Paragraph 1: Kay guys, so there's a lot of haters out there who say I'm a liar. They say I'm good at sweet-talking, but I'm really not. I just tell it like it is in my own way.
2: The people who accuse me can be split into two groups. There's the group that steered you wrong when you were young and impressionable. Of course you followed them becaus we there was no one to tell you otherwise. But now there are also people who are living today who manipulate and are fed by envy and malice. I'll deal with the old ones first, then the new.
3: I hope I can win your hearts, though I know it won't be easy. But let God's will be done.
4: What do my accusers say? They say Socrates teaches false doctrine. Aristophanes even wrote a play that made fun of me. But that's not my business. My business is to tell you the truth, and it's your business to judge it.
5: I am not a paid teacher, though I respect the profession. There's a story told of a man with two sons. I asked the man, "If your kids were horses, you'd give 'em to a horse trainer. But there isn't a people-trainer, is there?" The man told me yes, there was. And he taught for cheap, despite all his wisdom." Heaven's, I'm surprised he doesn't charge more! I know I would... but I can't. So I don't.
6: Well then why do people accuse me of this, then? Surely there must be some grounds for it? Well, it's because I'm "wise." I'm not wise in an unattainable sense, but as God is my witness, I am the wisest. The oracle at Delphi said so.
7: But I don't think I'm the wisest! Why would God say that? God can't lie. That's against his nature! So I decided to go out and look for a man wiser than myself. I went to this politician, who I thought was very wise at first. But it turned out the more I talked to him, the less wise he became. He thought he was wise, but he wasn't. So he hated me. I came to the conclusion that I am better off than he is -- because he thinks he knows something, yet knows nothing. I don't even think I know. This applied to every "wise" person I talked to.
8: After experimenting on this, I became more sure that "wise" people are actually very foolish -- it's the inferior men who know more. After politicians, I went to the poets. I asked what their verses meant, but all they did was brag about how "inspired" they are. They wrote the stuff, but they didn't understand it. So they're not wise, either.
9: I went to the artisans next. They knew a lot of stuff... but they still thoght they knew more than they actually did. I'm still better off!
10: So that's why people hate me. I am not wise. Only God is wise. Our wisdom is nothing. You are only wise when you come to understand that wisdom is worth nothing. So it's my job to get people to realize their own foolishness. I'm consumed by this quest.
11: People react towards me rather than towards themselves when they hear this. They blame me, even though I did nothing evil. They don't like to be told they are wrong. I'm simply plain with my accusers, and they hate me for it. This hatred is proof that I speak truth.
12: So that's the OLD accusers. Now for the new. What do THEY accuse me of? They say I don't worship God and I corrupt youth. They are, in fact, the evil ones -- they make a joke out of serious things -- they claim they care, but the don't. I'll have a conversation with one of them: Mr. Meletus.
S: So you care about youth?
S: Who is improving them? You've accused me as their corrupter... who is their improver?
S: You've got nothing to say. How shameful! Doesn't this mean you don't care??
M: The laws!
S: But I need a person! Who knows the laws?
S: How do they improve youth? Do they?
S: All of them?
S: Good! Does the audience improve youth?
S: And Senators too?
M: Senators, too.
S: What about ecclesiats?
M: Them too.
S: That's like everyone in Athens, then! Everyone but me!
M: You got that right.
S: Too bad! But... what about horses? Does only one man do them harm? No... many injure them. Sometimes it's just the trainer who does them good. There is never just one corrupter. Obviously you don't care enough about the children to think of this. Obviously it's better to live among good people, Right?
S: Does anyone like to be injured?
S: so you think I intentionally corrupt youth?
S: But you just said that good neighbors are good doers... why would I want to corrupt someone if he's gonna injure me? So either I don't corrupt them, or I do it unintentionally. Either way, you lie. If I did it unintentionally, you should have privately corrected me. Instead you bring me here to be punished! One more thing. How do I corrupt the young? Am I worshipping false gods?
M: you are.
S: What do you mean? I believe in Gods. So I'm not an atheist. Are my Gods different from the laws?
M: I believe you're an atheist.
S: Why?? I believe in the Gods of the sun and moon!
M: Yet you believe the sun is stone and the moon is earth.
S: That's Anaxagoras... but what about me?
M: You don't believe in God!
S: Liar! You don't even believe yourself! You thought you could get away with being a walking contradiction, but you can't! This is a joke! Let's look at this guy, judges, and see. you can't see a flute player without flute playing. you can't see horsemanship without horses. Neither can you see divine agencies without God, right?
S: I believe in spiritual agencies! I believe in divine beings, I believe in God! Spirits and demigods are all God, right?
S: If I believe in a demigod -- a child of god -- I believe in the parent! I can't say mules exist without horses and donkeys. Nonsense! You have nothing to accuse me of. Yet I still have many enemies: envy and distraction. That kills a lot of people.
