Plato and Augustine both have arguments regarding whether or not it is ever just to break the law. In the Crito, at 50a-54e, Plato’s character Socrates delivers an argument against breaking the laws of the city,

Plato and Augustine both have arguments regarding whether or not it is ever just to break the law. In the Crito, at 50a-54e, Plato’s character Socrates delivers an argument against breaking the laws of the city, even if the city has ignored the nature of justice. In the Confessions Book II, Chapters 7-9, Augustine presents an argument as to why the eternal and natural law must be obeyed, even if God’s law conflicts with human law and custom?

First, summarize and explain both Socrates’ argument in the Crito against breaking the laws of Athens and then Augustine’s argument for obeying God’s law above human laws (please primarily look at the passages cited above).

Second, compare and contrast Socrates’ argument with Augustine’s argument: are there similarities between their claims and conclusions? Where do their arguments diverge? If they diverge at any point, why?

Finally, either defend Socrates’s conclusion or defend Augustine’s conclusion with regard to the justice or injustice of breaking the law by constructing your own argument for or against Socrates’s conclusion or Augustine’s conclusion. If you do not agree with either philosopher, then explain why and make your own argument concerning whether you ever think it is just or unjust to break the laws of one’s political society.


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