians and the politics of our day, back then were many lies and corruption in politics, and Socrates wanted change the politics of that time. He talked about how everyone was involved in politics and that created bad politics. In Athens at the time everyone was allowed to serve a term in parliament, this also allowed for farmers to become politicians and serve for a term if they chose to. The idea was for everyone to be part of Athens and it would promote more equality amongst the citizens. In Socrates mind that was a bad policy and it would only create bad politics, he believed that farmers should farm and that teachers should only teach and politicians should be involved in politics.

The idea that Socrates was hated and killed because of the “Fear of the unknown” may seem a little ridiculous but that was exactly what happened in Athens. The idea that he would set the minds of the young free cut the ropes of one way of thinking and opened up an opportunity to thinking outside the box. The word enlighten was a cursed word in Athens, and the word progress was like a slap in the face. Good is all I seen Socrates trying to do and that’s not a crime, but all he received was oppositions.

There is a very important passage in the book, when Crito visits Socrates and finds him sleeping;

2’In the name of Zeus, Socrates, I wouldn’t do that! I only wish I weren’t so sleepless and distressed myself. I’ve been amazed all this time to see how peacefully you were sleeping and I deliberately kept from waking you, so that you could pass the time as pleasantly as possible. In the past- indeed, throughout my entire life- I’ve often counted you happy in disposition, but never more so than in this present misfortune. You bear it so easily and calmly.” Socrates answers, “Well, Crito it would be an error for someone of my age to complain when the time has come when he must die.”

Being a strong and brave as I can honestly acknowledge such bravery. But what Socrates showed me by that response in a show of acceptance, I wouldn’t be sleeping in peace matter fact I don’t even know if I would be sleeping if I was in his shoes. Especially when I know I haven’t done anything wrong and being punished for a good deed. How do you continue to have faith in you philosophies when you have extreme oppositions that you know will cost you your life? It would be easy for Socrates to give up to the ” [3] Man of Athens” but there is no passage that showed he did, again he showed Perseverance.

Despite Continua’s pressure from Crito for Socrates to leave Athens Socrates had his mind set that he would stay and deal with the punishment. He mentioned to Crito;

“Good. Then since you were born, brought up, and educated, can you deny, first, that you’re our offspring and slave, both yourself and your ancestors? And if that’s so, do you think that what’s just is based on an equality between you and us, that whatever we try to do to you it’s just for you to do to us in return? As regards you and your father (or you and your master, if you happened to have one), what’s just isn’t based on equality…, not to give way or retreat or leave where you were stationed, but on the contrary, in war and law courts, and everywhere else , to do whatever your city or fatherland commands or else persuade it as to what is really just; and that while it is impious to violate the will of your mother or father, it is yet less so than to violate the will of your mother or father, it is yet less so than to violate that of your fatherland.” [4] 

The idea of leaving Athens is the same idea of a child leaving his mother alone that would be betrayal.

There is no question that Socrates is, if not one of the most influential philosophers and man that showed us what perseverance is. The father of all scholars in my opinion never had the chance to really look at his work until this class and I enjoyed it. It made me want to stand up for what I believe in and not let people’s ideas and ignorance stop me from achieving my goals. People have died for what they believed in order for us to be here today. In reading Socrates, you would think that from his time till now things would have changed, and when it came to new knowledge we would be way more receptive, but still there exists so many oppositions in religion, culture and beliefs. Its good to always keep in mind that whatever we do in life, when people know that there is about to be change in anything, there will be opposition, but they do not understand that running away will not solve the issue. With that in mind I will quote saying, “That fear of the Unknown I tell you is deadly” (Sukissa Mendes).


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