In Plato's the Apology of Socrates, Socrates defends himself in front of the Athenian assembly for the allegedly failing to believe in the gods as well as harming the minds of young men of Athens by questioning those in authority and spreading false truths. His defense and explanation of his actions in the "service to the god" show that Athenians do not actually have the wisdom they claim to possess, that the absence of wisdom in government and society can harm a population and that while craft knowledge is valuable and explains the "how" of things, it lacks the ability to explain the "why" of things. He begins to refute the accusations against him by asking several questions of his prosecutor, Meletus, and comparing Meletus' answers to demonstrate how they contradict one another or are inadequate.
In Apology of Socrates, Socrates had many discussions with different groups of Athenians where he found that they were unable to give reasonable answers to his questions. Socrates then went on to analyze and examine their responses, and from there retold the conversation to the people of the court. Because of this, Socrates does not actually claim to know the answers to the questions he asked, but rather reports on what he has learned from his experiences and his findings through talking to other Athenians.
The search for knowledge and wisdom is a normal part of every person's life. People spend years going to school, devote themselves to religions in attempts to better understand life, and some, such as scientists, devote lifetimes to studying how things in the world work and why. This was not always expected or even acceptable, and in ancient Greek society, the quest for knowledge and wisdom was easily looked down upon and possibly seen as punishable. Socrates and Prometheus are examples of the possible negative consequences of attempting to teach knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Apology of Socrates is Socrates' defense for his behavior in Athens. He is brought...