King’s criteria to Socrates’ decision

Socrates reasons of not escaping when he had a chance do not compel the citizens to abide by the unjust sentence like the one that was levied to him. There was no any possible cause or reason that would make one to willingly face a death sentence. The laws of this kind are so unjust going by the Martin Luther king’s criterion of determining the just and unjust laws, he says that just laws are those that protect people’s lives, people’s liberty as well as their ability to pursue their happiness, this is quite contrary to the ruling in the Socrates’ case, Some people sometimes don’t even agree with the law, but despite this, they go along with the law because it is societal friendly or sometimes just because it is a law. Others also abide by the unjust laws because of their loyalty to the subjects dominating on the law. The king’s criterion outlays the unjust laws as those that do not protect the three fundamentals, i.e. the citizen’s lives, their liberty as well as their ability to pursue their happiness (Levinson, 2007). The unjust laws do not protect the God-given rights.

The kings criterion is therefore of no relevance to the Socrates decision to stay when he had an opportune moment of escaping the death sentence (Levinson, 2007). It is clear from the king’s criterion that the death sentence law was unjust; it was not protecting Socrates’ life, the law did not uplift Socrates personality. There is therefore no way that Socrates reasons could get support from the King’s criterion of determining if laws are just or unjust. Socrates reasons to stay might have been accompanied by some factors blinding him from having a clear insight of what the true picture is regarding his right as a citizen.



Levinson, P. (2007). The Plot to Save Socrates. New York: Tor Books.

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