Plato's Apology: A Reflection

Plato's Apology: A Reflection

An opinionated response to a classic.
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Plato’s Apology is a rather fascinating piece that beautifully highlights his mastery of rhetoric, and which portrays Socrates as a rather sarcastic orator. The piece focuses on Socrates’ defense after he had been brought before the people of Athens under accusations of impiety and alleged corruption of the youth. In order to escape punishment, Socrates needed to persuade the juries that the accusations presented by his adversaries were untruthful. It’s rather humorous to see that Socrates adopted a rather sarcastic tone, seasoned with subtle irony to address his opponents. Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the way he handled the situation was that he was able to lead his adversaries to realize that their arguments were rather flawed.

As previously mentioned, the two main accusations presented against him were that he was an atheist and that he corrupted the youth by teaching them wrong values. He contested these accusations by presenting a series of thought experiments to his accusers and by utilizing the ethos, pathos and logos aspect of persuasion. By appealing to ethos, he established that he was an honorable man who had been highly respected by those who had known him. He also mentioned that he was seventy-years old, an age that not many reached. This sort of appeal would then serve to convince the juries that he was an aged, wise man of good character. Such an individual would certainly not be interested in corrupting the youth. By mentioning his old age he was also able to appeal to the element of pathos as it would certainly make the juries feel guilty about punishing an elder. His use of logos was presented when he questioned his opponents and attempted to rationally lead them to the conclusion that they were wrong.

This piece also does an extraordinary job of highlighting Socrates’ skeptic beliefs and his philosophical standpoint. Throughout the text he repeats that he is not certainly not the wisest man because all he knows is that he knows nothing. As a supporter of universal skepticism, it is not surprising that he would say such a thing about his knowledge. It is unfortunate that the juries eventually agreed that his punishment would be the death sentence. Personally, I was rather surprised at how he responded to this punishment. He willingly agreed to the juries’ decision and did not attempt to contest it, although he did add some sarcastic comments about him not fearing death because one cannot be sure if death is indeed a bad thing. His respect for the social contract between the individual and his society led him to believe that he had to agree with whatever judgment the people of Athens had decided to push forth.

In general, I found this piece to be rather amusing, although, the topic was not particularly comic. It was Socrates’ sarcastic tone that transformed the piece into something that was comical and entertaining. I do not know if this was the exact manner in which Socrates actually responded, but, I do know that if an individual were to speak this way in a contemporary court that they would be in big trouble.

Cover Image Credit: quickmeme

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

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Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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