The Apology, written by Plato, describes the speech given by Socrates while on trial for impiety charges by Meletus and the state of Athens. In this account, Socrates makes the famous assertion that an unexamined life is not worth living. According to Socrates, an examined life is one that follows a philosophical approach to help understand ones self and to lead a more meaningful, truthful life. By trying to understand and get to know ourselves we are adding more value to our lives. From Socrates perspective, one may argue that the examined life is the only worthwhile life to live because goodness is linked with wisdom. If we didn’t question the world or why we act a certain way, how would we be able to reason and choose between right and wrong actions? Socrates argues that in order to achieve a good-life where we are happy is to seek self-knowledge and wisdom.
Prior to that court hearing, Plato also accounts the encounter between Socrates and Euthyphro outside the court of Athens. Euthyphro, who claims to be an expert in holiness and religious matters, is set to prosecute his own father. Socrates asks for Euthyphro guidance on this matter and their conversation examines the question what is holiness and how Euthyphro’s claims are invalid. For example, Euthyphro states that what is agreed upon the gods is holy but Socrates refutes this by pointing out not everything is agreeable because the gods sometimes quarrel. Out of frustration from Socrates questions, Euthyphro leaves without being able to provide a valid answer. This encounter allows to us to realize that maybe there is no such thing as one definite feature of holiness. The inconclusive ending also may shed light on the fact that when trying to learn something, the teacher should not just give you the right answer, but rather lead you to be able to justify and explain the answer.
The apology and the Euthyphro center on the ideas of forming an arguments and being able to define and explain your evidence. This follows some of the common principles used in formulating a strong argument-based paper. According to Purdue OWL, an argumentative paper begins by establishing a thesis statement that is debatable and that people have different opinions on. This statement should be narrow and be able to be supported by evidence. The evidence chosen should be research based from credible sources that are accurate. To effectively present the data and your argument, follow an organized structure. A common organizational structure includes the Toulmin Method that follows in the order of Claim, Data, Warrant, Backing, Counterclaim, and Rebuttal (Perdue OWL, 2018). It is also important to remember to avoid logical fallacies, which can hinder the argument being presented. Common fallacies used in argumentative papers include Slippery slope, Hasty Generalization, Post Hoc ergo propter hoc, and Begging the claim.