Did Socrates Truly Deserve to Die?
The answer to this question is yes and no, depending on your perspective.
On the one hand, Socrates was punished according to the laws of his state, laws whose value he believed wholeheartedly. He so much appreciated the importance of the law that he put it above his own life. According to social norms, it was good that he sacrificed himself in the name of the state and its order. Even to this day, those who sacrifice themselves for their state are considered heroes. It is as if society wants people to die for it, if their deaths contribute to it. Sometimes I wonder if society actually prefers its own sake and benefit over those of its members.
On the other hand, what did Socrates actually do? He taught philosophy to the citizenry of Athens, encouraging them to practice their own logical proficiency, examine their lives, and broaden their horizons. Are these deeds truly corrupt, as was his accusation? Why are these deeds corrupt? Because they shake the mental foundations of society? Because they encourage people to think for themselves, instead of blindly obeying the state and its commands?
This is a core reason why I abstain from having a full intervention in society, and instead live a relatively solitary life. Society is egocentric. It mostly cares for itself. It glorifies the death of its citizenry and soldiers if their agony promotes its interests. It includes within itself anything and anyone who benefits it and shows loyalty and patriotism to it, and rejects every data or every person which threatens its pride and collective conformity.
In conclusion, whether or not Socrates deserved to die is a complex question with no easy answer. It depends on your perspective on the role of the individual in society, the importance of the law, and the value of free thought.
Socrates' Punishment: A Lesson on the Two-Faced Society
Socrates' punishment is a lesson for us all about the two-faced nature of society. On the one hand, society encourages us to contribute to it and praises us for doing so. On the other hand, society makes us feel ashamed of ourselves when we go against it and its values, in the name of our independence.
If society is so manipulative, why should we fully intervene in a construct that cares more about its own pride and puts us to shame if we are to follow our own ego?
The hypocrisy of society is that it downgrades egoism as corrupt and the source of evil, but at the same time, it glorifies its own ego. It makes us believe that feeding society's ego (in the name of altruism) is an exalted thing to do and to dedicate our entire lives to it.
Socrates would not have been punished if he had submitted to the conformity that the authority imposes upon its people. Why would he be executed if his existence was to contribute to society? He would have medals and his name would be glorified in the streets, because everyone who glorifies society becomes glorified and exalted themselves in the eye of the social consciousness.
Socrates' death shows the ugly side of social constructs.
They manipulate us to give up our independence entirely for society, because our independent and eccentric ways are allegedly condemned just because we go in a way that social norms refuse to dictate.
Socrates did not need to die. The social consciousness needed to change, if the authorities were truly altruistic towards his unique potential, instead of being egoistic and authoritarian in the name of their control over the stability of their subjects.