Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Socrates on Death

In Apology, Socrates talks a lot about death.  He first says that fear of death is the result of ignorance, since we do not really know if death is an evil or a blessing.  He says that it is better to fear known evils, such as being wicked, than it is to fear unknown things, such as death.  He also says that there is good reason to think that death is a blessing.  Either death is lack of perception or death is a relocation of the soul.  If death is lack of perception, then it is much like a very restful sleep, so it must be good!  If death is relocation of the soul, then one can spend time with interesting people (and even philosophizing), so it must be good!  Socrates says that either way, one cannot harm a good man in life or in death.  Since the only real harm is harm to your virtue (morality), nobody can harm you but yourself.  The only real harm you should worry about is harm to your soul (harm to your virtue/morality).  It is easier to avoid death than it is to avoid being wicked.  So really, if we fear anything, we should fear being wicked.

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