The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David, Public Domajor using Wikimedia Commons
The executioner handed him a cup of poison brewed from hemlock. Socrates, accepting a fate that Athenian authorities required upon him, drank every last sip. Afterward, he walked approximately the room while his friends agonized over the resulting death. They might not accept Socrates’s acceptance of the finish.

You are watching: Why doesn’t socrates fear death?

A few weeks previously, he had been convicted for the crimes of “failing to identify Athenian deities” and “corrupting the minds of the youth.” Throughout the course of his trial, he gifted the people this dictum:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

In his last moments, Plato sassist that Socprices was happy.

When the poichild stopped his heart, he passed away unafraid.

Socprices argues that we need to confront our very own end in the same manner. For him, there is no factor to are afraid fatality bereason it is one of 2 things:

The entrance to an afterlife; orDreammuch less sleep.A mindful afterlife

“If on the various other hand also fatality is a removal from right here to some other area, and also if what we are told is true, that all the dead are there, what greater blessing might there be than this, gentlemen? — Socrates in Plato’s Apology”

Socrates’s mainly believed that tbelow is some various other version of life after death. He speculated that our soul, which might be understood as our mindful mind minus the body, proceeds to the spiroutine civilization of Hades. In this various other world, souls from various components of background would certainly spend their days discovering, thinking, and mentally grappling with one one more.

Socprices claims that this state of presence is preferable bereason we would no much longer be servants to our bodily requirements. A excellent deal of suffering is obtained from as soon as we cannot eat, drink, or remainder whenever our physical selves call for.

This is why Socrates advocates that inquiry and conflict into our understanding of things is the the majority of worthwhile activity we deserve to execute alive. His premise is that you get to keep your mind forever, so it must be sharp prior to it gets Hades.

Of course, Socprices himself understands that he has no means of proving this idealized version of the immortality. What if what awaits us is oblivion? He says that the dreamless sleep of darkness is not as negative as human being imagine it to be.

Dreamless sleep

“Now if there is no consciousness however just a dreammuch less sleep, fatality should be a marvelous obtain. — Socrates in Plato’s Apology”

I think the scariest point around fatality is that it is eternal. Forever before can be overwhelming. Add that to beliefs of an endless hell or an everlasting void, and currently you’ve got a crisis.

But according to Socprices, as echoed by the theorist Epicurus, the void isn’t all that negative as soon as it is construed. They argue that if death puts an end to your existence, then you cannot exist to experience the enduring of death.

It is of note that there is a distinction between dying and death. The phenomenon that kills you may be frightening and painful. After all, it regularly comes as a surpincrease.

But tbelow is no you to experience the eternity of fatality. You and death cannot co-exist at the exact same time.

Hence, Socprices concludes, there is no factor to fear death. It’s choose resting, simply without any kind of desires.

Final thoughts

One might sensibly posit that Socprices suggested himself out of the agony of fatality. But of course, just prefer all philosophies, the see is not perfect.

What if one took pleasure in their physical existence? What if anxieties from death come from the fear of absent out on what more life could offer? What if Socrates’s notions of Hades were wrong? Tbelow are many type of inquiries one can raise to the Gadfly of Athens.

See more: Right In Front Of Your Eyes Lyrics, Right In Front Of Your Eyes From Musical

It’s just herbal to are afraid death. I’m certain in one minute or another, Socrates feared it also. But he didn’t let it consume him.