The Apology: the accusations against Socrates leading to his death.

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The Apology

The accusation held by the prosecutors against Socrates is impiety (not believing in Athenian gods). ??especially now, when I am being tried for impiety on the indictment of Meletus.? From Socrates? enemies' point of view, he is guilty of impiety for not supporting the religious views found in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Socrates believes Homeric religion as improper. His accusers say that he is a natural scientist who only uses natural causes to explain things and he doesn?t deal with claims about supernatural beings. Although Socrates does not deny the existence of such gods, they accuse him of impiety for introducing new deities into the city that the city refuses to recognize.

Socrates is unlike the Pre-Socratic Philosophers in that he believes in truth and has a great desire for finding out the truth. ?And I swear to you, Athenians, by the dog I swear! - for I must tell you the truth.?

Some Pre-Socratic Philosophers do not believe in the existence of truth. The sophists who are Pre-Socratic Philosophers taught eristics (the skill of clever debate) which aimed at winning arguments and legal battles at any cost and with little concern for the truth. ?Well, as I was saying, they have hardly uttered a word, or not more than a word, of truth; but you shall hear from me the whole truth: not, however, delivered after their manner, in a set oration ornamented with words and phrases.? (Socrates).

According to the oracle at Delphi, no man was wiser than Socrates. ?He asked the oracle to tell him whether there was anyone wiser than I was, and the Pythian prophetess answered that there was no man wiser.? The oracle generally gave ambiguous (having more than one possible meaning) answers. Socrates was surprised by the...