Socrates' enemies charged him with impiety because they saw him as a political liability; his philosophy contradicted the foundations of Athenian democracy, and two of his disciples were the primary instigators of revolts against the democracy in 411 and 404 B.C. Many of the notable men of the city detested Socrates because his manner of dialectical conversation caused them public embarrassment. Socrates also held religious views unorthodox for the time.Know More
Part of the charge against Socrates was his alleged disbelief in the gods of Athens. Contrary to what many of his detractors asserted, Socrates was not an atheist. But he did not believe in the traditional view of the Greek pantheon. Socrates believed that there was a single God, and he did not believe in a flawed, reproachable God like those depicted in Greek mythology.
Despite the claims of impiety, Socrates' indictment was politically motivated. Socrates did not believe in democracy. He believed that the wise should govern, and he did not think that the people at large had sufficient virtue or wisdom.
Socrates felt that it was democracy that led to Athens' downfall during the Peloponnesian War. He viewed Sparta as having a more exemplary form of government. Two of Socrates' disciples, Alibiades and Critias, led insurrections against the Athenian democracy. Athens' democratic leaders saw Socrates as a cause of political unrest.Learn more about Ancient Greece
The famous Athenian philosopher Socrates was charged with two specific crimes: impiety and corruption of the youth. These charges stemmed from controversial decisions Socrates made as member of the Boule, decisions that ultimately upset influential figures and likely outraged public sentiment as well.Full Answer >
Some of the strengths of Athenian democracy include making decisions based on the opinions of many rather than a few, giving responsibility to more citizens and making records available for public examination. Weaknesses include the voters' ability to make poor decisions and be swayed by rhetoric and short office terms that made implementing policies difficult.Full Answer >
The system of democratic government that began to develop in the first decade of the 5th century B.C. in the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens was a direct, rather than representative, democracy, and every adult male citizen could participate. An assembly of citizens and a council, or boule, met on an almost weekly basis and was responsible for deciding upon the civic and foreign policy affairs of the city-state. Not only were Athens' citizens encouraged to participate in the assembly meetings, those who did not participate were often ridiculed for their lack of involvement.Full Answer >
Socrates contributed to philosophy by creating what is known as the fundamentals of Western philosophy. He invented the teaching practice of pedagogy, the Socratic method and contributed to the fields of ethics, epistemology and logic.Full Answer >