Life has countless examples showcasing how hard it can be to stay true to and follow morality and virtue. This was the case with the trial of Socrates when he had to face a choice of either saving his life and forsaking his teachings or accepting the death penalty issued by the state. Being charged for the crimes he did not conduct, Socrates remained true to his beliefs, vision, and moral compass. Consequently, even despite his followers, friends, and students encouraging him to flee the hand of justice and hide in exile, Socrates accepted the death sentence.
Every time an individual makes a choice, they unwillingly consult with their conscience on the matter, evaluating all the possibilities of future actions. The conscience, however, cannot always provide morally true and justified judgments due to its subjectivity or a lack of knowledge. In the case when the choice seems vague and unclear, Dimmock and Fisher (2017) suggest referring to the example of people who are considered highly virtuous. Then, at some point, the amount of gathered practical wisdom will be enough to conduct personal decisions.
Consequently, if I were placed in Socrates’ situation, I would have to evaluate my options. Judging by the philosopher’s example, the decision to run into exile cannot be morally justified. Socrates knew his moral obligations toward the state outweighed his actual innocence in the case. In my case, however, this knowledge would probably not stop me from fleeing. Compared to Socrates, I believe I have a completely different disposition and am not so greatly obliged to follow the moral norms; thus, I would highly likely choose an exile despite it being morally unjustified.
Dimmock, M., & Fisher, A. (2017). Ethics for A-level. Open Book Publishers.