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Socrates on Death

Socrates on Death

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10/01/2013

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WHAT SOCRATES HAS TO SAY ABOUT DEATH
y
 
In
the Apology:eYou are mistake
n,
my fri
 
nd,
if you thi
n
k that a ma
n
who isworth a
n
ythi
n
g ought to sp
 
nd
his lif
 
w
 
ighi
n
g up th
 
 prosp
 
cts of lif
 
a
nd
 
de
ath. H
e
has o
n
ly o
ne
thi
n
g toco
n
si
de
r...wh
e
th
e
r h
e
is acti
n
g justly or u
n
justly
¡ 
.H
e
r
e
mi
nd
s th
e
jury o
¡ 
H
e
ctor i
n
th
eI
lia
d,
who
,
wh
en
h
e
wasr
e
mi
nded
o
¡ 
 
d
a
n
g
e
r o
¡ 
 
de
ath
,
ma
de
light o
¡ 
it a
nd
sai
d
that h
e
was
¡ 
ar mor
e
a
¡ 
rai
d
o
¡ 
b
e
i
n
g mock
ed
 
¡ 
or
¡ 
ailur
e
to
d
o his
d
utytha
n
h
e
was o
¡ 
 
de
ath.H
e
says it woul
d
b
e
shocki
n
g to
de
s
e
rt his post (
d
oi
n
g th
e
work o
¡ 
th
e
go
d
s) just out o
¡ 
 
¡ 
e
ar o
¡ 
 
de
ath.
eI
am
n
ot goi
n
gto cha
n
g
e
my co
nd
uct
,
 
n
ot
even
i
¡ 
 
I
ha
ve
to
d
i
e
a hu
nd
r
ed
 
de
aths
¡ 
.H
e
th
en
go
e
s o
n
to say that it is stupi
d
to
¡ 
e
ar
de
ath. H
e
poi
n
ts out that it is arroga
n
c
e
to assum
e
that w
e
k
n
ow it is aba
d
thi
n
g.
I
t may
even
b
e
a bl
e
ssi
n
g.As proo
¡ 
o
¡ 
his lack o
¡ 
 
¡ 
e
ar o
¡ 
 
de
ath h
e
poi
n
ts out to th
e
 jury that o
n
oth
e
r occasio
n
s h
ed
i
d
th
e
right thi
n
g
even
thoughh
e
might ha
ve
b
een
kill
ed
 
¡ 
or it (spok
e
up
¡ 
or th
e
g
ene
rals atArgi
n
usa
e
a
nd
 
d
i
dnd
t
¡ 
e
tch L
e
o
n
o
¡ 
Salamis).H
e
says that goi
n
g i
n
to battl
e,
o
ne
k
n
ows th
e
da
n
g
e
r
,
but o
ne
still must
¡ 
ollow ord
e
rs a
n
d do th
e
right thi
n
g.
e
D
e
ath is o
ne
o
¡ 
two thi
n
gs
,
 
e
ith
e
r it is a
nn
ihilatio
n
...or it isr
e
ally a cha
n
g
e,
a migratio
n
o
¡ 
th
e
soul
¡ 
rom this plac
e
toa
n
oth
e
r
¡ 
H
e
says that
e
ith
e
r way
,
why shouldw
e
¡ 
e
ar it? H
e
hims
e
l
¡ 
gr
e
atly looks
¡ 
orwardto m
ee
ti
n
g gr
e
at h
e
ro
e
s o
¡ 
th
e
 
past (Agamem
n
o
n;
Orpheus
;
Homer a
nd
O
d
ysseus) a
nd
toquestio
n
i
n
g them the way he has questio
n
e
d
the Athe
n
ia
n
s i
n
hislifetime. He trusts i
n
the go
d
s
n
ot to let a
n
ythi
n
g ba
d
happe
n
 to him.Well
n
ow it is time to be off
,
 
I
to
d
ie
,
you to li
v
e
;
but whichof us has the happier prospect is u
n
k
n
ow
n
to a
n
yo
n
e but Go
d
.
y
 
In
The Crito:
In
a
n
swer to Critods reaso
n
s why he shoul
d
escape a
nd
 sur
v
i
v
e
,
Socrates says the followi
n
g: That o
n
e shoul
d
always
d
o what is right
,
e
v
e
n
if
d
eath is the co
n
seque
n
ce
;
is it worthli
v
i
n
g if you ha
v
e
d
o
n
e somethi
n
g to
d
amage your soul? (i.e. thewro
n
g thi
n
g)
;
whe
n
you
d
ie
,
you ha
v
e to face the Laws i
n
 Ha
d
es who will call you to accou
n
t for a
n
y wro
n
g you ha
v
e
d
o
n
e.
y
 
In
The Phae
d
o:O
n
the
d
ay of his
d
eath
,
Socrates is happy a
nd
calm
,
u
n
likesome others (
n
otable his wife
,
Xa
n
thippe
,
Apollo
d
orus a
nd
thepriso
n
guar
d,
all of whom weep). Socrates says that a truephilosopher shoul
d
welcome
d
eath
,
but
n
ot co
n
si
d
er suici
d
e. Hesays that our li
v
es are
n
ot our ow
n,
but belo
n
g to the go
d
sa
nd
so they are
n
ot ours to
d
ispose of.He has
n
o i
n
terest whatsoe
v
er i
n
how he shoul
d
be burie
d
ashe firmly belie
v
es that o
n
ly his bo
d
ily remai
n
s a
nd
 
n
ot his trueself will be left o
n
earth.He shows his lack of co
n
cer
n
for
d
eath by refusi
n
g to put itoff to the last mi
n
ute i
n
or
d
er to
e
cli
n
g to lif
ef
. H
e
iscurious about th
e
h
e
mlock a
nd
wish
e
s to mak
e
a libatio
n
to th
e
 go
d
s.
I
ro
n
ically
,
h
e
has to calm his
f
ri
end
s
d
ow
n
wh
en
h
e
tak
e
s

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