Socrates, a man who was only trying to do something good and productive for the city of Athens was definitely accused wrongly and penalized unfairly. On the trial, Socrates was mainly accused of not believing in the gods of Athens and corrupting the young. Other charges were that they were calling him a Physicist (inquiring the heavens and below the earth), and a Sophist (making the worse arguments appear the better). Socrates classifies his accusations into two categories, recent and ancient. The recent being the actual accusations which were made by his current accusers who are Meletus, being the leader in the accusations was also quarreling with Socrates on behalf of the poets, Lycon on behalf of the rhetoricians, and Anytus on behalf of the craftsmen. The ancient being the rumors that had circled Athens for years about how Socrates was a man of evil and a man who makes the worse case look to be the better.
The first charge made against Socrates is the one on which is accused of not believing in the Athenian gods. Throughout the whole trial Socrates states that he does believe in god, and at this moment all the contradictions begin and evidences on Socrates side are shown by the same Socrates. If Socrates did not believe in the gods of Athens, he would not have followed the Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi which stated, “There is no man wiser”. This statement shows that Socrates does believe in god because the statement, “There is no man wiser”, came from a sort of god to whom Socrates tests out to see if what god was stating was true. Socrates did not know exactly what the oracle meant, so he decided to test it out and find out if there was actually a wiser man than himself. This shows that if Socrates wouldn’t have believed in god, he wouldn’t have followed something that came from a sort of god. He went and questioned politicians, poets, and craftsmen just to see if he was truly wiser than they were. After finding out his answer, which in conclusion he found out he actually was wiser than those other men, Socrates also gained even more enemies. Another fact that proved that Socrates believed in the gods of Athens was his “divine sign”. This is probably the clearest proof that Socrates did believe in the gods of Athens because this sign was definitely coming from some form of an Athenian god. The “divine sign” was a clear voice that always forbids him to do something which he is going to do, but never commands him to do anything. If Socrates would not have believed in the gods of Athens, for sure he would not have ever listened or followed the signs or in certain circumstance a direction. During the trial, Socrates stated, “For I do believe that there are gods, and in a far higher sense than that in which any of my accusers believe in them. And to you and to god I commit my cause, to be determined by you as is best for you and me”. This sentence let them know that what they are saying is wrong, that he does believe in god probably even more than what they might do. But it seems that Socrates himself did not believe that he was actually the wisest man in Athens. Socrates did not know that the only wise man was god.
The next accusation brought against Socrates during his trial is the one accusing him of corrupting the youth. Even if Socrates was corrupting the youth, he was doing it unintentionally as Socrates stated. During this accusation, Meletus claims that what Socrates is doing is wrong. Meletus views the corruption of the youth as Socrates telling the children to believe in certain gods contrary to what gods the public believes in. Educating youth about other gods, which was one of the accusations from Meletus and his associates, was not the purpose of Socrates. His purpose was to teach youth to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. Socrates was not corrupting the youth because as he states, he would have corrupted many generations. This sentence came from Socrates, “For if I am really corrupting the youth, and have corrupted some of them already, those of them who have grown up and have become sensible that I gave them bad advice in the days of their youth should come forward as accusers and take their revenge.” That shows that Socrates was sure that he had not corrupted the youth, and this was proved because none of the youth who had now grown up came forward for their “revenge”. What he wanted to teach the youth was only good and to never harm anybody. Socrates taught them this because because he was a good man, a man who was only serving his great city. Even if Socrates corrupted the youth unintentionally, he should not be held accountable because the Athenian law “does not mention unintentional offenses”. Before putting him to death, Socrates should have been informed about his mistakes so he could stop, but he was never informed. As we all suppose, if he would have been informed, he would have stopped because he might of thought about the consequences. But it seems that Socrates was less afraid of death because after being sentenced to the death penalty, Socrates states, “I regard this as proof that what has happened to me is good, and that those of us who think that death is an evil, are in error.” So even if what he was doing was wrong for the city of Athens but for him was not, he would have still kept on teaching. That was his teaching, the one which he never got paid for because he was not looking for material stuff (particularly money). All he was looking for was for the improvement of his great city.
The other two charges were, of being a Physicist and a Sophist. These two other accusations from my perspective do not fit in with the previous accusations. If Socrates did believe in god, he is not a Physicist. He never inquired anything about the heavens in this case, which as we suppose heaven relates to god. He never had any doubt on god so there was not any reason for him to inquire about it. The other charge on him was him being accused of being a Sophist. Socrates was never trying to make the youth believe in something else than what they already believed. All he was trying to do was let them know about the improvement of the soul. He was probably charged with that because he didn’t know how to confront others, and when he did confront them, he wouldn’t stop pushing them even if they had a different opinion.
All the evidence provided throughout this trial does not make any sense. It seems that the death of poor Socrates was already planned because none of the accusations fit in with the evidences provided by Meletus and his associates. All they had against Socrates was envy, because they knew Socrates was a wise man and that everything he was doing was only for the good of Athens. But it seems that instead of them being appreciative of Socrates for everything he did, they were upset. It seems that they actually did not want the good for their city. The jury in this case was definitely misguided. Socrates was only trying to help the city of Athens, a city for which he had a great love. The jury overlooked the evidence that was brought to the case and relied on their biased opinions and not actually true facts. There was no evidence of any wrong doing by Socrates. He was trying to follow the Oracle of Delphi and if somehow misinterpreted it, it was purely by mistake. Socrates followed all of the laws of Athens even until the end of his life when he was put to death. A death that was definitely unfair.