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Socrates’ most fundamental principles that the really important thing is not to live but to live well. Therefore, he considers whether it is morally right to pay off the guards and escape. He begins addressing this issue by considering the consequences for the city. He says that the laws and the city could be destroyed if he escaped. Legal judgments could lose their force if they were not abided by private citizens, and a city without laws would not remain intact for very long. Socrates also thought he would be harming the condition of his soul by escaping. He thought his soul would be harmed because he assumed that by harming the city he would be also harming his soul. Being responsible for harm to others is something that causes harm to one’s soul. He also would have suffered harm to his soul because he broke an agreement. He made a tacit agreement to follow the laws of Athens because he lived under them for seventy years, raised his children under them, and did not try to persuade the city to change them.Socrates himself points out that this is an incorrect assumption. He says that Crito overlooks the possibility that his friends would be both willing and capable of bringing his children up. If he were to escape, he does not think it would be in his children’s best interest to raise them there, because there they would be considered foreigners. If he escaped he would ask his friends to take care of his children in Athens, and there is no reason why they should take care of them if he escapes but not if he dies.


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