“The Apology Of Socrates” By Plato Sample College Essay

Introduction

A great deal of what we know about Socrates the man, in fact, all of what we know of him, is what is written about him by others who may or may not have heard him speak. This is because Socrates chose not to write anything down in his pursuit of wisdom. Some of these writings, such as Plato’s Apology, provide such a degree of firsthand knowledge, though, that we are able to make some characterizations. In this document, Plato records, to what degree of accuracy is uncertain, the defense presented by Socrates himself at the trial for his life. Within the text, Socrates continually refers to himself as being the wisest man alive, based upon the words of the Oracle at Delphi, which is known to never speak falsely. As he works to argue his case based upon reason alone, he reveals some of the more common elements of Athenian culture and law and the discrepancies that existed between them. Many of these elements are again brought forward when Socrates talks with his friend about why he won’t go along with tradition and simply escape from the Athenian jail after having been sentenced to death as revealed in Plato’s Crito. Although many of the values found in the Apology can also be found in the Crito, there are some troubling differences.

Main body

In Apology, Socrates reveals his own foreknowledge that he was acting in a way that contradicted the important values of his culture. He speaks out against his enemies saying that they have maliciously spoken against him, “telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause” (Apology: p. 944). He knows that he is facing a jury that has been biased against him from their youth through the mouths of their fathers and it is highly unlikely that they will judge him fairly now. Unlike the claims of the U.S. Constitution, Socrates’ trial is not characterized by having a ‘fair and impartial’ jury of his peers. He then complicates matters by admitting that he knowingly acted in a way that would make these men dislike him. “Then I went to one man after another, being not unconscious of the enmity which I provoked, and I lamented and feared this” (Apology: p. 946). From this, it can be deduced that Socrates is expected to defend himself without benefit of counsel to argue on his behalf, preventing him from exacerbating the issue like this.

For his defense, Socrates relies on logic and reasoning to present his case, clearly summarizing his actions and demonstrating them to be neither harmful nor malicious toward the state. “At last I went to the artisans, for I was conscious that I knew nothing at all, as I may say, and I was sure that they knew many fine things; and here I was not mistaken, for they did know many things of which I was ignorant, and in this they certainly were wiser than I was. But I observed that even the good artisans fell into the same error as the poets; because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom” (Apology: p. 947). His friends try to convince him to adopt a different approach in his defense, perhaps illustrating the needs of his family and his responsibility to care for them or to call for pity due to his age or failing health, illustrating the cultural norms where these sorts of tactics worked. In other words, important decisions such as who should be found innocent and who should be put to death for their crimes were frequently solved through emotional ploys and business deals rather than logical facts, truth and justice. It was these values that Socrates was upholding in refusing his friends’ offers to help him escape.

In accepting his punishment, as written about in Crito, Socrates is able to prove the depth of his convictions and continue to stand for those ideals he has purported to stand for thus far. In his calm acceptance of the death penalty, Socrates expresses a deeper concern for the welfare of men living without an example of how to properly examine whether what they know as truth is actually truthful or merely the platitudes of a dominant leadership. Again, Crito reinforces the idea that the Athenian customs are based not as much on strict adherence to the laws themselves but to an elaborate game of deceit and bribery as he attempts to convince Socrates that the right thing for him to do would be to escape. This is not for Socrates’ sake alone, but also for the sake of his friends. Crito reminds Socrates “people who do not know you and me will believe that I might have saved you if I had been willing to give money, but that I did not care. Now, can there be a worse disgrace than this – that I should be thought to value money more than the life of a friend?” However, this is about where the similarities end.

In arguing against his friend’s advice, Socrates argues that he cannot give in to the demands of the many – that he must escape in order to save the good name of his friends among the popular crowd – because it is incumbent upon him to obey the just laws of his society before looking to his own good. “Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and overthrown by individuals? … Anyone, and especially a clever rhetorician, will have a good deal to urge about the evil of setting aside the law which requires a sentence to be carried out.” Socrates opts to remain in jail and drink the hemlock thus fulfilling his death sentence as a means of setting an example to the rest of his society. This example seems somewhat inconsistent though when one considers that the law itself is flawed. At what point does Socrates feel it is incumbent upon the citizens to resist inappropriate or unjust laws?

