Philosophers on Political Obligations

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

According to the law, it is right for one to obey the laws of the land rather than acting according to the state of one’s interest. This causes a collision between morality and law as law is driven by the political obligation. As I start this paper, it is important to note that it is going to address about one of the most outstanding personalities in the entire human history. In addition, to be the founder of the western philosophy, Socrates who was an ancient Greek thinker was also an outstanding logician. One of the most interesting issues of concern to his life is the circumstances that he came to meet his death. Each one of these three readings contains some important information which can be used in making decisions of some of the fatal issues.

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Through the use of the theme of apology, it gives us an opportunity of learning the Socrates’ speech after he immediately received his verdict. The following is some of the little parts of the response that he gave after receiving the verdict, “You would have liked to hear me weep and wail, doing and saying all sorts of things which I regard as unworthy of myself, but which you are used to hearing from other people. But I did not think then that I ought to stoop to servility because I was in danger, and I do not regret now the way in which I pleaded my case. I would much rather die as the result of this defense than live as the result of the other sort.

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Now if there is no consciousness but only a dreamless sleep, death must be a marvelous gain. I suppose that if anyone was told to pick out the night on which he slept so soundly as not even to dream, and then to compare it with all the other nights and days of his life, and then were told to say, after due consideration, how many better and happier days and nights than this he had spent in the course of his life–well, I think that the Great King himself, to say nothing of any private person, would find these days and nights easy to count in comparison with the rest. If death is like this, then, I call it gain, because the whole of time, if you look at it in this way, can be regarded as no more than one single night” (Kahn & Charles, 167).

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This is another important quotes as far as this issue is concerned. This quote enables readers to trace his famous devotion to truth as well as dispassionate reasoning. Now you depart in innocence, a sufferer and not a doer of evil; a victim, not of the laws, but of men. But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us and wronging those whom you ought least to wrong, that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shall be angry with you while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy us” (Kahn & Charles, 187).

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This is another interesting part as far as this topic is concerned. This part shows how he values the state as well as laws. In this case, he is seen to be a victim of the people but not a victim of the law. In respect to him, the death sentence was not the punishment that he deserved and he treated this as a mistake that had been committed by the fellow folks but not as a way of harming him. “Then when death comes to man, the mortal part of him dies, it seems, but his deathless part goes away safe and indestructible, yielding the place to death” (Kahn & Charles, 193). Now being familiar with the way of reasoning that Socrates had in his mind as he accepted his punishment of death sentence, we come to the conclusion that the decision was not as ridiculous as many used to see it at the beginning.

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In fact, the actions that he decided to take were obviously different from biological as well as psychological instincts of human beings. Despite this, the actions that were taken by this great philosopher shows that the domain of real moral virtues is in most cases much more valuable than anything else especially to those that aim at keeping the concept of “good” together with decent life. One of the important differences between the two philosophers is the fact that one of them stands with dispassionate reasoning while the other stands with a relationship that exists between different individuals and the society as well. Despite this, it is important for one to put some deeper look on this so as to determine the similarity that exists between the two philosophies.

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