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Democracy?

September 15, 2010
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Today in discussion we talked about the Pelopponnesian War between the Athens and the Spartans, it reshaped the Ancient Greek world and Athens was then ruled by the “Thirty Tyrants”.  The democracy in Athens was suspended and later restored by Thrasybulus in 403 B.C., four years before Socrates’ trial and death. However, is the democracy in Athens truly restored?

I know there is no reason to argue with the fact that Socrates is guilty. During Socrates’ court case, there was an actual trial in front of the juries which made it a democratic judgment. However, the “legal” charges that have been set upon him do not fit to the status and ideals of the state council which is understood as a democratic one. The charges against Socrates were known as “corruption of the youth” and “impiety: not believing in Athens’ gods” as identified from the lecture slide. However, it would be a contradicting truth that a democratic state is finding one guilty for the material and content that they are teaching and also one’s belief. Is this a true democracy established under the Athenians or was it simply a thought and image created by the state to persuade people to believe in this ugly truth?

If such accusations are true, which that Athens was not a true democracy. Then would the trial even mean something at all? Socrates would simply be another victim under dictatorship and forced to an end together with his mindful of ideas and thoughts. I am simply wondering about how can we define the democracy within the Athenian government and how can this type of human freedom be well expressed.

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