12: Am I ashamed? Am I ashamed of dying? No. It's not about life or death, it's about right or wrong. We shouldn't worry about death, but honor. That's what Achilles did.
13: This is a mission God wants me to fulfill -- to deny this mission is to deny him. I'd think I was wise, even though I'm not. Fear of death is the pretence of wisdom. No one knows what comes after death. Why pretend to know? That's foolish! Death may be bad, but it may also be good -- why avoid what is good? I will obey God rather than man. I care about deeper truths -- not money and reputation, but improvement of the soul. A guy can't do this without virtue. Don't think of yourself and your properties. Care about your soul. After that, you'll get those other things. I will not change.
14: If you kill me, you will injure yourself more than me. Bad things can't really hurt me. To kill an innocent man is bad for you! Don't sin against God. I'm like a gadfly, and the state is like a horse. I stir it to life -- I land on you and wake you up. I'm not easily replaced. You may be irritated by me -- you may wanna kill me and keep sleeping, but dontt! I'm like your brother! I don't seek payment!
15: Why do I not publicly do this? Why am I not a politician? The oracle has forbidden me. If I was a politician, you wouldn't see me today to help you still. I'd die early.
16: I'll give you an example: I was a Senator for a while. We had won a battle, but our prisoners needed to be tried. You wanted to try them all together, but that's illegal. I said so, even though you threatened to kill me. Later, after the democracy, the oligarchy told us to bring another prisoner, but he was innocent, so I didn't ring him. I would have died if the oligarchy had survived.
17: Now do you see how I wouldn't have survived in politics? I simply tell it like it is, and invite all to follow -- no pay needed. I am no respecter of persons. I tell the world.
18: I like it when foolish people argue with me. it's fun! But I'm doing my godly duty. if I'm corrupting children, how? They're turning out to be pretty decent people! Let those who believe they have been corrupted come forward! Or their families! Anyone? I see a lot of you here! You all know I speak truth.
19: One more thing: To those who may be offended by my presence here -- all by myself, not fearing death -- I am a man, flesh and blood. I have a family, yes. but I won't bring them here. That would be discreditable. Some people act really stupid when they're accused of something. People fear death -- they want to be immortal, continuing to live. These people are wimps. They make the city look ridiculous.
20: Judges need to give justice according to the laws. Don't bribe them. Remember: Believe in God, and it is before him that I make my argument.
21: I've been condemned, but I don't grieve. Why? I expected it. In fact, the vote was closer in my favor than I expected.
22: They propose death. Remember, I don't care about things of the world. I only went about doing what good that I could. I've besought of you to look inside yourselves and find virtue. Good comes from good. A good poor man deserves more than an athlete who won a race. I need, but he has enough.
23: I'm not begging innocence. I'm just saying Ive never wronged anyone. I don't think a capital offense should be concluded in one day, either. I have too little time to convince you. I don't deserve death, but I don't fear it. I may be imprisoned instead of put to death, but death may be better than imprisonment. I'd hate to be exiled, separated from he people I serve. Besides, I'll get kicked out wherever I go. I can't hold my tongue. To converse about virtue is the greatest good of man. A life unexamined is not worth living. I have no money, so I can pay no fines.
24: Your name will be shamed because you killed me, Socrates, a wise man. you should have waited to see the reward of my words. To those who convicted me, it wasn't my words that bothered you. It's cuz I didn't cry and beg for forgiveness. I was bold til the end. I did not try to escape death. I did not surrender. I avoided unrighteousness, not death. Now you'll be the unrighteous ones. You'll have your reward.
25: I have a prophecy: You'll get much worse than me. You'll still have to face the music -- there will be others who will tell it like it is like I did. you can't avoid accusation by killing people. Don't kill others, improve yourselves.
26: My friends, stay and let me talk to you. The oracle didn't disapprove of anything I did today. Nothing. How can we explain this? It means that everything I said was meant to be said. it was good. Death can't be bad. It's good!
27: Death is either nothing or it is something. It's either utter unconsciousness or it is a migration to a new world. So I either have a nice sleep to look forward to -- a deep undisturbed sleep with no dreams -- which would be great -- eternity is only a single night. But if death is a journey, that's good too! He's delivered from the evils of this world -- true judgment reigns. We'll see good men -- and we can talk to them! I'd love this! I'd continue my search for knowledge among great heroes! I will be happy and immortal!
28: No evil can happen to a good man. Nothing happens by chance. God loves good men. To die is better for me. I am not angry! I gently blame them for trying to do me wrong, but they didn't.
29: Teach my sons what I taught you, please! Reprove them if they pretend to be wise or seek riches.
30: I'm gonna die now. God only knows what's next.