Perhaps the answer is in moderation – when the majority of society does not obey the laws, as is hinted in both the Apology and the Crito, it is necessary for examples to be set by outstanding citizens of how the law must be supported by the community if it is to be successful in maintaining peace. When the majority of society does not place humanitarian needs above the petty jealousies and greed of individuals by allowing unjust laws and blatant abuse of the system, it is then necessary for outstanding citizens to set the example of how to resist. While Socrates might have been able to escape the death penalty had he been willing to pull some of the tricks that people before and after him pulled in order to sway court opinion, he would have had to have done so by undermining the very things he most stood for – the examination of the truth, the pursuit of wisdom and the importance of self-examination. By both accepting his own lack of wisdom in all things and by accepting that he was indeed wiser than any of the men he had met thus far, Socrates was able to illustrate the importance of eternal questioning as a means of self-definition and of discovering greater truths. By remaining loyal to this stance in his own defense, he not only emphasized this importance to those who came after him, but also ensured his words would somehow be immortalized as the only way in which he might be able to reach future generations.

Hinduism Judaism, Christianity, And Islam: Comparison

Introduction

Religion is an integral part of the modern world. First, religious institutes carry out spiritual registration of believers which is shown in the human-God communication. Secondly, the religious organizations are engaged in religious and special secular education, charity, and philanthropy. Thirdly, representatives of religious institutes actively participate in public activities and promote the normalization of political, economic, and cultural processes. In addition to the common aspects of religions in general, many religions in particular, have several commonalities based on which a comparison between them could be conducted. This paper compares Hinduism on the one part, and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the other part based on the existent points commonality in the Abrahamic religions.

Commonalities

All three Abrahamic religions, as implied from their common name, share a similar origin, where this origin implies the existence of one spiritual source in all these religions.

The similarity of origins is followed by the point that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions. Judaism and Islam highly affirm the oneness of God, where Christianity, although believe that God is triune, “this is not a denial of monotheism but an affirmation of the complexity of the Divine Being.” (Mojzes & Swidler, 2002).

An additional point of resemblance, which mostly consists of several outlines, addresses the issue of representation. All three religions have the origin of divine revelation through prophets. In contrary to other religions and doctrines, which were mostly based on philosophical reflections, customs, or traditions that were passed through generations, the teachings of Abrahamic religion are related to God who addressed his words through prophets.

Although the role of prophets might differ in each religion, mainly in Christianity where Jesus has a bigger role and position, their message is identical, which is to deliver and spread God’s words. It should be mentioned that prophets as a point of commonality have points of distinction, where the consequent timeline in all three religions resulted in the fact that the earlier does not recognize the following religions and prophets. In that sense, Islam recognizes all the previous prophets, while Judaism logically did not say a word about Jesus. (“Similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity,” 2008).

Comparison with Hinduism

Hinduism – the most ancient national religion of India. There are numerous religions and beliefs in India including all world religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Christianity (Klostermaier, 2007), nevertheless, it was and remains mainly the country of Hinduism. It was all around Hinduism throughout the centuries, that cultural, political, and social unity was built. “Although Hinduism is associated with one region of the world —South Asia—it is a global religion in two senses of the term. It has provided a religious complement to the diaspora of Hindus around the world and thus contributed to pluralist cultures in such disparate places as contemporary Fiji and England.” (Madan, 2003, p. 52) By the end of the last century, Hinduism has stepped over national borders and became popular in a number of countries in Europe and America, applying for its recognition as one of the world religions.

Comparing Hinduism with Abrahamic religions in the context of origins, Hinduism has its roots “go back to the Vedic religion that prevailed in north India 3,0 years ago. Hinduism evolved over the millennia as the earlier Vedic and Brahmanical traditions spread spatially.” (Madan, 2003, p. 53) Nevertheless, Hinduism can be considered as a product of conjunction between Indian and Semitic religion faiths, Islam and Christianity.

