Identify an issue for which you would be willing to face imprisonment or death, rather than renounce.

Directions:

Throughout history people of high moral character have faced punishment, imprisonment, and even death rather than forsake their guiding principles. In Socrates’ case, he was unwilling to renounce his commitment to searching for wisdom, examining himself and others, and exhorting others to live virtuously and attend to their souls. Other people have been unwilling to:

  • Renounce their religious beliefs
  • Surrender their commitment to personal and political freedom
  • Behave in a way that they considered to be immoral
  • Betray loyalties to family, friends, and/or country

Think about your deepest convictions and identify an issue for which you would be willing to face imprisonment or death. Imagine yourself in a court setting, similar to Socrates, in which you have one final chance to persuade your accusers that you do not deserve to die, even though you are unwilling to renounce your beliefs. Then, compose a Socratic dialogue between you and your accusers in which you use penetrating questioning and compelling logic to make your case.[1]

Steps:

  1. Identify an issue for which you would be willing to face imprisonment or death, rather than renounce.
  2. Write a dialogue between yourself and your accusers (think of how Socrates speaks to Meletus) in which you defend yourself and your belief.
  3. Be sure to keep in mind the criteria we discussed in the Paul and Elder book on Critical Thinking. You should aim to give a sophisticated and logical argument.

Length and Formatting: 4-5 double-spaced pages, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1” margins

Due Date: Sunday, February 7th.

 

 

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