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k ton Patric McEvoy-Flals 2004 Poli3OOA/Summer # nt fusignme # t/ Q,rcstion 3 ANql, Given what we hear from him

in Tlre it is not indisputablyclearasto why Socrates

"follows' his God, Apollo. Thereinthere is evidenceto support *ree explanations: 1) he doesso and zwrt to enablegoodness; 3) he doesso, to; because is compelled 2)he doesso becausehe he despitehis attempt to establishothetwise,out of self-interest. never sap that he "follows" God. Instead,he is prone to At leastn Tlx ApdW, Socrates chanctenzr hirnself as God's gift to the Athenians. FIe sap, "I am reallyonegiven to pu byGod" (437),andassuch he is not so much sonrconewho follows God ashe is an extensionof hirq or at an that it is because is a grft of God's that he possesses he of leasta possession his. FIe argues inhuman capacitytoneglect"all this]t. . .] o"m interests"(437),andvzhyan affront to him amounts that makeshim seemmost lilrc a puppet, most ro an offence againsthis God. It is a self-conception puiling his strings,and explainsvzhyhe God is, so-to-speak, like someonewho follows God because that he "M' a{gues "disobeythegod" (aa3;emphasis added).

as But there is alsoevidencein "the Apology'' which supportsviewing Socrates someone he who is not compelledto follow God but who doesso because wantsto follow hirn Vhen sap that through "oraclesand dreanrs"(439)his "God conunands' him "to wake [. . .] .tP" Socrates (436)his fellowAthenians, when he sap that he was "posted" byGod with a specific"d,ttyto be a that he feelsstrongly obligatedbut not forced to follow his we philosopher" (434-35), likely sense God's plansfor hirn The prophetic voice he hears"checks" hirn, it *opposes" (445)hitt; it is or

and which worls to impedesomeof his actions, hasan "influence" (439)which he stronglyregisters as but is not unequivocallypresented somethirg which Mbe resisted.That is, we are left with

he room to believethat the primary reasonhe heedsits directionsis because "trus{s]" (441)its he Apollo to be source,Apollo. FIe trusts Apollo because believes 'vrise" (429) and good. Alone,

was;but though like everyonehe would want to be good, he would never be surewhat goodness following the directions of his God makeshim sure that "there is no greatergood for [his fellow

2 Atheniansl[. . .] in the clty in anywaythan thitl t. . .l serviceto God" (436). follows his But his defencealsoprovidesevidencefor those who want to arguethat Socrates "sewiliq/ hasits benefits. Socrates that following his God's argues God principally because conunandshas meant an arduom life, but it has also meant a life in which he hean from a "familiar bythe propheticvoice t. . .l evenin verysmall things' (445). Unlike Gdipus, who feh abandoned

hin'to in Leeps cor$tantcompanywitha God, a God who,ps, commauds Gods,Socrates, a sense, ,, *AT him but him live a life v*rich leaves rnateriallypoor, vfro alsoleaves feeli.g cetain that he ^ \
that suggests he haslittle important to his God aswell asthe most important of Athenians. Socrates or rather no interestin "title[s]" (42g)or honour, but if we doubt his sinceriry he would have,o /* done more than just point to his material poverry to prove to us that he does not follow his God for


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tllt, ' , ' Socrates may not be proud or self-interested, but we also know that even il he was he would

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r,0Deveryuruikely to admit this to himself; for he has much dependingon being thought good by hit 'God. playfullyimaginesspendinghis time joyf"llyconversing with heroessuch as Socrates Odpseus in his afterlife. FIe sap that only God knows what awaitshim after death, but the reason he he might be thinking of an ideal uhimate fate for hirnself is because feels sure thap"no evil can bythe gods" (446). is happento a good nun eitherliving ordead, and his business not neglected 'We "follows" his then, to support severalhlpothesesasto vrhySocrates haveevidence, but would disavowthe latter, and possiblythe latter two, possibilities, all three God. Socrates evidencenruApdry. are explanations backedup byte>rnral \(e might at leastagreethat Socrates


are he that Gods exist whom one might follow- but his accusers follows God because believes constanth refersto his God in his otherwise. Socrates given reasonn ru Apdryto suggest atheist. of he he defence,but one of the reasons is on trial is because is accused being a dangerous atheistas much asa reverentfollower of God would be sureto In this position a self-interested to his intersperse defencewith references God.