In terms of revelation, where Abrahamic religions were based on prophets, Hinduism was revealed through the recovery of ancient wisdom. “Although the Vedas are indeed regarded as revealed texts by some Hindus, the manner of revelation is not external. It rather consists of the recovery of the perennial wisdom of the sages. Modern Indological scholarship has tended to emphasize belief in the Vedas as scripture and also the authority of the Brahmans as its interpreters as essential features of Hinduism.” (Madan, 2003, p. 54) As for the religious outlook, pluralism is inherent in Hinduism, and it is shown not only in spiritual differentiation, but also in social, and also in spatial and temporal: they affect in a set of local traditions and in timing the religious life to all human ages. Plural characteristics are connected through the general course of traditional culture and life principles, obligatory for all Hindus. Although in Hinduism there were different Gods that were worshipped such as Shums, Sin, and Ishtar, they could be considered as idols, where “Idols are not ends in themselves, but a means to realize the Almighty.” (Kelkar & Vaishnav, 2001).

From the western point of view, Hinduism looks logically unorganized and unsystematic. However, from the point of view of traditional Indian culture, Hinduism has a system of another kind. “Things are made more complicated through the appropriation of particular philosophical schools by specific religious traditions, the formation of parallel teaching lines, and the emergence of new sects.”(Klostermaier, 2007).

References

Klostermaier, K. K. (2007). Hinduism: A Short History. Web.

Kelkar, V., & Vaishnav, Y. (2001). Commonalities in Hinduism and Judaism. International Journal of Humanities and Peace, 17(1), 24+.

Madan, T. N. (2003). 5 Hinduism. In Global Religions: An Introduction, Juergensmeyer, M. (Ed.) (pp. 52-62). New York: Oxford University Press.

Mojzes, P., & Swidler, L. (2002). Common Elements of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 39(1-2), 80+.

Neusner, J., Chilton, B., & Graham, W. (2002). Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Boston: Brill.

Oakes, E. T. (2005). The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life 53+.

Similarities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity (2008). 2009. Web.

Globalization And Cultural Difference Of Societies

Introduction

Two authoritative scenarios control the public conversation about the civilizing consequences of globalization. The one very general scenario symbolizes globalization as cultural homogenization. In this situation the culturally different societies of the planet are being swarming by globally obtainable goods, media, ideas and organizations. In a world where people from Vienna to Sidney eat Big Macs, wear Benetton clothes, watch MTV or CNN, speak over human rights and work on their IBM computers cultural features are in danger of extinction. As these products and ideas are typically of western origin, globalization is distinguished as westernization. The other circumstances is that of educational disintegration and intercultural conflict. (Casado, Dereshiwsky 2007)

But can we really decrease the procedures of cultural globalization to these two typecasts? In order to get a more distinct image of current global cultural modifications, we have to research cultural performs worldwide. impartially measurable shapes relating the death rates, intercultural marriages and market-distributes have to be realized in their wider social background. They have to be associated with specific worldviews, gender contacts and the local denotation of death and wealth. (Lozano, 2006)

Discussion

Globalization subsists at the middle of contemporary culture, and cultural practices present at the center of globalization. Globalization is not the only assignment that defines these cultural skills but it entails converter procedures. This process impact the essential structure of educational knowledge and the notion of culture. The educational aspect of globalization impacted by the modifications in community, technological benefits and quick changes in data technology. Architectural occupation is as general as it is particular, objective as it is slanted and general as it is personal. In all these disagreements the properties of architectural phenomenon influence architectural teaching. Particularly ‘the teaching of a person’ must be regarded as the most essential matter in education. (Lozano, 2003)

Actually there are lots of causes to think that globalization might weaken cultural assortment:

  • transnational corporations sponsor a certain kind of consumerist culture, in which normal commodities, endorsed by global marketing operations developing basic material wishes, create similar ways of life – “Coca-Colonization”
  • supported by the authority of certain states, Western models are incorrectly stated as worldwide, overriding local customs – “cultural imperialism”
  • modern organizations have an intrinsically rationalizing shove, making all human performs more competent, convenient, and unsurprising, as demonstrated by the spread of fast food networks.
  • the United States applies hegemonic impact in promoting its estimations and habits by the means popular culture and the news media – “Americanization”

But there are also positive causes to think that globalization will promote multiplicity:

  • communication across borders leads to the intermixing of cultures in exacting places and practice – pluralizing.
  • cultural flows happen in a different way in different fields and may create in lots of places – differentiation
  • incorporation and the spread of ideas provoke responses and confrontation – contestation
  • worldwide norms or practices are realized differently in accordance with local custom; the widespread must take particular shapes – globalization
  • assortment has itself turned to be a global value, endorsed by the means of international associations and associations, not to mention nation-states – institutionalization (Lewellen, 2002)

Societies do not inactively give in to overseas and global impacts. Instead anthropological investigate has stressed the capability of communities to include what might be anticipated to threaten them. Different tactics of dealing with foreign impacts have been classified. The most important of these are confrontation and appropriation.

