Elian Gonzales, the way Socrates sees the problem
Should an individual abide by the laws of his country no mater what or should he fight back. This is the question Socrates is trying to answer to Crito in this dialog by Plato. The dialog is also closely related with Elian Gonzalez situation because the people are split on whether to send him back in Cuba or let him in US. Socrates will answer this question based on the explications given to Crito.
The dialog starts with Crito sitting on Socrates bed in prison. After he wakes up Crito is trying to explain why he think Socrates should run away from prison. Crito first argument is the effect on him and what others might think about him if he decide to stay in prison and die rather than run away, ‘Your death means a double calamity form. I shall not only lose a friend whom I can never possibly replace but besides a great many people who didn’t know you and me very well will be sure to think that I let you dawn,’; This is more like a personal reason which is followed by his second argument that, he is letting his sons down ‘You have it in your power to finish their bringing up and education, and instead of that you proposing to go off and desert them,’;
After he heart Crito reasoning, Socrates tried to explain his reasoning in which he not only took in account his friends but also the effects on the State. One reason Socrates refused to run away is because of what might happen to his friends that helped him, like loosing everything they own. His second argument is that public opinion is not always right and that he should follow the advice of a qualified person and not the advice of the general public ‘Than he should be afraid of the criticism and welcome the praise of the qualified person, but not those of the general public. Crito agrees to this argument.
Next Socrates ask Crito if is right that never one should do willingly wrong, or it depends on the circumstance. Based on this question Socrates continues to his final and most important argument that he must respect the State and the Laws. Socrates tells to Crito that by running he will do wrong three times to the State ‘First because we are his parents, and secondly because we are his guardians’; and thirdly because, after promising obedience, he is neither obeying us nor persuading…’;
Based on Socrates arguments I think it is very clear that Elian Gonzalez should go back in Cuba to his father, contrary to public opinion. In this situation the US government and the politician should take in consideration not the general public but what the laws that they have enacted. Socrates thinks that the public opinion is not always right as he has argued to Crito.