Plato’s Apology: Defense of Socrates

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Plato’s Apology is a reconstruction of the trial of Socrates. Socrates was accused of several wrong doings by a jury made up of the men considered to be wise and influential Athenians. During the trial, the court addressed issues such as Socrates’ views on death. Traditionally, death is view solely as a negative and the manifestation of evil. Socrates questioned this theory of death and dying. He proposed that death was, in turn, a good thing. Socrates figured that there were two outcomes of death. One outcome being that through dying one ceases to exist and no longer has any awareness of anything what so ever. In the second outcome, one’s soul experiences a sort of transformation and exchanges the present world for another. Neither of the two outcomes give the impression that they would be negative or evil encounters. Socrates’ peers strongly opposed this idea and any idea that didn’t comply with their traditions and society norms. Socrates passionately defended his beliefs through well articulated arguments that truly contradicted the norms of society.

Socrates stated that if there is no awareness in death then death would seem nothing more than a deep sleep with no dreams. During this sleep like state, the person would have no consciousness of anything at all. Socrates argued that a night of sleep spent without dreams are spent more soundly than those spent having dreams. Therefore, in death, person would feel as if they were simply experiences a restful night’s sleep. Also, this eternal sleep would seem to be no longer than a single night, thus nothing negative would be experienced by the deceased.

With the second possible outcome of death, the soul would undergo a transformation and if would feel as if one was taking a trip to another world. Upon entering this new world, Socrates felt that he would be able to meet those who are truly judges and be rid of the men in the current world who, falsely, consider themselves to be judges. Socrates was excited...
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