LITERATURE TERM PAPER
NO FEAR IN DEATH
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Socrates did not choose to begin now at 70 years old and make choices which would have been contrary to who he was. He believed living long doesn’t matter, living well does. He lived a good, just, and ethical life and was poor because his life was spent on more noble things of the search of true wisdom, not of earthly self-pleasures of physical matters. He was the father of Philosophy and roamed the Athens’ Agora speaking, teaching, and asking questions of real wisdom, a kind of soul searching. He had many pupils and would seek others to find any true meaning of true knowledge. He felt like he didn’t know all things and questioned those who appeared to be learnt in certain areas to help him find real knowledge with wisdom. He surmised that the body and the soul are separate, and in life, we can never attain all that we yearn to know. Our soul is eternal and our physical bodies are temporal, so edifying the soul is one’s aim to practice for dying and death for a true Philosopher throughout one’s life. He was tried in the Athenian Courts and found guilty, given the death sentence. He was accused of not believing in god and brainwashing the youth and influencing them. He made his defense but to no avail. His radical thinking and speaking made him very unpopular with those who governed the Athens society. His friends were allowed to visit him before his death sentence. He gave long discourses to explain goodness and justice and other strong truths of his Philosophy to argue his point to them. Truth is always truth and how he felt being an Athenian subject, it was only right to obey the laws, though wrong, right, or indifferent. He dialogues to them how suicide would not be a good thing to do because we belonged to the gods and they alone can dictate, our death, but not of oneself. He also was given the death sentence to drink hemlock poison until his death, so felt welcomed to do so and enter the death he felt a true Philosopher practices for all his life. In drinking the poison, which was his duty as a good, ethical, wise and just man, he felt was his penance by the laws of the homeland he loved and respected all his life. The irony was also his winning, being given the freedom to enter death where his soul can only prosper and reign as a god himself with other gods and other deserving souls eternally. The best goodness is after all, after death. Socrates since a young lad felt it was his calling of the gods to spread his Philosophy and it was his duty to spend his life doing so. “Be sure that this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is no greater blessing for the city than my service to the god. For I go around doing nothing but persuading both young and old among you not to care for your body or your wealth in preference to or as strongly as for the best possible state of the soul.” (Apology 30 b) His quest and time spent led him to be poor, not prosperous as others. The life he led was seen as radical and strange so he was unpopular by many who were the majority who lived for self-pleasuring pursuits and wealth in their lives. He pursued matters of the soul, which are eternal and the body is physical, as is almost everything else, except God. He was the wisest man on earth and even the oracle of Delphos had prophesized it. He had many pupils and followers who also later became masters of Philosophy, as Plato. There doesn’t seem to be any inconsistencies in what Socrates taught of the nature of Philosophy as care for the soul and Philosophy as practice for death. Our body being physical will perish and be forever gone upon death, yet our soul is separate and is eternal. Socrates held teachings using “Forms,” is transcendent to our own world and also is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, Forms are the most pure of all things. (anselm.edu,Forms of II) Our...
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