It is quite obvious that the humanity needs the answer to the question: is it right to act in one’s own best interest or to obey the state, the common rules and accepted norms? A contemporary individual is most likely to believe that preserving life is by far the most important and cannot be but justified, so one should act in his or her own interests. But Socrates did not agree to holding his tongue in ever-changing exile or lying in prison waiting for the fine to be paid for him. Socrates was right judging about the ever-changing world and due to the changes that occur in modern life it gives birth to new ideas and alters the attitude to different events. By research paper help I use only my own experience, according to R. E. Allen’s principle, for instance, Socrates’ conceptions of the moral duties differ considerably from contemporary conceptions of the same thing. According to him, Socrates had no obligations to submit himself to death prior to an agreement, as submitting oneself to death is itself unjust.
The thinker could consider the agreement unjust as the means of coming to such an agreement were unjust. Instead Socrates drank the poison as if it was liberation to Gods. All this is the result of the conviction that breaking out of poison would be setting a poor example of what justice is. But the philosopher failed to distinguish between substantial and procedural justice. So, in my opinion, he could criticize the laws of Athens and offer some moral reason for rejection the law and appealing to the court, as there always exists the possibility of moral criticism of laws. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between man-made and natural laws, the former may be argued about and there could not be any automatic moral obligation to obey them implicitly.
If the laws of Athens were not just and if Socrates demonstrated their moral deficiency, he would have moral right to reject the verdict, so his escape would not be considered as unjust. Socrates believed that justice is transmitted from the law into judicial decisions, but it is not obligatory so. There should be traced the difference between the justice of laws and the justice of judicial proceedings.
Socrates’ delusion that disrespect of unjust verdicts leads to anarchy and laws’ destruction deprived him of an opportunity to carry out his mission and making a larger impact on Athens. The philosopher could also change the way the majority of people thought, but unfortunately, he was not much concerned about it. That is why the world untimely lost an intellect of the age.