essay 1 Socrates trial - 993 Words | Major Tests
It is more accurate to think of him as an empirical collectivist rather than a socialist, and as such he moved in harmony with the currents of the time and his own country. For him the new industrial society demanded extensions in the agenda of government. But he never ceased to emphasize that in any country the role of government must depend on the peculiar necessities of its economy and society. Some countries require more government than others, especially when poor, underdeveloped, and lacking in the special attitudes and institutions that nourish private enterprise. Mill abundently illustrated this point in his discussions on Ireland and India. The major problem of Ireland, for example, was poverty, the result of bad government over generations, harsh class domination, and the gross mismanagement of its land. The remedy must be drastic action by the government to ensure a peasant proprietorship, which in Mill’s opinion was best able to protect the soil and foster in the cultivators forethought, frugality, self-restraint, and the other solid qualities needed for their material progress and welfare. There was no other stimulus comparable to the ownership of the land by those who tilled it. The necessary steps proposed by Mill to ensure this end startled and annoyed the contemporary upholders of the rights of property because they involved something alien to English custom, the control of rents by law rather than by market forces. But for Mill Ireland was not England, and a free market was not an inflexible dogma. He rejected the idea that English practice should be a norm for Irish policy. Irish circumstances and the land situation were such that only state action could remedy them, and bring to the country order and prosperity.
Trial and Death of Socrates Essay - 2276 Words | Cram
Throughout the Apology, Socrates puts forward his views of wisdom, virtue, and nobility he believes to be moral truths, not to clear his name, but to reveal the ignorance of his prosecutors, judges, and fellow citizens. Against the charges of corrupting the youth, atheism, and introducing new deities, Socrates states that has been doing Athens a service by improving its beliefs of wisdom and virtue. "He [Socrates] regarded the charges as wholly unjustified; he claimed to reform and improve both his own moral outlook and other people's. He devoted his life to cross-examining other people about virtue; he urged them to pay attention to their souls... not to wealth, power and other external advantages." Socrates states that this was his true purpose, for "The unexamined life is not worth living." Later on in the trial Socrates remains steadfast on his views and refuses to give up his philosophical pursuit, even if it costs him his life. He tells the jury, "Therefore if you let me go now... and say to me: Socrates, this time we will not mind Anytus [a prosecutor], and will let you off, but upon one condition, that you are not to inquire and speculate in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing this again you shall die; - if this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy..."
To pass from this to the only other instance of judicial iniquity, the mention of which, after the condemnation of Socrates, would not be an anti-climax: the event which took place on Calvary rather more than eighteen hundred years ago. The man who left on the memory of those who witnessed his life and conversation, such an impression of his moral grandeur, that eighteen subsequent centuries have done homage to him as the Almighty in person, was ignominiously put to death, as what? As a blasphemer. Men did not merely mistake their benefactor; they mistook him for the exact contrary of what he was, and treated him as that prodigy of impiety, which they themselves are now held to be, for their treatment of him. The feelings with which mankind now regard these lamentable transactions, especially the later of the two, render them extremely unjust in their judgment of the unhappy actors. These were, to all appearance, not bad men—not worse than men commonly are, but rather the contrary; men who possessed in a full, or somewhat more than a full measure, the religious, moral, and patriotic feelings of their time and people: the very kind of men who, in all times, our own included, have every chance of passing through life blameless and respected. The high-priest who rent his garments when the words were pronounced, which, according to all the ideas of his country, constituted the blackest guilt, was in all probability quite as sincere in his horror and indignation, as the generality of respectable and pious men now are in the religious and moral sentiments they profess; and most of those who now shudder at his conduct, if they had lived in his time, and been born Jews, would have acted precisely as he did. Orthodox Christians who are tempted to think that those who stoned to death the first martyrs must have been worse men than they themselves are, ought to remember that one of those persecutors was Saint Paul.
What justification was there for Socrates' trial, ..
For the particulars of this education of the American people by means of political institutions, we must refer to the work itself; of which it is one of the minor recommendations, that it has never been equalled even as a mere statement and explanation of the institutions of the United States. The general principle to which M. de Tocqueville has given the sanction of his authority, merits more consideration than it has yet received from the professed labourers in the cause of national education. It has often been said, and requires to be repeated still oftener, that books and discourses alone are not education; that life is a problem, not a theorem: that action can only be learnt in action. A child learns to write its name only by a succession of trials; and is a man to be taught to use his mind and guide his conduct by mere precept? What can be learnt in schools is important, but not all-important. The main branch of the education of human beings is their habitual employment; which must be either their individual vocation, or some matter of general concern, in which they are called to take a part. The private money-getting occupation of almost every one is more or less a mechanical routine; it brings but few of his faculties into action, while its exclusive pursuit tends to fasten his attention and interest exclusively upon himself, and upon his family as an appendage of himself; making him indifferent to the public, to the more generous objects and the nobler interests, and, in his inordinate regard for his personal comforts, selfish and cowardly. Balance these tendencies by contrary ones; give him something to do for the public, whether as a vestryman, a juryman, or an elector; and, in that degree, his ideas and feelings are taken out of this narrow circle. He becomes acquainted with more varied business, and a larger range of considerations. He is made to feel that besides the interests which separate him from his fellow-citizens, he has interests which connect him with them, that not only the common weal is his weal, but that it partly depends upon his exertions. Whatever might be the case in some other constitutions of society, the spirit of a commercial people will be, we are persuaded, essentially mean and slavish, wherever public spirit is not cultivated by an extensive participation of the people in the business of government in detail; nor will the desideratum of a general diffusion of intelligence among either the middle or lower classes be realized, but by a corresponding dissemination of public functions and a voice in public affairs.