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Word Count: 457
Socrates on Death Now the hour to part has come I go to die you go to live Which of us goes to the better lot is known to no one except the god 42a Fear of the unknown is a phobia inherent to the human psyche we are often dually terrified and fascinated with that which we cannot explain or understand Accordingly death is the ultimate fear a subject of which cannot be studied or observed first hand without lethal consequences a topic on which no one can rightly claim to be an expert Yet human beings in our attempt to explain the inexplicable have created innumerable belief systems or religions each with its own opinion on death and the proverbial afterlife And furthermore philosophy a field built upon hypothesizing and questioning the human condition does not broach the subject of death Perhaps this disparity of standpoints between religion and philosophy may be used to examine the reasons behind contemporary fears of death In The Apology Socrates refuses to adhere to the idea of death as an evil or punishment for Socrates death is less to be feared than committing an injustice Though Socrates claims to be ignorant of life after death he does know that it is pernicious to corrupt ones soul by committing an injustice and this he pronounces is the error of the Athenians Gods alone hold the knowledge of justice knowledge of what constitutes social and personal excellence by sentencing Socrates to death for philosophizing the citizens have taken justice of which they actually know nothing into their own hands This of course is the very pretext upon which Socrates criticizes his fellow citizens their simulated wisdom and preoccupation with knowledge of information versus human wisdom Moreover Socrates declares that a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death this correlates with Socrates view of the virtuous and immortal human soul 41d And while Socrates
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