Regarding confrontation: The state often attempts to forbid foreign impacts to enter its territory. The Iranian state, for instance does not permit its inhabitants to own satellite-antennas, France attempts to protect the French language from being anglicized and creates new French words fast food and the internet. But imported goods, organizations and thoughts also meet confrontation from social associations or certain sphere of community. (Legrain, 2003)

But more often than contribution confrontation, people integrate and proper foreign influences into their survives. The anthropologist Marshall Sahlins has stated that people often use overseas goods and thoughts to turn to be more like themselves. We see in the existing anthropological writing a great diversity of case studies which reveal this process of misuse.

Let’s take McDonalds as an example. It is surely is a very globalized organization, popular in over 100 states, serving 30 million consumers a day. The sociologist George Ritzer has even stated a homogenization-notion after this fast food giant: The “McDonaldization” of the world. But if to look at ethnographic researches of McDonalds in East Asia or Russia, the image of a global homogenization slacks trustworthiness. Yes, some features of the balanced, fast and regulated McDonalds structure has been taken in most communities and the chain has impacted small but powerful changes in nutritional prototypes. But what comes out of the sphere research is that the connotation of McDonalds has been modified enormously by its different consumers. (Fine, 2006)

Businessmen in Beijing are capable to avoid a typical Chinese dilemma: Banquets in Chinese restaurants are rather competitive. People attempt to exceed one another by providing the most luxurious dishes and drinks. It is general for a host at a banquet to worry that consumers at neighboring tables might be benefitting fro better dishes, thus resulting him or her to loose face. Such opposition does not exist at McDonalds where the menu is restricted and the food regulated. For people without a lot of money McDonalds has turned to be the best substitute to host a snack.

Often the achievement of a global good has unforeseen causes. One reason which very many people offered for eating at McDonalds were the hygienic and spacious lavatories, which since have hoisted the general hygienic standards in East Asian eateries. (Arts, Hagenaars et al. 2003)

Western Fast food nets have pushed an amount of more customary snack salespersons out of commerce, but instead of leading to an Americanization of flavor, it has started a boom of local fast foods. The fraud of global goods and notions can be revealed in different spheres, from western notions like sustainable expansion and Human Rights to media expertise and media content. The same point applies to all these examples: the meanings of the creators (of goods or ideas) are changed by the people purchasing them. This doesn’t mean that citizens are not influenced in very deep ways by introduces. (Takanori, 2003)

Conclusion

It is necessary to emphasize, that the very notion of globalization itself means the refuse of some cultural distinctions due to the intermixing of cultures and standards.

References

Arts, W., Hagenaars, J., Halman, L., Donk, W. V., & Schaik, T. V. (Eds.). (2003). The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study. Boston: Brill.

Berger, P. L. & Huntington, S. P. (Eds.). (2003). Many Globalizations: Cultural Diversity in the Contemporary World. New York: Oxford University Press.

Casado, M. A., & Dereshiwsky, M. I. (2007). Cultural Diversity in Higher Education: Implications for Hospitality Programs. Education, 128(2), 294.

Fine, M. G. (2006). Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: The State of the Field. The Journal of Business Communication, 33(4), 485.

Legrain, P. (2003). In Defense of Globalization: Why Cultural Exchange Is Still an Overwhelming Force for Good. The International Economy, 17, 62.

Lewellen, T. C. (2002). The Anthropology of Globalization: Cultural Anthropology Enters the 21st Century. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Lozano, J. (2006). Public Policies and Research on Cultural Diversity and Television in Mexico. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(3), 467.

Takanori, S. (2003). Cultural Diversity and Folklore Studies in Japan: A Multiculturalist Approach. Asian Folklore Studies, 62(2), 195.

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